By: Nicole Angione APRN, Couture Med Spa Ocoee

Have you ever noticed dark, discolored patches on your face that seemed to appear out of nowhere?  This is called melasma, a common skin condition in adults that presents as irregular patches of hyperpigmentation (brownish-grey spots). This change in pigmentation is most prevalent on the face and can leave clients looking older than they really are. Melasma typically appears in women and in clients with darker skin complexions.

The most common trigger for melasma is ultraviolet light from sun exposure in areas of the face such as the cheeks, bridge of the nose, above the upper lip, or forehead. Melasma may also develop as a result of hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy,  birth control,  or hormonal therapies. An increase of estrogen can cause an increase in melanin which changes the pigment in the skin. 

Here at Couture Med Spa, we want to help make one thing clear — your skin! We offer a variety of services that can help decrease and eliminate melasma on the face including our fractional laser as well as our medical-grade skincare products and  esthetician-administered chemical peels and facials. 

How Do Fractional Lasers Target Melasma?  
Couture Med Spa uses a non-ablative skin resurfacing laser called fractional laser  that uses photothermolysis to target melasma. Pulses from the laser are delivered down into the epidermis and dermis layers of the skin to remove pigment through heated columns and resurface the skin. Topical numbing cream is applied prior to the laser treatment to provide a more comfortable treatment experience. After fractional laser treatments, you’ll want to use Couture Med Spa’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum on your face to replenish the skin’s moisture. It will also smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while speeding up the skin’s inflammation response to the fractional treatment. 

See how our proven laser technology can help reverse the visible effects of melasma naturally, helping you look as young as you feel.
Esthetician Services to Reduce Melasma
Lindsey, our resident esthetician at Couture Med Spa Ocoee, is a true magician when it comes to meeting your skincare needs. The Fire and Ice facial has fruit enzymes that assist in reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by melasma, making it an ideal facial for clients with this condition. The removal of dead skin aids with the resurfacing and retexturizing of the skin which is great to use in addition to the fractional laser treatments. 

Medical Grade Products to Treat Melasma
Couture Med Spa offers clients customized treatment plans including specialized prescription products from our providers such as Hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a depigmenting agent that can lighten dark patches on the skin. Hydroquinone along with fractional laser treatments and facials will enhance melasma treatments by decreasing the melanocytes on the skin. The medication usually takes a few weeks on average to take effect and sometimes up to a few months to see full results. 

Preventing Melasma 
Along with utilizing our Couture Med Spa’s services, there are some things that clients can do at home to prevent melasma from worsening. 

Avoiding triggers such as heat, and stress can also decrease your risk of developing melasma because heat can make melasma worse. 

Don’t hide behind brown spots anymore, be happy with your skin because you deserve to love the skin you’re in! A consultation with one of Couture Med Spas providers can further assess melasma and treatment recommendations. Click here to contact our team!


Fifty Shades of Brown Spots

By: Nicole Angione APRN, Ocoee

Read More

Let’s Talk About Peels

By Tiffany M. Darnold, MMS, PA-C, Oviedo

Read More

Transform your anti-aging regimen with a fractional laser

By Sara Katan APRN, Ocoee

Read More

Overwhelmed by Lasers and Needles? Try a Retinol Product

By Sara Katan APRN, Ocoee

Read More

By Sara Katan APRN, Couture Med Spa Ocoee

Retinol can be an intimidating product if you are a newbie to skincare. I know it was for me when I started taking my skincare routine seriously!

Don’t worry! As a retinol-user and licensed professional at a med spa, I am here to tell you everything you need to know about one of the most important products for any regimen that is going to focus on anti-aging. 

What is retinol?

Retinol is essentially a code name for Vitamin A, which is a vitamin found in foods and dietary supplements. You can find retinol in many anti-aging and complexion-clearing products.

In the serum or cream form, retinol is known to smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well as lighten dark spots. Overall, retinol promotes skin-cell turnover making it great to find aging and sometimes even acne. 

If retinol is so amazing, why doesn’t everyone use it? 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about retinol. I’m going to break down the three most common ones below: 

  • Retinol causes too much skin irritation and dryness: Some of us with sensitive skin may experience some irritation while using high-quality retinol. However, a good moisturizer can alleviate any irritation. Couture Med Spa’s new Concentrated Retinol Serum comes infused with bakuchiol, a plant-derived version of Vitamin A which helps in calming the skin. It also has green tea polyphenols which help neutralize sensitive skin. 
  • Retinol is way too expensive: Although retinol can be expensive, most products that are highly-concentrated serums are extremely potent and only require a small amount at a time. These same products are most effective. Therefore, a product worth using will last you a long time. Plus, at Couture Med Spa, we offer discounts on our skincare products for both our Black Diamond and Platinum membership packages.  
  • Retinol does not produce results: Retinol requires a minimum of 90-day consistent use to see changes. Whether you are doing daily use or several times a week, consistency is key. I recommend my clients take a photo of themselves before starting any new skincare product. Sometimes it’s hard to see the effectiveness of a product because we see ourselves every day. 

What is the Difference between Retinoid and Retinol?

A retinoid is a pure form of retinoic acid, it is much stronger, and requires a prescription. It is directly absorbed into the skin and can help fight acne along with its anti-aging properties. In this form, it may be difficult for many people’s skin to tolerate. However, it produces results sooner, sometimes within several weeks. 

Retinol is a less concentrated form of a retinoid. It is found in many over the counter skin-care products and it is generally well-tolerated by most skin types. If a retinoid causes too many side-effects, then retinol may be a better option. Results are slower, but only take a couple of months. 

What Are Some Tips for Using Retinol?

There are certain steps and precautions you can take to help your retinol product be successful. Try to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Test the product first to see how your skin reacts.
  • Begin using the product a couple of nights a week.
  • Build up to daily use as your skin can tolerate.
  • It’s best used when applied at nighttime before bed.
  • If you have excessive dryness, use it in combination with a good moisturizing product. 

You should also not be afraid to ask your spa professional or esthetician any questions about using your new retinol product. That’s what we are here for!

What Should I Expect When First Taking Retinol?

When you first start using the product, your skin may feel dry or irritated. Some people experience peeling, redness, or itching. 

You can reduce these side effects with a slow start of the product. Remember you can build up to daily use once your skin adjusts.

Are Retinols Safe with the Laser Treatments?

Both retinol and lasers can temporarily irritate the skin and retinol can cause some light sensitivity. Therefore, you should avoid using the product on your laser-treated area several days before and after your laser treatment. You can continue using the product when enough time has elapsed after your laser treatment. 

Overall, retinol doesn’t have to be such a scary word! In fact, it may become the not-so-secret weapon in your skincare routine.