Melasma Clear & Brilliant Laser Treatment

The Clear & Brilliant laser is a mini-Fraxel laser. It is classified as a fractional laser, meaning gentle treatments with super fast healing times. Though we do employ this laser for pigmentation, it is classified as a third line laser for melasma as pico lasers such as Picosure Pro are far more effective than fractional lasers for the treatment of melasma.


1-2 days


30+ days

Treatment Time

20 minutes


SPF + pigment correctors

Treatment science score

The Science of Clear & Brilliant Laser for Melasma

  • Clear & Brilliant is a fractional laser
  • It is best used to treat non-melasma pigmentation such as sun damage & age spots
  • Fractional lasers are third choice laser for melasma as they generate too much heat
  • Heating of the skin can lead to rebound & worsening of pigmentation
  • Picosecond lasers have largely replaced fractional lasers for melasma treatment
  • Pico lasers have no recovery, unlike fractional laser which take up to 7 days

The Clear + Brilliant is an excellent fractional laser to treat non-melasma pigmentation. It addresses sun damage, age spots & improves the luminosity of skin, providing a radiant glow. A series of 5 sessions is required for optimal outcomes.

What results can I expect from a Clear & Brilliant laser for melasma?

Though marketed as a melasma treatment, this laser produces disappointing results in comparison to new pico lasers. Clear & Brilliant can give moderate results in some patients after a series of 5 sessions, spaced 3-6 weeks apart.

We use Clear & Brilliant to treat non-melasma pigmentation. In this context, results are much better.

How does it work?

Fractional laser can treat melasma via three mechanisms-

  • Exfoliation of the skin: this is the main mode of action as fractional lasers provide a transit of pigment. This improves the appearance of dull skin & melasma.
  • Increased absorption of skin care actives: by breaching the skin’s surface, it allows for more efficient passage of vitamin C, retinol & other pigment correctors.
  • Repair of sun damaged skin: aids in skin rejuvenation with a reduction of sun induced pigment.

How many sessions are required?

Results can be seen after just one session, however a series of 5 laser sessions, spaced 3-6 weeks apart will give the best outcomes. As a guide-
We can improve melasma in 40% of melasma patients with Clear & Brilliant laser/

What is the recovery following Clear & Brilliant laser?

Recovery takes 1-3 days, depending on the settings. Expect mild redness following treatment, with peeling over 72 hours.

Deeper treatment with Clear & Brilliant takes up to 8 days for skin to fully recover. This setting is infrequently used to treat melasma pigment.

What types of pigmentation respond best to Clear & Brilliant?

Non-melasma pigment responds best to fractional lasers including Clear & Brilliant, Fraxel & LaseMD Ultra.

Non-melasma pigment refers to sun spots, sun damage, age spots, freckles & liver spots.

How does Clear & Brilliant compare with Fraxel laser?

Clear & Brilliant is a mini-Fraxel. It is about 20% the power of the big brother. Fraxel laser is used to treat non-melasma pigmentation including sun damage, age spots, freckles & liver spots.

In summary, Fraxel laser:

  • Great for non-melasma skin rejuvenation & pigmentation treatment
  • Recovery of 4-6 days
  • Requires 3-4 sessions for best results

What is the best laser for melasma?

Picosecond lasers employ ultrashort pulses of light to safely shatter unwanted pigment without heating the skin. This is the fundamental difference between picosecond technology & lasers such as Fraxel & Clear + Brilliant. The best laser for melasma is the Picosure Pro.

With precise settings, Picosure can clear up melasma pigmentation within a few short weeks. Results are seen as early as one week after treatment. The chances of post laser skin darkening is much less using pico lasers (about 3%) as compared with fractional lasers (up to 40%).

What are other effective lasers for melasma?

In order of merit, more effective lasers include-

  • Picosure Pro: the one we use most often, gives results in over 85% of cases.
  • Picoway: second best
  • CuRas laser: excellent laser for melasma
  • C6, RevLite: time tested lasers but slower results
  • LaseMD Ultra: like a Clear & Brilliant laser, only better
  • Vascular lasers: for redness associated with melasma

What are the side effects of fractional lasers?

In the context of melasma there are two big side effects when employing higher power fractional lasers-

  • Melasma rebound after stopping lasers.
  • Worsening of melasma due to too much heating of the skin with a laser. This is why we use picosecond lasers as heat generation is negligible.

Can this laser be used on all skin types?

Yes, but it is not the best laser for darker skin as the risks of skin darkening is high. Picosecond lasers are infinitely better & safer than fractional lasers when treating skin of color.

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How does C+B laser compare to Cosmelan peels or Dermamelan peels?

These peels are effective in about 50-60% of melasma cases, however downtime exceeds one week. Cosmelan is more effective than Clear & Brilliant laser but less effective than picosecond lasers with more side effects & recovery. We do employ these peels for interstate & overseas patients who require only one session.

The Melasma Clinic difference

Our specialist clinic can effectively treat pigmentation in all skin types, employing bespoke treatment protocols that consist of skin care actives, picosecond lasers, clinical peels & in some cases prescriptive medication. With 20 years of dermatology behind us, we can manage all forms of pigmentation, from melasma, through to post inflammatory pigment.

Dr Davin Lim

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If I can identify the cause of pigmentation, chances are I can treat it. This can only be achieved with careful real time examination…

More of our mostFrequently asked questions

What about microneedling vs Clear + Brilliant for melasma?

Will lasers be effective for all cases of melasma?

What types of fractional lasers do we use?

A SummaryMelasma treatments with Clear & Brilliant

Dr Davin Lim | Dermatologist
The Melasma Clinic, Brisbane | Sydney

Clear & Brilliant, is, as the name suggests, a brilliant laser for maintenance of results from other treatments like peels, & other deeper lasers. It is essentially a mini-Fraxel laser.
In the context of treating melasma, it ranks as a mediocre laser at best, as pico lasers, in particular Picosure Pro, give far better results with no downtime & less costs. Not to mention the added safety of picosecond laser technology.
Where this laser excels (though less than fractional CO2 lasers) is with laser assisted drug delivery using the 1927 Permea wavelength. SkinCeuticals has demonstrated the finesse of novel delivery of CE Ferulic acid using non-ablative 1927 wavelengths.

Sure, topical drug delivery is attractive for a condition like melasma, however the feasibility of long term use (costs to the patient) is the rate limiting factor.

The biggest traction you will receive is to understand sunscreens & photoprotection. Melasma is the only condition that is activated by radiation from UVB through to UVA, , HEV blue, longer wavelength visible light & even IR or infrared heat. You can spend thousands on pico lasers, skin care, Cosmelan or Dermamelan peels & you will achieve very little traction if radiation protection is not adequate.