Halo Laser

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Marin, San Francisco, Sonoma and Napa

“I think your whole life shows in your face, and you should be proud of it”

-Lauren Bacall

We love Lauren, but even she might have been tempted to help nature a little with a laser treatment.

Our face is how we express ourselves to the world. Our emotions are written all over it.

The other thing that can be written all over our faces are lines and wrinkles, age spots, enlarged pores, acne scars, and discoloration. This can happen from sun exposure, aging, alcohol, smoking, and genetics. Over time, our facial elasticity will decrease, acne scars do not diminish, and spotting on the skin can occur, making you look older than you feel.


Since our faces see more sun and are exposed to more elements than any other part of body, it’s important to take extra precautions with the delicate facial skin. That’s why there are specialty creams, serums, and lotions designed specifically for the face. Even if you have used all of these, and attempted to avoid sun exposure, you may still have lines and wrinkles, discoloration, acne scars, and age spots. One way to regain your youthful appearance, and to feel the age you feel on the inside, is to look at our new laser technology: the Halo Laser treatment. PSS is always looking for the most innovative technology for our patients, and we’ve found it in the new Halo laser. Dr. Poulos, Dr. Douglas and Dr. Hvistendahl are excited to offer this new technology to their patients. Our laser specialist can customize the laser treatment to produce truly astounding results for your skin.

While most facial rejuvenation procedures have significant downtime, which can be a real problem with your busy lifestyle, Halo Laser skin rejuvenation allows you to get back to your life quickly, and not sit around and watch your skin peel.

HALO LASER IS the first and only hybrid fractional laser

The Halo Laser has two different wavelengths, technically two different laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative. It’s called a hybrid laser because of its ability to deliver two perfectly targeted laser treatments in one pass. The key innovation here is that both wavelengths are used in one or two passes over the face, with treatment delivered to both the epidermis and dermis, simultaneously. The patient gets the benefit of deeper dermis (the inner layer of the skin) remodeling and collagen stimulation, at the same time the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) is treated for sun damage and fine lines.

Our highly trained nurses and doctors will choose from many different levels of treatment depending on your goals. The Halo Laser uses Dynamic Thermal Optimization, which carefully modulates the level of energy delivered to produce an effective and even result.


The Halo laser is effective on a number of key issues in the war on skin aging:

It treats:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Discoloration on the face, neck, chest and even hands
  • Pock marks, scars, and chicken pox marks
  • Age spots
  • Enlarged pores

Before and After Photos

Halo Laser Wavelengths

These are the two Halo wavelengths used in the laser, concomitantly.

Ablative Wavelength

The ablative wavelength is an effective and powerful way to use laser technology. This strong wavelength removes the outer layers of the skin. Once the outer layers are removed, the body must begin to heal itself by producing collagen and tightening and rejuvenating the facial skin. While this wavelength is successful in achieving the desired results, its downtime can be significant: one to two weeks. For this reason, the protocol also incorporates the non-ablative wavelength.

Non-Ablative Wavelength

The non-ablative wavelength is far less powerful than the ablative wavelength. Instead of removing the outer layers, like the ablative laser does, it heats up the skin to help resurface the skin. While non-ablative wavelengths usually have little to no downtime, the results are far less dramatic, and generally require several visits.

The PSS combination (hybrid) of the two laser wavelengths through the Halo Laser procedure, gives you the benefits of the deep penetrating laser treatment, with the comfort of knowing your downtime is reduced to that of non-ablative wavelengths.

Center of Excellence

  • Over 50,000 procedures performed
  • Over 75 years of combined experience

Our experienced team of surgeons combine an aesthetic perspective, the ability to listen closely to your needs, and the skills to achieve those desires. This combination of talent is a hallmark of a world-class plastic surgery clinic, located in Marin County, CA.

Meet Dr. HvistendahlMeet Dr. DouglasMeet Dr. Poulos

Black Diamond

Alternatives to Halo Laser


Botox Injection (botulinum toxin) immobilizes the muscles in the face, creating a smoother appearance to wrinkled skin. It is used as a preventive measure to reduce wrinkles, but it doesn’t remodel skin substructure.

Botox cannot help with discoloration, age spots, and scars. It is a great tool for preventing wrinkles once your skin has been treated with the laser, since it prevents the excessive facial movements that can cause forehead wrinkles, wrinkles around the eyes, and the neck.

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is a non-surgical procedure that is used to regenerate the skin of the face. The procedure uses a chemical that exfoliates the skin, which makes the epidermis layer of the skin peel off. This procedure works on the outer layer of the skin, but it does not significantly effect the dermal layer.

