This Laser Treatment May Be the Secret to Glowing Wedding-Day Skin
No bride-to-be has an absolutely perfect complexion, not even Miranda Kerr (at least that’s what I tell myself). So when it comes to maximizing your pre-wedding beauty routine, it’s always smart to seek out treatments that provide solutions for multiple skincare dilemmas. Whether you struggle with redness and inflammation, broken capillaries, rosacea, sun spots, acne scarring or everyone’s favorite, fine lines and wrinkles, few quick-fixes are better than the Vbeam Perfecta laser. To test its potential, I went straight to Graceanne Svendsen, a medical aesthetician for more than 25 years who’s the go-to skincare guru at NYC’s esteemed Shafer Plastic Surgery practice. (Its namesake founder, Dr. Shafer, trained at the Mayo Clinic and is one of NYC’s most sought-after docs.) “Brides are often overrun with to-do lists, which goes hand-in-hand with inflamed, stressed-out skin,” says Svendsen. “The Vbeam is the perfect gentle laser tool to improve the appearance of redness and inflammation and ensure your makeup goes on smoothly for the wedding.”
What It’s Like
The laser is essentially a small wand that sends an intense burst of light onto a targeted area (but which is still mild enough to avoid damaging the surrounding tissue). Svendsen first worked her way around my entire face for overall rejuvenation, then upped the settings and returned to a few broken capillaries on my cheeks to maximize the effects; total treatment time was about 30 minutes. While most patients only feel a mild twinge as the laser works its magic, my experience wasn’t exactly pain-free. That said, the discomfort was likely due to the laser’s patented Dynamic Cooling Device, which sprays cryogen onto the skin’s surface prior to each heated laser pulse for a cooling effect. (The sound can also be slightly jarring, but Svendsen thankfully begins each treatment with a video so you know what to expect.)
Overall, the treatment is extremely safe, with no real side effects, apart from slight redness or mild swelling (which disappears easily with a bit of concealer). Immediately following the treatment, I noticed my complexion was brighter, more even-toned and that some surface facial veins and annoying sun spots had vanished for good, which seemed like a legitimate miracle!
See More: BRIDES’ Ultimate Beauty Countdown: The 10-Week Guide to Looking Flawless for Your Wedding
Svendsen suggests booking three to four appointments about one month apart, starting at least six months before the wedding. “The benefits of Vbeam are cumulative, so it’s important to stick to a timely schedule for collagen production and the improvement of breaking up vessels and other conditions,” she says. But if something about your complexion is bothering you up to one week from the Big Day, don’t worry — Svendsen says you can still pinch-hit a persistent problem at the last minute.
Want to really want to step up the results? Svendsen recommends clients come in just before the wedding for Vbeam, dermaplaning and a hydrofacial. This combination treatment will remove dead skin cells and plump up skin for that dewy glow every bride dreams of.
The Fine Print
Depending on the severity of the problem and the size of the treatment area, it may take more than one session to see major results. In my case, it will take two or three visits to completely break up the capillaries on my cheeks, which are deep below the skin’s surface. Price varies depending upon the practice, but Dr. Shafer’s office charges about $400 per session.
If you’re a laser virgin, the Vbeam is a great way to go, given its multiple uses for both short-term glow and long-term treatment of deeper, more persistent conditions. It’s not exactly cheap, but if you want to finally be rid of a skincare woe for good, consider it a worthy investment. Personally, I’ve already booked my follow up appointment — bye bye, capillaries!
12 Magical Makeup Tricks to Make Scars, Spots, and Dark Circles Disappear
Self-conscious about imperfections on your face? We got makeup artists to reveal their full-coverage game plan. Read the full article at Readers Digest.
Dr. Shafer and Graceanne Svendsen featured in the latest Aesthetic Guide
We are so honored to have our very own Dr. Shafer and Graceanne Svendsen featured in the latest Aesthetic’s Guide. Check them out here!
Chemical Peel 101: Everything you Want to Know
By Graceanne Svendsen, October 27, 2016 – urbanmilan.com
We have all heard of Chemical Peels but how much do we know about them and their benefits?
We decided to find out more about Chemical Peels by visiting Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in New York City which specializes in Chemical peels and various other non-invasive skin treatments. Chemical peels are used to improve the skin’s appearance by using a chemical solution that is applied to the skin, which makes it “blister” and eventually peel off. The new skin is smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.
For first timers like us we wanted to find out what types of Chemical Peels are offered and what the benefits and risks are.
The One Item Every Girl Needs This Fall
By Graceanne Svendsen, October 25, 2016 – mimosasmanhattan.com
IPL Photofacial with Dr. Shafer
I have to say, I am a newbie in the facial world but this laser treatment which aims for complete rejuvenation of redness, brown spots, large pores, fighting, tone and texture, was pretty dang amazing. To cover up the redness after the treatment, they applied Oxygenetix which is a breathable foundation which completely covers but feels like you are wearing nothing.
