A few months ago, I tried the Halo Pro laser treatment and unfortunately, I was not impressed with the results. I was hopeful with the price tag, but it did not live up to my expectations on treating hyperpigmentation or acne scarring so I am sharing the two most effective skincare treatments for hyperpigmentation and acne scarring that I have found. The Halo treatment was intense from an initial pain perspective and post-care required some downtime. I had to be incredibly cautious with sun exposure. I spent two months post-treatment staying out of the sun completely, using SPF 50-100 every day, and wearing hats. Over the summer, I was as cautious as possible. I stayed in the shade at the pool, hats on runs, etc.
Halo Pro Laser Treatment
A lot of you have asked for my final thoughts on the treatment. Was it worth it? Here’s what I can tell you. The cost is high, $1500-$2000 for one treatment, and it did help with some improvement, but it was not the effective skincare treatment I was hoping for and I saw only a minimal positive change in the texture and tone. I do think everyone’s skin responds differently to different treatments, but for me, based on the cost and changes, I think there are much better options out there. It was not enough of a bump in improvement for my skin. This is not to say it won’t work for you, but it did not get rid of as much of the hyper-pigmentation that I’d hoped to see from a treatment with this price tag. That said, I only did one treatment and they recommend a series of two, 3-6 months apart. At this point, I would not opt to do a second round.
Clear & Brilliant is a Top Skincare Treatment for Hyperpigmentation
The most effective skincare treatments for hyperpigmentation and acne scarring are Clear & Brilliant and the viPeel . I do not have photos from Clear & Brilliant, but I do from the viPeel (see below), but what I can share about Clear & Brilliant: it is still a newer laser, it is far less known, and not available everywhere, but it requires zero downtime, and does an incredible job to improve, tone, texture, some fine lines and areas with hyper-pigmentation. This laser is designed more for tone and pigmentation. It’s similar to micro-needling, but goes deeper. It create a series of tiny, almost imperceptible abrasions to the skin. The skin appears sun-burned for 24 hrs. post-treatment, and then as your skin heels, you will have little scabs on your face. Do not be alarmed—you cannot even see them unless you are right on top of someone. Literally, on top of them. This laser was designed for people that cannot afford to take a week off from work.
Post-Treatment: No Downtime
The skin will have a sandpaper texture for a few days and then the new skin is revealed. You cannot tell anything has been done during the heeling process, and it’s a less invasive laser than a lot of what is out there; especially, in terms of pain. I linked it above and here. I have nothing but great things to say about it. I did three treatments last summer and saw an incredible improvement in my skin. They do recommend a series of six. The con is that the cost ends up being about a $400/treatment, but the pros outweigh all the cons. Your skin will be glowing and it takes five years off your skin.
The ViPeel Treats Hyperpigmentation and Acne Scarring
The other treatment I love, and have done multiple times is the viPeel. For the cost, about $375-$550, and the results, I feel it is one of the best options on the market. If you are looking to target fine lines, texture, acne scaring, and hyper-pigmentation and also melasma, which is almost impossible to treat—this is for you. They have several different peels: the viPeel, viPeel with Precision Plus for ageing skin, and Purify for acne. It is safe for all skin types, which most peels are not.
Even being extra careful post-Halo, I saw a tremendous amount of hyper-pigmentation from being outside over the summer. I was becoming very sensitive about it, and I decided to get a viPeel to help alleviate the sun damage I saw. Having done it before, I know the process and I also know the results are a never-fail for my skin. I chose the viPeel with Precision Plus since my skin was in serious need of a boost and I needed to clean up the darker pigmentation that was not going anywhere and I wanted to target fine lines.
How It Works
Pre viPeel Treatment Photos
Your esthetician will apply a pre-peel solution, which is just acetone. This ensures the skin is completely clean and free. They then apply the peel solution to your skin. It burns for about 5 seconds, but has its own neutralizer in it so it only stings for a short period of time. The process takes about 15 minutes total. Once applied, they then apply sunscreen and you are free to go. Your skin will be very red, and you will look like you have a tan or a sunburn. You will look like this the first and second day.
Four hours post, you have to apply a post-peel towlette, and then you do the same right before bed that same day. You do not wash these off. The next night, you use your last towlette. The post-peel towlettes are a major component to the success of the peels so make sure you do this portion.
You will see redness and your skin will start to feel tight. You may begin to peel around your mouth. By Day 3, you skin will appear very tight, wrinkly and almost aged as if you have spent 25 years straight in the sun. If you have bad hyper-pigmentation, those areas will darken, significantly. Don’t freak out about this and do not pick the skin! Picking can cause severe and additional hyper-pigmentation. The skin will flake off in the shower. And to keep the skin hydrated and itch-free, they provide a hydro-cortisone cream. You also need to drink a lot of water, try and avoid alcohol and you cannot exercise for 72 to 96 hrs. Exercise and being in a steam room/sauna can also cause additional pigmentation. You do not want your face to heat up during the peeling and healing process. Very important.
The entire process of peeling—and where you will likely not want to plan a big event, are Days 3-5. You will be peeling, flaking off, and it’s a little gross (being completely honest), but worth it. By Day 6, you will start to look pretty normal again. By Day 7, your skin should feel like a baby’s bum, you should see a serious improvement in the tone and any acne or scars, and severe hyper-pigmentation, should be well on its way off your face. My skin is not perfect, but the improvement is incredible given the downtime and cost.
A second treatment might be necessary and it might be something you want to do, but typically one, twice a year, is a great way to keep your skin looking youthful and fresh. The biggest win on this peel is that it targets fine lines, and is safe around the eyes. I see a noticeable change in the micro-fine lines that you start to see on the cheeks as you age. If you are looking for a cost-effective peel that works and will show immediate results, this is a win:win. You can get it done by most estheticians, plastic surgeons, etc. I would trust almost any reputable place to administer this because, it’s frankly, difficult to screw up. That’s important to think about when you are doing any kind of a peel on your face.
The entire goal of this peel is to help people feel like they do not need to wear make-up and it really does help. And to note, this is safe for darker skin tones.
Which Treatment is the Best for Treating Hyperpigmentation and Acne Scarring
Both are incredible. If you have active acne, and cystic acne, and are more worried about acne scarring, have severe hyperpigmetation and want something that will give you more immediate results and lift a lot of the darker skin off, the ViPeel is super effective. The only downside to this is that you have a few days of downtime. Clear & Brilliant has no downtime, but requires a more than one treatment and I would not suggest using it with active acnes. The ViPeel will kill bacteria, and Clear & Brilliant can truly change your skin from the inside out. If you can do both, I would suggest layering treatments. Do a ViPeel first to see where you skin lands, and if you deeper discoloration under the skin, add in the Clear & Brilliant laser to help get rid of that and improve your overall tone. Either way, these are my my top picks, and by far, the most effective skincare treatments for hyperpigmentation and acne scarring I have found to date.
Note: I am not an esthetician so please talk to your skincare provider. I would always recommend a consultation first so you can determine the best treatment path.
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