Physicians recommend skincare regimen for antiaging treatment with energy-based devices

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Key takeaways:

  • Treatment with energy-based devices can cause adverse events.
  • Incorporating a pretreatment, treatment, aftercare and follow-up skincare regimen can ease these adverse events.

Physicians created an algorithm that provides clinicians with skincare recommendations for facial antiaging treatment with energy-based devices, according to a study.

“Medical aesthetic procedures for facial antiaging treatment using laser and energy-based devices are rapidly increasing,” Edward Lain, MD, FAAD, executive director and principal investigator at the Austin Institute for Clinical Research, and colleagues wrote. “Many publications have addressed methods for reducing adverse events related to energy-based device treatments.”

Skin care 2

Physicians created an algorithm that provides clinicians with skincare recommendations for facial antiaging treatment with energy-based devices. Image: Adobe Stock.

In this study, a panel of eight global physicians reached a consensus on an algorithm for integrating skin care into energy-based device procedures to stimulate healing, reduce downtime and improve comfort and treatment outcomes.


Patients should begin a pretreatment regimen 2 to 4 weeks before facial laser or energy-based rejuvenation treatments. Patients should utilize a gentle cleanser with physiologic pH followed by a gentle, lipid-enhanced moisturizer and a broad-spectrum tinted/mineral SPF 50 or higher sunscreen.

The panel also recommended that patients should consider skincare products that contain antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and polyphenols. Soothing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and botanicals may also ease sensitive skin’s reactions to the procedure.

Those with richly pigmented skin or those with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation-prone skin should consider using anti-post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation ingredients, whereas those with erythema-prone skin should include anti-redness ingredients into their pretreatment skincare regimen.

Day of procedure

Before the procedure begins, patients must remove all makeup with a nonalcoholic makeup remover as alcohol will dry out the skin, enhancing the risk for bleeding or bruising. The skin should then be cleansed with a gentle facial cleanser.

Practitioners must remember to collect consent from the patient and capture pretreatment photographs. For ablative procedures, patients should begin taking an oral antiviral prophylaxis 1 day before the procedure and continuing for 5 days.


Aftercare measures should be followed for 7 days starting the day after the procedure. Patients should begin using a gentle facial cleanser free of comedonal oils with neutral skin surface physiological pH and a SPF 50 or higher sunscreen every day.

While patients can use formulas with glycolic or lactic acid for skin rejuvenation, these ingredients may not be well tolerated the week following the procedure.

The panel also advises that the post-procedural skincare regimen should include skin-lightening agents or formulations designed to prevent infection and promote optimum healing. Cold air and repair cream can be used to soothe swelling, pain and redness if needed. It is at this time that antioxidant and anti-post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation ingredients can be used again.

Follow-up care:

Follow-up care begins 1 week after the procedure and continues for up to 4 weeks. During this time, patients must continue the skincare regimen they used during aftercare, including a gentle cleanser, lipid-enhanced moisturizer and sunscreen.

While sunscreen is important for all patients to use, those who underwent ablative laser procedures must strictly adhere to daily sunscreen and sun avoidance.

All patients should continue to avoid harsh ingredients such as topical retinoids. Anti-post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation products at this stage may be helpful in preventing dyschromia; however, they should be gentle formulations.

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