Outdated phrases such as 'anti-ageing' and 'anti-wrinkle' are slowly but surely being replaced by healthier, more inclusive ideas. Phrases like 'slow ageing' and even 'pro-ageing' are entering the beauty vernacular as we focus less on how to erase fine lines and wrinkles, and take more interest in caring for and enhancing the skin we're in. As a result, skin specialists are pioneering countless buzzy new beauty treatments.
There's mesotherapy (infusing vitamins for plump, glowing skin) and microneedling (a great option for improving scarring) but it's fair to say that neither one is as revered as laser among beauty experts. If you're a beauty enthusiast with an Instagram or TikTok account, you might have spotted a handful of facialists or dermatologists on your discover page — and we can bet that most of them extol the virtues of laser facials. Whether you have acne, pigmentation, uneven texture or another skin gripe, there isn't much laser can't zap — and the results are incredible. But the treatment isn't solely for the face.
Body-focused laser is also popular among those looking to minimise the effects of years of sun damage, particularly on the neck and chest area. This may present as crepey or leathery skin, dark spots and deep lines. Though entirely normal, they can be a point of insecurity for some. R29 is a judgement-free zone and rather than cast aside popular beauty treatments like these, we prefer to delve into the benefits and potential risks in the hope that we can help you make informed decisions. To find out how body-focused laser treatments really work to minimise the effects of sun damage — especially on the chest and neck — we sent features editor Vicky Spratt along toDr Joney de Souza Skin & Laser. Here's her honest verdict.
"Let me be clear: I do not want to reverse the effects of ageing. I am proud of every line on my face and body; they each tell a story of places I've been, times I've laughed so hard it was painful and frowned because someone said something daft on Twitter. That being said, when I was a teenager I did not use sun cream. I know. I didn't listen to my mum. I didn't listen to anyone. As a result, at 33 years old I do have some sun damage on my chest: crepey lines and marks from where I have burned in the past. I am also noticing some lines on my neck, which are an inevitable part of getting older, but because I totally neglected to slather that in factor 50, too, I wanted to know whether laser could reduce some of the marking on both my neck and chest. I'd heard laser was like real-life retouching. While it doesn't completely remove marks, it can lessen them and improve the overall appearance of an area. This appealed to me because I don't want to undo the ageing process but I do want to lessen the damage I have done by sunbathing unprotected."
What are the benefits of laser treatments for chest and neck?
"I've hadlaser treatmentsbefore, on my face," says Vicky. "This time, I was going for the big guns: PicoSure, which is manufactured by Cynosure. This had been sold to me by friends who had used it for similar reasons (sun damage and a teenage aversion to SPF) as 'the laser to end all lasers'.While most laser machines use heat to stimulate new collagen, PicoSure lasers send a vibration down into the deeper layers of skin to trigger collagen production and repair.Dr Joney de Souza's expert laser practitioner and specialist, Roma, put me at ease. She told me that PicoSure is her favourite laser to work with because 'the results speak for themselves'. She said they even use the laser in tattoo removal because of how effective it is."
In general, Dr David Jack, aesthetic doctor and founder ofDr David Jack Clinic, explains that lasers and energy-based treatments can be used in many different ways to treat all the visible signs of skin ageing. "Generally speaking, lasers and IPL (intense pulsed light) use particular wavelengths of light to target specific things," says the highly qualified laser expert. "For hyperpigmentation and dark spots, the skin's pigment — melanin — is generally the target. Lasers and IPL (such as Lumecca IPL) specifically target this using high energy light, causing it to break apart and be absorbed into the bloodstream and removed by the body." Dr Jack says this also targets broken blood vessels, which often accompany areas of hyperpigmentation or sun damage. "It does this by interacting with the haemoglobin in the red blood cells flowing through these tiny blood vessels, causing the vessels to heat up and seal off."
Lasers work for sagging skin, too, says Dr Jack. "They usually target water molecules, creating tiny areas of heat injury in the skin to induce a tissue healing response, where the skin is stimulated to produce new collagen and elastin molecules." There are also more advanced treatments (Dr Jack recommends the "much lauded" Morpheus8) which thicken, lift and tighten areas of skin. "Superficial fine lines and wrinkles can be improved with this, too," says Dr Jack.