VBEAM PERFECTA AND OXYGENTIX FOUNDATION REVIEW
By Graceanne Svendsen, October 21, 2016 – mariannyc.com
I have recently been taking my skincare more seriously and have been trying my best to keep my skin healthy, smooth and clear. A few weeks ago, I received the VBeam Perfecta treatment from Dr. Shafer’s office.
Dr. David Shafer is Double Board Certified in Plastic Surgery, a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and a Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. At first, I was very hesitant because the office is associated with plastic surgery and that’s not what I wanted at all. However, after much research, I realized that the office offers other non invasive treatments such as VBeam Perfecta, which is a laser treatment to treat rosacea, redness, broken blood vessels and broken facial veins.
Our very own Dr. Shafer and Graceanne Svendsen on the “Just Jenny” show On August 23, 2016. Check out “Just Jenny” Sirius XM radio channel 109.
Dr. Shafer and Graceanne had a great time on the New York Stock Exchange. If you haven’t done so already, check out their interview, exclusively on Cheddar.com!
Summer Shape-Up: What You Can Do Before Memorial Day to Look Your Best
By Genevieve Shaw Brown Saturday, May 11, 2016 – abcnews.go.com
It’s the little-to-no downtime procedures that are the most popular, said Dr. David Shafer of Shafer Plastic Surgery. “Botox and fillers are going to give you the most bang for your buck,” he said. People come in this time of year for Botox in their forehead and around their eyes and then fillers in their cheeks and lips. “They want to freshen up and look their best for the summer season.”
Shafer also said he sees an increase in the requests for breast augmentation as the weather warms. “You can have it done on a Thursday and be back to work Monday,” he said.
There are less invasive ways to freshen up. Graceanne Svendsen, a licensed medical aesthetician who works at Shafer Plastic Surgery said new technology in makeup makes it possible to have a peel or even microneedling with platelet-rich plasma — sometimes called a vampire facial, as it uses the patient’s own blood — and go right back to work, thanks to makeup that’s specifically designed for doctors and aestheticians. “Breathable foundations such as Oxygenetix have an anti-inflammatory effect by using aloe gel and Ceravitae — yeast peptides — and it adds moisturizer and color with an SPF protection of 20.”
Kiss and Tell
Microneedling with PRP
By Delia von Neuschatz Saturday, November 7, 2015 – newyorksocialdiary.com
If you’re looking for the fountain of youth you may not have to go far. The key to turning back the clock may very well be found in your own blood. More specifically, the platelet rich plasma (PRP) contained therein, called “liquid gold” by some doctors, is made up of fundamental protein growth factors which aid with cell growth, tissue repair and collagen production. PRP therapy, which has been popular in Europe for years, has been used by elite athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez to treat sports injuries. It has also been used to stimulate hair growth.
But what will it do for my crows feet, you wonder? When delivered via a microneedling process, it may very well diminish them, along with reversing the effects of sun damage and improving the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. The end result should be more resilient, thicker skin with fewer lines and wrinkles. And because it is your own blood from which PRP is derived, there is virtually no risk of allergic reactions.
The minimally invasive microneedling technique involves a series of tiny, very fine needles which are passed over the skin, creating micro-injuries which trigger new collagen and elastin synthesis as the skin begins to naturally repair itself. These micro-injuries also create channels that allow various substances – serums or your own plasma – to penetrate deeper into the skin resulting in better product efficacy.
Appropriate for all skin types, celebrities have been jumping on the bandwagon for this so-called vampire facial which counts Kim Kardashian and Bar Rafaeli are among its devotees. Nor is the procedure limited to the face. It can also be used on numerous body parts including the neck, décolleté and arms.
“PRP is the future,” says dermatologist Dr. Doris Day. “It will become a mainstay of our rejuvenation treatments. But, buyer beware because in this country, we’re still figuring out the different techniques and protocols,” she cautions. “Expectations have to be realistic. PRP won’t tighten up your skin, but it should improve its quality and result in long lasting hair growth if that’s what you’re after.” In the wrong hands, it could lead to scarring. So, needless to say, going to someone knowledgeable and experienced is of paramount importance.
For my treatment, I went to the offices of Dr. David Shafer, a double board certified plastic surgeon. But before beginning the procedure, I was placed in front of a Vectra 3D imaging machine (with my hair pulled back) which captured the amount of sun damage and the structural condition of my face. The idea is to compare the before and after in 6 weeks’ time.
The procedure began with Dr. Shafer drawing a bit of blood. He then placed the blood in a centrifuge which spun it at a very rapid rate, separating the platelets from the red and white blood cells. In the meantime, my face was numbed with a lidocaine cream. As soon as the lidocaine took effect, Graceanne Svendsen, Dr. Shafer’s medical aesthetician, topically applied the platelet-rich plasma on a part of my face and passed the microneedling pen over that section.
