Clear and Brilliant - Raleigh, NC

I have been interested in Fraxel for the treatment...

I have been interested in Fraxel for the treatment of hyper pigmentation of the face for about a year now. I have occasional breakouts where I pick at my face (severely) and now I have dark spots, probably from sun damage as well as picking. That being said, I know that faxel is the most effective treatment for this. Unfortunately, I wasnt prepared for the downtime or the cost of Fraxel. Thats where the Clear and Brilliant comes in. The 'no downtime/no numbing needed' was a real draw for me. I sat down with Andrea, the RN at Davis Plastic Surgery, and went over my concerns and my current skin care. She was concerned that I had been on a retin-A product recently and told me it would be ideal for me to have stopped it 5 days prior but I decided to go ahead with the procedure anyway, knowing that I may be in for a little bit 'more' of a treatment. Now... Disclaimer: Im a big baby. I have sensitive skin and I tend to react severely to almost everything (botox, peels, microderm). Well this was no different. Im pretty sure having been on the retin-A really threw me over the edge because that laser got hot! I remember making Andrea stop, a couple of times, so that I could regain myself and prepare for the next pass. She said she noticed that I reacted more quickly than others and was much more pink than others but reassured me that it would be okay within the hour. She applied vitamin C serum and sunscreen, gave me a list of aftercare instructions, and told me what to expect. I returned to work and felt fine the rest of the day, aside from my pink skin. By that evening I had returned to my usual tone and was sure to keep moisturizer with me at all times. The next day I felt a little sandpapery but you couldnt see it. Makeup went on fine and as long as I was moisturized I felt fine. The rough feeling lasted 3 days or so and what followed was baby smooth skin. I felt more evened out and a little glowy. My dark spots seem lighter but they arent gone completely. Andrea says after one or maybe two more treatments I will be 'pristine!' She was great, kept me laughing but still very comfortable, and was very knowledgable about skin, including aftercare. I will definitely return and encourage all of my friends and family to as well!
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
Was this review helpful? 1 other found this helpful

Comments (5)

I met with Andrea a week ago about filler and LOVE her!! How are you liking your results so far?? Do you notice any difference in your skin??
  • Reply
I definitely notice a difference. The texture is better and I feel like the tone is evened out. Problem is I break out from time to time and I really need to learn to stop picking my face! Ive been saying that for years though :( I'll post again after my second treatment that Im planning to get in September! Love Andrea too though, shes the best!
  • Reply
For me, the jury's still out on Clear & Brilliant. I've had 2 treatments - and no ill effects - yet, I'm not sure that even the Permea hand device has the strength necessary to get down to deep age spots (as opposed to superficial "sun" spots - which IPL might even take care of). The sandpaper after effect is par for the course - and I actually bought myself the same professional after care kit (Skinceuticals) that is used at the medispa. Rather than put more money down this rabbit hole, I'm thinking of trying a more powerful laser - meanwhile spot treating with 8% TCA peels and hydraquinone fade cream. My dermatologist did say "nothing" was going to remove my particular age spots - and, while I didn't want to believe her, it's becoming more of a reality. Faded - yes. Eliminated - no. I started out with 2 IPLs per year for the past two years - diminishing returns on the age spots; switched to Clear & Brilliant (2X) this year.
  • Reply
I agree that the clear and brilliant is for more mild 'age and sun spots' but I knew that going into it. I think the fraxel and hrydroquinone/obagi system is more ideal for more severe spots but I wanted something with less down time and less cost. Especially during these sunny months!
  • Reply
But here's the thing - Clear & Brilliant will NOT be less expensive if you have to do, for example, a 6-course treatment cycle and it still doesn't get down to deeper pigmentation. I guess what I was trying to say is that you must ask and try to rely on the expert operators' opinion as to when a given treatment has really done about all it's going to do - or you've reached the point of diminishing returns. On IPL, it's bound to be 4 - if not less. And I'm not sure yet whether 2x Clear & Brilliant is the point at which to throw in the towel. Consequently, I personally would NEVER sign up for a series of 6 anything - even if the total is "cheaper". It's not cheaper in the long run if it's not doing what you want to achieve. Sometimes bigger bang for your buck is the way to go. And, I've also now tried talking to varous operators about "spot" treatment - versus, for example, entire face or chest or hands. If I can get someone to agree (and I have) to spot zap the more troublesome areas, then I will know fairly quickly whether that particular machine is going to do it or not without the larger investment in a larger body area! That's not unlike a "test patch" for peels, etc. I will get started on a couple of these next month as I'm not quite ready to admit the deeper age spots are hopeless cases.
  • Reply