What is a CoolPeel treatment?
CoolPeel is a laser skin resurfacing treatment that uses the SmartXide Tetra CO2 laser, manufactured by Deka. This fractional ablative treatment can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, large pore size, uneven skin tone, rough skin texture, age spots, and other signs of sun damage without causing thermal damage to the surrounding tissue, allowing for faster recovery than with most ablative treatments.
Because the CoolPeel’s heat doesn’t go as deep as a traditional CO2 laser, which is often considered the gold standard in dermatology for treating wrinkles, it's not powerful enough to treat pronounced signs of aging, like deep wrinkles, in a single treatment session.
That being said, CoolPeel provides many of the benefits of a traditional CO2 laser treatment, with minimal downtime.
In addition to treating the full face, this form of skin resurfacing is often used to target fine lines and wrinkles on the hands, neck, and chest, too.
What are the pros and cons of CoolPeel treatment?
- A CoolPeel skin rejuvenation treatment is quick: it takes about 15 minutes or less.
- It's more comfortable (with a topical numbing cream) than typical CO2 resurfacing treatments.
- It also involves far less recovery time: just two days of redness vs. the 1-2 weeks you'd need after a traditional ablative CO2 laser treatment.
- Ablative lasers are among the most powerful for addressing signs of aging and can deliver dramatic improvements in skin, so you should see a significant difference within 7 to 10 days. Laser skin resurfacing results also improve over time, as new collagen forms.
- The laser power can easily be adjusted, depending on your skin type and concerns.
- You can expect sunburn-like redness and dry, scaly skin for a day or two after treatment.
- It’s important to see a provider who has extensive experience working with lasers. The SmartXide Tetra CO2 laser allows providers to choose and adjust the precise power, density, and pulse duration of the laser, which makes it versatile but may allow for more user error than machines with fewer options do.
- All laser treatments may trigger an outbreak of cold sores. If that’s a concern for you, ask your provider for a prescription for antiviral medication in advance.
- Because it’s an ablative laser, there is some risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for people with Fitzpatrick skin types IV-VI (light brown to deeply pigmented skin tones). Talk with your provider about whether you're a good candidate.
How does CoolPeel work?
Like other ablative lasers, the CoolPeel renews skin by quickly heating water molecules in the skin’s deeper layers, which triggers the body’s natural healing response and stimulates collagen production.
Unlike most ablative lasers, which remove the superficial layer of skin tissue and usually entail a week or two of downtime, the CoolPeel laser delivers high energy in a super-short pulse that creates controlled injury to the dermis with less lingering heat in the surrounding skin, which is where it gets its name. This means less flaking, peeling, and swelling afterward.
The SmartXide Tetra CO2 laser gives CoolPeel providers the ability to tailor the laser power and pulse size to the patient's age and skin concerns. Customizable pulse size also means that they can treat smaller areas, such as around the eyes.
In addition to extremely short pulse times that prevent thermal damage to skin, the laser also has a unique “spray” pattern that shortens the overall treatment time. It takes just 5 to 15 minutes to complete a full treatment on the face, while other ablative laser treatments can take up to two hours, depending on the size of the treatment area.
Some providers recommend combining a laser peel with radiofrequency microneedling treatments, like Vivace, to maximize the boost of new collagen formation and create new, healthy cells.
RealSelf Tip: There’s also a chemical peel that goes by the name Cool Peel. The Environ Cool Peel chemical peel provides skin rejuvenation via in-office application of an acid solution, which triggers exfoliation to reveal healthier skin. This lactic acid–based facial peel removes a build-up of dead skin cells to treat lines, dullness, rough skin, acne blemishes, and rosacea. When booking your appointment, be sure to clarify which type of Cool Peel treatment your provider is offering.
What can you expect after a CoolPeel treatment?
While you'll be able to resume your normal daily activities immediately after a CoolPeel laser treatment, your skin may look inflamed, dry, and flaky for a few days.
Keep your skin-care routine simple throughout the recovery process—think a gentle cleanser and hydrating moisturizer. Ask your provider what they'd recommend.
With your healing and sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid direct sun exposure and wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30.
Is CoolPeel safe?
The CoolPeel treatment is considered safe, though like most ablative laser skin resurfacing treatments, it does come with a risk of hyperpigmentation (or hypopigmentation), particularly for people with olive or brown skin tones. Your doctor can outline the risks and help you come up with the right plan to address them.
Seek out an experienced, board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for this treatment. In the hands of an unskilled or inexperienced technician, any powerful laser can pose risks.