Anticipating your skin’s needs after your HALO laser skin resurfacing procedure can be the difference between good and great results. Advanced Plastic Surgery Institute has prepared this guide to walk you through HALO laser aftercare and recovery for a seamless treatment experience.
How HALO Laser Treatments Work
HALO is a hybrid fractional laser, combining ablative and non-ablative wavelengths to precisely target surface-level issues and deeper skin concerns. This dual action makes HALO versatile and highly customizable.
During laser skin resurfacing, ablative wavelengths vaporize the outermost layers of the skin, removing sun-damaged or aged skin cells. The result? Improved skin texture and a reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. The trade-off, however, is a longer downtime for recovery—up to a week or longer—due to the intensity of the treatment.
Non-ablative wavelengths heat the underlying skin tissue without harming the surface layer. This gentler approach boosts collagen and elastin production from within, leading to radiant, rejuvenated skin over time. Downtime is minimal because the skin’s surface is preserved, but multiple sessions may be needed to achieve your desired results.
Your provider will customize your HALO treatment, using the laser’s ablative and non-ablative wavelengths to work within your desired downtime and achieve the best results for your skin.
HALO Laser Aftercare
Your provider’s aftercare plan should be your go-to resource, but the following are general guidelines to support your skin’s recovery:
- Use over-the-counter pain medication and cold compresses to manage swelling, redness, and any discomfort.
- Your skin may itch, but resist the urge to scratch.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water using a soft, gentle cleanser twice daily. Avoid hot water and harsh cleansers that can irritate your sensitive skin.
- Apply a high SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen beginning the day after your treatment.
- Keep your skin moisturized using a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer.
- For at least a month after your treatment, avoid retinoids, exfoliants, and other potential skin irritants that can disrupt the healing process.
- To allow your skin to breathe and recover, it’s generally best to skip the makeup until your skin stops peeling.
- Avoid strenuous exercise or activities that cause excessive sweating until at least a week after your treatment to prevent irritation and swelling.
HALO Laser Recovery
Here’s what to anticipate in the days following your procedure:
Immediately After Treatment
- You’ll likely feel a sunburn-like sensation on the treated areas.
24 Hours Post-Treatment
- Redness and sensitivity typically peak around this time.
Days 2 to 3
- Swelling may increase slightly, reaching its peak during this time.
- The skin takes on a bronzed appearance as the laser’s effects begin working on the deeper layers.
Days 3 to 5
- Swelling should begin to subside.
- The skin may feel tight and dry as peeling starts, revealing the fresh skin beneath.
Days 5 to 7
- Peeling nears completion but may continue for a few days longer if your treatment was more aggressive.
Weeks 1 to 2
- Healing is nearly complete.
- Your skin tone evens out, and the results become visible.
- Resume your regular skincare routine unless your provider’s specific instructions say otherwise.
Beyond 2 Weeks
- You’ll see continued skin texture and tone improvement as collagen regeneration progresses and any residual redness fades.
It’s important to keep in mind that your recovery experience may differ if you combine laser skin resurfacing with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as a Forever Young BBL™.