Health & Beauty

My Acne Journey: Here’s How Aviclear Transformed My Skin

December 20, 2023

Treating acne can feel like you’re navigating a maze without a map. As someone who’s battled stubborn acne since I was a teenager and tried countless remedies, from pimple patches to antibiotics over years, finding a solution and regimen to keep my skin clear was always a challenge.

My before (left) and after (right) results after three sessions of AviClear, each four weeks apart.

This year I discovered AviClear by Cutera, the first and only FDA cleared laser device to treat mild, moderate and severe acne. AviClear was cleared by FDA and Health Canada just last year, the technology is still new but it’s been making waves for its promise to clear acne in three 30-minute sessions. I gave AviClear a try first so you don’t have to, so keep reading to learn about my experience and results. —Farah Khan

The Laser

Acne is commonly caused when pores get clogged by oil production or dead skin cells, according to American Academy of Dermatology Association. What’s unique about AviClear is that it is meant to target oil glands that lead to acne. 

“AviClear uses the power of light to target acne at its source, the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands,” Kaye Starlight, aesthetician and educator at Starlight MedSpa in the Greater Toronto Area. “The laser’s 1726 nm wavelength selectively targets the sebaceous glands and suppresses sebum production,” Kaye Starlight, Aesthetician and Educator at Starlight MedSpa.”

AviClear has been clinically proven safe and effective for all skin types and tones. It is also suitable for both adolescents and adults.

My Experience/What To Expect

After exploring different options and researching AviClear, I decided to take the leap of faith. I entered Starlight MedSpa with hope and cautious optimism. I read reviews about horrible skin purges so of course I was nervous. My aesthetician was very kind, she explained the entire process every step of the way which calmed my nerves.

Before every AviClear session my aesthetician cleansed my skin and wiped it down with acetone (yes, acetone, it was not fun at all) to ensure no oils remain on the skin. Before starting the laser, my face was covered with wet gauze and throughout the entire session, with each pass of the laser, my aesthetician applied water to the area. This was to have a barrier to protect the skin from overheating. The water dripping down my face and neck was annoying but 

Having done other treatments on my skin before such as laser hair removal and microneedling, this by far was the most painful and uncomfortable. I held a stress ball the entire time in every session. Strangely enough, the cold tip on the laser handpiece, intended to ensure comfort and shield the skin from overheating, felt oddly uncomfortable rather than soothing during the treatment. 

“AviClear is equipped with exclusive AviCool sapphire contact cooling and sensory controls that maintain the skin’s temperature during treatment for a more comfortable experience,” says Kaye. The laser itself felt like a hot rubber band snapping against my skin followed by a cold sensation immediately afterwards. 

Personally, the forehead and nose were the two most painful areas to treat so I saved those areas for last and built my tolerance in every session. Though it was painful, it was doable an itt transformed my skin in three months, the results are as promised. 

Post-treatment, my skin showed mild redness, which was way less than I anticipated considering the pain I felt. In fact, my skin appeared plump and had a glow like I had just gotten a facial. I didn’t notice a huge difference after my first AviClear laser session, but I saw an enormous difference after my second and third one. My skin hadn’t been this clear and smooth in months. 

“After treatment, breakouts can be shorter and less intense with results continuing to improve with time, indicating durability of results and long-term efficacy,” Kaye says. My acne started to noticeably diminish and by the end of the three months, I had fewer breakouts and a smoother complexion. 

Is AviClear Worth It?

It’s been two months since my final treatment session, my skin is the most clear it has been in several months. I’m getting less breakouts, only a pimple or two around my cycle. According to an AviClear study, 92 per cent of patients treated with AviClear saw at least half of their acne cleared by 12 months after the final treatment session. I’m optimistic my skin will continue to get better over the months given the great results now but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Personal Tips for Those Who Want To Try AviClear

  1. My aesthetician recommended I take a Tylenol an hour before each session and I would highly recommend this. I found it to be a painful treatment especially in certain areas. The first time I didn’t take a Tylenol and had a headache after the first session. My other two sessions, I took a Tylenol and had no issues post-treatment.
  2. The treatment is expensive. The price can depend on your area and clinic, but you can expect roughly $4000 for all three sessions. I would recommend speaking to your provider about the prices and payment options.

Post-AviClear Skincare Routine


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