Heading into Christmas my skin looked awful- worse than it ever had. Name an affliction and I had it. Finally, I’d had it, too.
Having coasted on a regime that barely went beyond a splosh in a (hot) shower for the first 45 years then graduated to sunscreen plus Crème de la Mer eyecream and a monthly facial for the last five (note no daily care whatsoever), it was finally time to grow up and develop a routine.
I started with a round of IPL at Suite 22 to fade some large freckles (OK, OK ‘agespots’) on the jawline that were particularly irksome. After one zap they turned dark dark brown and fell away five days later, as did some little freckles under my eyes that hadn’t yet even come on my radar (there’s a lot you don’t see when you need readers to look). I’m not gonna lie- IPL hurts a bit, but only for about an hour and it’s nothing a stout ice pack and a Nurofen can’t settle. Immediately, my skin felt much smoother and softer; pore size diminished, too.
A week after the IPL, I headed to Nuala Woulfe for one of her new “Ultimate Skin Glossing and Anti-Ageing Facials”. With a name like that, how could you not? It starts with exposure to LED light that tightens skin and stimulates collagen production. Some people find this part a little claustrophobic but I found it actually quite relaxing after you got used to the initial drama of the light pulses. A jet peel and salicylic peel follow, which slough off impurities and then Nuala gets to work with her magic hands. My skin drank in every ounce of hydration it was exposed to- to the point that when she applied tissue to soak up excess there wasn’t a drop to capture. She finished off with a Vitamin C mask, which my skin also gulped down and a directive to start a proper skincare regime while I took in the pretty darn miraculous results. She basically gave me a new face in 90 minutes.
Like a dieter who’s jumped on the scale and discovered a pound gone, I was suddenly stoked up to do even more, myself. Enter Skinceuticals Prevent Protect Correct Regime. Its scientific, no-nonsense approach appealed – a consultant came up with just the right amount of potions addressing my specific problems- pigmentation, stress, ageing. So now I start the day with a basic gentle cleanser which I work in with a Clarisonic, then I apply Daily Moisture and every few nights I whoosh on a squirt of Retinol 1.0, which lifts the top layer of skin on my cheekbones, revealing fresher foundations by morning. I also religiously apply Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30 even if it’s bucketing rain or sleeting. Every now and then, when I remember, I also mix in a few drops of Phloretin CF into the moisturiser to stifle the return of those age spots. I can’t vouch for that part of the regime – the weather lately hasn’t exactly tested anyone’s melanin output – but I’m not taking any chances.
My skin doesn’t know what hit it but it loves the attention. After a good seven weeks, it’s back to where it was about a decade ago. If I pinch my cheeks, they pinken and return to cheek shape lickety split, which is not something I could’ve claimed in all honesty way back in 2013.