The process was repeated until my entire face had been covered, including the under-eye areas. The procedure, which lasted approximately 45 minutes including the blood-drawing, wasn’t painful, but my skin stung a bit and felt tight in the immediate aftermath. I looked like I had had a sunburn and there was some swelling and bruising too. I was very thankful for the Oxygenetix breathable foundation which Graceanne gently patted on my face post procedure.
That night, I slept with my head in an elevated position and took a Benadryl to reduce the swelling (as per Graceanne’s recommendation). The next day, I was still quite red and had a little bit of bruising, but was less swollen. The day after that, my skin started peeling. All in all, it took about two days for the redness to go away and another two for the peeling to stop. It is important to note here that the reaction to treatment depends on the condition of your skin. I recommend that anyone who decides to undergo this procedure clear their social calendars for a couple of days afterwards.
And what about the cost? In New York City, prices range between $1,500 to $2,500 per treatment for microneedling with PRP. One to two treatments per year should suffice provided one stays hydrated and follows a good skin care routine at home according to Graceanne.
You want to give your skin a boost, but would prefer something that doesn’t involve blood drawing or is friendlier on the wallet? Then microneedling with a serum may be the thing for you. “It’s like microdermabrasion on steroids,” explains Donna Fay, Dr. Steven Pearlman’s resident Beauty Expert. As with the PRP procedure, the skin is numbed and a set of tiny needles is passed over the face, but a serum is what’s topically applied in lieu of your own plasma. After this procedure (administered by Donna), I looked like I had a mild sunburn for a day. When the redness cleared, I was left with soft, smooth, more evenly toned skin for the next several days. “This is something you can do 2-3 days prior to an event or before the weekend to achieve a nice glow,” says Donna. In New York, expect to pay about $500 per treatment.
For something with even less downtime, there’s Dr. Shafer’s Aquagold procedure, which utilizes a manual stamping technique to deliver a solution (PRP, serum, Botox, etc.) via a series of very fine gold-plated needles. This “lunchtime microneedling” results in a temporary smoother, tighter appearance. “It’s great for Asian patients and for those with sensitive skin,” advises Graceanne. Patients availing themselves of this procedure will experience very slight redness and tenderness for a day or less. Costs start at $450 and go up depending on the solution used.
So, back to the microneedling with PRP – was it worth it? Ten days after my treatment, my skin is baby soft and smooth and my pores looks smaller. The pigmentation is more even and the under-eye area appears brighter. My skin feels a bit thinner though on account of the fact that the old collagen was broken down and the new collagen has not yet had a chance to form. The process of collagen synthesis takes time, however, so long-lasting results won’t be evident for 4-6 weeks after the treatment and final results may take 3-6 months to appear. I plan on returning to Dr. Shafer’s office and his Vectra machine in the next month or so to check on the condition of my skin. Stay tuned for a progress report. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the compliments I’ve been getting on my complexion.
Skin Care tips to “winterize” your skin
By: Graceanne Svendsen, Medical Aesthetician, Certified Laser Technician and Certified Holistic Health Coach
Don’t forget to ‘winterize’ your skin. Here in the east we are experiencing sudden frigid temperatures. It’s even more necessary to hydrate our bodies from the inside and out. Here are some tips for soft, silky skin in the winter:
- use a moisturizer, serum or oil with extra hydrating properties. I use organic Jojoba oil or Apricot oil on my body and Skin Medica’s Hydrating Complex and TNS Ceramide Cream on my face.
- dry brush DAILY and use the ancient Ayurvedic technique of ‘abyangha’ self massage daily after dry brushing. Dry brushing not only moves lymphatic waste and build up in our bodies, it helps with congestion and weight gain. By brushing the dead skin cells and stimulating the outer layer of our skin we feel softer and more alive with a relaxing effect on our nervous system. Take some cleansing deep breaths during ‘abyangha’…it’s delightful.
- sip hot water throughout the day. I have done this for the last few years and see and feel the benefit of great digestion, circulation and clear skin.
- exfoliate. gently! hydrating dry skin is like putting cream or oil on a dry sponge. My favorite bi-weekly ritual is using GlyPro Exfoliating Cleanser on Wednesdays and Sundays! Dermaplaning is a great way to exfoliate every 3-4 weeks. (ever wonder WHY men age so gracefully? They scrape dead skin cells on a daily basis by shaving.) I use a #10 surgical blade to dermaplane patients so imagine how soft the skin is!
- make sure you are getting enough VitD.
- have fun with it. Self care is the new health care. Once weekly Epsom Salt baths (magnesium) is one of my favorite self care rituals.