In this two-part blog, I discover a new way for slightly more mature brides to get their glow back for their wedding day. If you suffer from sun damage such as pigmentation, acne or ageing, read on to find out how a course of pain-free clinical facial treatments could be the answer to your perfect wedding day skin.
If, like me, you are a slightly more mature bride (30+) then you might be experiencing the depressing first effects of ageing and sun damaged skin. As a sun-worshipping holiday lover, I have spent every year since I was 18 cultivating perfectly tanned skin, the draw – a healthy and glowing complexion. Fast-forward another 18 years and ironically those sweet tanning days have left me with some faint patchy brown marks, clinically known as ‘hyper-pigmentation’, on my face and décolletage.
Now with 3 months to go before my wedding day, I’m starting to think I should perhaps engage in some sort of ‘bridal beauty regime’ as many magazines and forums suggest. I really want to look amazing on the day but these pesky little brown marks on both my cheeks and upper lip keep glaring at me whenever I look in the mirror. The suggestions of booking in for a session of pre-wedding facials at my local salon just don’t seem enough if I really want to make a difference on the day. I know pigmentation can be tough to shift and so start researching fast, pain-free skin solutions for my problem. I come across the impressive looking website for Freedomhealth Skin.
Freedomhealth Skin is a non-surgical cosmetic and dermatology clinic in London’s Harley Street. Run and founded by Lee Garrett, previously a critical care nurse specialising in the restructuring of facial distortions caused in HIV victims, the clinic is very much based on customer care and comfort. This is exactly what I’m looking for, a treatment that’s not too invasive but that will also give me more of a result than a standard facial.
On arrival at the clinic I feel relaxed, helped by a warm welcome and a cup of tea in the reception. I’m shown to the treatment room and following a short consultation with Lee in which I voice concern for my patchy skin and a short timeframe of 3 months before the big day, he suggests using two new techniques to quickly combat pigmentation, ageing and for those who may have it, also acne.
The first is a new form of Microdermabrasion (Derma Genesis®) used to exfoliate and remove the dead outermost layer of skin whilst also stimulating the underlying epidermis to promote collagen and improve overall skin resistance to the effects of ageing. The second is one I had not heard of before, DermaFrac – a micro-needling and deep tissue serum infusion treatment which also targets pigmentation, amongst other skin problems.
My treatment begins with the Microdermabrasion whereby a hand piece which controls a fine flow of medical grade crystals is passed over my skin – it feels like a mini vacuum which is gently sucking and removing all the dead skin cells, this is pain free and yes, greatly satisfying. This treatment can be taken alone (without the DermaFrac) and only lasts 30 minutes with no recovery time needed. Whilst many salons provide versions of microdermabrasion, I personally think that it is much more reassuring to have it done by a certified professional in a clinical environment.
Following the removal of dead skin, I am then prepped for DermaFrac, another skin rejuvenation treatment which involves using a roller containing 180 super fine needles to stimulate collagen production and cell renewal. This clever devise not only painlessly creates micro-channels in your skin but also simultaneously infuses a potent serum into these channels enabling a deeper penetration and consequently, a healthy, glowing complexion. This treatment was relaxing in a strangely hypnotic sort of way – the rhythm of the roller across my face almost sent me to sleep, it was only the coolness of a thick finishing mask that kept me from dozing off.
And that was it! An hour later and my skin looked visibly plumper and flushed (yes, you could say in the way that you might have had a roll in the hay with your husband-to-be!). With this in mind, I ask Lee if the old adage about not having a facial right before your wedding day applies, he says no – on the contrary, this type of facial is perfect for brides wanting to boost their complexion just before the big day as it doesn’t promote breakouts or redness in any way.
Depending on the severity of your skin problems, it is advised to have microdermabrasion and micro-needling every two to three weeks over a six week period, for optimum results. In addition, Lee advised that prescribed skincare should be used at home for the duration of your treatment to maintain the effects. His recommendation is Prescribed Solutions, a range of products only available from aesthetic practitioners and their clinics. These expertly formulated creams are unique to practitioners and their clients because they can be specifically tailored to each person’s skin needs through adding a specially formulated booster. These serious products come with fun names however, such as ‘A Bolt of Lightning’ with a lifting booster (specifically made for me) and ‘Cream -No Sugar’ with a brightening booster. I am told to use these daily with a factor 50 sunblock, which, by the way, smells and feels divine on the skin, unlike most high factor sun protection.
And so, I leave the clinic feeling refreshed and squeaky clean. My pores are tight and my fine lines are definitely finer! I still have my pigmentation but it is not expected to go in one treatment, rather over a course as advised, with my prescribed creams to use at home.
A single Microdermabrasion treatment costs £115. Buy 4 or more treatments and receive a 15% discount. A single DermaFrac treatment costs £150. Prescribed Solutions creams start from £58 each.
For more information on Freedomhealthskin and the treatments available visit freedomhealthskin.co.uk or you can follow Lee on Twitter@LeeSkinGuru
Revisit the 5 Star Weddings blog in six weeks’ time when I will be posting my update on how the creams have worked and if using topical treatments at home can really change the way sun-damaged skin looks.