Clear + Brilliant at Ruff Plastic Surgery DC: Perfect Treatment to Refresh My Skin

Dr. Michael Somenek Clear Brilliant DC

I found someone awesome and safe to improve my face … no small feat! 

My 40th birthday is looming and I want to look better.

I do not want major surgery but I have been hankering for ways to improve my skin and face. I am aging and looking tired. I have sun damage and eye hollows and dark circles and acne and scars and big pores. I keep on getting facials and using good products, but what I also find is myself using more and more makeup, more special brushes and products to spackle and cover.

Up until recently, I used to rub on some tinted moisturizer and go and feel cute. Now I feel like I need to load up with face paint for yoga class.

What can I do to look better?

I see the signs for injectables and fillers and lasers and I have no idea what I need, or where is a safe place to go! Nowadays one can get Botox from her dentist, a little marionette line filling in from the place you usually get your bikini wax, a chemical peel at the strip mall nail salon.

But it is so risky! If you choose poorly, you can be walking around looking funky for weeks.

This is when being a blogger is pretty fabulous. Dr. Michael Somenek, a board-certified and leading facial plastic surgeon in the DC area sent me an e-mail, offering me a review treatment.

Dr. Somenek performs some of the most gorgeous facial surgery procedures in our area, from rhinoplasty that keeps the integrity and personality of the patient’s face, to facial implants, facelifts, eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) and more. He is known throughout the area for providing the most natural-looking Botox and dermal fillers.

I would totally trust him with my bones, so I happily offered up my epidermis.

Dr. Somenek is interested in letting us know about facial treatments for parents like you and me: Good looking, hardworking people in our thirties, forties and fifties who just need a little boost … but do not know what to do or where to go.

My skin: Before

I want to look prettier. Younger. Healthier. Nothing dramatic, just my best self.

As you can see from the first photo of my skin above, even through a bunch of makeup the discolorations, the lines, the acne, the puffiness are obvious. In this before pic I am not wrinkled, but my skin does not look youthful or smooth. I look 40.


The sun damage, loss of youthful tone, adult acne and pore size of my mug made me the ideal candidate, according to Dr. Somenek, for the non-surgical Clear+Brilliant non-ablative laser treatment.

Clear+Brilliant is a simple, gentle laser treatment that can turn back the clock on your skin’s signs of aging and erase some of the overall dulling of your skin. Clear+Brilliant will give you much faster and complete results than a series of facials.

No downtime! 

The best part of the Clear+Brilliant is how effective it is and how easily it can fit in your daily life. I spent just one hour in Dr. Somenek’s office, 20 minutes receiving the treatment and 0 minutes discomfort. It does not hurt at all, your face receives numbing cream beforehand. I only spent 1-2 days looking a little red, basically looking as if I had forgotten my sunscreen after a day at the beach.

clear brilliant doctor dc

Results: So good I am willing to post those unflattering pictures taken during the treatment

(But then you also can see how handsome is Dr. Somenek. He is so kind and personable, too.)

After just one treatment my skin is smoother, more taut, the pores look a whole lot smaller and my skin coloration is much more even. I have no more chin or forehead acne.

I look like myself a few years ago.

You can see the progression of my skin in the unfiltered photos at the top of the post. In the second one, one day after treatment, I look a little sunkissed but my skin looks so much better. By Day 4, pictured above, I had no redness at all but dramatically improved skin.

In the following days my skin continued to improve. Invisible to the eye but interesting to the touch, my skin felt finely grainy for a few days as my skin worked to heal itself and grow new baby skin.

I opted not to wear makeup as my skin healed except for meetings and events, since I work from home. But the Clear+Brilliant treatment allows you to wear makeup, if you wish, just hours after receiving!

This is totally different than Fraxel and ablative laser treatments that keep you indoors and out of sight for days.

How does it work? 

Apparently, the Clear+Brilliant non-ablative lasers “create millions of microscopic treatment zones in the upper layers of the skin, replacing damaged skin with healthy, younger looking tissue.” (via the Clear+Brilliant official website.)

How soon will you look hotter?

The results of treatment are both immediate and progressive. A few days after the treatment, the skin will start to feel softer, look brighter and show more even tone. Results can last for months depending on age, skin condition and how the patient protects the skin.

Safe for all skin shades and people of color? 

Clear and brilliant is great for all skin types and tones. In contrast to other more invasive lasers, it does not put the skin at risk for most pigmentation issues.

How many treatments do you need?

“I typically recommend about 2-3 treatments spaced about 4-6 weeks apart to get the maximal result. That being said, most will see results after one treatment and gauge repeat treatments based on their skin tone,” said Dr. Somenek.

I will probably spring for one more treatment in a month. By the way, Dr. Somenek uses the Clear+Brilliant treatments himself.

How much does it cost? 

The price is $550 per treatment. Ruff Plastic Surgery offers a “Buy 3, get 1 free” without a time limit.

Compared to the skin changes I have personally received simply from products, facials and microdermabrasion, I believe this is a great price for the results it achieves.

I highly recommend a consultation with Dr. Somenek to determine the best treatments for your personal goals.

My opinion: The best 40th birthday present ever 

I have much smoother, younger looking skin. I have almost no discolorations and no acne. My pores around my nose and upper cheeks are as small as I can remember seeing them. My forehead lines are less pronounced.

I no longer wear foundation or facial makeup.

The last picture of me up top? I am wearing eyebrow pencil, mascara, a little eyeliner and a lip/cheek duo. I did my makeup in two minutes and I look better than I have in years.



Ruff Plastic Surgery
Dr. Michael Somenek
2440 M St NW #200
Washington, DC, 20037

I received my Clear+Brilliant treatment from review. No additional compensation received. All opinions are mine. 


  1. Nice! I have been wondering if this is something I should do. Sigh to the troll who can’t read. The good doctor emailed you because he knows how good you are. You look fabulous, Jess!!!!

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