Skin Diary: New Zealand Weddings Editor Sees The Light

The opportunity to get glowing skin for summer at nationwide skin experts, About Face, was something New Zealand Weddings editor Pamela McIntosh recently jumped at ­– in the name of research for brides to be, of course.


    As a bridal magazine editor and mum to a pre-schooler, taking time out for myself mostly consists of slapping on a face mask in the evenings while I convince my daughter to get in the bath. (I’m secretly looking forward to the day when she asks to do a face mask too!)

    Admittedly, I have put more effort into my night-time skin regime, because I truly feel it makes a difference to my skin in the morning and I suggest – as busy brides-to-be – you give yourself that pampering time before shut-eye too.

    After chatting to the friendly therapists at About Face Te Atatu (one of About Face’s seven clinics Auckland-wide), we decided that the Omnilux Light Therapy , also known as the Glow Treatment, was the best way to heal my skin’s imperfections and release the radiance in as little as just a few weeks.

    For best and quick results, I was prepared to invest an hour or so of my time every second day for intense facial therapy, and I was excited.

    SKIN BEHAVING BADLY

    My first session was with Gabby. She, like all the About Face therapists I saw over the next few weeks, was filled with knowledge, was so kind and easy (ie. non-judgey) to speak to.

    [For pre-wedding treatments, you’ll likely see the same therapist at the same clinic for your entire skin therapy treatment. This is amazing because they (and you) will be able to see your skin improve after each session. For the purpose of this trial I visited a few clinics and therapists over my personal treatment period].

    Gabby went through a consultant process with me to learn about my skin’s behaviour, my behaviour (like touching those pesky pimples mindlessly, often while driving as was quick to discover), and the reason why red and blue LED light treatment is a must-try.

    RESULTS & REASONING

    My goal? To enhance radiance. I’m 30-something and I’m noticing deeper-set lines, monthly hormonal acne around my chin and a dry and dull appearance.

    This treatment was perfect for me. I asked Gabby more about LED light treatment and what it does for your skin:

    “It makes your skin feel alive. It makes your skin glow and it feels like you’ve got a built-in primer."

    I’m in.

    “The Omnilux Revive is a bright red light (that is safe for your eyes, goggles are worn),” explained Gabby. “The reason we like to start with this is to help with circulation and detoxing. It gets the blood moving and will increase skin hydration. It also stimulates collagen and elastic production. It’s basically waking up all the functions in the skin that gets lazy as we age.”

    “The Omnilux Blue works on acne bacteria, and it works wonders on severe acne.”

    My first and last treatments would include a skin peel, which is not as dramatic as it sounds.

    “Generally we like to start off with a peel because it wipes the slate clean and it means we’ve got a great surface to work with,” explained Gabby. “It removes dead skin and some are hydrating, anti-bacterial. Some of them you’ll find flaking a few days later, and only bad cells will flake off and peel, so you don’t want those anyway.”

    Over the next week I alternated 20-minute sessions of Red and Blue LED light treatments. While the lights work their magic, the About Face therapist gives you a head and shoulder massage, absolute bliss. It truly is as much of a treat for the soul and the skin.

    HOME CARE

    Along the way, I introduced my skin to five new products, shown below. The key addition for my skin was vitamin A.

    Vitamin A is crucial for healthy and beautiful skin – it’s the only known molecule that helps keeps the skin supple as well as providing anti-ageing benefits.

    Dr Des Fernandes, founder and scientific director of Environ (stocked at About Face) says that ageing skin is a direct result of sun-induced vitamin A deficiency. “Correct the deficiency and you’ll enjoy more radiant skin.”

    Ah-ha moment!

    The thing to note with vitamin A is that you should introduce it to your skin by gradually upping the dose. That’s why a quick trip to About Face is crucial before adding it to your skincare regime, they’ll be able to help you get on the path.

    Three weeks on, and I think the combination of Omnilux Treatments, vitamin A and a peel at the beginning and end of the treatment definitely improved my skin.

    I also got bonus knowledge and I know look at my skin and my skincare regime in a totally different light. Pun intended.

    The at-home products Pamela used: (from left) Environ AVST Moisturiser 1, $81; Environ Skin EssentiA Eye Gel, $68; Environ Colostrum Gel, $86; Ultraceuticals Ultra Gentle Exfoliating Gel, $72.  Ultraceuticals Ultra Hydrating Milk Cleanser, $72.

    My last treatment is a triple threat for the skin (in the best possible way). The Power of Three facial began with a peel (some gel microdermabrasion), an omnilux treatment, then a vitamin-enriched infusion. My skin was hydrated, healthy and plumped – I think it wound back the clock a few years.

    Before and after! Magazine editor and mum, Pamela McIntosh, takes time out for herself and sees clarity and brightness in her skin in just three weeks, thanks to treatments at About Face.

    For me, the three weeks of About Face Treatments were great for my skin, relaxing for my mind and soul, and super educational as well. Here’s my top tips from what I learned from the skin therapists at About Face:

    • Wear broad spectrum SPF every day. All year round. Often we remember in summer when the sun’s out, but UV rays are extremely ageing and you are exposed to them year-round – even in the middle of winter.
    • Try and have a couple of makeup-free days, your skin will thank you for it.
    • Drink water often, a few litres a day is ideal. General rule is that for each coffee you drink your body will need an extra four glasses to compensate for the effect of caffeine. Yikes.
    • Vitamin A is essential for skin recovery and anti-ageing. Look into it.
    • Keep your hands away from your face if you’re prone to acne. Think about the times that you subconsciously touch/pick (the most common is while watching television and while driving) and try to avoid that.
    • Remember to thoroughly cleanse your lips. Oil cleansers are really hydrating and often the lips are forgotten in terms of cleansing.

    Pop in and see the friendly team at any About Face clinic Auckland-wide.


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