*Disclaimer: No photographs in this post have been retouched. This is a post about my skin so I ensured that even the more uncomfortable images are raw and real. I’d rather you see the good and bad and understand the entire process. 🙂
If you have ever suffered from acne scars, dark spots or chicken pox you know how upsetting they can be. At a young age I came down with a severe case of chicken pox, some of which were on my face. I had over 100 lesions all over my body and had a terrible case of this virus. As I got older it become more noticeable, at least to me, and those scars were something I could never get to go away. I also dealt with acne during my teenage years, into my twenties and occasionally in my thirties. Some of those breakouts left dark marks and some scars that were also painful reminders of my days of having bad skin. I wanted to find a way to fades some of those marks and make my skin healthier, smoother and in much better condition. It was after a few other skin care treatments that I decided to consider a more intense laser to resurface my skin and make it look much better. I did a ton of research and finally made an appointment with a new dermatologist to find out my options. This post is a complete overview of my experience getting Ematrix sublative laster treatment and I hope it is helpful for those of you who have been trying to find a way to help with your skin care concerns.
Full Video Review on Ematrix Laser Treatment and How to Get Rid of Acne Scars:
Back story on my skin:
I started to develop acne around 8th grade and had terrible breakouts for most of my high school and college years. At that time I remember seeing lots of dermatologist and was put on countless regiments of topical creams and oral antibiotics. In my early years I just dealt with my condition and chucked it up to being a hormonal teenager and that everyone goes through puberty and acne was a part of it. As I got into my twenties, however, it didn’t get any better. I still had hormonal breakouts and many of those episodes left scars and dark spots. After going through all of that I decided to take a step back and look at other factors like diet and the products I was using on my skin. I decided to really focus on a cleaner diet, remove processed foods and sugars and then also start using natural skin care products. I decided to stop using harsh, over the counter acne scrubs and cleansers and started to use Burt’s Bees, tea tree oil and witch hazel. That did wonders for my skin and slowly my skin got better and better.
Fast Forward to Today:
Today I am 36 years old and my skin since turning thirty has gotten so much better. I started to take a low dose birth control that really worked with managing my hormonal breakouts (Lo Estrin 24). I focused on a healthy ketogenic diet (high healthy fats, moderate protein and low/no carb). My breakouts now are far and few between and usually around my period. They are not severe breakouts and my skin is much clearer. The problem now is that I am left with some scars, some discoloration and also those pesky chicken pox scars that will not go away. I wanted to finally find a way to take off the years of all this damage that was done to my face and get nice skin.
EMatrix Laser Treatment:
Prior to deciding to find a new dermatologist to talk about my options about laser resurfacing, I had done 2 treatments of IPL, a few sessions of microdermabrasion, at home glycolic peels and an in office chemical peel. All of these treatments helped slightly, but nothing really noticeable and quite expensive over time. I did some digging online and decided to make an appointment with SLS (Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists) in Montclair, New Jersey. My first visit was a consultation to talk about my concerns and determine a treatment plan. I had been having a few breakouts and hadn’t been to a derm in a few years, so it was the perfect time to head in and get on a regiment again.
During my first visit we talked about what my goals were; I wanted smoother skin, I wanted to fade dark spots, I wanted to get rid of my scars and help keep my skin looking clear, young and youthful. The doctor told me that EMatrix Sublative Laser would be a great option and I made my appointment.
What is Ematrix Laser? Ematrix is a skin rejuvenation treatment. The secret behind eMatrix™ skin rejuvenation is the bi-polar radio frequency energy. The energy produces heat in the deep layers of your skin without damaging the surface of your skin. In 2011, Skin Laser & Surgery Specialists of New York presented the results of treating dark skin types with this unique technology to the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery meeting.
My Experience with Ematrix:
I got my first treatment done in the evening on a Wednesday. I documented my entire experience in a video posted here so that you can clearly see what the recovery looks like immediately after, the week after and also results. I am very happy with the results I have seen thus far with just one treatment, but it is recommended you do multiple treatments to see full results. I plan to do two more treatments and wait about 6 weeks in between each treatment. The cost was $550 for the laser and $50 extra for the numbing cream application.
The laser treatment itself was not that uncomfortable or painful. I recommend you do opt for the numbing cream when you do the laser as it can get a bit hot and slightly painful in some spots on your face toward the end of the procedure. The numbing cream took about 20 minutes to set in and is wiped off before the laser treatment begins. The lasering itself took about 8-10 minutes max so it was pretty quick. The tip of the laser is in the shape of a square with tiny pin marks in it that you will wind up seeing on your face as you heal.
