When I was invited to check out a JetPeel treatment (it's a fairly new alternative to microdermabrasion, where water and vitamins are sprayed over skin at supersonic speed, sloughing off dead cells and gunk and giving deep hydration) at Redmond Molloy, two things went through my suspicious mind. One was why on earth is a dental practice offering skin treatments and two, will the therapy be administered by a doctor or nurse? I wanted to ensure I'd be in practiced, professional hands.
The first question was quickly answered - Janette McGovern is a nurse and would be performing the JetPeel treatment on me. Grand so, I resolved to see what I thought of a high-tech facial at a dental surgery when I arrived. Except, it's not really like heading down to the local dentists (think: mint green walls, rickety furniture and years-old copies of Womans Way) so I was reassured immediately - Redmond Molloy's docklands clinic is professional, swish and high-tech and there was no sign of any dodgy plaster casts of teeth or giant toothbrushes cluttering up the calm, modern waiting area. Phew!
The process is quick - you lie back and cool water is almost atomised across your face - it doesn't hurt, there's no painful or hard pressure and it's actually pretty pleasant, and you can't say that for microdermabrasion. This got me thinking. "So is this a good treatment for a sensitive skintype?", I asked Janette, who confirmed that because it's not aggravating skin, even people with rosacea and acne can have the treatments. A glycolic mix was also jetted across my skin, for an extra skin-rejuvinating boost.
But that wasn't all - a cool professional look was taken at my skin and Janette pointed out a couple of areas of hyperpigmentation on the top of my cheeks that have been bugging me.
So she whipped out her IPL laser and set to work on them. While I've had laser before it was a couple of years ago and time has dulled the memory. This hurt. I'm not going to lie. It frigging well hurt a lot. She also did some red veins around my nose and I thought I was going to loose my life: CHRIST it was painful, as there's a nerve there, and I really jumped each time the laser zapped. Shakily getting up from the therapy couch, I had a look at myself in the mirror.
The state of me. I looked like I'd gone two rounds with Giant Haystacks and my face felt hot and looked red where the laser had done its work. I scuttled off home under cover of saucer-sized sunglasses, head filled with entreaties to absolutely definitely POSITIVELY use factor 50 on my freshly JetPeeled and IPL'd skin, which I dutifully did.
The redness where pigmentation was zapped went down pretty quickly - by the next day it was calm and the spots were beginning to turn darker brown, before disappearing of their own accord over about a week. And it was because of that and the glycolic element that about seven days passed before I really got to see the benefits of the the combined treatments.
The red veins by my nose are almost entirely gone and the areas of pigmentation are much improved. I'd say they'd need a second zapping to remove them completely, but the difference is remarkable. As for the rest of my skin, blackheads were greatly reduced, my chin is clearer, fresher looking and pickers take note: the evening of the treatment I got a fair few stubborn blackheads out easily thanks to the power de-gunking of the top layers of my skin.
Pricewise, at €150 a go, JetPeel is expensive, and with added IPL at €200, it's even dearer.
So, who is this for? With IPL, it is not a lunchtime treatment, without, it definitely is - you'll be in and out in under half an hour, with a freshly washed, smoothed and exfoliated complexion. Brides-to-be will love it; anyone suffering from a change from winter to 'summer' could give it a go and acne patients will see benefits too, especially if they go for glycolics - thanks to the gentle pressure, the mix can penetrate deeper, exfoliating out infected pores.
JetPeel and IPL treatments are available at FACE@RedmondMolloy, 1850 247 230; www.redmondmolloy.ie