Canada has a mixture of ethnic skin types including Asian, Middle Eastern, East Indian, Black as well as Caucasian skin types. Providing safe and effective skin rejuvenation for each skin type differs. Ethnic skin and Asian skin care will need more specific and gentle laser treatments. Our favored lasers and energy devices are Fraxel, Clear+Brilliant, PicoWay Fractional laser as well as the Intensif RF with PRP. Skin rejuvenation, pigmentation, acne scars, and enlarged pores can be safely and effectively treated with these devices.
Asian & Ethnic Skin Rejuvenation
Frequently asked questions
Asian skin care and ethnic skin rejuvenation is much harder than treating Caucasian and light skin patients. This is because if energy levels are too high, the result can be worse than the treatment. Ethnic skin has a much higher tendency towards skin darkening- known as PIH or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This means that laser parameters have to be gentle and precise. Gentler treatment reduces the chances of PIH. Conversely Ethnic patients will need more treatments to achieve the same result.
Having a Specialist who treats Ethnic skin on a daily basis is advisable, as we can reduce the incidence of side effects, but provide the best outcomes
Ethnic skin is not immune to conditions such as freckles, age spots, wrinkles, poor skin texture and pigmentation. There are however several skin conditions that are more common in Asian skin types. These include –
Skin pigmentation / Melasma– this skin condition is much more common in Indians, Fijians, Pacific Islanders, Sri Lankans as well as Caucasian. Melasma presents are patchy areas of skin darkening around the eyes, forehead and upper lip. Bleaching creams, pigment inhibitor skin care prodcuts, and picosecond technology lasers like PicoWay can help reduce pigmentation by up to 75%. Chemical Peels are also a great combination treatment we offer in conjunction with lasers and microneedling.
Age spots and sun spots – these can also occur on Asian skin. The use of erbium laser, PicoWay Laser, Fraxel, Clear and Brilliant, EndyMed FSR can reduce pigmentation, rejuvenate skin and improve wrinkles. 1927 erbium lasers are a great laser as the chances of skin darkening is very low with this machine. The use of specialist creams forms the basis of Asian Skin Care and Ethnic skin care following laser rejuvenation.
More on Fraxel Laser
• Skin rejuvenation in Asian and darker skin types is a Specialist field
• Treatments such as IPL can cause skin darkening and hence special lasers are needed
• Skin rejuvenation, sun spots, age spots, freckles, acne scarring and rosacea can all be treated with specific lasers
• Our favoured lasers are the Fraxel and PicoWay lasers for treating dark skin types as well as Intensif RF (radiofrequency) Microneedling technology and EndyMed FSR technology (FSR – Fractional Skin Resurfacing)
• Acne scars and open pores are best treated with RF Microneedling and PRP combinations as well as some Medical Facials we offer
• Asian + Ethnic / Darker skin care also involves the use of correct skin products, including lightening serums
To help improve the 3 C’s – Collagen, clarity and colour for the treatment of ethnic and Asian skin types, we add combination therapy procedures. This stacking procedure address the 3 most important aspects of skin rejuvenation with utmost safety and efficacy. This program uses PicoWay Laser, Fraxel or EndyMed FSR to treat pigment, improve skin texture, and decrease wrinkles. Unlike IPL or other lasers, this program is a gentle but deep laser treatment- this reduces unwanted side effects such as skin darkening. Lightening creams also play an important role in Asian skin care and ethnic skin care. We also combine BBL Skin Tyte or EndyMed Skin Tightening to help further improve collagen. Intensif RF Microneedling is also an option to improve collagen, with less treatments needed vs traditional RF skin tightening.
My two favoured lasers for treating ethnic skin are the Clear and Brilliant 1927 Permea, or 1440 wavelength handpiece. Other options are Fraxel 1550, EndyMed RF FSR and PicoWay 1064 laser. These lasers are gentle on the skin and heat transfer is controllable making treatments safe with minimal side effects.
Fraxel provides general skin rejuvenation- namely a decrease in skin pigmentation, improvement in fine wrinkles, tighter skin tone as well as increased radiance. This translates to younger, fresher and rejuvenated skin.
PicoWay Picofacial can treat specific spots, such as freckles, sunspots and age spots.
I also use an erbium laser to treat conditions that are raised on the skin’s surface such as actinic keratosis. Most Asian patients will benefit from a combination of lasers as well as bleaching creams for optimal results
EndyMed FSR is colour blind so this option is truly wonderful for dark skinned clients for overall rejuvenation, clearing pigment, texture iregularities and smoothening skin while giving a tighter skin tone.
Clear and Brilliant is also safe on all skin types, the target for this laser is water, so it makes a great choice in skin of colour. This has been a client favourite due to the minimal downtime and radiant skin results.
Lately we have been favouring the Intensif RF microneedling system with insulated needles, combined with PRP. This is an excellent method for skin rejuvenation, acne scar revision as well as pore size reduction. Unlike lasers, the chances of skin pigmentation following this procedure is extremely rare.
PicoWay PicoToning laser treatments have NO recovery time, meaning that you recover immediately. This treatment is ideal for skin pigmentation disorders such as melasma or for gradual laser skin toning.
Fraxel laser takes 4 days to recover from. Best conducted on a Friday, you will recover by Tuesday at the latest.
EndyMed FSR recovery is approximately 2+ days with some flaking and residual redness post the initial 48 hours
Clear and Brilliant is typically 1-2 days
Yes. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) or BBL (Broadband Light) can be used on Asian skin however the settings and parameters must be exact or skin darkening can occur after IPL. IPL or BBL treatments in ethnic skin types must be approached with extreme caution, with a reliable machine that produces adequate skin cooling and replicable power settings such as BBL. BBL is the only IPL technology on the market today where you can adjust the cooling in the machine for each patient.
We see more complications from other clinics such as burns and skin darkening from IPL than with any other device.
Fitzpatrick skin types 1-4 are typically done with BBL, while very small spot treatments (never full face) are only done on skin types 5. For skin types 6 IPL or BBL should be completely avoided.
More on BBL Photorejuvenation
Acne scarring can be treated just as effectively in darker skin types compared to Caucasian patients. There are however key differences, but the end goal is the same.
Firstly PIH or skin pigmentation changes are universally seen in darker skin patients if high powered lasers are used or if TCA peels are performed. This is 100% certain, however will fade with prescription creams and sunscreen.
Secondly treatments with lasers can be just as powerful, but the ‘overlaps’ are less. Laser treatments must be conservative.To reduce the chances of skin darkening, we always recommend a pre treatment regimen of skin care and pigment inhibitors.
For laser resurfacing, we prefer to use the Erbium laser and not something like a CO2 as there is less heat transfer with Erbium. This means quicker healing times and less skin darkening after the laser procedure. Picosecond technology such as PicoWay is another great option since this laser is photo-acoustic, not photo-thermal so the transfer of heat is also to a minimum.
EndyMed Intensif is an incredible choice for darker skin types with acne scarring – RF technology has insulated needles. We often combine this with PRP for faster healing times and better results. Intensif uses RF or radio frequency to deliver heat into the deeper layers of the skin. This treatment is ideal for pore size reduction and treating acne scars. 2-3 sessions are required for optimal outcomes.