I was told as a child that acne would be a phase. You get past those pesky teenage years and spots and bumps no more. Well, I can tell you it is all lies! In my case anyway. However, in the last year, my skin has improved a million times over so the lovely Laserpod team asked me to write about my experiences.
Stage 1 My skin hates me
I met Siobhan in fits of despair. I mean close to weeping and wailing and declaring I was going to hide in the house for a week. A zit I can handle but a cluster? Not only embarrassing but going to work covered in spots and trying to hide it was soul-destroying. Plus it seemed to last for about a week and then come again on a monthly cycle. Hmm thanks, body – I’ll stay away from the chocolate I promise – stop erupting!
Stage 2 – Let’s give this a try
I decided that I needed help. My skin had become so bad I could barely leave the house. My social life was in tatters and even work was suffering. Anyone who has had acne will know what a massive impact it has on your confidence. The first time I met Siobhan I even struggled to remove makeup in front of her. It helped Shiv was so lovely quickly pointing out she has seen it all before. After having a look at me through her UV machine thingy she diagnosed my skin as dry, sensitive and very prone to reactions. Her first step was to tell me to only use mineral makeup and hypoallergenic moisturiser recommending some products she thought would help me.
Stage 3 Trying a Skin Peel
After we chatted in depth Siobhan recommended that we start a course of skin peels. We chatted about which one to start on. I wanted the strongest one but Shiv insisted I tried the mask peel first in case of sensitivity. If you have seen sex in the City with the chemical peel from hell you will know why I listened! Actually thought Shiv explained the only side effects were redness and some patches of dry skin. It could also cause some peeling too. Frankly at this point, if she had wanted me I might grow a new nose I would probably say yes go for it. Desperation was looming.
Stage 4 Peels helped but didn’t cure
After having 3 of the Mask peels (I think I had them every six to 8 weeks) I saw a slight improvement and my complexion definitely looked brighter and more even but I was still getting breakouts. Siobhan said we could try something strong so we switched to the Milk Peel. I was lucky in that I didn’t experience much dryness with either of the skin peels. The Milk peel felt pretty much exactly the same when it was being applied. Your skin feels slightly stingy and if you have any spots or blemishes it can sting quite a lot. Don’t pick a spot before this it will be agony!
Stage 5 Combining treatments
After two of the Milk peels, I was experiencing less of my spot clusters although they weren’t completely gone? Shiv suggested to me when I came to her looking spot-free (something I have rarely been in 30+ years) that it could be worth trying a derma roller. Honestly, I was a little worried. they look torturous! However, she reassured me and (literally held my hand) through the first one. It is really weird – it feels a bit like someone is rolling loads of needles over you. Funny that because they are.
Stage 6 Derma Roller
My experience of this was mixed. It undoubtedly made a huge difference to my scars, my skin looked really healthy and nice within a few days but it did hurt. Apparently, some people find it worse than others, although I absolutely love the results I found it painful. Annoyingly my best friend who I brought to Laserpod seemed to think it was nothing and made me feel like a total wuss. She still swears by derma rollers and comes out all “no biggie.” I secretly hate her.
Stage 7 Derma Pen
While the derma roller had good results for scarring it was hard for me because frankly, I am wimpy. I called Siobhan asking if I should cancel and she suggested using the derma pen. This moves a lot faster and is easier for some people to tolerate. I trust Shiv so I dutifully lay back and thought of clear skin.
The derma pen felt like mild stinging. Not painful at all even to a wuss like me.
I need to write this in a new sentence so the magnitude can be appreciated here…
Totally. Clear. Skin
Stage 8 Acne free and counting
I had never experienced this at all – there wasn’t a blemish in sight. My skin feels smoother and the derma pen even helped with the acne scars. I can tell you I don’t wear foundation anymore. For someone suffering from adult acne that is so incredible to say. Currently, I am going to see Siobhan around every six weeks and my skin seems under control.
So I hope my skin diary helped. I have said to Siobhan if people have questions I am happy for her to email them to me. Sorry but no before pictures – no one wants to be known as the acne woman and finally I won’t be!