Moxi Laser for Melasma: My Experience

I’ve had melasma on my forehead and cheekbones for at least 8 years now. I’ve tried topicals and treatments, but never this type of laser. The Moxi is a fractionated 1927 nm laser from Sciton. This laser causes controlled, microscopic damage to the skin, which in turn, encourages collagen production as well as pigment removal.

I will do a series of 3 Moxi laser treatments, in combination with prescribed topical skincare with 2 main goals: lighten my melasma and post blemish marks.

I’m detailing my first Moxi laser experience in this post, taking you day by day as I heal.
I had this treatment done at Coachlight Clinic & Spa in West Des Moines, IA.
I paid full price for products and the service. This post contains product affiliate links.

What does Moxi laser treat?

The Moxi laser has been shown to improve the following skin pigmentation and textural concerns:

  • Sun damage
  • Age spots
  • Fine lines
  • Melasma
  • Loss of firmness
  • Dull, rough texture

How long does Moxi take?

30 minutes or less. I had both my face and neck treated so face only would be more like 20 minutes.

How much downtime is there?

Expect redness and rough, sandpaper-like texture for 3-4 days. You may experience swelling on day 2. Full healing can be expected around the 1 week mark.

How much does Moxi cost?

I’ve seen prices range from $500–$750 per session.

With a product package deal, I ended up paying $675 per session.

The clinic I had it done was running a special of free neck treatment with face, which I believe is about a $400 value.

Pre Laser Skincare

Prior to my first of 3 Moxi laser treatments, my esthetician Megan recommended the following topical skincare regimen. The goal is to inhibit the meloncytes’ ability to produce pigment, so that when treated with a laser (heat), they don’t go into overdrive. After the treatment, I will remain on the regimen to prevent the pigment from having a boomerang effect.


  • ZO Pigment Control Creme, 4% hydroquinone
  • Mineral SPF


  • ZO Pigment Control Creme, 4% hydroquinone
  • ZO Pigment Control + Brightening Creme, 4% hydroquinone
  • 0.05% Tretinoin (I already had this from Apostrophe)

While on this skincare routine, my face did get to feeling pretty tight, itchy and dry as a bone. My esthetician warned me of this very thing, so I wasn’t alarmed. Once I pushed past the super dry phase, my skin was actually better than it has been in a long time. I just kept using my richest moisturizers, oils and hydration mists.

This regimen is stopped 4-5 days prior to treatment and resumed about 1 week after. Hydroquinone is an ingredient that you have to cycle on and off anyways to retain it’s effectiveness.


Upon arriving at Coachlight Clinic & Spa, I applied topical numbing cream and waited about 20 minutes. It wasn’t communicated to me to come earlier to do so, but normally, you’d numb 40-60 minutes! My reduced numbing time, combined with the fact that I had just started my period, had me fearing for the absolute worst pain-wise.

Waiting for the numbing cream to take effect

Does Moxi Laser hurt?

I expected the laser to feel like a hot, burning sensation, and instead, it felt more like facial hair removal. The best way I could describe it is that it felt like you someone was using one of these on me. I was pleasantly surprised as it was far less bothersome than I had imagined.

I may be a freak of nature, but at one point, I even felt like it was ticklish and wanted to laugh.
Megan said that is not common, so don’t get your hopes up!

Once the laser session was complete, a burning sensation began, but it was not unbearable by any means. Megan said to expect a burning sensation for about 2 hours and she was right on. I finished the Moxi laser treatment at 1:00 PM and like clockwork, by 3:00 PM no burning at all.

90 minutes after Moxi session

Here’s what helped me power through those 2 hours:

  • Spring water spray like THIS or THIS
  • Personal fan like THIS
  • 2 ibuprofen as soon as I got home
  • A treat. Ice cream, a coffee drink, or my choice, caramel corn

I found a chemical peel to be more painful than the Moxi laser and on a pain scale of 1-10, I rate it a 3, maybe even a 2.


The morning after Moxi

Ya girl is looking burnt to a crisp, but it’s nothing I didn’t expect.
My skin is feeling tight and dry and the texture feels like a fine grit sandpaper.

The MENDS (microscopic epidermal necrotic debris) are out in full force and we love to see it.
I had some slight swelling when I woke up, but nothing alarming and it seemed to subside.

I was definitely very RED the day after.


2 days after Moxi

The redness has dialed way down but the crispy crunchy texture is still very much a thing and I have a ton of MEND speckles. My forehead, where I have the darkest melasma, is the most concentrated area of spots.

2 days after treatment, aka day 3

Makeup would be pointless as every square inch of my face and neck is still the gritty sandpaper texture.


The worst day for me

Today is the day I began to feel impatient. I had 5 makeup appointments and then a birthday dinner, so I couldn’t avoid the public. Despite taking an antiviral to prevent it, I did end up getting a cold sore today too. Ugh.

