How to Make Your Skin Dreams Come True with Clear & Brilliant

Enlighten MD Med Spa How to Make Your Skin Dreams Come True with Clear & Brilliant YouGlowGal You Glow Gal Esthetician Sarah Payne Hiatus Spa Dallas Skincare Blog Beauty Blogger

Back in October, I shared the nitty-gritty of my hormonal acne story with you guys, the emotional rollercoaster, and the path to clearing my skin naturally. Not long after, I felt I had gained enough control to begin addressing acne scarring. But I wasn’t interested in serums and topical treatments, I wanted to knock this ish out QUICK. Clear & Brilliant was at the forefront of my radar.

Throughout my years with acne, my scarring was never terrible, mostly dark marks I healed quick enough with brightening serums. However, once I started working on balancing hormones and healing my gut things went haywire. Breakouts were intense, sometimes I would get carried away with extracting ( even pros need the help of another pro! )… I mean I love extracting a juicy cyst, it’s one of life’s most satisfying experiences.

For the first time, I had texture issues. Or enough for me to actually take notice and be bothered by it. Mission obsess-over-acne-scar-solutions was 100% underway. While I had uneven texture, I also had quite a bit of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation ( brown/black marks caused by overproduction of melanin ) AND post-inflammatory erythema ( red marks caused by inflammation ).

Add another reason why SPF is so important: when you’re acne prone, keeping breakouts covered can help lessen post-inflammatory marks, aka acne scars.

From my understanding, I had two options for correcting my uneven complexion: Microneedling or Clear & Brilliant. Since I work in a day spa, I’m not well versed in med spa treatments. So what does an esthetician do when she needs advice? She reaches out to her best esthi bud who performs said treatments every day, my boo Jordana Mattioli. I trust Jordana completely, she’s knowledgeable af.

After sending Jordana a few shots of my skin, no contest, Clear & Brilliant was my ideal treatment option, honesty, and what I expected. Even with my concerns, Clear & Brilliant is the most gentle option in its class, so I decided to go for it.

Cue my friends at Enlighten MD. My relationship with Enlighten MD was purely organic. Saying Dallas is oversaturated with options is an understatement. We have a lot of talent in our city, but sifting through the options? It’s overwhelming.

When you notice amazing work, you ask, you take note, and you save that name for later. I first learned of Enlighten through friends who received fantastic treatments. Results were natural, the refreshed-but-I-can’t-put-a-finger-on-what-you’ve-done. You know, the kind of results you want. No one wants to have a tight, shiny cat face… it’s not cute. Well, maybe some people do… but uh, ladies, looking like an aged Joan Rivers at 34 isn’t what I suggest going for.

Clients were regularly asking about advanced treatments and I lacked the answers, let alone a med spa to refer them to. On a whim, I decided to reach out to Kari, the fab owner of Enlighten. She invited me into her spa to become acquainted with Enlighten, learn what they’re all about and the types of services offered. After our meeting, I confidently sent my clients her way.

Months later I inquired about Clear & Brilliant for myself, they agreed it would be the ideal option for my skin. I was offered a series of treatments in exchange for sharing my experience on social media. I loved the experience so much I decided to write an entire blog post about it! Check out the results, you guys. 

All photos were shot in natural light, no editing, and almost all are kinda blurry, sorry. For my first treatment, the laser was used at a lower setting because I voiced concerns about being sensitive and nervousness surrounding lasers. You can expect to feel sunburned for 24 hours or so, downtime is super minimal. Your texture will be rough for a few days, but by day 4 or 5 you’re smooth and glowing!



Due to holidays and starting a DHT Blocker based on the approval of my dermatologist, I pushed back my second treatment. Knowing I wouldn’t be 100% with my diet, and starting a supplement that could potentially trigger purging, I decided it was in my skin’s best interest. Good call on my part, December was the month I figured out gluten is my nemesis. Instead of receiving my second treatment 8 weeks later, it ended up being 12 weeks.

Within 6-8 weeks after my first treatment, I noticed pitted scarring was filling in, showing where collagen had successfully formed. Keep this in mind: your skin will look nice initially, but the real magic happens weeks later, once collagen has begun forming. Patience is key.

So, was laser treatment necessary for correcting my acne scarring? Could I have corrected my scars without fancy treatments? Sure, but it probably would have taken a year or longer. I didn’t want to wait that long.

I wanted my skin and self-confidence back. Even though Clear & Brilliant is for correcting skin, working with Enlighten MD healed me from the inside out, too.

Acne is a bitch, guys. We let it take so much from us, having an opportunity to regain what was lost is beyond words. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work with the ladies at Enlighten, they helped return part of my identity. You might call it vain, but there’s so much emotion behind this experience.

Sometimes we forget what we do for people as estheticians, giving people back pieces of themselves. You forget clients are seeing you for more than just skin. Having the role flipped was a beautiful reminder of that.

Would I do it again? I have to tell you, I’m apprehensive towards lasers, but I’ll save that opinion for another time. I’m a human guinea pig when it comes to beauty, and I’ll try nearly anything within reason. That said, I absolutely LOVED my results, I’m beyond happy!

If I needed major correction again, I can’t say I would turn down Clear & Brilliant. Unless there was a new, better option on the market. For prevention maintenance? I’d probably go the route of microneedling for maintenance if my key concern is collagen production.

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About Sarah Nicole

Sarah is a Denver based expert esthetician, known for returning abused sensitive skin back to a glowing state without harsh products while boosting her client's skin confidence and self-worth. Sarah has been featured in Allure, New Beauty, Greatist, NBC News, and D Magazine among others. You can follow her on Instagram @sarahnpayne.

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