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Let’s Talk About Lasers: What to Expect Post Laser Treatment, Part I

Laser technology has improved dramatically in the past decade, and now tech like OVME’s Laser Resurfacing serve up bigger results with much less pain and downtime. So what does that downtime actually look like? We cornered OVME Director of Education and Development Elizabeth Weiler (she’s also a licensed aesthetician with an MBA, NBD) to pick her brain about the aftermath of a Halo face treatment. In this two-part series, she breaks down what you can expect in the days and months post-treatment—and when you’ll see the most pronounced results (hint: it’s not when you might think). 

Day of Treatment: 

After 30 minutes to an hour of numbing time, the Halo procedure takes just 10-20 minutes. You’ll cool yourself with a Zimmer chiller—basically a hose that blows icy cryogenic air onto the treated air, and “everybody’s BFF,” Weiler jokes—for 5-10 minutes and you’re out the door. “You’ll leave and have this hot, sunburn sensation,” Weiler says. “It’s different for everybody, but on average lasts for 45 minutes up to three hours.” Easy. Check. 

1 Day Post-OVME Laser Resurfacing: 

When you wake up the next day, expect some swelling under the eyes and in other parts of your face. “It gets better as the day goes on because you’re upright, so you’re not bothered by it halfway through the morning,” Weiler says. “You just feel a little bit tight.” Bonus: You can wear makeup to hide the pink hue of your skin, a huge differentiator from lasers of old, which required goopy ointment for days after treatment. 

post laser treatment

2 Days Post-OVME Laser Resurfacing: 

“On day two you start to notice a very fine sandpaper texture to your skin,” Weiler says. “You can’t really see it, but when you go to put on your moisturizer it feels like it’s not spreading as readily; it just feels a little rough.” 

3-4 Days Post-OVME Laser Resurfacing: 

Now the sandpaper texture makes itself a little more visible (but still not much). “It’s like a Monet,” Weiler says. “Up close you can see all the dots and you don’t really know what you’re looking at, but from a few feet back it looks great.” The pink tone may become replaced by a bronzy hue, which is actually the browns from underneath your skin rising to the surface. 

post laser treatment

5 Days Post-OVME Laser Resurfacing: 

The sandpaper begins to crumble. Let’s get scientific: Those little dots are called MENDS, which stands for micro epidermal necrotic debris—basically, dead skin. “They just crumble off, but they’re really small so it doesn’t bug people,” Weiler says. “It’s nothing like a huge sheet peeling, like after a sunburn.” By day five, she adds, “you’re looking great.” 

6 Days Post-OVME Laser Resurfacing: 

“A little-known fact is that once that sandpapery texture is gone on day six, that’s actually when your healing process begins,” Weiler says. “To the client, that’s when the healing process is done—they don’t have to physically look at it or feel it—but this is when your body starts taking over.” You’ll see improvements in brown spots, hyperpigmentation, freckles, ages spots and any kind of uneven tone right away, and will look a little polished and buffed, as if you’ve just had a great facial.

So now the real healing begins—and what does that look like? Check out Part II of this series to find out what you can expect month-by-month. 

“Little known fact: Once the sandpapery texture is gone on day six, that’s actually when your healing process begins. To the client, that’s when the healing process is done—because they don’t have to physically look at it or feel it—but this is when your body starts taking over.”

Elizabeth Weiler

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