How Long Will Laser Skin Resurfacing Results Last?

Written by Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on March 8, 2019 13 Comments

laser skin resurfacing

Years of sun exposure, repetitive contraction of facial muscles, and the gradual loss of skin elasticity result in the development of wrinkles, age spots, and dullness of the skin. Unhealthy actions like smoking or sunbathing further speed up the aging and damaging of the skin. Laser skin resurfacing is an effective, non-surgical way to reverse the aggregated years of damage your skin may have faced.

Laser resurfacing (sometimes referred to as a laser peel) uses highly concentrated microscopic beams of laser energy to remove precise amounts of skin in a controlled, targeted fashion.  There are different types of laser resurfacing options with varying degrees of strength. Fraxel and CO2 lasers are popular procedures.

The results of laser skin resurfacing can be dramatic. The treatment essentially vaporizes the skin surrounding wrinkles and scars, minimizing their visibility. It also removes the old, dull top layers of skin and initiates the production of new collagen and elastin, improving skin quality, texture, and firmness.

Depending on the type and strength of laser used, the procedure may be somewhat painful and require about a week or so to recover. How long do the results typically last? On average, patients can expect laser skin resurfacing results to last anywhere from 3-5 years from having the procedure done.

It’s possible for patients to extend their results beyond five years. Here are 6 tips for post-treatment to enhance the results of laser skin resurfacing.

Sun Protection

By far the most important thing to do following a laser skin resurfacing treatment is to protect your skin from sun exposure. UV rays are the leading cause of aging and skin damage. After your treatment (if you weren’t already doing so before) get in the habit of using a broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen (even on cloudy days), avoiding the outdoors during peak UV hours, and utilizing hats, umbrellas, and UV-proof apparel. Proper sun exposure avoidance can extend your laser results for up to 2 years.

Antioxidant Supplements

Adding vitamin and mineral supplements to your diet can have an impact on your skin’s health and appearance. Whether you are striving to eliminate acne, reduce eczema flare-ups, or reverse the signs of aging, adding certain vitamins and minerals to your daily regimen may help. Antioxidants are one of the best supplements to take in order to extend the results of laser skin resurfacing. A boost in the skin’s antioxidant levels can help to preserve it from the damaging and age-accelerating effects of free radicals.


Drinking plenty of water is the best way to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Staying properly hydrated ensures that potential skin damaging toxins are properly flushed from the body while simultaneously ensuring that the skin maintains proper blood circulation. Focus on increasing your long-term intake of water. Drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses over the course of a day (more if you undertake physical activities).  Other organs in the body aside from the skin will also benefit from the proper hydration.

Clean + Moisturize + Exfoliate

Maintaining a sound daily skin care regimen is a great way to rejuvenate and restore the skin. Two of the biggest pillars of any routine should be cleansing (to remove built up dirt and debris) and moisturizing (to lock hydration into the skin). Regularly exfoliating can also help your skin appear more vibrant as older appearing skin is removed to expose a fresh new layer.  Other beneficial ingredients to add in to your regimen may include retinols, vitamin C, antioxidants, and growth factors.

Healthy Diet

The food you eat can help (or harm) the appearance of your skin. Vitamin A and vitamin C are both important to skin health as they protect the skin from free radicals while supporting collagen development (a key aspect of keeping aging at bay). Try to enhance your diet by eating plenty of foods that are high in both vitamins, such as broccoli, oranges, and green leafy vegetables.


Regularly exercising has been shown to stimulate the production of human growth hormone (HGH), which in turn results in more collagen production. You can read more about the benefits of collagen to skin appearance in this previous post. The best way to boost HGH is to focus on resistance or endurance training. This includes weight training and long bouts of cardiovascular exercise like running or biking.

Stress is a common and sometimes unavoidable part of life. Unfortunately, stress has the power to wreak havoc on the skin. This is due to the release of cortisol while we stress. Cortisol is a natural hormone that helps the body deal with stress. However, cortisol also accelerates the aging process of the skin, rapidly enhancing common unwanted aging signs like lines and wrinkles, age spots, and skin dullness.

Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD

Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD is a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon specializing in the practice of both cosmetic and medical dermatology. Dr. Geddes-Bruce is fellowship-trained in cosmetic dermatology and laser surgery. She served as Chief Resident at one of the nation’s top dermatology programs – The University of Texas at Houston and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

13 Responses to “How Long Will Laser Skin Resurfacing Results Last?”

  1. Avatar Theresa says:

    Hi, I am a 62 years old Asian woman. I have acne scars on all over my cheek. Would a laser resurfacing treatment work on Asians ethnic and if it does, would it help minimizing the vision of my acne scars? Thank you for your time and any advice you will give me.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Theresa, thanks for reading our post and submitting you great question! Laser resurfacing is a good option to treat acne scars. There are numerous different lasers dedicated to treating different skin characteristics, including darker skin tones. Additionally, other laser based treatments like IPL could be a good option. Your best bet is to come in for a free consultation. We’ll analyze your specific needs and help you find the best treatment plan!

      We hope that helps, thanks for reading!

      — WD Staff

  2. Avatar Blaine says:

    Just a heads up: most individuals with minor skin disorders may not be good candidates for laser skin resurfacing. Better consult a medical practitioner prior to taking the therapy.

  3. Avatar Franklin says:

    I had no idea that you could use a laser to get rid of the skin around wrinkles and scars so that they go away.

  4. Avatar Adam says:

    If you take good care of your skin the results can last for awhile. I’m 9 weeks out from a Fraxel treatment and still looking much improved!

  5. Pre care ad post care are very important when going for skin resurfacing treatment. Thank you for sharing the detailed post on the topic.

  6. Avatar Grayce says:

    I had a laser peel 7 years ago and am 67 years old. Would my skin look overdone if I choose to do it again? I have light skin with some fine lines and some light brown discoloration is returning. But, I dont want this to look strange.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Grayce,

      Thanks for reading our post! As always, we would recommend you see a skilled laser provider for an in-person consultation. Its the only way to determine candidacy and/or develop a treatment plan. With that said, it sounds like you would be a great candidate for another peel. The 7 years since your last laser treatment is enough time to prevent any overdone results. Especially if you see a skilled laser provider, so definitely make sure to check credentials.

      We hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  7. Avatar Ahmad says:

    I have midcheek grooves and tear trough plz give me advice which laser treatment is best for asian skin type and gives more than 5 years of long lasting results ???? My age is 27

  8. Avatar Geri says:

    Hello! I am 34 years old with fine wrinkles and 2 years ago I underwent a non-ablative laser once. Van i do it again? Are there any specific recommendations for how long these procedures can be performed, because I do not find such information on the Internet? thanks!

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Geri,

      Great question. You may qualify for an additional treatment. This information can be hard to find because candidacy is on a case-by-case basis (depending on characteristics of your skin). Your best be would be to see a provide for an in-person consultation. They will assess your skin and let you know your options.

      I hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  9. Avatar PAULA says:

    I am almost 79 and been a sun person all my life. The left side of my face is not looking good and i am wanting to do something that is non surgical and something I would, at least, notice some change and a procedure that would not leave scars or discoloration. Am I beyond hope? Appreciate any help, thank you.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Paula,

      We are sorry to hear about this. However, it does sound like you may be a good candidate for laser resurfacing! There are lasers like Fraxel which can address more severe aging symptoms without those traits you list.

      You will, however, need to see an experienced provider for an in-person assessment to make sure you are a good candidate. This assessment will ensure that a non-surgical option will indeed be able to achieve the results you are looking for.

      If you are in Texas, please contact us to set up an appointment!

      We hope that helps,
      WD Staff

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