No bride-to-be has an absolutely perfect complexion, not even Miranda Kerr (at least that’s what I tell myself). So when it comes to maximizing your pre-wedding beauty routine, it’s always smart to seek out treatments that provide solutions for multiple skincare dilemmas. Whether you struggle with redness and inflammation, broken capillaries, rosacea, sun spots, acne scarring or everyone’s favorite, fine lines and wrinkles, few quick-fixes are better than the Vbeam Perfecta laser. To test its potential, I went straight to Graceanne Svendsen, a medical aesthetician for more than 25 years who’s the go-to skincare guru at NYC’s esteemed Shafer Plastic Surgery practice. (Its namesake founder, Dr. Shafer, trained at the Mayo Clinic and is one of NYC’s most sought-after docs.) “Brides are often overrun with to-do lists, which goes hand-in-hand with inflamed, stressed-out skin,” says Svendsen. “The Vbeam is the perfect gentle laser tool to improve the appearance of redness and inflammation and ensure your makeup goes on smoothly for the wedding.”
What It’s Like
The laser is essentially a small wand that sends an intense burst of light onto a targeted area (but which is still mild enough to avoid damaging the surrounding tissue). Svendsen first worked her way around my entire face for overall rejuvenation, then upped the settings and returned to a few broken capillaries on my cheeks to maximize the effects; total treatment time was about 30 minutes. While most patients only feel a mild twinge as the laser works its magic, my experience wasn’t exactly pain-free. That said, the discomfort was likely due to the laser’s patented Dynamic Cooling Device, which sprays cryogen onto the skin’s surface prior to each heated laser pulse for a cooling effect. (The sound can also be slightly jarring, but Svendsen thankfully begins each treatment with a video so you know what to expect.)
Overall, the treatment is extremely safe, with no real side effects, apart from slight redness or mild swelling (which disappears easily with a bit of concealer). Immediately following the treatment, I noticed my complexion was brighter, more even-toned and that some surface facial veins and annoying sun spots had vanished for good, which seemed like a legitimate miracle!
Svendsen suggests booking three to four appointments about one month apart, starting at least six months before the wedding. “The benefits of Vbeam are cumulative, so it’s important to stick to a timely schedule for collagen production and the improvement of breaking up vessels and other conditions,” she says. But if something about your complexion is bothering you up to one week from the Big Day, don’t worry — Svendsen says you can still pinch-hit a persistent problem at the last minute.
Want to really want to step up the results? Svendsen recommends clients come in just before the wedding for Vbeam, dermaplaning and a hydrofacial. This combination treatment will remove dead skin cells and plump up skin for that dewy glow every bride dreams of.
The Fine Print
Depending on the severity of the problem and the size of the treatment area, it may take more than one session to see major results. In my case, it will take two or three visits to completely break up the capillaries on my cheeks, which are deep below the skin’s surface. Price varies depending upon the practice, but Dr. Shafer’s office charges about $400 per session.
If you’re a laser virgin, the Vbeam is a great way to go, given its multiple uses for both short-term glow and long-term treatment of deeper, more persistent conditions. It’s not exactly cheap, but if you want to finally be rid of a skincare woe for good, consider it a worthy investment. Personally, I’ve already booked my follow up appointment — bye bye, capillaries!