The other day I was invited to try a skin tightening laser facial (R650 per session) at Pulse Dermatology and Laser in Kenridge, Durbanville. This involves using a cutting-edge Near Infra-Red (NIR) laser to heat up the skin and the tissue just below it. This causes it to shrink and tighten your existing collagen and elastin while encouraging your skin to produce more of its own. The best bit? It can be used on both your face and body to help improve the look of sagging, â??crepe-yâ?? skin, jowls, stretch marks and even cellulite.
Upon arrival, I met with the clinicâ??s owner Amy Bowie, who spent several years in London where she worked at an aesthetic clinic in Chelsea that treated rich and famous A-lister, the likes of Kate Moss and Natalie Imbruglia. After a few minutes of chatting, I realised that, aside from being lovely, warm and engaging, this is a woman who really knows her stuff. I appreciated that she has a hard-guns approach to anti-aging and feels youâ??re never too young to start investing in the future of your skin.
Above: Amy Bowie in her Durbanville clinic office.
Turning up the heat
To begin, Amy cleansed my face and then applied a cold-feeling gel â?? the type that doctors slap on the bellies of pregnant women before giving them an ultrasound. Next, the tip of the laser was applied to my face and swept across my skin in circular and back and forth motions. While the laser is hot, you donâ??t feel any discomfort as the tip is ice cold and itâ??s never held in one place for longer than a smidge of a second. In fact, the entire process was fabulously soothing â?? a bit like a hot stone massage for your face. She also performed a fantastic feeling lymph-draining massage on my face.
Afterwards, Amy gave me a bit more bang for my buck by leaving me under an LED lamp for a few minutes. Exposure to LED light has been proven to help speed up healing, reduce inflammation and encourage collagen production. While it felt like I was lying under a tanning lamp â?? lovely and warm and relaxing â?? you should know it doesnâ??t emit any UV rays at all, so youâ??re not damaging your skin or undoing any of your hard work. (We all know that the sunâ??s one of your skinâ??s biggest enemy when it comes to breaking down collagen, right?)
A great investment
When I left, I felt happy and calm and my skin had a lovely glow to it. I could also swear that my jaw looked ever so slightly more defined but this could be owing to the lymph drainage. The full results, however, are something Iâ??ll only see in a few weeksâ?? time as the collagen growth that the treatmentâ??s inspired needs time to develop. In a way, itâ??s kind of like watering a pot plant. You add a little H2O but then have to wait for your plants to bloom. You can then add a little more (and by that I mean get yet another treatment) in about two to three weeks down the line to encourage even more growth and, eventually, after four or so treatments, your results will be plainly visible.
In all, I was very, very happy with the treatment. The theory behind it is sound, the results have been proven by dermatologists across the globe and Iâ??d be very happy to invest in more sessions out of my own pocket as I know theyâ??re going to pay off. Personally, I feel that most of the ‘product layering’ facials women spend their hard earned money on might be effective in regards to pampering, but not so much when it comes to turning back the hands of time. With a laser facial, however, youâ??re definitely improving your faceâ??s collagen content by leaps and bounds – more so than you could ever do with a collagen-encouraging cream – and this makes these types of facials the only ones Iâ??d ever consider myself.