What happens during a skin laser treatment?
Vicky says: "I was handed a long plastic tube which I could angle at my chest to pump cooling air out as the laser was applied. Roma told me the clinic uses PicoSure for pigmentation sun damage as she got ready to begin. She said that it's also really good for acne scarring but would never say that it can remove any marks or pigmentation because they like to think of it as improving the skin. This is a crucial point. Even at Dr Joney de Souza's clinic in Marylebone, nobody is talking about erasing the signs of ageing. Instead, Roma was clear that she would always tell clients this is about improving and enhancing what you already have."
Like lots of lasers, this wouldn't be classed as a relaxing treatment. "I can’t lie, this was uncomfortable," says Vicky. "As Roma applied the laser I could feel pressure but I wasn't in pain. The cooling air really helped. Afterwards (and ironically, given my reasons for getting this treatment) it felt like I had a sunburn. I was red for around six hours but Roma warned me that my skin would look worse before it looked better and not to be alarmed."
How quickly do laser treatments for chest and neck work?
In Vicky's experience, the treatment itself was over quickly (around 30 minutes in total). "The real magic happened in the days that followed," says Vicky. "Immediately afterwards, my lines were deeper and more pronounced. Freckles and sun damage were darker. Roma explained this was because the laser shatters pigment and then the body has to eliminate it before it can rejuvenate." Vicky noticed good results after three or four days. "My chest looked brighter and marks began to fade. The crepey lines that had been bothering me have definitely lessened. This was after only one session and Roma recommended three in order to see results."
Dr Jack reiterates Vicky's experience with downtime. "With IPL and laser treatments for pigmentation (such as Lumecca), pigment will usually get darker for about five to seven days post-treatment as it is removed by the body," he says. "Usually after a week to 10 days, the results will start to show. For the first 12 to 24 hours post-treatment you might expect a little skin sensitivity and redness so it's important to be cautious with skincare during this time." Dr Jack recommends avoiding strong skincare products such as retinoids and vitamin C, and hits home the importance of wearing sunscreen if you're outside.
Immediately after treatment
Certain lasers come with their own downtime. Dr Jack adds: "With fractional laser treatments such as CO2 laser [fractional laser resurfaces the skin], downtime can be fairly extensive, with redness and sensitivity lasting up to a week post-treatment — sometimes with peeling and redness." Dr Jack is incredibly skilled and uses the highly esteemed Morpheus8 laser, which is more modern. "Treatments like these have inbuilt mechanisms, which reduce skin surface effects and cut down the period of downtime significantly, despite being deeper treatments," he explains. "Usually after Morpheus8, the skin will be a little red and sensitive for a few hours post-treatment but by the next day this should have settled down. Sometimes the skin can be a little itchy and sensitive for a few days later but most patients will have recovered fully by day three or four. Occasionally a little bruising happens in certain areas, too." Dr Jack concludes that aftercare is pretty minimal. "Usually I advise no skincare products for the first day post-treatment and SPF if the skin is exposed, then it's okay to use your skincare as normal on day three," he says.
How much do laser treatments cost?
At£550 a sessionfor the face and neck, PicoSure isn't cheap. However, Vicky explains: "When I tot up how much money I've spent on creams, serums and, recently, a neck spray (yes, a spray!) over the years, which have barely changed the appearance of my neck and chest, three sessions of this laser combined with a pledge never to leave the house again without factor 50 seems like the right way to move forward for me."
Dr Jack adds that the cost depends on the area being treated. "Generally speaking, IPL or lasers for pigmentation will cost around £350-550 per session in good clinics with experienced staff," he says. "Usually two to five sessions will be required around three to six weeks apart depending on the laser or IPL being used." When it comes to fractional lasers like Morpheus8, prices are higher. "This will usually cost anywhere from £950 to £2,500 per session, per area, depending on the experience and location of the practitioner," says Dr Jack. "For Morpheus8, two or three sessions are usually required, a month apart."
Are there downsides to laser treatments?
