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EMatrix, 1st Procedure - Denver, CO

During one of my laser hair removal appointments...

During one of my laser hair removal appointments at American Laser Center, they mentioned the EMatrix procedure...and how I could get the extended hair removal with 4 sessions of EMatrix, for another $2,500. So getting caught up in the "awe" of making myself look younger (I am 35), I gave the "Okay" before even knowing what EMatrix was and if I really needed it. (My husband was not thrilled at my $5,500 bill that I brought home!)

So, I began to research this procedure and read these reviews and instantly became petrified at what I signed myself up for! (My appointment was on a Tuesday and I gave the consent on that previous Friday). I called ALC and they explained that everyone reacts differently and that it really isn’t that bad. At this point I was starting to look at myself in the mirror more and find areas that I was not happy with….and let my curiosity of this fix linger…and figured let’s just try it.

While at work on Tuesday, I applied the Lidocaine & Prilocaine Cream, 2.5%/2.5% to my face at 12:20pm, my appointment was at 1pm. This was an interesting experience because I have never applied skin numbing cream to my face before. My lips were the most noticeable to go numb, the rest of my face just felt a little odd.

I went over to ALC on my lunch break and they took me back and did a few test spots on my face and neck to see what setting was best for me. I ended up with a 30A on my face and a 15A on my neck. (Apparently, they don’t like the client to know the actual settings....not sure why. I was curious!)

So the procedure began and Oh My Gosh, this was no facial! The zap was tolerable, the smell of the skin was a little uncomfortable, but, the immediate burning after the zap was unforgettable! It is hard to explain because it is similar to applying a hot iron to your skin but, deeper...very much like getting into a hot shower after getting a sunburn that day. I could not imagine doing this without the numbing cream, and there will be many shots of liquor involved prior to my next appointment!

I had the technician go fast so it was over faster; she hit a couple of areas a few times because of some acne scaring. The whole face and neck was exactly an hour long. After she was done, I desperately needed an ice pack for each inch of my face to cool it off. That definitely helped! She then applied sun block and some special lotion, which I did not purchase and found that Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion (the screw off top is thicker than the pump) worked perfectly and did not burn my newly sensitive face. I think part of the uncomforted did not know what I was in for, so I was not prepared mentally for the burning.

An hour or so after the procedure, my face began to cool off and I didn’t need the icepacks anymore after initial office visit. I did notice that the heat would come in little spots, “waves”, and would come and go. My face was a bit red but, nobody even noticed at the office (typical office). I began to stare at myself in the mirror and noticed that the skin looked fresher, I looked more rested. At that point, I started to think that this might be worth it….the pain was gone at this point. I am just red and blotchy…but, the heat and pain is gone.

I did make a next appointment exactly 4 weeks to the day. The technician mentioned pushing the setting to the “B” range….I am not sure if I am okay with that decision quite yet. The pain is still fresh in my head as it happened just yesterday.

Today my face is shining, bright, and healthy looking. I have some of the bumps on my neck but, nothing bad…Still nobody at the office noticed anything by my shininess. My husband still thinks I am out of my mind. My friends and family did not think I needed this treatment. I was curious, and like most women, find small faults in my appearance and am a little fearful of my skin to look my age.

Attached are pictures of before, during, after, and a day later…I purposly did not smile so I did not give false lines in my face. I need to mention that many people have spoken to me today, face to face, and nobody noticed a thing. Not sure if that is a good thing, or a bad thing.

Day 2: I can feel the little bumps on my face. The...

Day 2: I can feel the little bumps on my face. The sensitivity is gone and I am back to using my typical products which consists of Trentin X products proscribed by my dermatologist for adult acne and Arbonne day and night creams. The creases in my face seem to be much less noticeable around my mouth and my skin looks almost as if I have cover up on.
I followed up on a co-worker who spent quite a bit of time talking with me in close proximity yesterday. I asked him if I looked any different, his response was that my face looks a little tanner but, nothing else.
So far, I personally am pleased with the results.

Also, if anyone decides to visit their local...

Also, if anyone decides to visit their local American Laser Center, please keep me in mind as they offer a small kickback for referrals:) Also, if they know you are being referred they are more likely to give you a cheaper rate and throw in some free stuff for you as well!

Completed treatment #2 on 7/28/11. Increased the...

Completed treatment #2 on 7/28/11. Increased the strength to a medium B on my face and remained at the 15A on my neck. The actual procedure was just as uncomfortable as the first time...yes I was more prepared, but, it still was not fun at all! The recovery time increased to 3 days out versus just 1 day. You can see in the pictures scabbing and the matrix dots.

Completed treatment #3 on 8/31/11. Again increased...

