PCOS and Hair Removal update (2 years on…)

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 1 - 2012

Nggggggghhhhhhh.

That’s the sound of me procrastinating over the writing of this post.  I am one of those annoying oversharers by nature, but there are some things in life that are easier to share than others right?  I’ll show you my pretty nails, you show me your hairy chins?  Or maybe not.  But… it’s been a year since my last update.

OK, I’ll show you my hairy chin and scare off any poor site visitor who doesn’t know the back story.

You see, I have PCOS – which stands for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.  It’s quite a common thing to have and affects around 1in10 women in the UK.  To over-simplify it a bit (a lot), it means that your hormones are whack… which brings about all sorts of rubbish symptoms including: infertility, acne, weight gain, hirsutism (excess hair).  Those are the playful symptoms, some of the more serious ones (heart disease & diabetes being two of them) are yet to be fully understood as the syndrome was only officially recognised as affecting more than just a woman’s ability to procreate a mere 30 years ago.

Not everyone gets every symptom.  Personally, I experience: infertility *looks at Leila with wonder etc. etc.*, weight-gain (well, I might aswell blame it on something?), hirsutism, and insulin resistance (which is where your body fails to react to the release of insulin in a normal manner – may or may not be a precursor to diabetes).

Still being fairly young and vain, my biggest hatred of the syndrome when I was first diagnosed was directed toward the hirsutism.  No girl in their teens wants to wake up and see a member of ZZ Top looking back at them in the mirror.

This was the extent of my hirsutism a couple of years ago, prior to undergoing laser hair removal.

Devastating is the most accurate word I can use to describe how something like this can make you feel.  Masculine would be the other.

This is how my chin looks today.  Take note that this is almost TWO weeks of hair growth, not two days as shown above.

Two freakin’ weeks people.

I’m actually inclined to believe that the top lip is generic old-lady (getting there) moustache growth rather than hormone related.  It’s fine and downy (which you can probably see), my old hair-growth in this area was coarse and stubbly.  Which basically means that I’ve just shown you my ‘tache and I have no “hormonal” excuse for it.  Cringe.

To say that my life has been changed by laser hair removal is an understatement.  You only need to look at the pictures to understand the daily struggle I had with excess hair.

Let me clarify exactly what I’ve had done…

In the summer of 2010 – I had 6 laser sessions at my local sk:n clinic in Southampton (I received this treatment gratis, so that I could review the service).  It was fantastic and I can’t recommend them enough – I vlogged about most of my sessions, you can find the posts by reading my laser hair removal adventures tag.  I followed this up in the Summer of 2011 with 5 IPL (intense pulsed light) sessions that I purchased via Groupon at another local salon.  This ‘topped up’ my original treatment and kept things gradually improving.

We’re now approaching Summer 2012 and I’ve just booked in for 6 IPL sessions at another local salon, again via Groupon.  The cost for the 6 sessions is in the region of £100.  A small yearly price to pay in order to remain almost completely hair-free.

There’s a common misconception about laser hair removal and IPL.  It’s not permanent hair removal and if you ever see it advertised as such, call bullshit on the provider.  It’s permanent hair reduction and salons are not actually legally entitled to use any other words to describe it.  As you can see from my experiences, it’s pretty full-on (fan-frickin-tastic) permanent hair reduction.  I would say that my hair growth has been reduced by at least 70% and shaving only once a week (once a fortnight sometimes) instead of twice a day has ensured that I will forever advocate the use of laser hair removal for PCOS sufferers.

Feel free to email me if you have any more sensitive questions you think I might be able to help with about the process.  Let me know how you guys are doing with the PCOS crap, I know that many of you have it (and it’s how you found the blog in the first place!)

OK, you can all stop looking at my chin now.


Laser/IPL and possible complications. Look after yourself.

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 13 - 2011

Probably the most important invention since the 2nd World War, lasers have been put to use in countless devices that have served society well.  From a personal point of view, they’ve changed my life and made me far more confident thanks to an excellent dose of hair removal courtesy of the SK:N clinic.

But let’s not forget even for a moment… that used incorrectly, or without care… lasers can be incredibly dangerous.

In October last year, the use of lasers for many cosmetic treatments was deregulated.  This essentially means that unless your hair removal treatment is adminstered by a doctor or a registered nurse, the operator no longer needs to register with the regulators.  To me, this is madness.  It means that the operators are often left unchecked and potentially untrained.

I’ve recently had a very close shave (pardon the pun) with a laser treatment.  I booked myself in to a local clinic for some IPL and they proceeded with a test patch.  On the first shot I felt enough of a ‘ping’ to make me jump and immediately knew things weren’t right.  When I got home, I could see that notch of skin had been clean removed from the area treated.

