The Clear + Brilliant 30-Day Challenge Begins!

I'm all for getting younger-looking skin. So when someone challenges me to get just that, there is no way I can turn it down. It's like asking me not to wear brow powder. It's just not going to happen.

My two favorite professional skin gurus, Madeleine Homes and Dr. Noelle Sherber asked me to take part in a laser event that is currently going on at La Papillon Spa, I jumped at the chance. I know, I was just lasering my eyes a month ago, but this is a different type of laser. (Stop worrying, Mom. No one is playing Star Wars on my face.)

Clear + Brilliant is a laser that targets improving skin from many angles. Brighter and more radiant skin is a given. Your skin is also dramatically softer and more even in tone, and pore sizes are reduced. Needless to say, I'm excited. I've also been told by those I trust that difficult clusters of sun damage have been known to break up as a result of this treatment. There is essentially no down time and the treatment takes about one hour in total. The actual laser treatment takes about 20-30 minutes.

Here is how the Clear + Brilliant Challenge at La Papillon Spa works. Each treatment can be done 10-14 days apart. The goal is to undergo a series of 2-3 treatments in the 30-day period to get dramatically improved skin. I'll be undergoing the procedure twice. 

Since I know you'll want to know, here is a short blurb from the company on how their laser works to repair your skin:

Clear + Brilliant is a gentle laser that refreshes your skin from the inside out. The laser energy creates millions of microscopic treatment zones in your skin, replacing damaged skin with healthy, younger looking tissue. 

More importantly, does it hurt? First things first, let me tell you what you should expect when you go for the treatment. You'll need to arrive about 20 minutes before your scheduled time in order to fill out paperwork, cleanse and get numb. Then you'll be prepped for the treatment with a thorough cleansing and application of a numbing cream. Then you wait for the cream to take effect.

Shortly after, you'll be called in to visit with Dr. Sherber, who will assess your skin and answer any questions you may have. The excess numbing cream is then removed and the treatment begins. 

The laser itself looks different from lasers I've used in the past that require you to create a stamping pattern on the skin. This laser rolls on the skin, instead of creating a flat, singular area. This allows for the treatment to be more even and less dependent on the doctor placing the laser in the exact place to ensure even treatment. A new laser tip is used each time to ensure you get the best possible result.

Dr. Sherber will then treat your entire face with the rolling Clear + Brilliant laser, going over the surface of your face twice, concentrating on areas that may need more attention. So what does it feel like, already?!'s not that bad. The numbing cream takes care of most of the discomfort you would otherwise experience. If you have ever used a dermal roller, it feels like that, with a little bit of static electricity. During the first pass over your face, it's barely uncomfortable at all. While your face is being treated, the skin starts to feel very warm, as if you are experiencing a serious sunburn (like all laser treatments). During the second pass over the skin, the sensation of the static-charged dermal roller increases and becomes slightly more uncomfortable. The feeling of having sun burnt skin was the worst part for me.

(Me moments after. There is some redness under my eyes and my skin is pinker than usual.
But it's not anywhere nearly as red as my last laser treatment.)

Immediately after my first treatment, my skin felt very warm. Scratch that. It felt really, really hot. Yet oddly, it looked pretty normal, minus a tiny bit of redness. The next morning, my skin showed barely any swollen tissue, in fact, if anything, I looked pretty amazing. There was a teensy bit of swelling that gave my skin a youthful look and my fine lines were gone.

While you are in the healing cycle of the 30-Day Challenge, your skin will take three to seven days to go back to normal. At first, your skin may feel slightly rough to the touch, like shark skin. Question - Do sharks have skin? (Yup. - Loxy) They certainly don't have a coat or scales, do they?. (Nope. And sort of. - Loxy) What do you call the outside of a shark? (Technically, you're talking about the dermal denticles, the layer of roughly-textured scales over the shark's skin. But they're really more like micro-teeth than micro-scales. In a sense, sharks' entire bodies are covered in zillions of microscopic teeth. I think I'll stop there so you don't have more nightmares. - Loxy) Is there a worse way to word that question? (You did fine. Now go back to shooting yourself in the face with a laser. Pardon me, I meant having yourself shot in the face with a commercial laser by professionals. - Loxy)

ANYWAY, after a few days, your skin will start to feel incredibly soft and begin to look noticeably more radiant.

(Me the following day. No need for downtime!)

While the Clear + Brilliant website suggests you need to undergo 4-6 of these treatments, I'm told you will see results after only a few treatments, and many people see a result after one treatment. Of course, the more treatments the better the outcome, but you have to be realistic about the state of your wallet. Three treatments is optimal for fantastic results.

I'll be sure to update you as my skin heals and I go back for another treatment in two weeks. In the meantime, if you want improve the tone, texture and clarity of your skin and live in the Baltimore/DC area, visit La Papillon for more details, pricing or to book your appointment. And if you are in the market for a super-smart dermatologist who truly has your best interests at heart, visit Dr. Sherber at her practice.

I paid for part of this treatment. The cost was reduced for consideration in this blogamajig.

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  1. is there an update?

  2. Thanks! I'm told this can bring up a lot of surface clogging bits on some people and I am starting to go through that phase a bit, but my skin is already starting to glow from behind my foundation. I wish Picts could capture what I am seeing!!

    Sent from my flattest computer.

  3. Your skin looks great so far!!

  4. Could you provide an update now that it has been close to a year since your Clear + Brilliant treatment? Would you say it is worth it? Any negative long-term effects?

    1. Hi Everyone!! My skin continued to look great! There are no negative effects and if you search for my IPL experience and then look at current photos, my skin looks younger and brighter. You'll need more than one treatment to make a big difference.

  5. Hi, I just had my first C&B yesterday. Was super expensive here in the UK. £350!! Gulp!!!
    Anyway I had the numbing cream if course and apparently on the highest setting for the machine. I felt hardly any discomfort at all. Afterwards my face was hot hot hot! Not so bad that I got scared. Just something to expect. That's all.
    My face stopped burning after about 3 hours. I was not in any pain at all.
    The next day(today) my skin is feeling rough like sand paper. Although it looks fine. I've not had to start covering with foundation or anything.
    I just need to find a clinic in London that doesn't charge the WILD price that I paid.
    Can anyone help?


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