Finding herself re-powdering her face literally ten times a day to cover up pesky redness, Kelly McAuliffe decided enough was enough.
I’ve never been particularly reckless with my skin, but I’ve not been overly careful with it either. Over the years, a lack of sunscreen and a naughty addiction to sunbathing had crept up on me and the gentle flushing I’ve always been prone to, had become an actual problem.
Broken capillaries were now entirely visible on my cheeks, nose and chin, and when antagonised – through exercise, sitting in the sun or even taking a few sips of wine – my face would flame up in rash-like patches that made me feel extremely self-conscious.
I knew I wanted to do something about it, but didn’t know which treatments – if any – could help me.
Self-diagnosis via the Skin Quiz
The first step was to determine which treatments would address the skin concerns I had. I took Caci’s Skin Quiz and answered some easy questions about my skin health. It took me no longer than five minutes and by the end I had some suggested treatments in hand – for me, photo rejuvenation, microdermabrasion and infusion treatments were the final recommendations. I knew a bit about microdermabrasion but the other two treatments I knew very little about. Time for some research!
Having a professional skin consultation
After figuring out that photo rejuvenation was probably going to be the best way for me to address my redness concerns, I booked in for a complimentary skin consultation at Caci. This is where their experienced Registered Nurses will take a VERY close look at your skin under a special contraption – no chance of hiding any skin sins here!
After a chat about my problem areas and removing my makeup, I placed my chin on the mount (similar to an eye test) and prepared for one of the scariest photos of my life to be captured! The special camera looks under the surface to give the most in-depth information about how you’re faring when it comes to the five key skin health concerns: fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and age spots, redness, inflammation and pores.
From there, the skin specialist will tailor a treatment plan to address the concerns highlighted – some of this is preventative (such as using topical treatments and products) while others will be skin-correcting treatments. In my case – surprise surprise – photo rejuvenation!
The treatment itself
In my research phase, I’d read that photo rejuvenation felt a bit like a hot elastic band being pinged against your skin, so I knew that I was going to experience some discomfort. The nurse who looked after me could obviously sense some apprehension so explained the process in detail and did her best to put me at ease before I reclined on the treatment table.
After removing my makeup, she applied a cold gel to the treatment area (for me, my cheeks) before setting into the area with the variable pulsed light laser. The light from the laser is attracted to the haemoglobin, or red blood cells, found in the pigment of the skin.
The elastic band analogy was pretty spot on, but I hadn’t anticipated the quick blasts of extreme heat that would come my way! There was a little bit of a sting post-blast but it was definitely bearable and certain areas were more tender than others.
Afterwards, my face was quite pink in the treated area, similar to having done an intense session at the gym. But it was relatively easy to hide under a quick brush of mineral powder and within 2 hours or so, it had disappeared completely.
The very next day, my cheeks still felt a bit tender and red but with makeup, wasn’t anything that would be noticeable to anyone other than me.
From there, I did make one mistake: The nurse had warned me to use at least a SPF30 on the treated area and stay out of the sun. The next morning, I diligently applied the Murad face sunscreen she’d given me but the advice about avoiding the sun slipped my mind. I wouldn’t have expected a 30 minute outdoor lunch meeting in the middle of winter to have had much of an impact, but I was pink-cheeked and uncomfortably tingly for the rest of the afternoon! Lesson learned.
A few days on and I’ve received loads of comments (even from people who didn’t know I’d had the treatment!) commenting on how smooth my skin looks. There is a reduction in the visible capillaries and after a few glasses of Pinot Noir on Friday evening, I didn’t experience the same rush-of-blood-to-the-face feeling that I quite often get.
For the best results, Caci recommends a series of treatments – three to five is usually enough but it depends on your problem area/s and how much damage has been done. Results are long-lasting, but you will need to go all out to protect your skin from further sun damage.
* This article is brought to you by Caci. To find out more about photo rejuvenation and other treatments, visit caci.co.nz.