The above photo shows how the area looked immediately after treatment.  It shouldn’t look like this.  I contacted my practitioner who was horrified.  She said that she had never ‘burnt anyone before’ (her words) and asked me to come back if it didn’t heal well.

Here’s how it looked 2 days later… excuse the hairs, I obviously wasn’t shaving in the damaged area.  I looked after the burn carefully and used Aloe Vera on it regularly.  The most important thing was not to pick at the scab or dislodge it until it was ready to fall off.

This was three weeks ago and I’m left with a very, very small scar that’s not noticeable unless you know it’s there AND look for it.  Thankfully.

The IPL clinic have been very good since I flagged up this problem and I know that the operator has learnt a lot from it herself.  When I returned to the clinic we discussed what might have gone wrong in this instance and she agreed to test patch me a number of times in different places until we were confident this wouldn’t happen again.

I just want this to serve as a cautionary tale.  There are so many ‘deals’ around on IPL and Laser at the moment.

Please make sure that you:

1.  Get thoroughly test patched on all areas to be treated.

2.  Follow any advice you are given by your practitioner to the letter and most of all,

3.  Do your homework about your IPL/Laser provider.  Ask them questions and don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re unsure.

I consider myself incredibly fortunate.  A rogue operator may not have bothered to test patch and before you know it, you’re multiple shots in (you can do an entire lower face in around 6 minutes) and left with permanent scarring.

The GREAT BIG facial hair removal update

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 18 - 2011

How’s that for a post title you don’t want to see on a Monday morning?  Woke you up a bit though right?

I’ve been receiving queries as to how the hair removal thing is going and I thought that it was high time for another update.  Have you had your first, second and third coffees of the day yet?  I’m not really sure where to begin…

It was 3 days after Christmas when I found myself in the changing rooms at House of Fraser.  I thought I saw a spot developing along my jaw line so peered into the mirror for a closer look and got more than I bargained for when I noticed 4 long, dark but fine hairs sprouting from my neck near my ear lobe.

Gutted doesn’t really begin to describe it.  I left the changing rooms feeling deflated, ugly and most of all ashamed that I hadn’t noticed them before now… floods of insecurity washing over me as I wondered how many people might have noticed them without telling me.

Mr. L tried to assure me that he hadn’t seen them before and perhaps they’d regrown overnight (bless him).  I’d done the best I could to prepare myself for this outcome, I’d even told myself that it was practically inevitable but it still didn’t help dampen the overwhelming disappointment that I was facing the possibility of hitting a snake instead of a ladder and finding myself back at square one.

Ironically, one of the reasons we were battling the House of Fraser New Year sales was to get Mr. L a snazzy new electric shaver and that night… he let me use it first.  I was frustrated to be shaving properly again only 2 months after finishing my SK:N laser hair removal sessions but on the plus side, I can totally recommend this shaver for women with facial hair… every silver cloud and all that…

So where does that leave me now?  And what about the iPulse Smooth Skin?

4 months on from Christmas and I’m nowhere near ‘square one’ as feared.  Infact, it’s barely any worse than when I first noticed the regrowth.  I shave every 4 days now and it takes me about 40 seconds to run the rotary shaver over the outer edges of my top lip, neck and jawline.

It’s fine, dark and pliable… not as coarse as stubble but neither is it downy.  I began to write that I felt I had experienced about a 60-65% improvement than before my treatment until Mr. L reminded me that I used to have a freaking beard by tea-time.  True ‘dat.  I’ll upgrade it to a 75-85% improvement.

How about the at-home device?  The iPulse Smooth Skin (use discount code: BSKN55 for £50 off purchase price) that I was supposed to be using every week to maintain my smooth hair-free state?

Well… I just couldn’t keep the routine going… It was an epic chore to use on my face and had me cursing everytime I pulled it out of the box.  Here’s why:

~ The device would get hot quickly and needed frequent cool-down periods during use.
~ It’s very difficult to get all 4 contact points lined up on the skin simultaneously on hard facial angles like jawlines.
~ When you’re working on your face, you need a mirror… which means that all movements are in reverse.
~ You need to pencil over your lipline with a white eyeliner before use.

Add the above up and it was taking me over an hour to do my lower face.

But do I think the iPulse Smooth Skin worked?

