My skin is something which I am rather conscious of. I used to suffer from acne when I was in my early teens, and then it died down and I had lovely skin. And although I had acne which left scars, those scars never lasted for long, and faded away quite quickly. Two years ago, I had a very bad acne outbreak out of the blue- I don't know if it was the stress of my final year of my degree, or the fact that I moved to the UK and was not used to the weather, water etc. Sadly, this time my acne left me with scarring- some of which I still have until today.
These acne scars caused darkened marks which stay on my skin for months (and some even years now =S )
The darkening of these marks on the skin are known as hyperpigmentation, and is something which occurs more often in Arabic, Asian or darker skin types. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin caused by the overproduction of melanin or pigment which is caused by things like acne and overexposure to the sun (and UV rays).
Imagine my delight when I was contacted by Pharmaclinix to try out a treatment which could lighten those dark marks!
Pharmaclinix Advanced Cosmeceuticals is a professional skincare brand which has products catered for Asian and darker skin tones. Pharmaclinix recently launched a new range of professional treatments exclusively available at The Hyperpigmentation Clinic on Harley Street, London.
The Hyperpigmentation Clinic has different treatments aimed at tackling different skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation and acne, and I was blessed enough to try out the Lightenex facial*.
When I entered the Hyperpigmentation Clinic (after getting slightly lost at first hee!) I was greeted by the lovely Dr Vanita Rattan. She explained to me what we would be doing on that day, allowed me to take a few photos, and we went straight into the facial! Oh, before we began, I asked her if the facial would cause any side effects, because I have sensitive skin and was quite worried but she assured me there was none, so I felt confident in trying it out.
|The facial bed|
The first thing Vanita did was to cleanse my face with a few drops of acetone. You're probably wondering "acetone?? Isn't that what we use as a nail polish remover?". Vanita said that acetone was used to remove grease from the skin's surface so that the products used during the facial could penetrate the skin more deeply. And yeah, it did smell like nail polish remover, and the smell was so strong, but surprisingly, it did not irritate, cause skin tightness or sting my skin.
After that, she applied a cryolytic gel on the skin which was supposed to destroy bacteria on the skin. She told me that it would tingle upon application, and to tell her when it tingled so that she knew that area of the skin was 'done'. What this cryolytic gel also did was to create little fissures in the skin so that new skin cells could generate, if that makes sense. The tingling caused a bit of stinging to my face. Vanita said that the time it takes to tingle and how much it stings depends on the skin's sensitivity. However, I can assure that it just stung a bit, no other side effects. =)
|Before the facial|
Next, Vanita applied a Mandelic acid clay mask using a brush to my skin and left it for 20 minutes. Mandelic acid is similar to acids such as Glycolic acid which are used in chemical alpha hydroxy (AHA) peels. The difference is that Mandelic acid is a larger molecule, causing it to be less penetrative and less irritating, but still quite effective in treating damaged skin. She applied the mask all over my face except under my nose because I was having a cold then and that area was a bit irritated. I like clay masks so this was probably my favourite part in the whole treatment hehe!
20 minutes later, the mask was removed with damp facial sponges and Vanita applied a cereal scrub to my face which had tiny grains in it that sloughed away skin cells and revealed a brighter complexion. As I had told her that I had sensitive skin and was prone to irritation from grainy scrubs, she rubbed the scrub in circular motions very gently that there was no irritation at all.
As a final step, Vanita applied Pharmaclinix Skin Vitamix to add and lock in moisture to my skin. Skin Vitamix is a facial cream made up of a combination Vitamin A and Vitamin E, natural anti-oxidants and emollients to help improve the skin’s complexion. My skin was looking a bit splotchy and felt a bit warm after the facial, but I liked how the cream left a cooling, comforting sensation on my skin. It really soothed my skin.
The facial is done! Vanita said that because my skin was so sensitive, it would take about 24 hours for the splotchiness to disappear. However, the redness and splotchiness completely went away half an hour later.
|Can you see that my face is a bit splotchy and red after the facial?|
The results left my skin feeling oh-so-smooth and soft!! I could not get over how smooth it was the first few days after the treatment. My skin looked so healthy and glowy that I could not help but feel in a lighter, happier mood. The after effects of the treatment lasted for about 1.5 weeks for me- which was really great!
What made me especially happy was the fact that my acne scars had faded slightly. And although it was not a complete lightening, there was enough lightening to make a difference- even the boyfriend noticed! Vanita said that after the treatment I could wear makeup if I wanted to, but I went makeup-free for a few days because I just wanted everyone to see how glowy my skin was!
It's been almost 3.5 weeks since I went for this facial, and the acne scars that have lightened have not turned dark again- so it looks like the results are permanent, yay!
The Lightenex Facial costs £199 (approx RM1,000) per one-hour session, and up to 50% reduction in hyperpigmentation can be achieved over 6 regular weekly treatments.
I really recommend giving this a go if acne scars/hyperpigmentation is one of your skin concerns because it works. I experienced no side effects despite having very sensitive skin- only a brighter, more even skin tone! Also, Vanita is very knowledgeable and she is so friendly and experienced, that I just knew that I could trust her with my skin. =)
If you're looking for quicker, long lasting results, they also have a Lightenex Max Peel which is a 1 hour chemical peel which claims to reduce hyperpigmentation and skin marking by up to 80% after just one treatment.
If you're worried or concerned about which treatment to choose, you can always ask Vanita as she will know best in what is suitable for your skin.
So I hope you enjoyed my review of this facial. I am so glad that I got to experience it because now I feel slightly more confident of my skin.
Oh, and if you do not live near London, there will be clinics opening up in Manchester, Birmingham and Leicester soon so do keep an eye out for them.
For more information, here is:
The Hyperpigmentation Clinic website: http://thehyperpigmentationclinic.com/
Address: The Hyperpigmentation Clinic, 1 Harley Street, London W1G 9QD, UK
Contact: +44 (0) 845-056-9548
Office hours: Monday - Sunday: 8am - 8pm GMT
Have you tried a hyperpigmentation/acne scars lightening facial? =)