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Inside a Vogue Editor’s Laser Experience

Laser applied to skin. Courtesy Rebecca Treston

Sometimes being a mother can take a toll on your face. More specifically, pregnancy, which coupled with sensitive hormones and the Mediterranean sun can leave you with melasma. The skin condition causes patches and spots, which are darker than your natural skin tone. “Once you have melasma, you will always have it,” says Medical Aesthetician and Laser Specialist Rebecca Treston, much to my dismay. “But, in just two sessions, we’ll be able to clear all this up.” A mother of three, if I wasn’t feeling “lit from within,” I was ready to look it.

High up in a Dubai tower, everything is serene, aesthetic, and lavish. A look around the Hortman Clinics offices and one is reminded of the sky-rocketing success of dermatologists, particularly in Dubai, which is known as a haven for cosmetic procedures. Lying back on the plush lounge chair, I am eager to begin treatment to banish the melasma with the help of laser. Treston explains that she will perform a combination of BBL and starwalker targets for superficial pigment, redness, and inflammation along with target tone texture for deeper pigments. A light laser and chemical peels will eliminate dead skin and improve barrier function. Eyes closed tight, I squeeze my fists as she performs the procedures, which are surprisingly very uncomfortable – like an elastic band whipping your face time and again. But I hold fast, knowing that it will all be worth it.

“The dark spots will darken further, and then flake off,” she says as I examine my visage in the mirror, watching them indeed darken before my very eyes. “In a few days, your skin will be clear.” She prescribes an Avene cream to help soothe my skin, and Meladeep cream to apply thereafter. Two days later, the upper layer of my epidermis flakes off and sure enough, all the dark spots wash away with the gentle scrub of a face cloth. “Apply sun screen every two hours,” are Treston’s last words, until we are to meet again, one month later for a follow up session.


Rebecca Treston at work. Courtesy Rebecca Treston

I return to everyday life feeling like an English rose. My skin is clear of all dark spots. Life continues and I religiously apply sunscreen and avoid the sun, until one day I enjoy lunch before my apartment’s bay windows, basking in the warmth of the sun’s rays—having completely forgotten that even heat can revive my melasma.

“There is something of a learning curve isn’t there,” Treston offers kindly, as I explain my mistake. One month later, I am back in the doctor’s chair and grateful for the second chance to abolish any rising melasma triggered by my the sun’s rays. The laser again snaps at my face and I grip the chair tightly. Following the session, and with Avene and Meladeep post cream in my purse, I swear to never see the sun again. This second time, the dark spots following the session are few and far between and any facial peeling is minimal. The results of the laser treatment are lasting—if you follow the rules—and the sessions remain the most effective care I have yet to experience. From 2500AED per session

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