Laser Focus with Illuminate Aesthetics

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill

Registered Nurse Chris Gardner gets as excited as a kid in a candy shop when he starts talking about the Cutera Laser he has master control over at Illuminate Aesthetics Co – Carlie Wacker gets the red-carpet treatment at the Sunshine Coast’s favourite cosmetic aesthetics clinic.

Chris and Steph Gardner are couple goals – you will not meet a pair more perfectly matched in knowledge and passion for their work (and family) plus they are aesthetically pleasing on the eye. 

Illuminate Aesthetics is their home away from home where they treat clients like family and faces like works of art. 

Steph refers to Chris as the ‘laser guru’ so I spent some time with the guru chatting all things Laser Genesis and trying the coveted celebrity-event-ready facial. 

When I start asking questions about the machine Chris lights up like laser energy that makes me think he might know more about this machine than the creators of the technology. So intense is his interest and proficiency in the Cutera machine that I feel completely comfortable and safe – this man knows his stuff and he refers to it as the coolest toy ever. 

“As an ICU Nurse I was attracted to the aspects of an issue that required technical problem-solving skills,” he said. “It was what drove me and what has attracted me to the Cutera machine.

“With 35 indications for use, it’s a really cool toy – well not a toy; a very complex, problem-solving maching.

“While it is predominantly a vascular laser, there are so many applications that can be tailored to a client’s individual concerns. Higher energy treatment on this machine will effectively target and reduce the appearance of spider veins anywhere on the body and telangiectasias – the small, widened blood vessels or veins on your face.” 

Chris said that Cutera Laser can also be used to reduce and remove pigment. 

“The lower energy treatment is called Laser Genesis and will diffuse redness, reduces fine lines, improve skin quality, and remove scars and acne scars,” he said. “There are hundreds of protocols written into the machine so in terms of safety it’s the most up-to-date. 

“People ask if I do hair removal with the machine and you can do that but it’s like taking a Ferrari to do your weekly grocery shopping.” 

Chris really loves this technology, so I got my goggles on to get on with the job of getting a red-carpet facial  – tough gig but was happy to do it! 

After cleansing the skin, Chris marked my face with grids. Laser Genesis is a non-ablative lower energy laser which pulses 8-10 pulses per second in gridded sections on your face to heat up or target the oxyhemoglobin within your skin.  

Essentially it warms the blood to a skin surface temp of about 42 – 44 degrees. 

It felt warm but not uncomfortable – a bit like warm water flicking on your face. The temp is held at that point to target the collagen – it triggers neocollagenesis, which is the formation of fresh collagen. 

As we get older the skin produces less collagen which results in thinner, drier skin and wrinkles so any treatment that encourages the body to regenerate collagen is a winner. 

It took less than 30 minutes, I fell asleep during the treatment and felt like I was lying on the beach, a few margaritas down with the sun kissing my face and not a worry in the world. 

There were a few moments where the laser picked up a hair or two and zapped me gently back into reality but I wasn’t mad. If the side effect is a few less hormonal hairs around my chinny chin chin then it’s even better than I thought. 

Following the treatment your face has a pink glow but feels immediately fresher and plumper. The bonus is that there is no downtime – you can go back to work, put makeup on afterwards but you do need to avoid the sun for a bit. 

Every client gets a layer of Illume SPF with zinc protection before exiting the gorgeous building in Warana. Yes, this dynamic duo also have their own skincare range. 

Genesis is the go-to laser treatment – the gateway into the world of laser and Chris said it was suitable for a variety of ages and conditions. 

“Young people can have it for acne or large pores, older people can have it to improve skin quality,” he said. “Treatments should be spaced three to four weeks apart which is the period of the neocollagenesis cycle – hence the name Laser Genesis.” 

Illuminate Aesthetics offer memberships and Genesis Addict packages – you will become hooked! 

It’s ideal for those that want less invasive, needle-free face refreshment but also a brilliant addition to other cosmetic aesthetic treatments. 

What’s next at Illuminates Aesthetics Co – a state of the art muscle and body sculpting machine is coming soon. 

Stay tuned!


– Fine lines and wrinkles 

– Sun damage 

– Scars 

– Acne scars 

– Pore size 

– Redness 


Summer 2022: Beauty from Within at Illuminate Aesthetics

Spring 2022: Illuminate Aesthetics: Bringing the Wow to Warana

About the Author /

[email protected]

Carlie Wacker has worked in the media entertainment industry for over 20 years. From television to stage and radio she has been lucky enough to work her way around the whole country. Over the last 10 years she has styled and choreographed innovative fashion parades and talent shows and brings her love for fashion and entertainment as our Fashion Editor. She is also an MC, voice-over artist and radio announcer.

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