Anyone who follows skin care therapies obsessively the way I do (hence why maybe you’re reading this blog??), will have a good idea that laser facials are pretty much the benchmark of anti-ageing treatments. Laser treatments are the preferred choice for A-list celebrities (think Kardashians) and usually the most invasive, deeply-impacting and expensive. The main difference between the lasers on the market is whether or not they are ablative or non-ablative. The basic difference between ablative and non-ablative treatments is that ablative lasers actually remove the top layer of skin to penetrate the most bottom layers of the dermis, while non-ablative lasers work by simply heating up the underlying skin tissue (without harming the surface) to stimulate new collagen on the epidermis (superficial level). Of course, with the ablative treatments, which are much more powerful and go that much deeper, they hail much better results.
Before heading to Estherica Clinic in Walthamstow, I was advised to have 4 – 5 days of downtime, so I gave myself 7, just to be safe. Finding a whole week in your schedule to basically stay inside all day long is not easy. But I wanted to do this properly – and that meant no-make up and basically staying in for a whole week away from harmful UV rays (even cloudy days the sun would be too strong for a freshly fractionated face).
The fractional layer basically makes microscopic holes deep into the skin which create a ‘wound’ to the face. It takes the CO2 laser beam and fractionates, or pixellates that beam into thousands of tiny little shafts of light. The skin then repairs those tiny shafts by pushing out the old sun damaged skin and replacing it with the new skin. The collateral heat damage also helps to shrink existing collagen. The machine has various settings based on how deep you would like the laser to penetrate, going up to 2500nm, which is currently the longest wavelength on the market. This then creates a huge regeneration process which stimulates new collagen and brings new ‘baby’ skin to the surface, hence why it will make you look about 5 years younger instantly. It then last six months to one year depending on how well you take care and protect your skin. If you stay out of the sun, wear hats and SPF even when driving and taking quick walks, the effects can last a few years. The fractional laser can treat deeper wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation and reverse sun damage. It was used all over my face including the eye areas and around the mouth. It also helps to reduce pores and improve overall texture and tone, giving your skin that vibrant ‘shiny’ look of Hollywood A-listers.
There are many different types of laser treatments offered which are In fact ebriums and not. These are cheaper where a full face fractional can cost in the region of $1500 – $3000.
The girls at Esthetica Clinic were all absolutely amazing – one thing I noticed is that they all had incredible skin and that was a telling sign that the women here knew what they were doing. I took my 3 year old daughter, Mila, and the staff basically babysat her from the minute I walked in the door – offering her drinks, toys, a kindle and even chocolate (with Mummy’s permission first of course!) Mila was free to pop in to the treatment room at any time to check on Mummy but she soon found it boring and retreated to her playtime with the girls in the lobby. Most Mums will know that taking a child with you to a spa environment is always a risk in the realm of stress-free parenting and we all have fears of whether or not our child will just ‘sit it out patiently’ or become a screaming nightmare – but I can whole-heartedly say this never felt like an issue for me here and even when Mila was having one of her moments, Aga handled it calmly and patiently and it never once felt awkward knowing I’d brought my child along.
I felt immediately very hot – like a very strong sunburn. Not a sharp stinging burn, but just very hot. I had to constantly fan my face with a magazine or it was unbearable. Aga told me that in no way, could I take a bus or a tube through the dirty, polluted streets back to Central London. I had to take an Uber with no air conditioning. When we got to the train, it was crowded but fortunately, it was a wet, foggy day with no sunshine. People were staring as my face was as red as a tomato – but they soon turned away as it was pretty obvious that it was some form of vain, beauty treatment and I was in fact not in any medical distress. When I got home, I had to continue fanning right up until bedtime, and I would say the heat and swelling peaked around midnight.
I woke up to sun pouring through the windows, of course, I had the curtains shut, but the room was still bright with small amounts of rays coming through. I moved to the living room being very aware of how ‘open’ my skin was and vulnerable to the sun. I wanted to be somewhere very dark and away from sunlight. To my delight, for the next thre days it rained. The first night was the most uncomfortable where I constantly had to fan my face to ease the persistent stinging and discomfort. Slowly, as each 12 hours passed, my fave became less and less red.
One month later, my skin is still looking and feeling amazing.