I am a 35 year old Asian female and just did Active FX on Thursday evening. I am now on Day 3 and will share my experience with you...
I would say that everything that is going on is what has been expected...am trying to be patient. Anyhow, I went in for my appointment at 5:00pm and they preped me (took the before pictures, etc.). They applied the topical numbing cream on my face and then I sat around for about an hour. Then the doctor came in and did the procedure which took about 15-minutes. He gave me two hand stress balls to squeeze. I would say that the pain was more than just "minor"...it was pretty uncomfortable to be honest and I have a pretty high pain threshold. The cool air that they blow on your face where the laser is placed helps a great deal, however it still hurt quite a bit when they did my neck and around my hairline. Oh yeah, my upper lip was pretty painful too.
After I was done, my face (just like they told me it would) felt like someone had rubbed hot jalepeno peppers all over my face. Yeah, it burned pretty bad. Then it subsided around 2 hours. That night was a bit uncomfortable sleeping, but more-so because I was subconcious of the Aquafor that I had all over my face. Even though I had a towel on my pillow, I was still not wanting to get any of that "slimy" gooey stuff on the towel and then lay in it.
My face had swollen up around the eye-area and cheekbone area - again to be expected. I also was VERY brown due to the dead skin that had been lasered (or I like to describe it as burned). I kept washing my face about every 2 - 3 hours with Cetaphil and then reapplying the Aquafor.
By Day 2, my face was still pretty swollen, but could tell A LITTLE that it had gone down. Still washed my face and just stayed in-doors. My face was still EXTREMELY tender (even little hairs that would brush across my face would be a bit painful - like the tip of a pin hitting your face).
Now, its Day and I woke up swollen again, but the swelling went down pretty much completely after a couple of hours. I anticipate that I'll wake up swollen for the next couple of mornings. I've definitely started to peel around my mouth, nose and upper cheekbones. I can see pink skin. We'll see how it goes with Day 4.