Laser Toning

Laser Toning is an effective way to treat melasma & other forms of pigmentation. We use the very latest laser technology to precisely deliver light to the deeper layers of skin, reducing pigmentation production in addition to stimulating the production of collagen.


0 days


30 days

Treatment Time

10 minutes


SPF + pigment correctors

Treatment science score

The Science of Laser Toning

  • Laser Toning is an effective way of reducing unwanted pigmentation
  • Toning also increases collagen production to rejuvenate aging skin
  • This laser treats fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes & enlarged pores
  • Treatments are gentle with no recovery time
  • Our toning lasers include the Hollywood Spectra, Pastelle, CuRAS & Pastelle
  • Picosecond lasers have largely replaced Laser Toning

Laser Toning can be effective for melasma, blemishes & skin aging. It is a gentle, no downtime method of improving skin texture & tone, reducing fine lines, wrinkles & enlarged pores.

What results can I expect from Laser Toning for melasma?

Laser Toning is a time-tested treatment for melasma & other forms of pigmentation. This laser increases collagen production & hence is a useful tool for improving skin texture & tone.

This laser is effective for most forms of melasma; however it does take multiple sessions over a long period of time to obtain best results. Laser toning, in addition to medical therapy, can improve 75% of melasma cases.

How many sessions are required?

A series of 5 laser sessions, spaced 2-3 weeks apart will give the best outcomes. As a guide pico lasers give results 3 times faster, regardless laser toning is still a useful laser for slowly improving pigment, blemishes & skin concerns.

How many sessions are required?

A series of 5 laser sessions, spaced 2-3 weeks apart will give the best outcomes. As a guide pico lasers give results 3 times faster, regardless laser toning is still a useful laser for slowly improving pigment, blemishes & skin concerns.

What is the recovery following Laser Toning?

Recovery is instant with no downtime. Redness is minimal during & after the laser. Make up can be worn immediately after treatment, & there are no restrictions following laser therapy.

When will I see the results?

Melasma can respond within 4 weeks of treatment, however maximal results are seen 4-5 months after treatment. Pico lasers give similar results to dermal toning lasers, however results are seen three times faster.

What can Laser or Dermal Toning do for my skin?

  • Improves skin texture & tone
  • Reduces pigmentation & blemishes
  • Helps in Collagen and elastin stimulation
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improvement in pore size
  • Reduced acne, acne scars and post-acne discolouration

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 is the advantage of Laser Toning over Picosure Pro laser?

There are two main advantages of Laser Toning-

  • Less pain compared to pico lasers. As a guide, patients rate pain with Laser Toning as a 0.5 (on a scale of 0-10). In other words, almost ZERO pain. Pico lasers are rated as a 2-3 out of 10 (uncomfortable, but easily manageable).
  • Some lesions respond better to Laser Toning (CALM Birthmarks).

How does it work?

Laser Toning works by-

  • Increasing collagen in the lower layers of skin. This improves fine lines & wrinkles.
  • Reducing pigment production in the upper layers of skin, thus improving melasma, pigment & blemishes.
  • Repair of sun damaged skin: aids in skin rejuvenation with a reduction of sun induced pigment.

What is the difference between Laser Toning & Laser Genesis?

Laser Toning is aimed at treating brown pigmentation, in addition to improving skin tone. Laser Genesis targets red pigmentation, in addition to improving skin texture. In some cases we combine both Laser Toning & Laser Genesis, especially in patients who have rosacea, flushing, blushing & general redness in addition to melasma & skin blemishes.

Much like Laser Toning, Laser Genesis has no recovery time.

What are the side effects of toning lasers?

Side effects are rarely seen, providing treatments are precise. They include-

  • Melasma rebound or worsening (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
  • White spots or hypopigmentation. This is notoriously seen in Asian clinics when treatment intervals are spaced too close & or wrong devices have been used. This type of hypopigmentation is often hard to correct & requires a dermatologist to manage

Can this laser be used on all skin types?

Yes, but it is not the best laser for darker skins. Picosecond lasers are infinitely better & safer than fractional lasers when treating skin of color. We use both Picoway & Picosure Pro at The Melasma Clinic.

How does Laser Toning compare with Fraxel laser?

Fraxel lasers give far better outcomes when it comes to collagen production & improvements of skin tone & texture, however it is not a great treatment for melasma. Fraxel requires less sessions, however has longer recovery compared to Laser Toning.

Treatment type

Number of sessions


Best for

Dermal toning 5 sessions 0 days All skin types, melasma.
Fraxel Laser 3 sessions 3-6 days Lighter skin, non-melasma pigment.
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
Error: Invalid Feed ID.

What skin care is prescribed alongside Laser Toning?

Our dermatologists will customize a skin care program based upon your pigmentation type & skin tone. We use formulations of vitamin C, azelaic acid, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, botanicals lactic & glycolic acids to help amplify your gains from lasers.

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, advancedlasers, 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

645K subscribers


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

Will lasers be effective for all cases of melasma?

How does Laser Toning compare to Cosmelan peels or Dermamelan peels?

How does microneedling compare to Laser Toning for melasma?

What are other effective lasers for melasma?

How effective is Dermal or Laser Toning for acne scars & marks?

A SummaryMelasma treatments with Laser Toning; summary

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

Laser Toning is an oldie but a goodie. We have used this treatment for the past 13 years since its inception in Asia & the United States. Since then, picosecond lasers such as Picosure Pro & Picoway have moved the game on as they require less sessions to get the same, if not better results.

So, which dermal toning laser is the best? We had extensive experience with the following lasers: CuRAS, C6, RevLite, RevLite Si, Spectra, Pastelle, & Hollywood Spectra. To date, the order of merit goes like this; Hollywood Spectra, followed by CuRAS, then C6=Spectra followed by the rest. The Lutronic Hollywood Spectra is the flagship, with a flagship price. IMO it is best because of the beam profile, namely a true flat top beam with no ‘peaks’ & troughs.

The rate of fire is consistent & importantly the dialed energy. This applies to variation between devices (can be up to 15 to 20% with older Q switches). In the context of melasma, it is not the peak power that counts, it is delivery of precise (& reproducible) fluences. Cook it with just 0.1 to 0.2 joule variation, & melasma flare ups are not uncommon.

The debate continues as to combination treatments with picosecond lasers as the mechanism of action of QSL is different, in theory as compared to pico lasers. The former reduces pigment output by reducing pigment production (by the melanocyte) as well as pigment transfer via dendritic arms of the cell.

This entails ‘stunning’ the melanocyte, as compared to blowing up pigment. Hence nano-QSL-dermal-laser toning works by subcellular selective photothermolysis, whilst pico works via selective photothermolysis.

This leads to the logic of combination treatments. As of 2024 we do not have any definitive EM data as to how picosecond lasers affect the melanocyte (apart from rupture of melanosomes). Given the longer remission rates of pico, possibly there is some form of subcellular selection going on.

In some cases we are combining QSL nano with pico, namely reduce pigment transfer & precisely rupture pigment with as little photothermal effects as possible. The downside? Overcooking treatments with worsening of melasma. It also takes twice as long as normal treatment, which adds to the costs.

Here is a hint for anyone considering melasma or pigment treatments. The biggest result you will receive is to understand sun protection. Melasma pigment is made worse with UVB, UVA, HEV & long visible light. Advanced treatments such as pico lasers & peels will give you little gains if your protection is not optimal.