Microdermabrasion part 2: Beautify Me

The other week I reported on my inaugural microderm treatment and trumpeted it as a perfect little pick-me-up for the busy working person. However,  as a scientist I always get a bit twitchy when judging something on a ‘one off’ experience so I managed to twist the arm of another medi-spa virgin in order to gain a little more perspective on the situation.

It is easy to forget what a daunting task it is to cross the threshold of one of these establishments for the first time.  The windows are often tinted for privacy making it hard to sus-out what lies behind, the staff are often flawless, busy and can sometimes make you feel so ‘unwashed’ by their sparkliness. Oh, and then there’s the cost. We save up our hard-earned pennies, take a deep breath and walk in only to find that our treatment comes with ‘hidden extras’ in the shape of day creams, night creams, pre-treatment creams, post-treatment creams and ice-creams (?)  Of course  the reality is often a lot softer and kinder but us newbies don’t see it like that. We feel like that new girl that just came out the toilets with her dress caught up in her knickers…..

So, if you keep walking past the medi spa but dare not yet reach for that door knob take a leaf out of Kristins book. Just do it (and then tell us all how it went).

Solving the Mystery of Microdermabrasion
By: Kristin Rohan.
My little secret is out – I just turned 40 – and though I’m not upset about this milestone, it did inspire me to think about how well I was
taking care of myself — specifically my skin. I have shunned facials and spa treatments and expensive creams my whole […]

Intensive Scrubbing – Microdermabrasion

It was some trepidation that I signed up for a micro-blast series of treatment. It’s not that I don’t have ‘problem’ skin because I do, it was more to do with my fear  no, concerns over the impact that excessive exfoliation could have on my already  picked and prodded skin. I didn’t want to put it under any more stress.

So was I right to be fearful? Let’s see.

Microdermabrasion removed the top layers of the skin thanks to a little revolving and exfoliation head made of diamond.  A little round pad (rather like a corn plaster) gets stuck on at the business end which is then attached to a suction tube. This turns the thing into a powerful little skin vacuum cleaner!

The machine is designed to gently take away the dead and dull cells that are taking their time to buzz off, revealing a softer and more vibrant layer of skin underneath.  This makes it a great lunch-break treatment  as you don’t end up looking raw and savaged and down-time is practically zero!  But not everyone can micro-blast.

If you have pustular acne, cold sores or rosacea this is not for you. It can also aggravate skin that suffers from frequent flushing and should not be used if you have sun-burn.  The fact that  your top layer of skin is being removed means you should choose your practitioner with care. This isn’t JUST another facial….

I chose to go to the Heber Davis Skin Clinic in Sydney’s Broadway because I have worked with the Ultraceuticals brand (in another working life) and know  a bit about the clinics founders.  Being a novice with a less-than-perfect skin history I wanted the only people touching my skin to be medically trained*  Not all medi-spa’s are staffed by medical professionals. Anyone can buy a cosmetic grade lazer and […]

Acne – its just not fair!

OK, so I am 35 (ouch) and have suffered from acne since I was 11. That is just plain mean! I eat my fruit and veg (sometimes), go to bed early (in the morning) exercise regularly (that’s true) and have a “glass half full” attitude to life but that doesn’t seem to help.  My skin is still intent on making me feel sad 🙁 but I will not give in. I am just going to ignor it!

Let me tell you a little story…

As soon as puberty started knocking on my door the spots started. I shouldn’t have been that surprised as my parents had had a few spots in their time but I was to go where none of our family had gone before – into the purple zone.  Having suffered from eczema since birth I was no stranger to skin ache and took the first few spots in my stride. In fact I quite enjoyed popping them (and still do).

Anyway, it was when I was about 14 that things went pretty badly downhill.  I started to get some awful pimples that just wouldn’t go away. My mum took me along to my GP for some therapy!

I was put on antibiotics and things got better. For a while….

After a year or so my spots started to come back and I was put on the combined oral contraceptive pill alongside my antibiotics (the dose of which was increased).

And things got better again. For a while….

Then when I was 17 things crashed. My liver started to fail and I got a wicked orange tan because of the build up of bile in my system. I felt terrible and looked like the Tango woman.  I only had […]

Take it Off!

Summer in Australia means only one thing, taking it all off. Whether it be your hair, clothes or skin, as the temperature soars the desire to break free from our winter coat grows. But when it comes to the skin, just how much scrubbing is enough? Can exfoliating be harmful and is it addictive? Let’s see…..

Our skin renews its self every 24-32 days or so. As this is a gradual process we don’t often notice until it comes to emptying the vaccume cleaner bag -most of that grey stuff is you. Nice!
When summer arrives we notice everything. The skin on our legs seems a bit dryer and more scaly than

usual, our arms are bumpy and our faces are not all glowing and smooth like the adverts tell us they should be. So why would that be? Well, during the winter we tend to cover up more and so don’t pay so much attention to our extremities.While we probably indulge in a few more hot baths in winter than summer we shave less meaning that the legs do reach their own happy balance, give or take. Come summer and we go into overdrive with the exfoliating, shaving, moisturizing and fake tan routine. We also expose the skin to the sun, even more bathing (this time in the pool and the sea) and the drying effects of air conditioning coupled with alternate humidity and scorching dry winds. This serves as a rude wake up call for your poor old skin.

To scrub or not to scrub?
Scrubbing away scaly, dry skin feels good and if you are a fake tan user it can be the step that makes all
of the difference to the final look. […]

Pigmentation – Your Skins Colour Evolution!

The recent and untimely death of Michael Jackson has (among other things) brought skin colour to our attention. The speculation over Michael’s own skin will continue for many years as the media and fans remain locked in discussions, trying to ascertain whether the lightening was self inflicted or naturally caused.  Whatever the outcome in Michael Jackson’s case (and I am NOT going to be the first to know) the fact remains that uneven pigmentation affects many of us non-celebrities over our lifetime.

Our skin is coloured by melanin and genes determine the amount of melanin that your skin can produce.  Melanin is the skin’s protection against sunburn so it is logical that the skin produces more melanin when exposed to the sun, giving you a tan.  It is also logical that the genes for dark skin developed closer to the equator where the sun’s rays are strongest– although there is some discussion over the evolution of skin colour, this is for another day!  So, we get born into a world full of colour and for most of us, that colour is evenly spread out all over our body  – with a few moles (Nevi) ,freckles and a birth mark or two  as the exception.

As we grow, our skin is developing a relationship with the world around us, adapting as far as it can do deal with the conditions that we find ourselves in. However, our natural mechanisms can only take us so far and if that point is crossed, regularly, there can be implications in the form of ill health, skin pigmentation problems and cancerous growths.  You may be thinking that the environment is the number one cause of skin pigmentation issues. That may be […]