Imagine land before time when Earth is still covered with lots of red angry volcanos and ginormous eruptions. This is how my skin can be described when I was in University, battling acne at it’s worse. Needless to mention, I’m left with visible battle scars on my face. At it’s best behavior, my skin still looks like that of a mandarin orange.
On a constant quest for smoother and brighter skin, I decided to give PICO Toning by PICO Discovery a try. Discovery PICO is the most innovative medical laser available in the market and addresses skin problems such as melasma, sun spots, age spots and freckles. It even helps remove birthmarks and unwanted tattoo. I selected PICO toning by Discovery PICO to help reduce the look of my acne scars, making the skin look brighter and smoother. It’s ultra short pulses are twice more powerful than any other Picosecond laser for medical applications and has enhanced treatment results!
I did my PICO Toning at Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic. Upon arrival, I am asked to fill in my personal particulars and sign a declaration form. It is important to note that this treatment is more of a medical treatment than a facial spa treatment, thus it can only be done in a clinic and not in a facial centre.
After the registration is done, I am met with Dr Amy for a medical assessment of my skin condition and a brief about what will be done to help my skin. It was pretty obvious that I needed to treat my acne scars with PICO Discovery, thus PICO toning was recommended and consultation was short and simple. I was told that the process can be painful and some people may opt for numbing cream. I decided to go without the cream as I was curious to know exactly how painful it might be 😛 Of course, should I find it too painful, I can always stop and ask for numbing cream.
The skin will be cleansed prior to treatment and I am ushered to a scanning and photo machine to have my photos taken. After that, I went back to lay down and the doctor explained the machines that will be used.
- PICO Discovery machine for PICO laser Toning
- Zimmer Medizin Systeme that blows cold air following the laser treatment.
The Zimmer machine is a lifesaver as it immediately cools down the skin after the laser blast, reducing discomfort and redness. The laser beams are directed towards the area of concerns, sending laser pulses to the deeper layers of the skin and targeting pigments without affecting the surrounding tissues. This creates heat and slight stinging sensations thus the cold air is blasted at the same time to help soothe skin immediately.
The procedure is safe, simple and fast. In fact, the treatment only took 10 minutes!
How it works
Compared to traditional Q-Switched lasers that break down pigments in granules, Discovery PICO uses powerful picosecond pulses to fragment particles in a thin “dust”, making it easier for our immune system to eliminate from the body. The PICO laser light is absorbed by the pigmented lesions, causing them to vibrate and break into particles as small as thin “dust” form. It is also noteworthy that the Discovery PICO the most powerful and flexible laser in its class, making it more efficient and effective. I am also told that there is an exclusive feature for this laser machine – the photo-thermal effect gently warm the targeted tissues for collagen rebuilding, making the skin brighter and firmer. I definitely saw this effect on my skin!
Is it painful?
The pain is very manageable and in fact, I found it less painful than a post-acne outbreak facial! As the doctor ran the laser across my face, it felt like many tiny running rubber bands continuously snapping against the skin. After awhile, I got used to the sensation and couldn’t feel much except for the cold air. I also asked for the laser treatment to run down my neck as well since I am told it helps lighten neckline for an overall younger outlook. I was told the neck will hurt more since the skin is usually thinner around the area but I felt absolutely no pain on the neck. The pros of a thick neck 😛
As mentioned, I have high pain tolerance and didn’t tear at all during the procedure. I was told that most patients will tear a little, so the pain level is really dependent on each individual’s pain tolerance as well as the location and severity of the pigmentation/ scar.
Embarrassingly, I did panic a little during the treatment because when the treatment was running near my nose, the cold air was blasting into my nostrils and I couldn’t breath at all! I think the doctor noticed and stopped for a few seconds to remind me that I have a mouth which can be used for breathing too LOL! So people, please don’t be silly like me. Just open your mouth and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.
What’s the side effects and downtime?
PICO Toning is safe as it works to target troubled areas specifically, leaving the surrounding skin untouched and undamaged. My skin was visibly red after the treatment but the redness quickly subsided after 12 hours. I could apply makeup the very next day. The downtime will vary depending on the intensity of your treatment and your skin recovery rate. As this is my first treatment, I started at the lowest intensity. I saw that @nellielim did a more intensive one previously on her Instastory and it looked like a bloody mess. Her downtime was 4 to 5 days if I am not wrong but check out her skin – it looked super good and much smoother! The next time, I’ll go for a higher intensity one.
What did I do for aftercare?
After the treatment, everyone in the clinic from the doctor to the assistant and the reception will remind you the absolute importance of applying sunblock. I am also reminded to keep my skin more hydrated than usual as my skin is thinner and more sensitive.
The night when I got home, I went ahead to apply a cold hydrating mask sheet for intense hydration and to cool down the skin. Instead of applying my moisturises only once after shower and before bed, I make it a point to apply twice in between for an extra moisture boost. I usually depend on my foundation or cover cushion for SPF but began using an extra sunscreen protection before my foundation to be extra kiasu.
I had small areas of pin-point bleeding but it wasn’t visible unless I peer really close at the mirror. Thankfully, I didn’t have any blisters or itchiness as warned. In fact, I went to the clinic with some acne breakouts and on the left cheek and chin and the PICO toning helped bring down the swell as it contains anti-bacteria effects!
Am I happy with the results?
Within the next few days, I noticed my skin was clearer and brighter. I can also feel that my skin is firmer with tighter pores, which I am very pleased about! My skin stopped flaking about a week later and my red spots have almost cleared up. While I did not notice much visible changes to my acne scars though (as mine are really deep), I am confident that they will look a lot better after 3 to 6 intensive treatment sessions.
If you were to try the treatment for yourself, I would recommend trying a more intensive one and bear with the downtime to make your money’s worth. Each treatment session costs SGD$300 and it is recommended to go through 3 to 6 sessions to reap the best benefits.
Here the clinic details:
- Calvin Chan Aesthetic & Laser Clinic
501 Orchard Road #05-11 Wheelock Place Singapore 238880
You may also contact NeoAsia (S) Pte Ltd ( exclusive distributor for all Discovery PICO products, with their distribution networks extended to Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and China ) at 6552 7787 for a complete list of clinics in your country!
Let me know your thoughts about laser treatments if you have experienced any! If you have any questions, feel free to shoot and I will try my best to answer them. Follow me on Instagram, I update everyday 🙂 This PICO toning treatment is kindly sponsored by PICO Discovery for my review purposes and all opinions are my own. This is not a paid post.