Completed treatment #3 on 8/31/11. Again increased the strength to a C on area's of my face and totally skipped my neck this time. This treatment was better than the first 2, maybe because I skipped my neck. I still had scabbing but by varying the strengths on my face between the B and C, the recovery time was only 2 days. Results are more present now and my husband can see a more fresh look! This procedure was worth it.

October 5 was my 4th treatment. We went over the...

October 5 was my 4th treatment. We went over the entire face with an "A" setting first, and then went over it again with a "C". The technician said that the two levels both target different layers and I will get the best results. I must admit, it was much easier this time...maybe because I knew what to expect or maybe because my face was getting used to it? I dont know. But, after this treatment I can definitly notice a shine and my acne is temporarily cleared up (temporarily because it is hormon driven). Yes, my face was still crazy red, yes I had brown scabs, yes it felt sunburned. But, today 5 days later, it looks amazing. No clue if it is permanent.

I asked about follow up treatments every 3 months and I was told that I had to buy another package of 4 for $1800 again...so I declined.

Given my horrible results from the Vella Shape treatment, I will no longer be purchasing anything else from American Laser Skincare and do not reccomend anyone else fall into this web.
American Laser Center

If you are interested in treatments for laser hair removal, e-matrix, or anything. I do not reccomend going to American Laser Skincare for any of these. I fell victim to a web of up-sale techniques and learned the hard way that this is all about meeting their sale's goals and not of customer relations. As I did eventually benefit from the E-matrix procedures, the laser hair procedures are very slow to gain benefits, and the Vella Shape procedures are extreamly dangerous...see my other review.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
3 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
4 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
3 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
4 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (29)

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I had the ematrix procedure two days ago. I am healing fine but am self-conscious about the grid lines all over my face. How long did it take for your face to lose the scabs and return to at least its original smoothness?
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Your review is very helpful. I really wish I had found this site before I started my eMatrix treatments. I just had my 1st on Friday, 2/17/12. I wasn't even looking to get this type of treatment done, but I got talked into it after a laser hair removal appointment at Am. Laser Skincare. It's just like you said, I got caught up in that "awe" feeling of my acne scars being gone.
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don't go to american laser, they got me, and the ematrix did nothing, waste of money
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One correction on my comment... though the nurse initially told me that Tylenol or Aleve would be acceptable NON anti-inflammatory pain relievers, I later found on the internet that Aleve is identical to Advil in that it is an anti-inflammatory. I'll be taking Tylenol before my next appointment and we'll see how this changes my recovery experience.
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Your skin looks awesome! Thanks for posting the photos it was very helpful
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I should add to my last comment that icing too much will also lessen inflammation. My nurse told me that if I really needed it for pain, it's fine to go ahead with it, just as long as I understand that the more inflammation, the better the results. Your body sends tons of white cells and is basically scrambling to "heal" your deep layers of skin. Lessening the inflammation lessens some of this extreme response from your body. But like she said, do ice if your pain is unbearable.. you'll still get results. She herself iced some after her treatment.
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I just got my first eMatrix from American Laser Center yesterday. I just wanted to add that you shouldn't take Advil or any anti-inflammatories. It interferes with your results (and it lists this right in the procedural paperwork that you sign)... the inflammation in the skin is actually part of what remodels your collagen. I had to do an emergency run to CVS to get Aleve instead before my appointment (you could also take Tylenol).

They also numbed my face and I started with a Level B. I was really nervous about the pain prior to my appointment but was very relieved to discover it only felt like a tiny pin prick, not even any heat. Your face does start to feel hotter and hotter after the appointment but overall I was relieved that it was more comfortable than I expected.

Putting their recommended Vivité Replenishing cream on afterward though is not going well.. it stings like a mother and this morning is no different. I called the office and the only thing they could imagine might be slightly more comfortable was Aquafor. Thank goodness I had some. It was more comfortable.
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lola81, V sydney and Melissa HR,

Have you seen further improvement from the ematrix treatments?

