If you've seen my militantly fussy skincare routine, you'll know that I'm pretty serious about my skin. Lately, I've incorporated the Clarisonic Aria into my skincare regime and it has made a difference. But sometimes the skin just needs a bit of extra help - the kind only a professional can give.
Overall, my skin is pretty good. Other than the odd nasty breakout due to weather, or an attack of the dreaded period face, it more or less behaves itself these days.
Still...every woman knows what it's like to pull out the magnifying mirror and take a disgustingly up-close and personal look at her pores. The result of these adventures is always to feel a little bit frightened by your own face. And instead of a fastidious session picking viciously at your clogged visage, a good professional facial peel can help to improve cell turnover and brighten the skin by getting rid of dead surface cells.
I paid a visit to Essentials Beauty and Skincare Clinic on Dublin's Upper Baggot Street to have a combination treatment of a glycolic peel and some microdermabrasion.
Glycolic acid products are wonderful for improving skin texture and keeping cell renewal constant. Although I use my Clarins Exfoliating Toner in my daily skincare routine, it contains only about 2% glycolic acid. A standard glycolic peel conducted by a professional contains about 25% glycolic acid or higher. You'll need a consultation with a professional before having this done, and may need a course of 'introductory' glycolic acid products to desensitise your skin over time in order to prevent an adverse reaction.
The results are instant, though. Skin feels clean and looks brightened and plumped. Glycolic acid treatments are wonderful for almost all skin types, but do wonders for acne. Glycolic acid does sensitise the skin to sunlight though, so if you're using anything containing glycolic acid, be sure to use a high protection SPF every day.
When my glycolic peel was finished, I tried out their microdermabrasion. Frankly, I have the horrors of physical exfoliation. I generally prefer a chemical exfoliant (like the glycolic acid) as this doesn't run the risk of breaking capillaries on my sensitive skin.
But the therapist who worked on me was very attentive and understanding - she used microdermabrasion only where she thought my skin could handle it after a thorough examination. The nose, chin and forehead areas and between my eyes are the culprits for nasty clogging. Oh, the horror.
The microdermabrasion was pretty rough, but it wasn't painful and my skin was not too red or tender afterwards, as you can see from the photo. The session finished with some facial massage with some products from the gorgeous Jan Marini range, and went home happy with my purchase of the Jan Marini Bioglycolic Face Cleanser, which also contains glycolic acid.
Facial treatments can certainly be costly, but I honestly feel that it has done my skin a lot of good. If you can afford it, a good facial a couple of times a year is a wonderful investment in your skin.
Have you tried glycolic peels or microdermabrasion before? And are you a facial regular, or a once in a blue mooner?
Laura was a guest of Essentials.