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We Tried It: Clear + Brilliant Laser Treatment

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Courtesy Clear + Brilliant

This week, Style Director Andrea Lavinthal lets a derm essentially fry her face in pursuit of glowing, younger-looking skin.

I’m 33, but I’d say I have the skin of a 32-year-old. Despite having access to a closet full of the latest anti-aging lotions and potions, my skincare routine is disappointingly low-maintenance. So I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised when the bouncer at the bar I went to last weekend said he didn’t need to see my license. I felt like the older sister in Knocked Up.

After going home and slathering my face with an expired tube of Retinol, I made an appointment with dermatologist Robert Anolik at Dr. Fredric Brandt’s New York office for an anti-aging laser treatment called Clear + Brilliant that’s supposed to help improve tone and texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines and pores with minimal downtime. It can also be used on the neck, chest, back and hands.

Since the laser removes the skin’s top layer, allowing a fresher, healthier one to form, most people apply numbing cream 20 minutes before the procedure. However, the idea of topically freezing my face freaked me out way more than lasering it off (even though it’s perfectly safe) so I skipped that step. Plus, “vanity knows no pain” is one of my rules for life.

The entire treatment took 10 minutes and felt like constant hot pin pricks as Dr. Anolik predicated. The sensation was uncomfortable but not painful. Afterward I looked like Brenda Walsh when she fell asleep in the sun at The Beverly Hills Beach Club and my face was on fire. But the redness and stinging subsided within an hour.

It’s been only one week and so far the only downside is that my skin is a bit flaky and dry. Otherwise, it looks smoother and brighter, although it’s not as blindingly radiant as I’d had hoped. Dr. Anolik said I can come back in a month for another treatment and the results will be even more noticeable.

FYI: Costs can range from $300 to $500 depending on area treated and how many times you have it done at your derm’s office. Go to for more info.