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Thank you all for your comments!!
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Hi Melissa, Thanks for the detail review. The American Laser center has a very bad customer service. When I came in for the consultation for my large pores and deep scars, the technician told me that fotofacial would do it for my face. After I bought the combo package of fotofacial and hair laser, I went home to and did a little research and found out that the fotofacial doesn't help for scars but only help for blotchy spots and also all these laser treatments are not for people who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. I did fill out the form that mention that I am trying to get pregnant, but the girl still said that I am a good candidate. So, I tried to cancel the package but I could not. I went on and called and emailed customer service but never got the response. So I called the office and talked to the manager, they decided to change my fotofacial package to Affirm package (which they said would reduce the appearance of scars and pores.) But After 5 treatments, no body really notice any different on my face because you can still see my large pores and scars. It's a waste of money. Now they told me that the ematrix should be much better than Affirm and it would help my face, but seems like ematrix is not really different.
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I'm so disappointed. I've had two e-matrix treatments now. 3 days ago, my second one. So far I haven't noticed any improvements. I'm 46 and maybe I'm expecting miracles, I don't know. But I do know I paid $2000 for 4 treatments, so far its been a waste of time, money and very painful. Avoid false hopes, do your research first. Signed: Another client of American Laser Center :-(
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Hi V., 

The community has mentioned it has taken up to two weeks to see improvement. Maybe it's just too early. Keep us updated. 



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Keep us informed. Sorry you had the hard sell one receives at these spas. I found it interesting that Dr. Pumphrey is the medical director. We were pals back in the medical school days. I thought he went into gynecology. Although I remember Dr, Pumphrey as being a bright student, I would have to say the depth of knowledge a gynecologist ( or in our area...the Am Laser Center run by an opthalmologist) might possess regarding skin and its care, pales next to a board certified dermatologist.
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i just had my first ematrix done yesterday on B level. and it was a bit uncomfortable, but like you said tolerable. i'm nervous of what this is going to heel like. i have brown waffle marks all over my face. blotchy redness too. i hope this goes down and i see some type of result. thanks for your lengthy post.

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Thanks for all your pictures and comments, That is really helpful. I am curious to hear your long term results post all treatments. I have been using dermal rollers daily and have noticed minor results but nonetheless I can see improvements in fine lines and texture, so maybe that's a cheaper alternative to follow up, they cost less than $200. The theory is the same to punch small holes in the skin and produce the collagen to heal them. Might be worth looking into. I also had acne every month since I was 16. Every month 3 weeks of breakouts and one no breakouts - frustrating. Then I supplemented with Iodine and voila over a year now and no breakouts except here and there and tiny, really nothing. I only took the iodine pills for 4 months and not since and still no breakouts. It may not be the issue but it was hormonal for me too and iodine worked. I got a bottle from Kripps pharmacy in vancouver - ioplex-sr. It did get worse and then resolved. My sister took the iodine and started to break out so she stopped after 2 weeks so who knows. Iodine is supposed to make acne worse but it also helps the thyroid produce the proper hormones so maybe that's the key.

Thanks again for all your comments!

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This was very helpful! Just researched this procedure today...Im 35 too...you are right on time!
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Hey Melissa, Thanks for all the information. I found this site googling information on how my face my start to heal. I got the treatment done yesterday, and today I have huge grid-like blotchy patterns over my face. How long did it take for your face to get back to normal? I'm thinking of always doing my treatments on Fridays so my face has a few days to heal without anyone looking at it lol. I got mine done at the American Laser Center in Bellevue, WA. The staff there is great, and I got mine for 2200 for 5 treatments and they threw in 3 or 4 chemical peals or photo facials...forgot which one, after the treatment is done to get rid of some freckles I have on the side of my face. Though I do wonder why they didn't give me any numbing cream...I will be asking them about that. But yes, it was actually a bit painful, though nothing compared to the pain you feel when you do the laser hair removal on your armpits or bikini area. My face was on fire, I had to wear the ice packs for about two hours before I didn't need them anymore...and I couldn't be near hot things or I felt like the heat was coming back. Today is the day after and the heat is gone, skin is dry but they said that would happen. Can't really attest to the result yet until my skin heals.
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Melissa you ROCK! I'm currently going to school and learning eMatrix. I'm considering buying a machine, and like everyone else would love to hear more of how your story turns out! I hear a lot of good things, especially for acne scarring etc. and would love to be able to help people in this way, if it actually works well enough for people to return. I will also be getting my first treatment sans numbing cream in a day or two. Eeeek! Will let you know my experience as well. And you do look fantastic! A noticeable difference to me...
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Oh sure absolutely, Wow! such great information. This is extremely helpful. Because the place I go to which is American Laser SkinCare, they are sorta pushing me, for example they are giving me a deadline to put a down payment, to receive an extremely huge discount deal on a package of four treatments. & I just am not to sure about all of it. You are helping so many of us. I need to talk to ALSC. a.s.a.p and let them know that I just am not ready, and they should honor the offer at a more reasonable time frame, They gave me five days with the offer when they quoted it and printed it for me!! lol its almost a joke.
However I am most likely going to do it, I just need more time to get to know the treatment and save a little bit more, both these reasons are just as crucial as the other. I just do not have money at this time to throw away. I just spent 600 on Pearl Laser, & honestly, It hasn't been all it they promoted it to be. I also can't wait to see your end result and see how you are feeling then as well. You are very smart in taking every step as you are, & taking your ice and being prepared. Again Thanks so Much! Keep smiling & good luck, You look wonderful!
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Hi Rosay!

