I’m back today with another skin update and wanted to share with you gals some of the treatments I’ve had done recently at Skin Renewal. As most of you know, I’ve done a couple of Fraxel Dual Laser treatments at the Irene branch, with my main aim to combat and banish the pigmentation/ melasma on my face. After four successful sessions, which drastically reduced the appearance of my pigmentation, Dr Lawn suggested a custom programme featuring a few milder treatments to get my overall skin condition looking its best.
While Fraxel has been amazing, and I will sing it’s praises to anyone who will listen (seriously, if you suffer with melasma/ pigmentation you HAVE to try this treatment), four sessions, on the whole face, do take their toll on the skin.
For me, it was a case of increased sensitivity and inflammation, which I experienced after the third session. While I’d take redness over blotchy pigmentation any day, the fact that redness caused by inflammation could lead to future pigmentation, is a concern that I have to be aware of.
So, when I had my consult with Dr Lawn, he advised on some additional treatments that were less intense than Fraxel. The goal this time, to keep up the good work of the Fraxel Dual laser and all the positive effects it has had on my pigmentation, but also to improve the conditioning of my skin and pretty much get the inflammation down and back to normal.
After giving my skin 3 weeks to recover from my last Fraxel Dual laser, I went to Skin Renewal to try a trio of treatments, recommended by Dr Lawn. The whole session took about an hour and started with Microdermabrasion followed by IPL Photo Genesis and finally Transdermal Mesotheraphy.
All of these were performed by the lovely Deone at Skin Renewal in Irene, who is a brilliant therapist with a wealth of knowledge. She explained each procedure very throughly and told me what to expect and as always, followed up with me after my treatment to make sure everything was all good!
First up: Microdermabrasion. This treatment was not at all uncomfortable! In fact, I’d say it was quite soothing and my skin felt like new afterward.
Microdermabrasion works by lifting dead cells off the skin’s surface. It uses a gentle abrasion and suction method, using a special head, where tiny crystals are polished into the skin, and then brushed off, followed by a thorough cleanse.
It’s basically exfoliation, but more thorough than your at-home exfoliation because the Medical Microdermabrasion device is able to provide a much stronger, yet still safe exfoliation. My skin didn’t feel taught after this treatment, but then again it’s been pretty oily these days. If you have dryer skin, you may feel a bit of tightness in the skin, but nothing too crazy.
The effects of Microdermabrasion stimulate and increase cell turnover, boosting collagen production while increasing blood circulation and clearing clogged pores. Its a great treatment to give your skin a fresh, revitalised apperance, but can also be combined with other treatments to maximise their effects and offer better penetration of active ingredients.
If your skin is looking dull and in need of a quick re-fresh without any downtime, Microdermabrasion will do the trick.
Find out more about Microdermabrasion here
IPL Photo Genesis
Next up on my treatment programme was IPL Photo Genesis which is also known as Photrejuvenation. IPL, which stands for Intense Pulsed Light is a commonly known, widely used laser treatment targeted towards pigmentation, freckles, dark spots as well as redness and broken capillaries and can be used to treat the face, neck, hands or other areas of the body.
Although IPL is also a laser, the experience and feeling of the laser on the skin were completely different to what I had experienced with my Fraxel Dual Laser treatments, in that this one is not abrasive.
While I could feel the Fraxel Dual Laser “mowing” over my skin, the IPL Photo Genesis laser was totally different. It wasn’t painful, it just took a little getting used to. When the laser head goes over your skin, it creates a pulse of light and a slight zapping noise and sensation. It is not painful, more like a quick stinging sensation. Deone first tested it on my arm so that I knew what Id be in for, which took away the anticipation of the shock.
During the entire procedure you’re wearing metal goggles to protect your eyes, so you can’t see the flashes, but what is rather odd is that you can see the light on the inside of your face. I realise that this makes no sense at all – and you’ll only really understand what I’m talking about if you’ve had IPL, but its the only way I can desctibe it. With Fraxel my eyes were also covered, but I couldnt “see” the light.
As the IPL laser head goes over your skin you feel a slight heat sensation, but it doesn’t feel like it is burning, although, speaking of burning, when the laser goes over your face you get the smell of singed hair every now and then. Deone advised me on this ahead of time, so I wasn’t freaked out. But basically the smell of singed hair is common since the laser does “burn off” some of your peach fuzz, but nothing to worry about. My brows and hairline were all still there.
