Those of you who follow me would know that I am a ‘frequent flyer’ with The Cosmetic Clinic. I probably visit once every 2 weeks on average (and a cheeky wee ‘hi’ on my lunch breaks too!)
I’ve been getting a LOT of interest in my facial treatments that I have been receiving, so I’ll attempt to break them up into the simplest form possible, with pros and cons for both.
But first, let me give you a lil skin BREAKDOWN.
In 2011 (I was 13) I was initiated into the world of teenage acne. My hormones were awfully rude to me, I may as well have been a TWEEN because it started so early, but alas, it began. Unfortunately for me, it also came in the unfriendly cystic, pus-filled kind.. (could be TMI, I hope you’re not eating :))
I was blessed with a mother who had also been through the same issues, so got me straight into medical-grade skincare, facial procedures, skincare plans, eating regimes, everything under the GODDAMN SUN, but nothing seemed to work.
A lot of money was spent, a lot of tears were shed, and a lot of dreams crushed *warning: I am super dramatic*.
But in all seriousness, acne ruled my life for a good 4 and a half years. It knocked confidence, it RUINED photos (nothing like a good sun shot with a forehead full of spots) and it really got me down. I’m slightly lucky, slightly mad that this all happened during a time of RETROCam for iPhone so none of my 2011 photos show anything at all, totally covered in a yellow, god-awful filter.
Once I was old enough to accept the fact that it simply wasn’t going away, I looked into hormonal contraceptives, antibiotics, topical creams, drugs like roaccutane and the such-like. I had semi-successful stints with an antibiotic, however the acne reappeared as my body got used to the pill. The above photo, if you’re finished wetting yourself at how WEIRD I was, was from 2014, after my first round of antibiotics. The worst stint I had was my topical one- this involved lots of creams, some of which burnt, that dried my skin out to the point of (what seems like) NO return. This attempt also left me with some pretty nasty scarring.
In mid-2015, I moved medical practices so my needs (& wants) were better understood around my skin. My OG doctor from the baby days had retired and its fair to say a ‘superficial’ want for nice skin was just too hard for some people to grasp. I was super lucky to be well looked after by my new doctor and she got me started on a new prescription that worked for me and had no nasty side-effects. It took about 9 months to notice major changes from this- and now I’m on the road to fix all the nasty mess everything left behind.
I started by re-hauling my skincare routine. I had tried a LOT of brands at this point, and their high prices seemed to be the only common denominator. I cut everything back, and focused on products that would do their job and nothing more, while I let the pill work it’s magic.
I also *tried* to minimise my dairy intake. This was hard, I am a super fan of a Redcliffs Dairy Thickshake, and Whittakers is my weakness. I just made sure I wasn’t eating half a pound of cheese at every sitting- but it’s up in the air whether this plan actually made it past the draft phase.
I UPPED my water intake- like a LOT. I also had started working in a mall, which is awfully dry and desperately gross. I drink roughly 2 litres of water on a bad day now, and everything has thanked me for it.
Most importantly I started investing some time and money into fixing the problem at the source. The main issue I had was my scarring. It was in clusters around my ears/chin in particular, and resembled shallow pits, or slightly larger pores. The right side of my face was significantly worse, due to it being the side I sleep on, so my acne was far more common here. I’m not going to lie, my scarring was defintelty the worst part of this whole ordeal, mainly due to my heavy involvement within the beauty industry.
So now we’re (finally) on to what I’ve done about it with help from the team at The Cosmetic Clinic in Riccarton Mall. Before I begin comparison, I want to make it clear that this blog post is not sponsored or anything, I was lucky enough to collaborate with them for my Fractional RF treatments but the following is true and honest, as per aaaaalways! x
MICRODERMABRASION VS FRACTIONAL RF
WHAT: A 9-step procedure to deeply cleanse and exfoliate the skin and assist with natural rejuvenation (also available in an express format)
TIME: A microdermabrasion takes roughly 50 minutes (or 20 minutes for express)
HOW: The 9-steps include
- Double Cleanse
- Exfoliation with a gycolic scrub to further deep clean
- Skin Analysis under a light to determine sun damage, pigmentation etc
- AHA/BHA mask & steam to soften pores, lift and loosen dead skin cells
- Microdermabrasion to rid skin of toxins, encourage circulation, exfoliate and stimulate collagen
- Extractions on any pimples, blackheads, etc
- Peel to stimulate and lift dead skin cells
- Treat with rejuvenate serums
- Moisturise and protect with SPF
WHY I CHOOSE THIS: I get 9-step micros roughly once every 4-weeks. I choose these due to the huge volume of product I wear on my skin daily. The deep exfoliation allows my skin to breathe and targets the areas that get congested like the tops of my brows and my chin. My favourite part of the routine is the Microdermabrasion itself. Its like a small vacuum cleaner that they run over your skin and the results are sometimes horrifying. I’ll attach below a photo of my most recent microderm- the ‘gunk’ is dead cells and crap that was ON MY FACE (bear in mind, that is a GOOD day, I really look after my skin so wouldn’t expect too much more to come off onto the pad.
PRICE: $149 for a 9-step, $75 for an express. You can also get $25 off your first one by mentioning my name when you book. (It’s Kas-ee-ah ;))
WHAT: A super-dooper advanced treatment, designed to treat aesthetic skin concerns. The combination of micro-needling and radio frequency can be targeted to the clients certain skin needs. Some areas it can treat are loose or sagging skin, open pores, scarring, blemishes, stretch marks, fine lines and general redness or rosacea.
TIME: I allow 60 minutes for a Fractional RF treatment- the timing depends on what you’re getting treated.
HOW: the Fractional Process involves a skin cleanse, a numbing cream and then the Fractional machine itself. The machine has a stamp with tiny micro-needles on the end, that once on your face, radiate heat to speed up your collagen production. Afterwards, the clinician protects your skin with a serum and you’re required to keep your skin clean from product for at least a day, ideally more.
WHY I CHOOSE THIS: As mentioned before, the scarring left behind from my teens is a major confidence knock for me. The team at TCC talked me through the process of Fractional, and how using the small needles to gently injure the scarred tissue means that new, healthy (& un-scarred!) collagen fills that spot. It also improves existing collagen and elastin. The added radio frequency means that the energy is penetrated deeper into the skin, working far more effectively. It’s super similar to the treatment that my old mate Kim Kardashian gets, but that one only works on her existing collagen due to the lack of radio frequency (or heat).
PRICE: $395 per session. TCC recommends 3-6 sessions depending on your needs. I received 3. You can also get $25 off your first one by mentioning my name when you book. (It’s Kas-ee-ah ;))
Now for the real fun, how my skin looks compared to this time a year ago. I’m sad to say that due to being a hermit crab through my teens, I have no amazing photos to show you of my acne journey. The photos below compare my skin in September 2016 to September 2017. In those 12 months, I have had approx 6 Microdermabrasion treatments and 3 Fractional RF treatments.
I’m extremely grateful that I managed to get on top of my skin before things got nasty. I’m also lucky I was built with (reasonably) thick skin and made it through high school without chopping my head off. I have so much love for people battling this exact problem, you got this.
In love, clean skin and happy days,