Lasers are the ultimate in facial rejuvenation. They not only help specific conditions from rosacea to acne they also promote collagen production, reduce fine lines, boost skin health and defy skin dryness and laxity. They are the new go to treatment and are fast over taking fillers and Botox as the most popular skin treatment.
This autumn I tried two laser treatments with the leading laser and skin clinic in Hertfordshire, Aqua-Tox Wellness Clinic. Located in rural Hertford, just a stones through from the town, the clinic offers the state of the art laser skin treatments, alongside aesthetics, Cryotherapy, laser hair removal, colonics, and body contouring. The clinic location means you miss the hustle of the town and have a more private treatment, especially useful when the treatments are more invasive such as the iPixel laser I underwent. You will see why in this feature.
I attended an in-depth consultation with the lovely Lucy, an aesthetic nurse and founder of Aqua- Tox Aesthetics. This is very important, and it was my chance to ask any questions. Lucy briefed me on the downtime from laser, how it works with the skin, and essentially, she listened to my questions and skin concerns and created a bespoke treatment plan. Lucy created a comprehensive facial rejuvenation plan, addressing different aspects of aging and skin concerns. This is individual to each patient and can even combine Botox, fillers, and body treatments.
It was decided that I would have a combination of two treatments over a 3-month period, allowing for the skin to heel and rejuvenate after each treatment. Initially 3 treatments would suffice unless I desired more but I for my concerns Lucy advise three would be adequate. It is worth noting that your practitioner will advise on the number of treatments required and this may vary after your first treatment when they can see how well you react to laser.
The treatment room itself is very impressive. The range of adapters and heads for the laser machine are displayed on the clinic wall. It goes to show how advanced these laser machines are and the depth of training that is required by the practitioner to use them. Lucy explained the various adapters and how the machine adapted to the requirements of the client. I was impressed with her knowledge and the ability to treat combination skin and a catalogue of skin issues with one treatment. You can treat a variety of conditions in one laser treatment by changing heads, laser intensity and form.
After removing jewellery and donning a hair band Lucy cleansed the face ready for my treatment. Starting with the forehead Lucy began the first laser treatment; Clear Lift Laser Skin Rejuvenation. Clear Lift is a non-invasive procedure, meaning it doesn't require incisions or the removal of the outer skin layer. This generally leads to a quicker recovery time compared to more invasive procedures. The tip of the laser moves across the skin giving off a small amount of heat and flashing then clicking as the laser works its magic. Although the noise is a little startling it does not hurt nor is it uncomfortable.
The laser energy used in Clear Lift stimulates collagen production, contributing to improved skin elasticity and firmness. Results of Clear Lift are often seen immediately with visible lifting & tightening and further progressive improvements will occur over several weeks or months as collagen renews.
Next, we moved the second part of the treatment; iPixel Laser Skin Resurfacing. This is a type of fractional laser treatment where the laser beam is divided into tiny microbeams. These microbeams create microscopic channels in the skin, leaving surrounding tissue unaffected.
The micro-injuries caused by the laser stimulate the body's natural healing process, leading to collagen and elastin production. This helps improve skin texture, tone & firmness and can also be used for scar revision.
The focus of this treatment was around the chin area where I had enlarged pores and some fine lines and sagging (jowls). My skin has become lax in this area but not enough to warrant surgery or threads. The enlarged pores had increased over time and the skin was prone to dryness which enhanced the pores even more. A combined treatment with laser combats all these concerns in one.
While iPixel is a less invasive option compared to traditional ablative lasers like CO2, there is still a recovery period and the treatment itself is still a little invasive. I found it uncomfortable but for the short amount of time it was manageable. Post treatment I was very red and swollen and my face felt like I had sunburn. After about 2-3 hours this calmed down and I found that a handheld fan helped reduce the burning. The skin felt tight across my forehead but painless where the Clear Lift was performed. By the evening the area had cooled down and I felt back to normal. It was tender to touch but not uncomfortable. In fact, I went for a walk and totally forgot I had the treatment at all, the only give away was the redness.
By day two I had pin prick marks on my face where the laser head had been used. This is totally normal but looks rather odd. These areas were very dry and rough, but this is only temporary. 12 hours + after treatment I followed instructions to apply a light moisturiser (nothing heavy that would clog the pores) and some sun protection is vital. The skin started to feel itchy at times and to soothe this I used a mini handheld fan to cool the area rather than pick or touch it.
Post treatment you are warned that you may get some spots come to the surface. These are not caused the treatment itself but are natural blemishes under the skin that come to the surface due to the laser activity.
i-Pixel can be adjusted in intensity for different skin conditions, meaning not everyone’s experience is the same.
The results speak for themselves. People have been actively commenting on my skin. My most positive changes have been:
1. Reduced pores on the chin area; one area I suffered with enlarged pores the most was my chin. Now they are noticeably smaller and disappear when I apply make up where before they were amplified!
2. A balance in skin texture and appearance: The treatment is known for enhancing overall skin texture and smoothness. I have really noticed this across my checks as the skin is far smoother and less pigmented.
3. Plumper skin which retains moisture, no more dry sin battles. Since the first treatment I noticed my skin was less dry. Once I had heeled post day 7-10 I noticed my facial moisturiser was sinking into my skin more effectively and staying for longer. It felt like I had managed to strip the dead skin and start taking care of the new.
Follow Up Treatments
A follow up treatment is advised once a year and of course your treatment can be combined with other lasers. I have been advised not to have any injectables pre or post treatment, leaving at least 2 weeks either side. Please speak to your practitioner about this.
To find out more or to book in with Lucy visit https://aqua-tox.co.uk/