Fraxel VS. Clear + Brilliant: Which is Right for You?

Wondering what is the difference between Clear + Brilliant and Fraxel? They’re both lasers. They both use fractional laser technology to resurface the skin. So what’s the difference and which one should you choose?

How They’re the Same

Both devices offer non-ablative resurfacing. This means they remove dermal tissue without damaging the top layers. The fractional laser beams bypass the epidermis, going deeper, where the damage actually occurs.

Think pigmentation, scars, wrinkles – these typically originate at the dermal-epidermal junction. The laser’s energy will need to penetrate at this level to treat moderate to serious conditions such as acne scars and wrinkles.

The Differences

The fundamental difference between the two lasers is the intensity of the treatment. This determines the downtime and naturally, how fast you’ll see results. Although there is some flexibility in the settings, the machines are designed for a different level of resurfacing.

Clear + Brilliant fractional laser, dubbed “baby Fraxel” is much less intense. Its parameters are set to be less invasive and target the skin’s superficial layers. For this reason it offers patients a quicker treatment with much less pain and discomfort.

Fraxel laser, on the other hand, penetrates much deeper and is therefore associated with a higher level of discomfort. The rewards, however, are much more dramatic. The device can tackle more serious skin issues.

How to Choose

Clear + Brilliant is best if you want to refresh your skin’s appearance without significant downtime. It targets the following:

  • Mild acne scarring
  • Mild to moderate pigmentation (including pigmented acne scars)
  • Texture irregularities
  • Enlarged pores
  • Sun damage
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Fine lines

Fraxel treatment should be top of your list if you have more advanced skin concerns such as:

  • Age spots, dark spots and melasma *
  • Pitted acne scars
  • Surgical scars
  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Actinic keratosis
  • Moderate to severe sun damage

*Melasma is a complex skin condition that may require a multi-faced approach.

What to expect

With both procedures, a topical numbing cream (anaesthetic) is applied to make the procedure more comfortable.

Fraxel involves making several passes with the laser handpiece while a cooling device is used to further enhance patient comfort. The procedure takes about an hour and the skin can feel extremely flushed and hot for several hours after. Redness can last 2-5 days and gentle peeling may occur. We recommend 3-5 treatments about 4 weeks apart.

Clear + Brilliant is much less invasive with minimal downtime. You can expect some minor swelling and redness (similar to having a mild sunburn) for 4-6 hours post treatment. The next day it’s common for the skin to feel rough, similar to sandpaper in texture. This usually resolves after a few days.

With both treatments the skin usually returns back to normal after a week. It’s very important to wear full-spectrum sun protection for 4-6 weeks after treatment to avoid further damage.

For more information on these and other rejuvenating skin treatments contact us to book an appointment. We look forward to helping you look and feel great!