Dr Jack mentions that since the neck and chest area are more fragile than the face, your chosen practitioner may use a lower energy setting. "This is likely to be the case over more sessions," says Dr Jack, "so results may take slightly longer than when treating the face. Caution is always important when treating body areas so be patient with your practitioner."
Dr Jack also advises being very cautious of cheap laser treatments. "This suggests either poor quality machinery or low experience of the practitioner," he says. Don't be afraid to ask your chosen laser technician about their qualifications. Ask to read client testimonials and to see before and after pictures, too. It's also important to book an initial consultation with your chosen qualified professional to understand how many treatments might be recommended and how best to look after your skin post-treatment.
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What is the best treatment for sun damaged skin on the chest? ›
Several kinds of lasers can be used on nearly any body surface to help reduce the appearance of sun damage. “Generally, the laser treatments produce the best results when we target the face, neck, and chest,” says Dr. Ross. “They typically take less than 30 minutes, with varying downtime depending on laser type.”What is the best laser treatment for sun damaged chest? ›
Ulthera and Sofwave are two of the best treatments to target the deeper changes that the sun causes, within the collagen and elastin of the skin. This is a great option for someone who has an area with many wrinkles or lines, as that's a good indication that the collagen layer underneath is damaged.Can a laser fix sun damaged skin? ›
Laser skin resurfacing is an excellent tool for reversing the effects of sun exposure. Fraxel® is a non-invasive laser therapy that helps reverse the visible effects of aging without prolonged downtime. Fraxel treatments minimize fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and sun spots.What is the best laser treatment for sun damaged decolletage? ›
Pigmentation laser treatment is suitable to remove sun damage on face, sun damage on decolletage or sun damage on hands.Can you reverse sun damage on chest? ›
"It is possible to reverse [sun damage] to some extent utilizing lasers, chemical peels and certain topical medications to destroy dark spots and vessels, encourage collagen deposition and remove the damaged layers of skin," Dr.Can sun damaged chest be repaired? ›
Damaged chest CAN be repaired and rejuvenated. Skin Doctor SA has a range of very effective treatments, for use individually or in combination.How many laser treatments for chest? ›
Chest laser hair removal for Female and Male.
The chest generally requires 6 to 12 treatments for 75% to 95% hair reduction. Treatments are spaced 5 weeks apart until the hair growth cycle begins to slow. Depending on each individual's progress, sessions become spaced 6 to 8 weeks apart.
Laser hair removal can be performed on any part of the body, as long as it has hair that the patient wants to be removed. For the smooth and bare chest look, laser hair removal is the best option available, as it completely removes the hair in the area, leaving no patchy areas behind.How do you get rid of sun damage on a décolletage? ›
You can treat sun damage on your décolletage at home by amping up your skincare routine or including rituals like masks. Cosmetic doctor Dr. John Quinn recommends Vitamin C for pigmentation: “This decreases the activity of melanosomes helping to make pigment look more even.” Hyaluronic acid is also a hero here.What is the new treatment for sun damaged skin? ›
Laser skin resurfacing.
It is also used to reduce enlarged oil glands, lighten up sunspots, and remove wart-like growths. A newer treatment option is called nonablative resurfacing. This type of resurfacing also uses a laser and sometimes electrical energy. But it does not damage the top layers of skin.
What does a dermatologist do for sun damaged skin? ›
By applying a chemical substance such as trichloracetic acid or glycolic acid to the skin, dermatologists can remove brown spots and actinic keratoses and improve the tone and texture of photoaged skin.How do you fix badly sun damaged skin? ›
Retinol, a derivative of vitamin A, works by encouraging cell turnover and increasing collagen production, both of which help set damaged skin cells on a healthier course. Available both over-the-counter and in prescription strengths, retinol works to combat nearly all of the signs of sun damage.What laser is best for chest wrinkles? ›
Fraxel– Fraxel is a type of fractional laser. This means that it targets only a small fraction of the skin, leaving the surrounding cells untouched. This can speed healing while producing stunning results.How can I make my décolletage look better? ›
- Avoid the sun when possible. ...
- Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. ...
- Go easy with cleansing. ...
- Apply topical retinoids. ...
- Exfoliate regularly. ...