The IPL laser treatment is over really quickly and afterwards some people can feel a little sunburnt, but mine was very minimal. Following the treatment my skin had a very slight “bronzing effect” it was nothing like the Fraxel bronzing, but it did kind of reminded me of it. The brown dots didn’t peel or flake off but after about day 3, they had completely faded.
Pigmented areas may darken but will gradually lighten. With me, I didn’t notice a huge increase in the darkness of my pigmented areas. My forehead pigmentation looked a little more pronounced than when I went it, but it still wasn’t bad. After around 3 weeks following the trio of treatments, I did noticed that the pigmentation on my cheek area had lightened quite a bit on both sides. The forehead, while not worse, didn’t seem to take much effect.
The downtime of IPL PhotoGenesis versus Fraxel Dual is not even comparable. With Fraxel, I needed 3 days downtime before my skin started looking normal, but with IPL PhotoGenesis, since it’s not abrasive on the skin, my downtime was zero! I could literally have it done and gone about my every day activities, with the help of a little bit of medical cover up.
IPL PhotoGenesis is a great all round treatment that helps to improve the superficial appearance of redness, sunspots and pigmentation that isn’t too deep. A lot of people have seen good results from IPL following a series of treatments. If your pigmentation is not too deep in your skin (like mine is), then you’ll likely see a decent improvement. For me, the forehead is obviously very stubborn, but the cheeks lightened up quite a bit.
Find out more about IPL Photo Genesis here
My last treatment for the day, following Microdermabrasion and IPL was Transdermal Mesotheraphy. In a nutshell, this is a machine equipped with a special head which helps to deliver more “product” into the skin, making it more effective than topical application.
Transdermal Mesotheraphy is often used for skin bio revitalisation treatments, post laser application and pre and post skin resurfacing procedures. So essentially, it was my cherry on top to the Microdermabrasion and IPL to “fill” my layers of skin with a potent, Transdermal Radiance Serum that could penetrate deep into the skin, absorbing it in the most effective way.
The Rejuvenation solution used with my treatment has hyaluronic acid present, which attracts water into the skin for an instant boost of hydration. I could feel that my skin was plumped up immediately, but as I approached the three week post treatment mark, the results continued to look good. In terms of pigmentation, I don’t think the Transdermal Mesotheraphy did anything, but in terms of boosting collagen and plumping my skin, this worked beautifully!
Apparently Transdermal Mesotheraphy can continue to show results two to three months down the line, when the collagen production is completed.
I wont lie, I did not enjoy this one! While the head didn’t feel so bad on my cheek area, when it went over my forehand it was weirdly uncomfortable. A lot of people don’t find this treatment uncomfortable at all and are usually able to “grin and bare it” since it’s over pretty quick. But I actually had to ask Deone to stop over my forehead because the feeling was so strange and disorientating. Bone on bone just felt really icky to me and made me feel like I was stuck in a 2-second hail storm.
I guess everyone reacts differently, but I’d be lying if I said I can’t wait to do Transdermal Mesotheraphy again. If it was just over my cheek area, absolutely I’ll book in tomorrow, but over the forehand, I just don’t like it. It wasn’t painful, it was just weirdly uncomfortable.
Find out more about Transdermal Mesotheraphy here
It’s been just over three weeks following my first trio of treatments and I can certainly feel that my skin is looking radiant, plump and really healthy. The redness has toned down a lot, and even though I didn’t have hectic lines to start with, the condition of my skin is pretty youthful – YAY!
My pores are still nice and small, and my skin seems to have gone from oily (in the t-zone area and cheeks) to a more normal condtion. Another yay, since foundation doesn’t slide off my face anymore!
While my main concern is still pigmentation (especially the forehead), and I will likely need more Fraxel Treatments to banish its existence, this was a fab trio of treatments that got my skin looking healthy, happy and feeling good.
On Monday, I went for another trio of treatments at Skin Renewal and I’ll let you know how those held up in about three weeks time, when I’ve given them enough time to do their thing. But, I can tell you that my skin today, feels positively radiant, glowing and rejuvenated.
Redness? I don’t think we need to worry about you anymore, but lets see how it goes!
See you in 3 weeks!