Beauty Book Smarts 101: How Does a Cosmetic Laser Work?

There were 4.31 million cosmetic procedures done in the United States in 2017 alone. You can bet that number is even higher now. 

As technology becomes more advanced, cosmetic procedures become even more imperceptible. This makes them even more popular. 

Another benefit of technology is that there are more nonsurgical cosmetic procedures than ever before. One popular noninvasive procedure is the cosmetic laser. 

To find out how these lasers work, check out the guide below.

What Is a Cosmetic Laser?

A cosmetic laser is widely used in cosmetic dermatology to improve the appearance of the skin. Laser technicians and proponents claim this laser can eliminate wrinkles, pores, and discoloration. 

More intense lasers are used for procedures like hair removal or tattoo removal. 

The Science Behind the Laser

Lasers have long been used in medicine, but recently their effectiveness has rapidly increased. Lasers have been used in all kinds of surgery, including dentistry and cancer treatment.

The word “laser” is actually an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Yes, that means lasers expose you to radiation. They also expose the laser technician to radiation.

The Dangers of Cosmetic Lasers

Being exposed to radiation is not exactly healthy, however, people are exposed to radiation every day. The sun, microwaves, and cell phones all expose people to radiation. When used correctly, a cosmetic laser poses minimal risks. 

The greatest risk of a cosmetic laser is the risk of burns. But if you have the right cosmetic laser technician, this should not be a problem.

Types of Cosmetic Lasers

There are many types of cosmetic lasers, as illustrated by laser companies like Here are some of the most common ones. 

QSwitched and Picosecond

These lasers are mainly used for tattoo removal and other kinds of skin discoloration. They remove these unwanted pigments by shooting short, intense pulses of light.

IPL Lasers

These are some of the most well-known lasers on the market. They use pulsed light to target unwanted red or brown discoloration.

Erbium Lasers

Erbium lasers are used for more facial cosmetic procedures. This laser is more gentle and targets scars or wrinkles. It helps remove damaged layers of skin so fresh, undamaged skin can surface.

Alexandrite Lasers

Using a green gem, this laser emits a red spectrum, powerful beam. This laser is better suited for more intense procedures like tattoo removal. 

Fractional Lasers

Fractional lasers target problem areas, leaving other areas of skin untouched. This can make the recovery time much easier for patients. 

These lasers are usually used for facial resurfacing. They can target small areas like wrinkles and sunspots. 

Ablative and Non-Ablative

Ablative and non-ablative lasers differ from fractional lasers in that they cover large areas of skin. Ablative lasers treat the skin’s surface, while non-ablative lasers treat below the surface. 

Naturally, the recovery time for these procedures is longer than for fractional lasers.

Finding a Cosmetic Technician 

The biggest factor in the effectiveness of your cosmetic laser is your cosmetic technician. They are the deciding factor between a safe and dangerous procedure.

Make sure to ask your technician about their credentials and years of experience before you go under the laser. A great technician will have references for you to review.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *