Energy vs Lasers Skin Remodeling
I never realized how much my face has aged until I saw a picture of myself from about 15 years ago. Grant it, that’s a fair amount of time, but it kind of sneaks up on you when you look at your face every day. One significant change is how my face shape has changed! It’s changed because of skin laxity around the jowls or jawline. I also noticed a difference in the placement of my brows. They’ve begun to droop! If you see some facial aging, be it laxity, wrinkles, or sagging, you may be ready to pull the trigger and do something about your aging skin.
If you’re already consistently using good skincare and sunscreen, it may be time to get serious and address the issues that skincare can’t fix. With so many devices and treatments available, many people are confused about lasers versus energy-based devices. What’s the difference, and what can they do for your skin?
Energy Versus Lasers
First, let’s talk about the differences. Energy-based devices are not lasers. Energy devices send energy, whether it’s ultrasound, microwave, or radio-frequency, into the skin with heat. When you put heat into the skin, it makes the skin cells wake up and renew themselves. Energy-based devices target the deeper layers to tighten and smooth, making the skin lookyounger.
Lasers are light, and they affect the surface of the skin, otherwise known as the ep idermis. That’s why it’s often called laser resurfacing. Lasers work from the outside to create skin remodelling. Lasers can help with uneven skin tone and texture, fine lines, acne scarring, and other skin surface issues.
Breakthrough Technology in Energy-Based Devices
Ultrasound energy works below the epidermis to stimulate collagen and elastin. If you’re someone who wants to reinvigorate your skin from the inside out and make a noticeable improvement in laxity and wrinkles, energy-based may be the way to go.
One of the newest FDA approved technologies in ultrasound is a device called Sofwave™. To help you understand what it can do for your skin, you first need to know the science. In this case, the energy means heat, and putting heat into the skin at the mid-dermal level at just the right depth and temperature remodels collagen fibers and improves the overall appearance of your skin. Keep in mind, you lose 10% of your collagen each decade, so you need those fibroblast cells to wake up!
As you lose collagen and elastin, you’ll begin to notice wrinkly and crepey textured skin. Because as the years and decades go by, our cells become sleepy and stop making as much collagen as they once did.
Stop and Reverse Collagen Loss
Sofwave™ delivers what they call Synchronous Ultrasound Parallel Beam SUPERB™ technology to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and allow for younger looking skin. This breakthrough in ultrasound energy wakes up the cells by stimulating them.
Think of it as an exercise for your skin. When you go to the gym and work out, you create small tears in the muscles, which grow back stronger. It’s basically the same concept for your skin. Heat is added into the dermis’ lower levels while keeping the top layer of the skin cool and uncompromised. It’s a controlled wound healing environment, where the skin comes back better than before.
Previously ultrasound devices were painful, and many patients steered clear. But one of the best things about Sofwave™ is, you may feel a little zing around some areas of the face, but most patients will tell you it’s not bad, especially when numbing cream is applied.
What to Expect with Sofwave™?
Because you’re inducing your body’s own regenerative processes, you’re always going to look like yourself, only better! What’s really cool is, Sofwave™ is safe for all skin types and colors.
It’s important to understand that the Sofwave™ procedure is not surgery. There’s no anesthesia, no needles, and no incisions. It’s a non-invasive procedure that doesn’t require any prep before the treatment, other than some numbing cream. There’s no need to take time off from work or your social activities. You can even apply makeup immediately afterward. That’s what we all want— a fix for our facial wrinkles that doesn’t require any days off!
In about three months, you’ll start to notice a difference in your skin. Many patients report their skin feels better after the treatment, but the real results are happening in the dermis as the cells remodel, and that takes about three months to see the full effect.
One day you’ll look in the mirror and think, “I look better!” But when you really appreciate the difference is when you go back to your provider and compare the before and after pictures! Your provider may recommend more than one treatment to get to the level you’re trying to achieve. After that, it can be a maintenance procedure every couple of years. Not bad for non-surgical treatment!
- Natalie Kita, Medically reviewed by William Truswell, MD, "Types of Cosmetic Laser Procedures", November 15, 2019, Verywell Health, About, Inc. (Dotdash)
- "About Lasers and Energy-Based Devices", American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery