What is the best fractional laser skin resurfacing for anti-aging?

Fractional lasers, also known as Fraxel lasers, are a great option for people looking to improve their skin tone, elasticity, and to reduce wrinkles or scarring. Since they cause less initial swelling, peeling and redness, it is perfect for people who want a laser treatment without weeks of hiding out at home, waiting to heal.

Until recently, the only way to get a fractional laser skin treatment was in a doctor’s or dermatologist’s office. Now we can do the resurfacing at home, thanks to Tria! They have a couple devices, both FDA approved, aimed at providing an anti aging laser treatment at home. Before we look at Tria’s anti aging device, here is some information on fractional lasers so you can decide if this is right for you!

The best laser skin resurfacing device

To start, we’re going to review the Tria age defying lasers, which were considered the best on the market. We’ll also look at a couple alternatives to Tria, and see if they stack up to the competition!

Tria Beauty Age-Defying Laser

Price: $$$

Description:

tria age defying laser

The Tria Beauty Age-Defying Laser  is considered the best at home laser for wrinkles! It is a clinically tested, FDA-approved anti aging laser device you can use in the comfort of your own home. Tria recommends using the device regularly over a 12-week program to see similar results as a professional treatment. It’s easy to use, and works well with cleansing and moisturizing products you already use (though you can buy products from Tria to go with the laser if you like). It has also been highly reviewed on Amazon, with most people citing that it’s easy to use, not very painful, and gives great results as long as you follow the 12-week program they include with the device.

Read 206+ Customer Reviews on Amazon

Tria Beauty Age-Defying Eye Wrinkle Correcting Laser

Price: $$

Description:

tria beauty eye wrinkles

This is the Tria age defying laser specifically for the eye area . It is also FDA approved, and gives the user a much safer option for reducing eye wrinkles. For just 2 minutes a day, you can see improvement in as little as 2 weeks! The laser is small enough to target the eye area safely, and looks like it’s easy to hold and aim properly.

Below are two alternative anti aging micro lasers I found on Amazon. I also included some information on why I don’t think either of them stacks up to the Tria laser devices.

Read 66+ Customer Reviews on Amazon

iluminage Anti-Aging Skin Smoothing Laser

iluminage Anti-Aging FDA-cleared Skin Smoothing Laser

iluminage - Health and Beauty

$595.00

Price: $$$$

Description:

iluminage fraxel

The iluminage anti aging laser device  was the first approved by the FDA for at home use, which is definitely a plus. It has been clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and mouth. It is also safe to use up to 5x/week.

Why it doesn’t stack up:

  • It was raved about and panned in almost equal numbers on Amazon. Most people who didn’t like it complained that it was more painful than advertised, or didn’t get them the results they were looking for.
  • It only seems to be approved to use on the lower half of the face. The Tria device can be used on the entire face and neck with positive effects.
  • I don’t like the idea of using a face-sized laser on the eye area. Having the Tria eye laser sounds like a much safer option to me.
Read 22+ Customer Reviews on Amazon

Silk’n Facefx Anti-aging Device

Price: $$

silknfx fractal therapy

Description:

The Silk'n Facefx Anti-Aging device  uses “fractional red light therapy and deep thermal heating” to reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture, and reduces pore size, among other benefits. It recommends using the device 3x/week for the first month, then once a week after that, which is an easy program for many people to follow.

Why it doesn’t stack up:

  • Their website doesn’t say the device is FDA-approved. The Amazon page says that it is, but I’m not sure I trust it if the brand’s website doesn’t promote it.
  • It is not actually advertised as a laser device, per se. It is a “red light therapy” device, which to me doesn’t sound like the same thing. I would say it’s similar to the anti-acne red and blue light treatment devices that are out there. It’s not a rosacea or freckle laser treatment.
  • While I think this could be a good option for someone who can’t handle a laser device, if you’re looking for an anti aging laser, this isn’t one.
  • The light pad is quite large, which I don’t think is good to use around eyes. They say that you can, but it just doesn’t look safe to me.
  • This could be me, but the price is a red flag. If FDA-approved laser devices cost around $500, but this one is only $150, I question whether it’s worth it. Spend a little more money and get a quality product, especially when you’re talking about putting lasers on your face!
Read 68+ Customer Reviews on Amazon

What is the difference between fractional lasers and CO2 lasers?

When it comes to laser treatments for wrinkles and scarring, there are 2 main types of lasers on the market: fractional lasers and traditional CO2 lasers. They are the same thing, but fractional lasers are much weaker than a traditional CO2 laser. There are definitely benefits and drawbacks to both!

A fractional laser is ideal for people looking to reduce fine lines, minor scarring, and improve skin tone. Since it is a weaker laser than a traditional CO2 laser, it doesn’t remove the entire top layer of skin – just about 20% or so. They also take a series of treatments to get results. Dermatologists prefer using fractional lasers because there is less risk of side effects and the recovery time is much shorter.

A CO2 laser is only used on patients looking to reduce deep wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, tattoos, and deep scars. Since it is a stronger laser resurfacing tool than a fractional laser, it can only be performed by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. There is a much higher risk of side effects like scarring, pigmentation, and injury with CO2 lasers. Most dermatologists I researched won’t use them anymore because the risks are too dangerous. However, if used properly, they only require one treatment because they remove 100% of the top layer of skin in one pass. The recovery time for a CO2 treatment can take weeks, and is said to be much more painful than a fractional laser.

How do fractional lasers work?

Fractional lasers improve the surface of the skin by creating thousands of tiny “micro-thermal” zones deep under the skin. As the skin heals, it sheds the damaged skin, promotes collagen production, and creates new skin cells. This is often done over a series of treatments, depending on the severity of wrinkles/scarring/sun damage you are trying to repair. As long as you take good care of your skin after treatments, the results should be permanent. Of course, since most of us aren’t perfect, you might have to go back for future treatments or touch-ups as needed.

Since fractional carbon dioxide lasers are less harsh than other more traditional micro laser peels, the recovery time is often much shorter. After a professional resurfacing, most patients can get back to their normal lives (with makeup to hide any redness) in about 2-3 days, and skin should be fully repaired in 2-3 weeks.

With an at home device, your recovery is even shorter. Most people report being able to go back to their normal lives the next day, which is a lot more convenient for anyone who is as busy as me!

Who would benefit from this treatment?

  • The Tria devices are FDA approved for anyone over 18 years of age who wants to improve skin tone, elasticity, reduce wrinkles, and fade minor scarring
  • People with acne scars or fine wrinkles
  • People with rosacea & freckles
  • Anyone who wants to save money on skin tightening laser treatments, or doesn’t need a professional-grade laser peel yet

Who should avoid using this treatment?

  • Pregnant women should not use these devices. The FDA has not approved them to be safe during pregnancy.
  • Anyone with skin darkening or hyperpigmentation, because it could worsen dark spots. If you’re not sure, it might be a good idea to talk to a dermatologist first, just in case!
  • Avoid using around the eyes (it is a laser, after all). Tria actually has a home laser for wrinkles specifically for the eye area, which I’ll talk about too!

Why use at-home vs. professional fraxel treatment?

Laser resurfacing cost:

Obviously, with most at home skincare treatments, one benefit is lower cost. Professional laser resurfacing sessions can easily cost up to $1500 each, and many people require several sessions to reach their anti aging goals! Like most in-office treatments, you also have to pay for consultation and follow-up appointments, which is another added expense. Many places also force you to buy their post-peel products as well!

The Tria devices cost around $500 each, which is much more cost effective and makes a laser for wrinkles more accessible for everyone. You can also use the device with any cleanser and moisturizer you already use!

Convenience:

You can do the laser skin resurfacing in the comfort of your own home, on your own time! There is no need for consultations, scheduling appointments, taking time off work, or scheduling in recovery time. You can also control how often you use it if you find using it daily is too harsh for your skin.

Easier Recovery:

Because the skin tightening laser is less powerful than a professional laser, you won’t have as much redness/peeling as you would with a professional treatment. Tria’s website says you can use it and not worry about going to work the next day! Most reviews said the first day looks and feels like a bad sunburn, but after that you can easily cover any redness with makeup and go about your day.

Conclusion

After doing a lot of research into fractional lasers, and reading a lot of age defying laser reviews online, it is clear that the Tria home laser for wrinkles is the best one on the market. They are FDA-approved, clinically tested, and come highly reviewed. They are also easy to use, and having the laser just for the eye area is a major plus for me. Tria devices sound like they are the closest you can get to a professional treatment at home, and for a fraction of the cost.

There are only a couple alternatives I found on Amazon, which I reviewed today, but one was not FDA-approved, and the other didn’t have nearly as good reviews. I believe that if you are going to delve into laser treatments at home, you should feel confident that what you’re using is safe and will get the job done. The other two devices I looked at just didn’t make me feel as confident as Tria did in their products.

(As with any at home anti aging treatment, use your common sense when starting a new regiment. Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you’re unsure about your skin’s ability to handle a laser treatment, especially if you fit under the “people who should avoid using it” category. You may still be able to use them, but just have to be more careful with them. )