So excited to share my honest take and review on the Halo Laser treatment at Glow Therapy today because 2 months in, I continue to see results from this treatment! I’ve been going to Glow for a long time now and have always trusted my skin with the team of experts there. I’ve been fairly low-maintenance and low-invasive in my approach to skin (opting for facials or oxygen treatments as opposed to any laser, peels, needling or injectables so far, though definitely not ruling that out in the future!) so this was my first foray into something a bit more intensive treatment-wise, and that would require downtime. So yes, Halo is an investment in your skin both financially and with downtime, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s entirely worth it.
And I’ll share again at the end but did want to share here that if you mention @tovogueorbust when booking, you can score $200 off your treatment plus a free Clearsilk treatment ($300 value)!
As a bit of background, my main concerns with my skin going into this was hyperpigmentation (my before below). I’ve always been freckly and pick up colour very easily so sun damage and pigmentation is a longstanding issue for me, but during my pregnancy I got a few fairly large melasma spots on my face that really bothered me. One on my forehead in particular was very noticeable and really dark – as mentioned, I’m used to some level of freckles and pigmentation, but this was a whole other thing and it was really hard to cover with makeup.
In my 30s now, I’m also dealing with some fine lines and wanted to improve my texture as well, which are all things Halo addresses. As a little recap, here are some of the main things Halo is treated for and improves!
What does Halo treat?
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Elasticity of skin
- Sun damage
- Skin tone
- Texture and appearance of pores
- Pigmentation (like melasma) and scarring
How does it work?
I am definitely no expert in the technology behind this, but to recap my understanding of this quickly, Halo is the first Hybrid Fractional Laser that is uniquely designed to deliver both ablative and non-ablative wavelengths of light to the skin. In the past, laser treatments have either been exclusively ablative or non-ablative – ablative effectively vaporizes the top layer of skin while heating the deeper layers (i.e. more painful and intensive), while non-ablative is less invasive and just resurfaces the top skin layer (i.e. less painful but less intense results).
As far as the process itself, you can expect to have a numbing cream applied to your face and then your eyes will be protected during the process. The laser will then methodically pass across your face section-by-section by your laser tech, who will do a scan of your face before beginning to determine the level of treatment.
What is the pain like?
I happen to metabolize numbing creams very quickly which is a bit unfortunate, so I will say towards the end I could feel the treatment a bit more. Everybody’s experience is different, but for me there were two distinct stages: the first was at the beginning when I was quite numb, and the most I experienced at that point was a bit of heat and a very faint rubber band snapping feeling. I’d say any pain or discomfort at this stage was very mild, so if you don’t randomly metabolize numbing cream as quickly as I do, that might be the stage you’re in mostly! As my cream wore off, it was more of a build-up of heat and a more distinct/painful snapping feeling each time the laser was used, but this period was very short and ended before I knew it (just did some calming breaths and it was done soon enough).
All in all, I’d say the pain level during was moderate, but also want to flag again that I do seem to just process numbing cream more quickly. I’d say for most people the actual procedure is probably mild-to-moderate.
What should you expect immediately afterwards?
One interesting thing about the Halo treatment is that you get this odd hot flash immediately after the treatment for about an hour (for me it was about 2 hours, it can vary person-to-person). It literally will stop as quickly as it starts (literally over the space of seconds), and it’s not painful or anything, but it can be uncomfortable. I just kept a fan on my face and hydrated during this time, but the Glow girls alerted me to it so I knew what to expect! Always appreciate being prepped for these stages instead of being surprised by them so you just know to chill and let it pass.
What is the downtime like?
So I was out and about a couple days later for brunch, happy hour, etc, but with close friends – I wouldn’t go out on a first date or anything like that in the first few days after treatment, but it all depends on how your skin heals and your comfort level! You do start to develop what’s called MENDS (Microscopic Epithelial Necrotic Debris) – it’s effectively the pigmentation/treated skin that’s being removed and basically scabbing. It looks like pinpoint dark spots and feels like sandpaper, so it’s just something to be aware of during this time – I was still out and living my life, I just felt like my skin looked a little bit gritty during this time. In an office setting, I went into the office a few days later and unless my work friends were lying to me, they said I looked fine! So barring a couple lowkey days, you should be back to your regular routine fairly quickly.
All in all, I’d say that Day 1 (if Day 0 is the procedure) was redness, followed by MENDS over Days 2-3, followed by the shedding of MENDS over Days 4-5 and then Days 5-7 was just the last little sloughing away of any remaining roughness or MENDS.
Important to note as well is that there’s no pain or discomfort during this time. You might be itchy as your skin is effectively scabbing and falling off, but I’d just tap my (clean) fingers lightly against my skin after putting on lotion or I’d rinse gently with water if it was really bothering me.
What should you do post-treatment?
You should have a really great physical sunscreen and ensure you wear it every day (and you should be doing this as it is, anyway…writing this as a reminder to myself given my history as a sun worshipper!). You should avoid direct sunlight as much as possible and also keep yourself covered with a hat.
Wash your face very gently, pat dry and apply a moisturizer as needed – I did this about 3 times a day the week following my treatment, and then went back down to my AM and PM routine. You will want to avoid active ingredients, i.e. Vitamin C, retinol, etc. At about the month mark I reintroduced most of my products back to my routine.
Here’s my skin about 2 months post-treatment! I definitely see an improvement in overall tone, texture, fine line reduction and most importantly, in those patches of melasma. Because I had quite a lot of pigmentation, this is something I may want to do twice a year (for some people one treatment is enough, but I’d probably do a follow-up in about 4 months’ time) but the really cool thing about Halo is that you really see continued improvement over the course of a few months, so I haven’t even really seen peak results yet!
Also, worth showing what an unedited picture looks like with makeup on below, because one huge result has been needing way less makeup and it goes on way more smoothly! Literally takes me 5 minutes to get ready these days.
Is it worth it?
Yes! Glow has a few different price and treatment options (you can see more here in their FAQ at the bottom of their Halo information page), but while it’s definitely an investment, I feel like it’s the kind of maintenance procedure you can do once a year (or for someone like me who’s got more stubborn scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc, at most twice a year) and it really has a long runway as far as results.
As mentioned earlier, I’m not at all against looking into Botox, injectables, peels, etc (probably something I’ll start tapping into in the next year or so…motherhood has seriously done a number on my skin!), but I haven’t gone down that route yet and would say if you have been in a similar holding pattern or considering other options, something like Halo would really push that timeline back for you. And if you want to compliment your current treatment routine (whether that’s Botox, injectables, peels, etc), this would hugely reduce the amount of treatments you’d need for any of the above – it really addresses so much as an all-in-one treatment and when you consider that it’s just a few days of downtime, you really are kind of getting a sweet spot of really noticeable results, without significant downtime.
Glow Therapy has been a mainstay for me for not only their treatments and product roster, but also their expert advice and insights they give. Located right near beautiful Kits, they’re super central and their studio is gorgeous, so I highly, highly recommend Glow if you’re looking for expert advice and support with your precious skin!
Again, mention @tovogueorbust when you book and you can get $200 off your Halo treatment plus a free Clearsilk treatment, worth $300.