BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 2 - (Page 32)
BY MICHELLE D'ALLAIRD-BRENNER
uring the last five years, the
laser segment of the beauty
and wellness industry has
witnessed a lot of controversy and questions. A person could make four phone
calls asking the same question, and receive
four different answers...so let me use this
article to address some of the confusion
and offer some straightforward thoughts on
lasers in the beauty and wellness industry.
LASER is an acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation."
To most of us, that phrase means little, but
simply put, it is the process of converting
light energy into heat energy to be used for
a particular purpose. For the sake of this
article and our profession, those particular laser "purposes" include hair removal,
treatment of brown or red lesions, telangiectasia and collagen reformation.
It is important to understand that light
is a form of energy referred to as electromagnetic energy. As light is reflected off
of various objects in electrical waves, it
creates the electromagnetic spectrum of
radiation. This spectrum ranges from visible light to invisible infrared light to ultraviolet light and is measured in nanometers.
While the use of lasers is very complex, for
simplicity's sake, different wavelengths
| B E AU TYLINK | MOR E THAN SKIN DEEP | 2 015
of light along the spectrum define the different types of lasers, and their purpose.
Lasers use a single, monochromatic
wavelength depending upon their type.
The longer the wave length, the deeper
the penetration of light. The shorter the
wavelength, the less the depth of penetration into the skin. The majority of lasers
used in the cosmetic and beauty industry
are non-ablative, which means they do not
damage the top layers of the epidermis.
Ablative lasers, such as a CO2, vaporize the
upper layers of the epidermis to the dermal
layer of the skin and are beyond the scope
of practice for estheticians in every state.
Non-ablative lasers range from 585 nm,
which focus more superficially, to 1540
nm directed into the papillary dermis,
penetrating up to 2mm into the skin all
without damaging the epidermal layers of
the skin. These lasers focus on specific targets within the skin called chromophores.
These chromophores include vascularities,
melanin and water.
Let me take a moment to note, I did not
mention pigment...pigmentary lesions are
located in the epidermis. These skin concerns are treated and improved with IPL,
Intense Pulsed Light. IPL is a broad spectrum of wavelengths of light as opposed
to a single wavelength, so they are not as
targeted and specific as lasers and are not
considered lasers. Their regulatory guidelines are different and their classifications
as far as medical/non-medical devices are
unrelated to lasers. They are not classified
The chromophores that are targeted
absorb the light energy, convert it to heat
and are then damaged to either remove the
chromophore all together, such as in the
case of a small vein or hemangioma; or to
trigger an inflammatory response which
results in new cell growth and collagen
reformation. If the targeted chromophore
is vascular, the light energy is immediately
absorbed and the target is coagulated or
destroyed. If the chromophore is water, it
heats the water, triggers an inflammatory
response which kicks in the wound healing
process resulting in collagen reformation
and cell stimulation. The end result is minimizing telangiectasia, diffuse erythema and
rosacea as well as increasing skin firmness
and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles.
As mentioned above, non-ablative lasers
for cosmetic purposes span from 575
These include Pulsed-Dye lasers, Nd:
Yag Laser and Alexandrite Lasers.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 2
Message From the AACS President and CEA Chair
Spring Executive Retreat & Financial Aid Workshop
And Then There’s Compliance
The Esthetics Regulatory Environment: What You Need to Know
Spotlight on Esthetic Treatments: Sugaring
6 Questions With Steven Frost, Dermalogica Academy Director
Trends: Where Old School Meets New
Tapping Into the Asian Skincare Market
The Nitty Gritty on Lasers
Mind Over Hair Matters
Getting Started With a Barbering Program
What It’s Like to Work in a Med Spa
What to Say When You Have to Say, “You’re Fired”
A Student’s Perspective
Beauty Changes Lives
Voices From the Classroom
People & Places
Associate Member Profiles: Marketing & Advertising
New Products & Services
New School Members
Upcoming 2015 Events
Index to Advertisers
BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 2
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