Having been plagued by the dreaded acne during my teen years - and well beyond - I’ve always been acutely aware of how much one’s self-confidence can be tied up with the condition of one’s skin. After all, our face is the first thing people see when they look at us. Many a ‘bad skin day’ has made me want to curl up in bed and put off facing the world for a while, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has felt this way.
And yet many of us treat our skin almost as an after-thought. A quick cleanse and moisturise morning and night, and an odd exfoliation or mask if we’re feeling particularly diligent, and that’s about it, and then we wonder why we are not getting the best out of our skin.
With years of problem skin behind me, a busy lifestyle, and a skincare routine that was beginning to border on the negligent, I jumped at the chance to go along to Athlone’s Laser and Skin Clinic to try one of their pioneering treatments.
Having met with clinic co-ordinator Andrea for a thorough skin consultation, we decided a Derma Genesis Microdermabrasion would be the most suitable and gentle treatment for my skin. While the name is certainly a mouthful, the treatment is not at all as scary as it sounds. Andrea explained that microdermabrasion is a deep exfoliating treatment which involves medical grade crystals being ‘vacuumed’ across the outer surface of the skin, removing the outermost layer and exposing live skin cells that are soft, smooth, and more receptive to nutrients. It also helps the skin replenish itself by stimulating cell re-growth.
The treatment is suitable for all skin types, and helps treat conditions such as dull, dry, or oily skin, as well as rough, congested or acne-prone skin. It also facilitates the removal of black- and whiteheads, all of which sounded incredibly appealing.
I was anxious to get to the ‘vacuuming’ part of the treatment, which had me intrigued. But first Andrea removed my make-up and cleansed my skin with a salicylic cleanser. Interestingly, I have long since avoided products containing salicylic acid, believing them to be too harsh for my skin. However, Andrea explained that a mild salicylic acid is ideal for oily or breakout-prone skin such as mine, as it dissolves excess oil and is antibacterial. And as she predicted, while the cleanser did make my skin tingle, it didn’t sting or cause any adverse reactions.
Skin duly prepared, it was time for the main part of the treatment, which involved passing a small handpiece over my skin two or three times, creating a gentle ‘tugging’ sensation. Combined with the abrasive force of the micro-crystals, which felt like a very fine sand on the surface of my skin, it was a strange sensation but not at all unpleasant. The treatment itself doesn’t take long, and before I knew it, it was time to check out the results.
Andrea had taken a photo of my skin before commencing the treatment, a simple touch that is offered to all clients so they can follow their progress over a course of treatments. I could already see the difference in my skin - it looked totally clear and uncongested, and felt as smooth and soft as I have ever felt it. While a course of four to six microdermabrasion treatments is generally recommended, just one improves the skin’s condition dramatically, and Andrea explained that many clients book in a few days before a major event to ensure their skin will be in tip-top condition.
While I was convinced that I would be dispatched back to work with a raw, naked face, Andrea asked if I would like to have foundation applied. As it was the award-winning, non-comedogenic gloMinerals brand which offers UV and environmental protection and would not do any harm to my newly exposed skin, I readily agreed. My skin had a healthy, luminous glow for days afterwards, helped along by the sample products, tailored to my skin type, which I received before I left.
The Laser and Skin Clinic is one of Ireland’s leading non-surgical aesthetic clinics, and it’s easy to see why clients return again and again. Their experienced team of nurses, doctors, and aesthetic therapists offer cutting-edge treatments from skin peels and laser rejuvenation, to Dermapen, microneedling, and skin tightening, and the care and warmth shown to each client is second to none.
To book a consultation at The Laser and Skin Clinic call Athlone (090 ) 6498839 or Mullingar (044 ) 9347800, or see www.laserandskin.ie for more information.
August special offer: Buy three skin peels, get one free - plus a free sunscreen.