Thanks so much for the compliment and sorry for the delayed response! I took a picture last week to follow up with the week 3 shot but, I was still battling some facial acne and I didn’t want people to confuse the EMatrix results with my monthly adult acne problem. Fortunately, this week, my face is cooperating a little better.

You know, I think that the tightness was a bit temporary with the first treatment, and I definitely don’t feel as refreshed as I did the few days after the procedure. I still think the top layer of my face looks “resurfaced” but, the deeper scaring and creases are still there. There is still a little shine left. If this was the end result, I would feel that the cost was not worth the end result…but, I am only ¼ complete with the 4 treatment plan. I hope for a obvious permanent change by the end I wonder if that is why they say to complete the treatments 4 weeks apart to keep it from diminishing? I also wonder if the next treatment will last longer than the first. I do not have any sensitivity to the sun at this point and do not have any adverse reactions to the procedure.

My second treatment is 7/28, that would put in at 5 weeks (and 2 days) apart. To be honest with you, I am starting to feel a little anxiety when I think about going through it again. I am going to take a few Advil this time and take my own zip lock bag of ice, versus those cold compress packs that they supplied. Anything to make this more pleasant.

Sonyea: Today is the 18th and your appointment day, please let us know how it was for you!
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Hi Melissa! Thanks so much for your help, this has been a true look at what the EMatrix is all about. You look wonderful by the way! Your before and after pictures are amazing. Thanks for that. I do have a question, my question is: Now after three weeks even four (when that comes up)..... Has your results so to say, have they diminished, was it a temporary brightness & tightness that was only effective because of the recent treatment, or has it been lasting &/or improving the more time has passed!?? Hope my question makes sense. Thanks so much & by the way, again, your after picture looks so good.
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Sonyea: Thanks so much for your comment! It makes me feel good that my post was helpful to someone!

Just remember that you are not going in for a facial or relaxing massage. If you are like me, you are going to be asking yourself, during the treatment, Why did I do this...What did I get myself into?! But, the days after you will see why:) Definitely use the topical numbing cream before and take advantage of the ice for cooling after. I am not trying to scare you, just prepare you. If you can take advil or something before, it might relax you.

Right now I am battling some acne and am not loving my face...I am hoping it is just a temporary issue because I restarted the trentin X cream and they say it gets worse before it gets better. UGH. Next time, I am going to just keep using it right through the EMatrix appointment as prescribed. If I can get this cleared up next week, I will take another picture showing 3 weeks later.

I am also having laser hair removal on pretty much anywhere unwanted hair grows...underarms, lip, and full lower body, including legs and toes. I can tell you I do not have any complaints about that procedure either. No abnormal reactions or anything. It is hard because I like instant gratification and laser hair removal is a slower process. I have had 2 treatments and my hair is growing in patches now, so I am noticing improvements. It is kinda nice:)
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JBM3: I did speak with ALC regarding the Fraxel reviews that I read online. Those were the reviews that really worried me and almost caused me to cancel my appointment for the EMatrix procedure. It was explained to me that the Fraxel procedure is the "older" version and did require a longer recovery period. I took their word for it that my experience would be better and went ahead with my appointment. I was also comforted by talking with the staff members that were also recieving the EMatrix procedures on themselves. Their faces also looked tighter, fresher, and brighter.

So far, I have not seen any reason to question my decision to receive this treatment. My face still looks bright, and my pores seem to be smaller. My husband was expecting more of a facelift with dramatic changes,so he says we will see how the next treatment goes on July 28th. (I don't look like Angelina Jolie, lol) But, for me, I still see an amazing improvement! Besides, my once-a-month acne breakouts....:)

I have a few scars on my face from birth....I am curious to see if they deminish with future treatments. The surface blue veins around my noce were immediatly removed.
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Melissa, Thank u so much for this reassurance!!
I have my appt on the 18th and I'm SUPER EXCITED!!!
Ive tried to do my research on this and so far, your review has been the most informative! thanks again and keep the pics coming!! i will do the same!

Iv'e read some pretty horrible things about laser centers but they have usually been about hair removal.
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Mellisa, Thanks for the information about ematrix. I had my 1st treatment done at ALC. The nurse didn't apply numbing cream on my face. It was the horrible time I ever had. Mellisa, do you buy your own numbing cream and apply it yourself? If so, what brand is the numbing cream? Can I use LMX4? Thank you.
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