I like to think that I am pretty okay with the extra grey hairs and fine(ish) lines that seemed to appear overnight once I hit 40. Back to reality, they are often the first thing I see when I look in the mirror and not in a good way.
I swing between trying to keep myself looking as youthful as possible and embracing the ageing process.
Is Microdermabrasion vanity?
Many of you will know that I decided to have my teeth fixed last year (still a work in progress but I’m now only 6 weeks away from the finish line). It is something I deliberated over for years as I am all too aware that although the dentist had recommended it due to physical discomfort, it was probably 70% vanity and 30% necessity.
The question I continue to ask myself is this: where is the line between looking after yourself and falling prey to vanity?
I stand by my pledge to never succumb to botox (although I know more and more people in my peer group who have) and I would not invest any money in plastic surgery. BUT (there’s always a but, right?) I am intrigued by any of the readily-available-to-the-average-woman options, to keep my body, skin and hair in the best condition possible.
When SkinBase offered me the opportunity to try a microdermabrasion facial at a local salon, I was ready to book in at the earliest opportunity.
What is Microdermabrasion?
Microdermabrasion is a chemical-free, non-invasive facial that ‘intensely exfoliates and resurfaces the skin‘.
A small handset is used to direct a fine stream of crystals over the treatment area and mild suction removes the crystal & skin debris to reveal younger, healthier-looking skin. Who doesn’t want some of that?
Who is microdermabrasion for?
I was interested to read that when used for anti-ageing purposes, microdermabrasion is most suited to 35-50 year old skin; result! However, my therapist – Charlotte at Pure Bliss in Wokingham – told me that a course of microdermabrasion works brilliantly for acne scarring, black heads and pigmentation in people of any age.
Wait for it, you’re about to see the face of a 40-something woman in her natural habitat – make-up free with no trace of an eyebrow pencil. Whilst I felt a tad uncomfortable leaving the house in this state, it was an important part of the process.
Before attending my appointment I would have described my skin as a little dull and lifeless. For the record, I don’t drink nearly enough water, rarely exfoliate (once a decade) and only in the last 3 years have I created a decent skincare regime.
My Microdermabrasion Experience
On arrival at Pure Bliss Wokingham, Charlotte asked me if there were any areas of my skin that I wanted to specifically target. On the whole my skin is quite good but I do have deep lines on my forehead and particularly between my eyebrows (mainly due to frowning at my teenagers!).
I asked Charlotte what kind of impact one treatment might have. She explained that a single SkinBase™ treatment can remove up to three times the number of dead skin cells of other exfoliating treatments and that people do see good results after just one visit.
Before commencing the treatment, she removed any remaining make up and creams, then got to work with the handset. It felt like a mini sanding machine brushing across my face and lasted for about 20 minutes. She spent longer on the areas that I had mentioned and explained that my whole face might look red for an hour or so after the treatment.
If you’d bumped into me on the street after the treatment, yes you might have been a little horrified by my naked face, but it didn’t look unusually red.
According to SkinBase, microdermabrasion ‘stimulates the blood flow, encouraging the skin to rejuvenate itself and produce collagen and elastin‘. After 3 days, my skin would have had the optimum time to complete this process.
The only area that did stay red for a good 24 hours afterwards, was that groove in between my eyebrows. I was keen to see how it would look after the magic 3 days.
I took Charlotte’s advice, ensuring I drank at least 1.5 litres of water per day for the next 3 days and although I’m wearing eye make up here, I don’t have anything on my skin.
My skin felt really smooth and I could see a slight reduction in lines, particularly that one area in between my eyebrows. The biggest difference though, was that my skin felt ‘alive’ with a glow that I hadn’t seen in a long time.
Charlotte told me that many of her clients use microdermabrasion for a quick ‘boost’ when they feel that their skin needs it – perhaps 3 days before a wedding, a holiday or another big event. I could definitely see the difference and would use both the treatment and salon again. I was kindly gifted this initial treatment by SkinBase but it would normally cost around £40.00.