Ready to take your skin care routine to the next level? Booking in for a non-surgical aesthetic procedure might be the boost your complexion has been waiting for. Not sure where to start? We’ve created a handy guide to some of the most popular in-clinic procedures to help you find the one that will work for you and your skin.
If you have struggled to get your complexion back to its pre-sun damaged best, a chemical peel is a great way to visibly brighten, smooth and rejuvenate the skin. A relatively quick procedure to perform, a peel is essentially an intensive exfoliation treatment that you will really feel working. “Chemical peels can take approximately 30 minutes to perform, so they’re often considered to be a quick lunch-time treatment with no downtime,” explains Raimonda Vaskiene, skin specialist at Blush + Blow salon in London. “Chemical peels vary depending on the problem they treat and are categorised based on the depth of the procedure as either superficial, medium or deep. Superficial peels have no downtime and during the treatment the client cannot feel any pain, only a slight itchy or tingly sensation. Medium or deep peels are more uncomfortable and you might feel a stronger tingling sensation, but there is no pain involved.”
The most popular peels will leave skin looking noticeably fresher after just one treatment, but more intensive peels can take up to a week to reveal their true benefits. According to Raimonda: “The immediate benefit of a light peel is a general brightening of the skin’s appearance. A deeper peel provides the same benefits as a light peel, plus it repairs and rejuvenates the skin.”
You might be familiar with the term ‘micro-needling’ or dermarolling – we explained how to do it at home in our last issue – and the treatment is just as popular in clinics. Administered in much the same way as you would do it yourself at home, where a device packed with tiny needles is rolled over the skin to stimulate collagen production, clinic-based treatments tend to use a dermaroller with much longer needles (anything larger than 0.25mm is common, going up to 3mm for severely scarred or damaged skin) to inflict deeper trauma on the skin in order to deliver better and more dramatic results.
Most micro-needling sessions take around 30 minutes and involve a numbing cream being applied to the skin to make the procedure much more comfortable. Once completed, your practitioner may apply a calming mask or cream to the skin to soothe it during the minutes following the treatment, but be prepared for your skin to take a few days to recover fully. After the treatment, your skin will naturally start to regenerate and repair itself, which will gradually lead to an improvement in skin texture at the surface, however, most practitioners would recommend booking in for a course of micro-needling treatments for the best results.
One of the more popular salon-based treatments, most people will opt for a facial before trying a more intensive treatment such as a peel. “A facial reduces stress, promotes circulation that detoxifies the skin and prevents breakouts, boosts hydration and nourishes the skin from deep inside, giving you more youthful, radiant skin,” explains Raimonda. The main goal of a facial is to treat your skin to a hefty dose of ingredients while using expert application and massage techniques to ensure your skin not only looks better afterwards but that you are left feeling more calm and relaxed.
“Facials often come in two parts: the first part is to treat the skin and the other is to relax the client so they receive a truly indulgent, enjoyable experience,” explains Raimonda. “Depending on the facial you choose, it may include a deep cleanse and the application of different serums, such as Vitamin C or a mixture of antioxidants, peptides and Hyaluronic Acid or exfoliants such as enzymes and Glycolic, Lactic or Salicylic Acids. The second part of the facial is a soothing, calming, hydrating experience with massage included, with the whole process taking up to an hour and a half to complete.”
There are new clinic procedures hitting the headlines all the time, but one that has received more press than most is dermaplaning. Not to be confused with dermarolling, dermaplaning is when a small blade is used to remove the top layer of dead cells as an exfoliating alternative to acids and physical scrubs. “Dermaplaning helps remove the dead cells and peach fuzz (fine hair) on the face to leave skin looking ultra-smooth and perfectly prepped for make-up, so it takes on an ‘airbrushed’ finish,” says Kay Greveson, aesthetic nurse practitioner and founder of Regents Park Aesthetics. “It is done using a sterile blade that is held at a 45-degree angle and brushed along the surface of the skin. A treatment usually takes 45 minutes to one hour and can be done either alone or combined with a skin peel or micro-needling treatment, which is commonly known as the million dollar facial.”
One treatment is all you need to see significant results, with most clients seeing an improvement in skin texture and radiance straight away. To maintain the results, Kay recommends booking in for a follow-up treatment around four to six weeks later. If you are worried about how your facial hair will grow back, Kay says there is nothing to worry about: “Contrary to popular belief, dermaplaning does not make facial hair grow back thicker or darker. Hair on the face is a type known as villous hair, rather than the dark, thick terminal hair with roots that grows elsewhere. Once it is removed, it gradually grows back the same as before.”
To see the best results from any of these treatments, it’s best to listen to your practitioner. When it comes to aftercare, they will advise you on the best products to keep your skin healthy while it recovers from your chosen procedure. As a rule of thumb, think about including more gentle, calming formulas in your routine, ditch anything exfoliating and don’t skimp on the SPF.
BCAM – British College of Aesthetic Medicine