- Use moisturizer and serums. ...
- Use products with antioxidants. ...
- Try Décollette Pads at night.
Those wanting to target their chest wrinkles may benefit from treatments such as laser therapy, chemical peels, filler injections, and medical-grade skin care products. Two of the most common solutions recommended for our patients tend to be fractional CO2 laser resurfacing and micropeels.How do you get rid of sun damage on your chest naturally? ›
- Steam Clean Your Face. For a deep-cleansing and detoxing, start with a citrus steam facial. ...
- Apply Topical Antioxidants. ...
- Eat Antioxidant-Rich Food. ...
- Drink Plenty of (Clean) Water. ...
- Get Your Beauty Sleep.
While retinol can't reverse the effect the sun has had below the surface of your skin, it can help reduce the visible signs of sun damage to the skin. Retinol's main job is to increase skin cell turnover.Does vitamin C reverse sun damage? ›
Topical vitamins C and E, as well as topical selenium, protect skin against sunburn, suntan and skin cancer and also reverse the mottled pigmentation and wrinkles of photoageing.What does sun damage look like on chest? ›
A condition called Poikiloderma of Civatte which is seen in the skin of the neck and chest where the skin appears to have both dark spots and light spots (hyperpigmentation/hypopigmentation) as well as dilation of fine blood vessels (telengiectasias) can occur after intense sun exposure as a child, adolescent or adult.What does sun damage skin look like? ›
The extra melanin makes your skin look darker or sun-tanned. Sometimes the sun causes an uneven increase in melanin production, which produces irregular coloring (pigmentation) of the skin. The sun can also cause a permanent stretching of small blood vessels, giving your skin a mottled, reddish appearance.
Is 12 sessions of laser enough? ›
On average, you can expect to undergo anywhere from eight to 12 sessions to achieve your ideal results. You may need more treatments if you have heavier, coarse, or denser hair. By committing to your laser hair removal treatment plan, you can permanently reduce or minimize unwanted hair growth.Are 4 laser treatments enough? ›
Generally, clients need about two to six laser treatments in order to completely get rid of hair. You can expect to see about a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after your first treatment. As you continue your treatments, more and more hair will fall out, and you'll notice that it continues to grow back more slowly.How much laser treatment is successful? ›
You can expect a 10% to 25% reduction in hair after the first treatment. To remove the hair, most patients need 2 to 6 laser treatments. After finishing the treatments, most patients do not see any hair on the treated skin for several months or even years. When the hair regrows, there tends to be less of it.Does laser on chest hurt? ›
With laser chest hair removal, you may feel some slight discomfort during the treatment and shortly afterward, but you won't have any long-term skin irritation. This is unlike shaving and waxing, which can leave your skin irritated for days after each session.Does chest hair grow back after laser? ›
Once your course of treatment is complete, you may not see regrowth for many years. On the body, laser hair removal may provide permanent or very long-lasting results. Over time, any hair that does grow back should be very sparse and fine.What to avoid when getting laser? ›
Do not pick/scratch/wax/thread/tweeze the area. Avoid picking or scratching the treated skin. do not use any other hair removal methods or products, other than shaving, on the treated area during the course of your laser treatments, as it will prevent you from achieving the best results. Hair growth varies.How do you fix a red chest? ›
Redness and dilated blood vessels on the chest are most often caused by sun damage. Dermatologists typically recommend laser treatments (IPL) to treat the red spots.How long does sun damaged skin take to heal? ›
A moderate sunburn, where the skin is swollen and hot to the touch, can take a week to heal completely. A severe sunburn, characterized by intensely hot, red skin followed by blisters, can take up to two weeks to heal.What is the best oil for sun damaged skin? ›
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Carrot seed (Daucus carota)
- German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
- Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martinin)
- Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
- Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia)
The brand name for fluorouracil cream is Efudix®. Salicylic acid is another treatment that is sometimes used. It softens hard areas of skin. A solution containing fluorouracil with salicylic acid (brand name Actikerall®) is particularly helpful if the skin growths are thickened.
What is the best laser for skin tightening 2023? ›
Ultherapy is the ultimate Gold-Standard treatment when it comes to lifting and tightening skin. It is a market-leading collagen booster that uses precise micro-focused ultrasound technology.