During the zapping of the laser your will hear beeping sounds and the doctor will do one pass, then wait, do another, and then do a few targeted zaps until the process is complete. Some areas were a bit more sensitive than others, but like I said it was tolerable. I didn’t flinch or winch, just take deep breaths and get through it. Right after the process is complete you will be given a cold pack to bring down the temperature of your skin and help to bring down some swelling. I drove home soon after with the air conditioning on full blast to cool my skin.
The Healing Process:
After the laser my skin was hot, red and tight. It felt like a really bad sunburn or the feeling you get when you accidentally hit your neck with a hot curling iron. By the time I got home my skin was very warm and slightly flushed. That evening, a few hours later, after washing with cool water my skin was bright red and you could clearly see the squares all over my face. Those first few nights I washed my face with only cold water and then applied a generous amount of Aquaphor Healing Ointment. This allowed my skin to heal and stay moisturized. I also slept on the couch the first night so I could keep my head elevated to reduce puffiness and swelling.
When I woke up the next day my face was much less red and swollen – I was surprised and happy that I could go to work without fear of people noticing I just had laser done. My face was flushed, looked a bit sunburnt but not scary at all! It was not crusty or oozing or anything you might imagine. You are required to wear a high SPF the weeks after any laser so I used the Dr. Jart BB Cream which has a SPF of 45. That was enough coverage to allow me to go to work but prevent unwanted sun damage. The next few days my skin got less red and blotchy and was back to its normal color by the fourth day.
The first two nights my skin looked pretty red and blotchy. During the day you couldn’t tell I had a laser unless you really looked closely. It felt tight and hot and a bit itchy the first two days but after that it felt completely normal. I would say the first two days are the most noticeable or uncomfortable. I went to work the next day and was just fine.
After the first week you are completely in the clear and over the next two months you will see the true effects. I was able to start using makeup normally and started to see changes in my skin texture in the first two weeks.
During the next week I used liquid coconut oil to wash my face at night time and just did cool water in the morning. I slowly started to use different products on my skin as it healed.
Daytime coverage: I used the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturize which has SPF. If I needed a bit more coverage on darker areas or red areas I used Giorgio Armani foundation (Power Fabric) on top of that which has SPF as well. I used all my normal makeup products like bronzer and blush.
At night time: I would wash my face with the liquid coconut oil, spray Dr. Hauschka natural toner and apply almond oil cream by Weleda for moisture and Juice Beauty serum. My skin soaked all of these products up and was getting smoother
Post Care Recommendations: Do not use an exfoliator or anything to scrub your skin for the first two weeks. Your skin will feel rough and some raised bumps where the pin marks are made from the laser, but you need to let the skin renew and shed on its own. Your skin will feel dry and slightly rough, but no one else will see it. Your skin does not peel off and you won’t even notice the turn over. You will see some dark patches, almost like bronze areas as the skin heals. You may even see the tiny dots get a bit dark, almost looking like black heads, but don’t scratch them off – just leave them alone. This all goes away after the first week.
Overall Thoughts on my Ematrix Laser Treatment: I 100% would do this again. I think even though this is a pricey treatment, it was well worth it. I do think you need more than one session, but so far in the first round I see great results. You really only can tell you had it done the first 24 hours, after that it gets much better really fast. You won’t have a ton of down time at all and can go to work or school the next day. My scars are fading and the skin is much smoother and my makeup goes on so much better already. My skin feels like it is more plump and I think after two more treatments my chicken pox scars will be much better. I recommend this laser to anyone who wants to do something a bit more invasive, but doesn’t want to deal with down time. Here is a look at the progress from day 1-8:
If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below. I would be happy to answer as best as I can. I will also be sure to share updated photos as things progress and heal but so far I am very satisfied with this laser and it’s already made a big difference in my skin.
This is a reminder that sometimes when you research things like this online you will only usually see the negative experiences, but not the positive ones. I had a great experience and it was well worth the cost for me. As someone who has had skin concerns my whole life it was nice to know that a treatment like this over time will only help to make my skin look its best. If you have acne scars, chicken pox scars or discoloration and peels and other more surface laser didn’t give dramatic results you may want to consider Ematrix next.