Dealing with acne is a battle as is, then you add in the fact that it tends to cause lingering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and even permanent scars. Kendall Jenner is easily one of the most high-profile people who has openly dealt with acne and all the related scarring, and she also has access to some of the best treatments in the world. One of her go-to treatments is Laser Genesis, which some also refer to as a “laser facial treatment,” but it’s surprisingly accessible.
Whether your end-game is to treat acne and acne scarring or you’re simply curious about how Laser Genesis can up your glow factor, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about the treatment below.
How Does Laser Genesis Work?
In short, Laser Genesis is a non-invasive, non-ablative (doesn’t cause purposeful damage) that gently delivers heat to the dermal (deeper) layer of the skin to regenerate collagen
“The treatment is scientifically proven to improve acne, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and shrink pore size,” a physician assistant and owner of Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Human Performance in Las Vegas, Nevada heather rohrer ,“The heat from the laser kills bacteria on the skin and deep within the skin, which drastically helps diminish active acne while preventing further breakouts. The heat also stimulates collagen production, which is what helps remodel/heal scars and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
She says that Laser Genesis is recommended for treating the face, neck, and chest which is where it’s most often performed. However, it can also work on other parts of the body to help with scar reduction.
Laser Genesis vs IPL: The Difference!
Laser Genesis and IPL (intense pulsed light) are like sister treatments: similar, but not quite the same. The primary difference is the type of laser that’s used.
“Laser Genesis is a laser that uses a single wavelength of light to target a specific molecule in the skin called a chromophore. On the other hand, IPL uses multiple wavelengths of light so it has multiple targets,” says Dr zain husain, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center.
When trying to decide between the two, it’s important to consider a few things. First, note that IPL is only safe to use on lighter skin tones. When used on darker complexions, it can potentially cause an over-production of skin pigmentation. Laser Genesis is generally considered safer for all skin types.
Rohrer adds, “What type of treatment you choose also depends on the condition of your skin and the things you want to treat. While IPL is great for rosacea, skin discoloration, and aging skin, Laser Genesis is better for targeting acne, pore size, fine lines, and uneven skin texture and tone. I recommend a thorough consultation with a skin expert to determine which treatment if not both is right for you.”
What a Laser Genesis Treatment Feels Like
When compared to other forms of lasers, Laser Genesis falls on the mild end of the spectrum in terms of causing discomfort. Dr. Husain says that the laser causes a warm sensation versus the sharp stings or “rubber band snaps” that other lasers can create. Before your treatment, you’ll be guided into a calm room where you’ll be instructed to lie on a comfy treatment bed. From there, your face will be cleansed thoroughly.
“I have trained my aestheticians to do an extensive examination of the skin after the cleaning,” says Rohrer. “If the patient has excess dead skin buildup or excess facial hair, they are instructed to perform dermaplaning or microdermabrasion.”
Both of these pre-treatments help the laser penetrate more deeply, which results in a more effective treatment. Once skin is prepped, your treatment will begin
“Laser Genesis is performed by taking a handheld device that is slowly moved back and forth over the skin, gently warming up the dermis. Treatment typically takes around 30 minutes, and most patients enjoy the warm feeling, describing it as ‘warm sunlight’ hitting their face.”
Common Side Effects and Expected Down Time
Given its gentle nature, you can expect minimal downtime and only mild side effects following a Laser Genesis treatment. Dr. Zain says, “There’s often some redness and mild swelling, but the redness usually subsides within a few hours after the treatment for most people. Following your treatment, strict sun protection with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).”
You can resume your normal activities immediately following the treatment, and some people note that they even have a nice, subtle glow afterward.