Between the MENDS and the cold sore, to be honest, I felt pretty ugly. I’m here to tell you; day 4, this is the day you must push through.

When I got home from dinner, I wiped my eyebrow with a cotton pad with micellar water on it. I noticed the MENDs came off on it. The shedding is ON now.


Finally, some hope!

The fog has lifted! The tides have turned! I’m starting to see some major clearing now.
There are now blank areas without MENDS and they are shiny and glowing.

Today is a new day. I felt totally confident waltzing into Target.


Day 6: No sandpaper, no speckles, just glow.

My mom, a straight shooter who wouldn’t hesitate to tell me if my skin looked no different, said my makeup-free face looked beautiful and smooth. Taking that as a major win.

Today is the best day so far and I hope to be on top of the world tomorrow at the 1 week point.

1 week after Moxi

My skin has fully healed, minus a few specks of redness on my nose and forehead. I didn’t wear makeup today, but definitely could have. I had a few moments of itchiness, but overall, I feel that I have reached the end of the Moxi road, round 1.

3 weeks after Moxi

3 weeks after my treatment and I continue to see improvement.
To see my forehead so clear of brown patches is wild, y’all.

Moxi Results

I have seen significant change in my skin after committing to the ZO skincare regimen and just one Moxi laser session. My skin had marked discoloration and has never responded to any treatment as dramatically as this one.

Left: Before beginning ZO skincare regimen
Right: After ZO skincare regimen, 1 Moxi laser treatment

The proof is in the data. Prior to my first Moxi laser treatment, I had a VISIA skin analysis which determined my skin’s “true age” as 41. I am 38.

Left: VISIA skin analysis before ZO regimen and Moxi
Right: VISA analysis after ZO regimen, 1 Moxi session

As you can see, I was able to shave 8 years off my VISIA TruSkin Age. After 2 more Moxi sessions, I’m crossing my fingers I can get to age 30!

The scores below will show improvement in specific areas. The higher the percentage, the better, like a grade.

Serious improvements can be seen in all but one area, texture, surprisingly.

To go from basically an F in spots to a B+ is incredible to me. To see UV spots go from a D to a B is reassuring. Brown spots were an F and now an encouraging C.

Left: after being on ZO skincare regimen for 3 weeks, Right: after 1 Moxi laser treatment

Would I do another Moxi?

I will be doing 2 more sessions as part of the plan. If I hadn’t already planned to do so, I would be now.

The lightening of melasma and overall condition of my skin after one Moxi session encourages me to do more. I imagine after 2 more sessions, my melasma will be as light as it can be and my skin will hopefully look better than it has in years.

Moxi Laser Survival Kit


  1. Melissa Busby

    04/03/2023 at 10:34 AM

    Update please! Have you had 2nd one yet? I never knew there was anything out there that could do this!! I wish insurance would pay for it like they do acne treatments!!!

    1. Ivy Boyd

      04/09/2023 at 7:07 PM

      Hi Melissa! I’ve now had 3 Moxi laser treatments. I had to cycle off the prescription-strength ZO hydroquinone products (you have to take breaks.) As soon as I did that, the melasma DID return, but definitely not as bad as before. That being said, my forehead and around my eyes still looks smoother so I do not regret the lasers for the collagen building, if nothing else. I went back to my esthetician when the melasma returned, as naturally, I was disappointed. We decided that I will wait the minimum time you can be off hydroquinone before restarting and resume. It was really suppressing the pigment, which became obvious as soon as I was off it! I hope that helps!

      1. Anita Leal

        05/30/2023 at 8:41 AM

        Hii! Thank you so much for sharing your experience! I’ve scheduled a Moxi treatment in the next two weeks, but I’m still very hesitant about it because many other lasers and false promises have burned me. Did your melasma come back with full force, or do you think Moxi is just something you must do every year to keep it at bay?

        1. Ivy Boyd

          05/30/2023 at 8:07 PM

          My melasma hasn’t come back full force, but it’s no longer completely gone either. What seems to keep the pigmentation suppressed is the topical ZO Skin hydroquinone regimen. It’s expensive but effective. I do see myself getting at least 1 treatment a year, if I can afford it! Thank you for reading and commenting.

        2. Julie

          11/15/2023 at 2:36 AM

          Hi Ivy, thank you so much for such a detailed review of your experience with Moxi and Melasma – so useful to read all this! I am 38F, following a similar HQ regimen as you and also doing the Visia skin analysis regularly to see my progress and it’s been incredible to see the sun damage reversed! I’m just about to start with lasers. You mentioned your melasma returned, I’m curious about the sun spots & other pigmentation- did that also return or did the laser & HQ remove that permanently for you?

  2. Karen

    10/11/2023 at 12:11 PM

    Do you feel like this weakened your skins resistance to new sun damage and melasma? My first one was hugely impactful in terms of improving my hyperpigmentation, but lasers still scare me because for so long melasma and most lasers were a big no no, generally.

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