Last month, I decided to get my freckles lasered so that I could have more radiant, even skin for my upcoming wedding photoshoot in May.
I didn’t realise that there were so many women interested in laser treatments to target pigmentation problems until I posted my own experience on my Instagram account (@nailartexpress) and received way more responses compared to my usual postings on food and nails. I even had strangers and friends who either messaged me in private or asked me when they saw me, wanting to know more about my experience.
I actually never thought about trying to remove my freckles until quite recently, when I started getting more comments about my freckles being quite obvious and questions about whether I intended to do anything about them. What really pushed me over the edge was when I saw the effects of the laser treatment on one of my friends. She’d gone for a laser treatment at S&N Aesthetic Clinic and I saw how it actually WORKED and reduced her pigmentation significantly. And then of course, being a bride-to-be, I’m a sucker for anything that will make me look better and I can always write it off as a “necessary expense”, “once in a lifetime”. 女人的钱最容易赚, right?
So well, I impulsively decided to get it down and called to fix an appointment. I didn’t even think of taking proper before and after pictures because I really didn’t realise people would be interested in my experience. The only picture I have of my freckles before my laser treatment would be this one:
Unfortunately, I’m wearing makeup in the photo so you can’t see my freckles in all their former glory, but you can still see them despite the fact that they’re partly covered by the makeup… which proves that they must have been really dark, right?
I took the last appointment slot (4.30pm) but the clinic was quite busy with customers streaming in so I actually waited more than half an hour before the doctor attended to me. He was very nice and upon examining my face, he took out a book and showed me the different kinds of pigmentation and told me I had not only freckles but also age-related pigmentation (that women in their 30s onwards would develop). One of his staff then applied numbing cream on my cheeks and I was left alone for about 15-20 minutes to let the numbing cream do its job. In the meantime, I could hear the doctor doing a treatment for another patient. The funny thing is that this clinic doesn’t even have a Facebook page or a website and yet it has many customers. My friend has been going to this doctor for years and recommended him highly, so I guess it must be one of the more reliable and affordable aesthetics clinics around.
When the doctor did the laser treatment for me, it was initially tolerable. The pain was minimal, kind of like IPL/being hit by rubber bands. BUT then he moved on to zap areas that his staff didn’t apply any numbing cream on – I think she failed to notice the freckles on other parts of my face since she only applied a very thin layer on my cheeks, sigh. So, the doctor was zapping freckles on the side of my nose, a corner of my upper eyelid, near my dark eye circles etc… AND IT HURT A LOT MORE. What made the whole experience evevn more scary was that I could smell my skin burning with each zap. When he was done, my cheeks started to feel really hot, like it was on fire. I got really scared and after I told them, they applied a cooling gel sheet mask for me, which helped to relieve the burning sensation. They also applied a healing cream for me.
Then, they passed me a mirror and I got a shock when I saw myself because all the spots that had been zapped were super red and swollen and I looked like I had mini welts. I wasn’t expecting to look that bad, but oh well, as long as it turned out to be effective, it would be worth it.
Check out how scarily crumpled and red my skin looked right after the laser:
This is how I looked about three hours after the treatment:
And about eight hours after the treatment:
Generally still swollen, red, and slightly sore (not painful anymore though).
The laser treatment cost $300 but I paid an extra $260 for four products, including these two which I was told to start using immediately and the other two to use a week after:
I was really kiasu and bought the quick recovery cream because my skin looked so scary after the treatment that I would probably have bought ANYTHING to make it heal faster. Anyway, it has a light texture and was very quickly absorbed.
As for the sunblock, it had a lovely texture as well and glided onto my skin without feeling thick or oily. For an entire WEEK after the laser treatment, I did not wear any makeup at all and only used these two products religiously.
I also went out wearing a cap and a face mask to minimise sun exposure.
Over the next four days, the zapped spots started to grow darker until they became scabs. Some of them started to fall off. This is how I looked on the 5th day:
And here’s a collage showing my recovery process:
What do you think of the results? My doctor said I have two different kinds of pigmentation and I think he only targeted the freckles this time. I think the most obvious difference is the giant spot that was at the side of my eyelid. Most of the freckles are generally visibly lighter but I realised later on that there were several spots that he missed out on zapping, such as a freckle above my eyebrow, and several on my nose that probably look like blackheads but are actually freckles. Overall, I think the treatment was quite effective and I’ll head back soon for second round so he can work on the lighter patches of pigmentation and the remaining freckles… and this time, I’m going to make sure his staff applies enough numbing cream!
Psst – this is me in Bangkok’s sweltering heat, a week after the treatment, finally wearing makeup!
Click here for details for S&N Aesthetics Clinic, if you want to try them!