Yep, it’s decided. In 2015 I want to start afresh with my complexion. I want it to look like a blank page on a clean white notebook. So naturally, I’ve been researching new skin treatments. Last year I wrote a story for Vogue that saw me testing out all the latest skin rejuvenating treatments and I did a course of Laser Genesis at Face Plus Medispa. I was so happy with my shiny new skin (it got rid of the redness around my nose and old blemish scars on my chin) that I called Face Plus to see what new treatments they were offering. Turns out they’ve just launched the Photogenesis Facial – the ultimate complexion-perfecting duo that combines the pigment-blitzing effects of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) with the redness-zapping benefits of Laser Genesis.
A week later I front up to Face Plus Medispa – which looks just the way you want a medispa to look: with orchids en masse, sleek black Barcelona chairs and David Bromley paintings on the wall. Not a clinical kidney dish or syringe in site. Their location, high above Westfield in Sydney’s Bondi Junction affords a postcard view out to the ocean and the vibe in the clinic is ‘mums-the-word’ luxury. A slew of Sydney’s A-listers frequently breeze into Face Plus via the private side door for medi-facials, Botox or appointments with celebrity cosmetic surgeon, Dr William Mooney (known for his ‘has-she-or-hasn’t-she?’ nose jobs).
Once inside the treatment room, my therapist Yvonne, an Irish porcelain-skinned beauty, cleanses my skin and takes photos so we can track the progress of the treatments. As she tapes some tissue and places goggles over my eyes to protect them, she explains that the facial works on two different wavelengths of lights so it’s able to target different concerns.
“Limelight, which is our IPL, penetrates about a millimeter, so that’s just working on the clarity, the colour of your skin, so the vessels, pigment, sun damage – and then what the limelight doesn’t do the laser genesis mops up. It penetrates 2mls so that’s going right to the epidermal layer and it’s working on the texture, your collagen production,” she explains as she boots the machine up and starts running the handpiece over a small area on jaw.
It ‘bings’ and whirrs like a video game and feels like a small patch of intense heat. It’s almost relaxing but for the occasional hot prickling sensation.
“You can feel that it gets to a point here that it gets hot, it’s not impairing the skins function, just giving it enough heat for it to actually trick the skin so the damage response kicks in and boosts your collagen and elastin production.”
After about half an hour we take a break and move onto the Limelight IPL. Yvonne changes handpieces and starts her journey across my skin again. It’s not as comfortable as the genesis – it feels a bit like a square inch-sized flick of heat and electricity, but it’s over in a second and I distract myself with visions of my own flawless, freckle-free forehead and gleaming, collagen-plumped cheekbones. Half an hour later Yvonne takes off my goggles and examines my skin.
“I’m so excited, we really got some of that pigment,” she says handing me the mirror. My skin is pink and my freckles look a bit darker, but nothing that couldn’t be covered up with a little makeup. She makes me promise to stay out of the sun (very important with any laser treatments) and applies a lovely SPF – Omni Derm Sun Protect for my trip back to the car. She also gives me some sample pots of super-indulgent Dr. Spiller Rinazell cream to soothe and hydrate my skin post treatment. The freckles and pigment on my face will darken over the next week and flake off, leaving fresh New Year-ready skin underneath.
For most clients Yvonne recommends three treatments at least a month apart ($1500 if you buy a pack of three or $700 per session), and then ideally six month top ups, but she does tailor a package according to what your needs are and can work within your budget.
“It’s for all age groups and is really good for someone who’s on a timeframe, they want results as quick as possible,” she says as she packs my samples into a bag “It would suit someone brides or if you have an event coming up, because you get the two in one hit, you save time.”
A week later and my dark spots have flaked off beautifully. My skin looks really clean and shiny and I know from last lot of laser genesis that the best results are actually a couple of months after the treatment when the cells have started creating new collagen. It looks like I’ll be starting the New Year with a fresh new complexion after all. Now onto the yoga.
Story by Sigourney. Sponsored by Face Plus Medispa.