You may recall that I've previously been to Cadogan Cosmetics to try their Lady Sloane Facial, a powerful treatment to combat all kinds of skin complaints from congestion to ageing. Whilst I was there I put my face in the scary-yet-totally harmless skin assessment machine, which gives you a frightening glimpse into what lies beneath. For me, it was a whole heap of sun damage – not surprising really seeing as on a fairness scale of 1-10, my skin colour is a solid 1, and it burns rather than tans. I have also been extremely slack with SPF over the years, turns out Baz Luhrmann was right in his sunscreen song (remember that?). The lovely therapist Sophie explained to me at the time that what I had thought were new freckles on my face and hands were actually sun spots, a.k.a sun damage visible to the eye, and she suggested IPL Skin Rejuvenation to zap them away.
I've tried IPL (intense pulsed light) before for hair removal. High intensity light sources (that are definitely not lasers) are used to restrict hair growth at the root – handy for places where you don't want hair to ever grow again. I didn't realise that IPL can also be used to treat skin, but the quick flashing light is absorbed by pigmentation in sun spots, broken veins or capillaries, rosacea and acne, and breaks them down. The treatment has the added bonus of stimulating collagen, so skin appears more youthful, with more even texture and tone.
When I headed back to Cadogan Cosmetics Sophie took me through to a treatment room and then gently double cleansed my face. I forgot where I was for a moment, but then recalled it wasn't a relaxing facial I was about to have. I needn't have worried about the IPL machine though, it's not painful, just irritating – like someone flicking a rubber band on your skin. Sophie used two different coloured lights – one to reduce redness in my spots, and one to tackle sun damage. Each bit of my face was IPL-ed, but it's super quick as the head of the machine is quite large – a whole cheek is just two pulses, if that makes sense. She said my skin might be quite red afterwards, but my face was fine, the skin on the backs of my hands, however, was much redder and slightly sore. Sophie put ice on these, and pretty much by the time I'd left the clinic any redness was gone.
It's recommended that you don't wear makeup for twenty-four hours after a treatment, and keep out of the sun of course (and plaster on SPF forever and ever, as we all should, right Baz?). I was told that any sun spots would turn into scabs and fall off, which is way less gross than it sounds. The dried up sun spots turn into the teensiest little black spots – the size of pin pricks, no one will notice them. It was easier to keep up to date with the progress on my hand scabs, and these left after five days at the most. Where I had 'freckles' I now have clear skin. By the way, IPL won't work on actual freckles; although the sun brings them out, they are slightly different to sun spots.
The day after my treatment my skin looks amazing, really glowing and plumped up, like I've just had an intense facial. This lasts a few days, and two weeks on my skin is noticeably smoother and softer. A mahoosive spot I had didn't go, but it definitely became less red and angry, and some tiny little red veins I'd had at the bottom sides of my nose are completely gone. Although my sun spots weren't a huge problem to me, it's good to know that I'm nipping pigmentation problems like these in the bud now as they only get worse with age. Although I have many skin problems, lines aren't one of the worst, so I don't know how good IPL would be for reversing this kind of skin ageing, but it sure freshens you up and evens out skin tone – which is ultimately good for a more youthful appearance. Cadogan Clinic recommends a course of three treatments for the best results, and I'm so happy with one, I will definitely go back for the other two to see even more improvements. This is a truly lovely clinic, everyone is so friendly and helpful, and their non-surgical procedures really deliver.
Call Cadogan Cosmetics to arrange a patch test and consultation. My IPL treatment was complimentary.