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Lilac bust with black paint on the face representing carbon laser peel

Carbon peels – how to supercharge your facial

Written by
Chloe James

If we know one thing, it’s that there’s a facial out there for everyone. Whether you’re looking to tackle acne, scarring, dark spots, signs of aging, or texture – or whether you just want to spend an hour zoning out while someone massages your face – we can guarantee that there’s a treatment and technique for you.

But what’s even better, is a facial that solves multiple problems. Cue laser peels: your go-to treatment for a long list of skin concerns. They’re powerful and they’re versatile – and when you add carbon into the mix, they’re the ultimate shortcut to an overnight glow. From how they work, to how they transform oily skin, here’s what makes carbon laser peels so special.

Find a clinic or practitioner near you and enjoy a risk-free booking process thanks to free in-clinic consultations and the option to pay in-clinic. Also, you can now split the cost of your treatment into four equal, interest-free instalments using Tabby.

What is a laser peel?

Exactly what it sounds like. A laser peel – also known as laser skin resurfacing – gently removes the top layer of skin to improve concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, scarring, clogged pores, and fine lines and wrinkles, with a laser.

The science is that when this top layer is removed (or ‘peeled’) by the heat of the laser, it reveals the fresher, clearer skin underneath. It also tricks your body into thinking your skin is injured, so it starts to produce more collagen to help it heal and grower stronger and more flexible than before.

Impressive? Very. Laser peels can make a huge transformation to your complexion. But when you incorporate carbon, you start tackling a whole new list of skin concerns. If stubborn shine, blackheads, or congestion are your skin’s current archnemeses, this next part is for you.

What happens when you add carbon?

There’s cleaning, and then there’s deep cleaning. That’s the easiest way to describe the difference between a peel and a carbon peel.

If you’ve ever used a charcoal face mask, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from a carbon laser peel. At the start of your session, a layer of sticky black carbon is applied all over your face. Yes, it looks intense, but trust us when we say it serves a greater purpose.

As it dries, the carbon binds itself to the oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that sit deep within your pores. Then the regular laser peel process begins. But unlike your regular laser peel, it doesn’t just heat up your skin and boost collagen. It also heats up the carbon – and because the carbon has latched itself onto all that gunk, it starts to absorb it from your skin.

Both the carbon and the gunk are fragmented into tiny pieces before being removed for good with a smoke evaporator. This is the greater purpose we were talking about. Not only do you get all the exfoliative and skin strengthening benefits of the standard laser peel, but the deep cleaning element of the carbon helps tackle stubborn acne or uneven skin texture.

More than anything, it’s perfect for those with oily complexions. While we all need some oil in our skin, too much can block your pores and cause congestion or blackheads. This peel’s combination of heat and carbon can help eliminate this build-up, as well as shrinking the glands producing excess oil in the first place. That means the impossible is finally possible, and your post-facial glow stays dewy rather than greasy for longer.

Treatment and benefits

Check out our beginner’s guide to carbon laser peels.

With a first-hand look at a peel in action – here’s everything you need to know before stepping into your own session.

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What can I expect from my peel?

Like most facials, there are a few steps to a carbon laser peel. As we mentioned, the first thing you can expect is a carbon solution applied across your skin. Your practitioner then passes over your face with the laser device, which is set to a low energy setting to heat up the carbon.

This stage should only feel slightly warm. As the practitioner increases the laser’s energy levels, it may start to feel hot, tingly, or prickly. It can also sound and smell strange as the carbon starts to vaporise. However, the good news is that the experience shouldn’t be painful, and it only lasts around 15 minutes.

Once the carbon is removed – and your practitioner has given your skin one final cleanse and moisturise – you’re good to go. Skin may look a little pink for the rest of the day, but beyond that there’s no downtime before you get to enjoy your fresher, tighter, more radiant complexion. That’s why some people call carbon peels ‘Hollywood peels’ – because your skin can look red carpet ready in just 30 minutes.

Is a carbon laser peel right for you?

Acne, hyperpigmentation, dullness, texture, fine lines, or wrinkles – whatever your concern, the answer is yes. The same is true for different skin types, too. While some treatments are off the table when you have sensitive skin, a carbon laser peel isn’t one of them. It’s powerful yet gentle – which is what makes it such a worthy addition to your beauty routine.

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