Beauty Reviews

Review: Laser treatment for acne and pigmentation woes

Just how effective is it? Read our verdict here
 

mizu aesthetic clinic q-switch yellow laser acne pigmentation

 

Walking along the rows of shops in Marina Bay Link Mall, Mizu Aesthetic Clinic may look like just another aesthetic clinic on the outside. This unit, which houses both an aesthetic clinic and a medispa, opened its doors in April 2015, and offers your usual slew of treatments: botox, fillers, lasers and anti-ageing facials – just to name a few. But it’s the theme of the clinic and the personalised approach that helps this place stand out.

Inspired by Dr Tan Ying Zhou’s (founder and medical director of Mizu) love for marine life and scuba diving, Mizu – which translates to “water” in Japanese – is decorated with cosy, blue furnishing, underwater photographs (some taken by Dr YZ Tan himself!) and the occasional sea creature plush toy. Behind the ocean blue walls of the reception area lies a very friendly and lively team of staff that differentiates this place from any other monotonous and mechanical clinic. Every appointment feels like you’re simply visiting a friend.

 

READ MORE: Relax and rejuvenate your skin with the latest facial treatments in town

 

But that doesn’t mean the people here don’t know their stuff. In fact, Dr Tan has performed over 10,000 laser procedures and has been trained in Ultraformer High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) and Pro Yellow Laser by Classys and Asclepion, the respective manufacturers of the aforementioned machines. He has also held training sessions as one of the few key opinion leaders in Singapore for the Pro Yellow Laser, and is also the trainer for Dysport, a type of Botulinum Toxin.

 

mizu aesthetic clinic q-switch yellow laser acne pigmentation

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Tan for the first time in August 2017 and getting my skin checked. I was, at that time, suffering from moderate acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation during a period of hastily trying out many beauty products at once. My skin was very dry from topical antibiotics, and its skin barrier severely weakened. It was like I was experiencing puberty all over again.

My first consultation with Dr Tan was surprisingly very informative. He not only assessed my skin very quickly, but also explained thoroughly what was wrong with my skin (active acne, post-inflammatory erythema and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), what treatments I would need (Q-switched Laser and Pro Yellow Laser) and what I could expect from my appointments (slight pain, minimal downtime and at least three months to see massive improvement). I appreciated the way he didn’t oversell his skill – it helped me manage my expectations better. After all, lasers take time to perform, and it’s important not to rush it (that will just make matters worse).

 

READ MORE: 9 absolute must-knows before you go for a resurfacing facial laser

 

As my skin was very dry during my first appointment, Dr Tan advised against starting my laser treatment. Instead, he gave me an Arapeel (a gentle enzyme peel) treatment and told me to moisturise my face (intensely) before I headed back two weeks later to assess if my skin would be strong enough to undergo a laser session. I did as I was told, and thankfully could start on my first Q-switched Laser treatment when I returned.

The Q-switched Laser is a type of nanosecond laser set at either 1064nm or 532nm to target several issues: it breaks down post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown spots) into fragments, kills P-acne (the bacteria that causes inflammation and zits) using the heat emitted, and is even used for tattoo removal. Dr Tan will assess which wavelength is best for your specific concerns.

The treatment begins right after the face is cleansed. Basically, a handheld device attached to the Q-switched Laser machine is held against the area of concern, and short beams of energy are repeatedly produced. These pulses felt like tiny rubberband snaps against my skin – I would say I have an average level of pain tolerance, and this was nothing too painful I couldn’t bear. Within 10 minutes, the laser session was done, and a soothing aloe vera gel applied. My face was also placed under a yellow light machine to further calm any ensuing redness from the treatment. Downtime for me was minimal – the temporary red marks resulting from the laser were gone in an hour.

There wasn’t any significant difference in my skin tone after a week, but I continued diligently returning for the same laser every two to three weeks. After two sessions, I noticed that my skin started calming down (less active acne), and after four sessions, my face was noticeably clearer. Dr Tan then decided it was time I started on treatments using the Pro Yellow Laser.

 

READ MORE: The quick, fuss-free facial programme for dull, acne-prone skin

 

The Pro Yellow Laser works at a wavelength of 577nm, and is especially effective in treating post-inflammatory erythema, the red marks that occur due to acne. It also reduces the appearance of blood vessels and, consequently, rosacea, while brightening the skin.

 

mizu aesthetic clinic q-switch yellow laser acne pigmentation

 

A gel is first applied onto the face after cleansing, to allow the hand piece from the Pro Yellow Laser machine to glide easily on the skin. Just like the Q-switched Laser, pulses of energy are repeatedly emitted from the machine to treat the skin. This particular laser felt slightly more painful than the previous one, but holding a conversation with Dr Tan helped to distract me from it. A cooling pack is placed against skin after the treatment to soothe skin, and post-treatment marks faded within 30 minutes.

It is important to note that everybody’s skin is different, and some are more sensitive towards lasers. Because my skin was treated with the Pro Yellow Laser under a very concentrated setting, my pigmentation spots formed tiny blisters a day after. I gave my feedback to Mizu, and was told to continue hydrating my skin. Fortunately for me, my skin cleared up in two days and looked better than before. (If these lasers result in even more hyperpigmentation – which may happen due to sensitivity, make sure to consult your aesthetic doctor. It may not mean that lasers are bad for you. It may just mean that your skin needs to be treated at a lower heat setting.)

 

READ MORE: Serious acne-prone skin? You’ll love this new facial lotion

 

mizu aesthetic clinic q-switch yellow laser acne pigmentation

 

I went back for three more Pro Yellow Laser sessions, also at an interval of two to three weeks each, and gradually noticed my skin returning back to its pre-acne self. After informing Dr Tan that I had suffered from tiny blisters previously, he lowered the intensity of the laser for me, and I did not have that problem anymore. At the end of eight sessions (and five months), about 90 per cent of my acne and pigmentation was cleared, and I was getting frequent compliments about my skin and how radiant it looked. Since then, I knew I’d be back – not only for the effectiveness of the treatments (which depends highly on the skills of the doctor, if I might add), but also the warmth and care of the staff I experienced throughout the course of my treatment.

Find out more at www.mizuaesthetic.com.