The Fraxel Restore is a nonablative Erbium glass laser which is usually done in a series of 3 - 5 treatments by a nurse or esthetician. Because this is a nonablative laser the results are generally less impressive than what you would get with an ablative modality but there is also much less downtime. The Fraxel Restore is an excellent dermatologic laser and gives significant improvement in skin tone, texture, color, pore size, and quality. However, the effect on wrinkles and loose skin is minimal at best. It can improve fine lines around the eyes, crows feet, but will probably not improve deeper lines very much. I recommend the Restore for patients in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, who are looking to improve the appearance of their skin and as an excellent way to maintain their skin through the process of collagen remodeling.
The Fraxel Repair is a CO2 ablative laser and should be done by a trained physician. It is much more aggressive than the Restore with a much longer downtime but it has a significantly better effect on wrinkles and gravitational aging in the face. The Repair is generally a single treatment laser which can offset the multiple treatments required for the Restore. The Repair will do everything the Restore will do for your skin including improving deeper lines and wrinkles. I recommend the Repair to my patients in their 40s, 50s, and 60s who are looking for a powerful rejuvenating laser to improve deep lines and wrinkles and to tighten their skin.