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Reviewed by Gail
I was asked to review the PaloVia Skin Renewing Laser ($499) at the end of December and am happy to report my results. My face experienced slight redness for a day or two where the PaloVia laser left its mark after each zap, but I’m feeling as if this side effect is worth the definite reduction in lines around my eyes. My complexion is fairly average with some stubborn, but not too deep lines on my forehead as well as around my eyes. I am 44 years of age and overall have what most would consider good skin. I have had the Palomar laser procedure done in-office twice with minimal results, so I was very interested to compare the presumably less powerful at-home PaloVia laser to the fairly expensive in-office professional Palomar laser procedure.
As for what I expected from the PaloVia, I really wasn’t that hopeful since the in-office procedures didn’t yield much of a reduction of lines. However, what I did get from the PaloVia was a reduction of lines around my eyes. The PaloVia is only approved for use around the eyes but I experimented a bit and used it on the forehead lines as well since these are more bothersome to me personally.
The PaloVia is simple to use and only takes a couple of minutes at night in addition to your normal skincare routine. The instructions are well written and include pictures that demonstrate how and where to use the tool. The instructions recommend using it on your arm first to get a sense of how it will feel on your face. If you haven’t ever had a laser on your face, I think this is a good recommendation as it might otherwise startle you a bit. The in-office laser felt more like a rubber band being snapped on your skin. The PaloVia has three settings (low, medium, and high), and I think it feels more like a quick needle prick or an electrical zap on your skin. I can see why Marta said it left her feeling zapped though. The option of three settings leads one to think the strength of the zap will be different for each one. But as far as I could tell the only difference between settings was the number of zaps. The high setting has seven zaps, medium has five, and low has three for each time you place the laser on a spot on your line (wrinkle) and press the activation button. Each eye will take six zaps per the directions since you want to laser the entire line. There is a gel that will need to be applied prior to use. The laser has a blue light around the top that will illuminate when you have made correct contact, and laser will only work when it lights up. The first couple of times I used the laser I found this to be frustrating since I was making contact on the line but the light wouldn’t stay illuminated after you pressed the activation button and the laser would stop and be considered a misfire - otherwise, a wasted zap! You do get 25 zaps per every eight hours. After a couple of times, placement and getting the light to stay blue wasn’t as much of an issue.
The pain was completely tolerable to me and after a couple of nights you just get used to it and know it will be done in a minute or two. The instructions say to use the laser every night for 30 days and then twice a week thereafter. I had to skip a couple of nights because the areas that I was using the laser on were still too red upon waking and I don’t own any makeup so didn’t have a way to cover up the redness. After about 15 days of using the laser, I was given a sample of a post-procedure calming lotion, which helped quite a bit with the redness and I highly recommend using. I did go off-indication and use on my forehead as I mentioned earlier. Above my right eye I have my deepest expression line, which I want to be rid of without having to get Botox. It is slowly but surely becoming less and less deep. My forehead stayed red in the layered area for at least 48 hours post laser. I should also mention that your skin may feel a bit like sandpaper after a few days. This, too, goes away after time.
I am continuing to use the laser and hope to continue to see results. Bottom line is that I would recommend PaloVia to those wanting to really reduce the lines around their eyes. I don’t think the PaloVia will be for everyone due to the zapping feeling but if you can get past that it does provide positive results.