CO2 Laser Treatment

CO2 laser treatment uses an ablative wavelength to treat the dermis and epidermis. This treats the dermal layer of the skin by using both a pulsating light and a continual light to treat the deep layers of the skin. It will help with scars, enlarged pores, and resurfacing. This is an ablative laser, and the downtime can be up to three weeks. The Halo Laser is the preferred treatment for many patients because of significantly reduced downtime.

Erbium Laser Treatment

Erbium laser treatment is a non-surgical procedure that uses an ablative laser; however, this procedure burns less tissue than the ablative CO2 treatment and therefore has less dramatic results but a shorter downtime. In comparison to the Halo Laser, Erbium can have a longer downtime of one to two weeks, and Halo Laser, with its shorter downtime, can produce more dramatic results.

Pulsed Dye Laser

Pulsed Dye laser uses a non-ablative wavelength. It works for fine lines around the eyes, spider veins, rosacea, and other surface skin issues. This laser does not help to rebuild collagen, like the Halo Laser does. The Halo Laser not only rebuilds collagen as it treats surface skin issues, with the added benefit of downtime similar to Pulsed Dye laser, but with much more significant results.

Nd: Yag Laser

Nd: Yag laser uses a non-ablative wavelength. It is usually used for tattoo and hair removal. While it can be used to treat some surface skin issues, it does not have a high success rate.

Venus Viva

Venus Viva uses NanoFractional Radio Frequency which sends energy from the epidermal layer to the dermal layer of the skin. The radio frequency is delivered through a hand held device that helps to rebuild collagen. This thirty-minute treatment yields great results after one treatment. It is recommended to continue treatments on a regular basis (typically four times a year) to keep the skin rejuvenated and glowing.

Ready to Learn More?

5Steps to
Facial Rejuvenation

Keeping your face youthful and beautiful goes beyond visiting us for a treatment. You’ve already started the learning process. Now, take the next step by checking out our e-learning guide that breaks down the science of aging and the ways you can combat it.

Check Out the Guide

Ready to Learn More?

5Steps to Facial

Check Out the Guide

What To Expect During the Consultation

One of our expert doctors will explain the procedure in detail to you, encourage questions and concerns, and address them during the consultation. We will explain what can be accomplished with the Halo Laser, what you should expect the day of, and the days after the procedure. We want all of our patients to feel comfortable with each step of the procedure.

While you may visit PSS with the expectation of trying a Halo laser treatment, your Halo specialist will discuss with you goals and expectations to ensure it is right for you. We’ll examine the facial skin for elasticity, muscle strength, lines and wrinkles, and examine scars and discoloration on the face. There may be an alternative procedure better suited to achieve your desired results.

For best results, we encourage patients to bring in a few pictures of themselves from a few years ago. Through these pictures we can help determine the best course of action for your results. We will also show you before and after pictures of other patients to give you a better understanding of the results that you might achieve.

Our specialist will also go over your medical history and medications to ensure you are in good health. If it is determined the Halo Laser is the right procedure for you, we will prescribe an anti-viral medication to take before, and continue taking after the procedure. This will help decrease the chance of infection.


The Halo Laser procedure itself takes about ninety minutes, depending on the areas to be treated. Patients are sent home beforehand with numbing cream to apply before the procedure, or patients may arrive 45 minutes early to have the cream applied in the office. Once the skin is numb, one of our aesthetic nurses uses the laser to heat and remove the outer layers of the skin. Each treatment is personalized based on your facial skin and individual needs. Immediately after, we apply Aquaphor, a recovery ointment, to soothe the skin.



Your doctor will detail a specific recovery schedule for you. This hybrid laser treatment should result in minimal downtime, but some people may have dry, flaky, and red skin. This is the outer layer of skin being shed. You will want to avoid scratching or touching the skin. Ice packs will help to bring down any swelling. You will want to clean the face regularly with gentle soap and water. Then you can apply ointments to help protect the skin. You will also want to avoid cosmetics for 24 hours after treatment, and avoid the sun until the skin is fully healed.

The actual recovery time of the Halo Laser will vary from person to person, but is generally similar to the non-ablative laser treatments. That’s the benefit specific to the Halo Laser. You will return to the Marin County Plastic Surgery Specialists’ office within the first week. At this time, Dr. we will examine the area and give any further instructions. We encourage patients to contact us at any time during recovery.


The cost of a Halo Laser can vary based on your specific needs. Your consultation will provide costs for each procedure.

How to Find Us

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