In just one treatment you will notice younger looking skin without a dramatic change in your appearance. A microscopic laser works deep down in your skin to help promote new collagen growth.
- Thermage® or Ultraformer III – to tighten and lift skin. ...
- Laser Genesis™ – to smooth wrinkles. ...
- Chin sculpting injections – to reduce a double chin. ...
- Anti-wrinkle injections – to reduce platysmal bands.
- Don't Sleep on Your Side. Sleeping on your back is easier said than done when you find yourself waking up on your side. ...
- Avoid the Sun. ...
- Cover Up When Possible. ...
- Wear Sunscreen Daily. ...
- Silicone Neck Pads. ...
- Moisturizers and Serums. ...
- Exfoliant. ...
Vaseline works as a great nighttime moisturizer, but according to beauty experts, it doesn't prevent wrinkles. When you apply a thin coat of Vaseline over a freshly cleansed face, it helps to lock water and moisture in the skin and retains hydration.Can I put retinol on my chest? ›
Retinol is an excellent product for reducing and preventing fine lines and wrinkles — ON THE FACE. However, while applying retinol for chest wrinkles can, in theory, work, in practice, it's not the most effective.Can you reverse skin aging from sun damage? ›
“Sun damage is reversible to some extent, but you can't completely undo the changes to your skin,” Dr. Littler says. Topical retinoids can help improve the appearance of surface wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots.What is sun damage to chest called? ›
Dermatologists refer to the damage the sun does to skin by several names, including photoaging, photodamage, solar damage, or sun damage. It happens when ultraviolet (UV) light hits skin unprotected by sunscreen, causing DNA changes at a cellular level.How do you get rid of redness on your chest from sun damage? ›
Redness and dilated blood vessels on the chest are most often caused by sun damage. Dermatologists typically recommend laser treatments (IPL) to treat the red spots.How do you fix discoloration on your chest? ›
- Medications. Applying prescription bleaching creams (hydroquinone) alone or with retinoids (tretinoin) and a mild steroid might gradually fade the spots over several months. ...
- Laser and intense pulsed light. ...
- Freezing (cryotherapy). ...
- Dermabrasion. ...
- Microdermabrasion. ...
- Chemical peel.
What do sun spots look like on chest? ›
What do they look like? Sunspots appear as flat, darker patches of skin (tan to dark brown) that are found on areas of the body that have experienced high levels of sun exposure such as the face, shoulders, hands, chest, and the backs of hands.How can I permanently get rid of sun damage? ›
- Reevaluate your skincare. ...
- Chemical peels. ...
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) ...
- Microneedling with radio frequency. ...
- CO2 laser. ...
- Microneedling with radio frequency + CO2 laser combo. ...
- Microneedling with PRP. ...
- The takeaway.
- Prescription retinoid you apply to your skin.
- Intense-pulsed light.
- Laser resurfacing.
- Chemical peel.
- Cryosurgery (freezing)
Available both over-the-counter and in prescription strengths, retinol works to combat nearly all of the signs of sun damage. “It can help color, tone and texture,” says Dr. Bank. “It can even out pigmentation and help fade brown spots.What age is sun damage the worst? ›
Researcher Professor Michael Kimlin from QUT's AusSun Research Lab said the study found UV exposure during a person's first 18 years of life was the most critical for cancer-causing skin damage and skin aging.Can you use retinol on your chest? ›
Get Into Retinol
"Retinoids are a key part of an anti-aging regimen for the face, neck, and chest as it helps to regulate skin cell turnover and promote collagen production, improving the texture of the skin and reducing fine lines and wrinkles," says Garshick.
Sun spots happen as a result of prolonged UV exposure, either from the sun or from tanning beds. “Years of sun exposure triggers melanocytes to produce more pigment in concentrated areas,” says Dr. Frank. Melanocytes are what make up melanin, the dark brown pigment found in skin.How do I get rid of red blotches on my chest? ›
cleansing the affected area with soap and water. taking medications like antihistamines to minimize irritation. applying topical skin care treatments like calamine lotion to reduce skin redness.