Yes, I think it helped.  I still don’t notice any regrowth on the ‘flatter’ areas of my chin/jaw/neck which would be the areas that I was able to ensure were treated by the iPulse.  Can I be sure?  No… but I am sure that the device was a total pain in the backside to use.  I think it’s probably great for people with either limitless patience or lovely, flat, easy-to-reach areas to treat whilst distracting themselves with Eastenders.  But until it remains cooler for longer, it’s not great to use on your face when it’s such a tricky area to treat anyway.

And the SK:N clinic laser sessions? Well… I wouldn’t have enjoyed a hair free Summer last year or still be enjoying an average 80% reduction in facial hair without those sessions, painful though I found them.

I’ve just taken a photo of my chin/neck showing 2 days worth of hair growth, which can be directly compared to last year’s photo from before I commenced treatment.  I really don’t think I have too much to be sad about.

I’m about to take the next step in my quest for that elusive pot of hair-free gold.

I’ve purchased a block of 5 IPL sessions at a local salon (this is a different type to the laser treatment I received at SK:N last year) and I’m looking forward to hopefully commencing them later in the month.  I WILL be hairfree again this Summer and if I’m not?  I’m gonna let it grow and dye it purple.

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If you want to read back through my experiences of laser hair removal, click here to read through my “adventures in laser hair removal” which naturally, makes it sound far more glamourous than it is!

* The iPulse Smooth Skin was a press sample and I was a guest of my local SKN laser clinic

** The iPulse Smooth Skin can currently be purchased for £281.90 online at Boots using £50 off code: BSKN55 at checkout

Boots iPulse Smooth Skin IPL – Q&A

Posted by Lipglossiping On December - 2 - 2010

As I explained in my previous video, I’m slowly coming to terms with the simple truth that one course of laser hair removal won’t guarantee “permanent removal”.  The wording that’s generally used is “permanent reduction” and there’s a difference.  It’s comparatively far more permanent than other hair removal methods but will never be truly permanent without occasional treatment ‘top ups’.

What I’ve also realised (with the help of hindsight) is that this doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing because you don’t have the funds to cover constant salon visits or an expensive at home device.  The fact is that when (relatively) small amounts of hair do grow back, they’re often finer, more manageable and far less offensive(!) than their original growth patterns and this is precisely the ‘reduction’ that companies refer to.

I will happily confess that I have always placed a preference on having my unwanted hair zapped at a salon.  It’s far more expensive in the long run but there’s something to be said for placing yourself in the hands of a professional in circumstances where the eventual outcome is potentially life-changing.  It’s a confidence thing.

However, now that I understand and appreciate the need for these ‘top ups’, the thought of having an IPL device that I can use in the comfort of my own home is more tempting.  Despite this, there are considerations that should be addressed before you decide what’s right for you.  For everyone, these will be different.  For me, they go something like this.

1).  Will I be disciplined enough when using an at home device?  I wouldn’t miss a salon appt for fear of being penalty charged… it’s much easier to be lax with the treatments at home.
2).  Am I confident enough in my own abilities to use an at home device competently?
3).  Are at home devices as effective as salon treatments?
4).  Do I want to use an at home device from day 1 or invest in one for maintenance purposes once my salon treatment is finished?

The wonderful thing about technology is that it’s forever evolving and improving.  Hair removal is on the front line… it’s a highly sought after process and still incredibly expensive for the average consumer.  Companies are investing millions in developing the best machines possible for both home and salon use.

I recently attended an event where we had the opportunity to put questions to the people behind the Boots iPulse Smooth Skin, you can watch the highlights of this event in the video below:

iPulse currently hold the enviable title of being Boots biggest seller.  They’ve sold approximately 35,000 units through the high street retailer and the device has generated an average 4 star rating from consumers on the Boots website.  Many are treating general areas such as legs and underarms, whilst others focus on hormonal hair (face, neck, chin etc.)

I wanted to follow up and put some additional questions to the people behind the iPulse, focusing on issues related to treating hormonal hair.

1). Most “at home” IPL hair removal systems aren’t recommended for use on women with PCOS, am I right in thinking that you’ve updated your literature to specifically include considerations for PCOS sufferers who want to use the device?

We are aware that hormonal imbalances and in particuar PCOS, are extremely distressing conditions when the side effect can produce unwanted facial hair.  Boots Smooth Skin is suitable for use on the face and our research and clinical trials indicated a substantial reduction in facial hair and also our customers advised us that they were delighted with the results they have achieved in using the device on this sensitive area.

2). What are the main considerations that women with PCOS need to be aware of when using the iPulse?

The main considerations for customers with PCOS is that the hair growth cycle becomes irregular and therefore it may be necessary to give the area more treatments than other areas of the body.  Stimulation of hair growth to the facial area can be considerable when there are hormonal imbalances and it is good to be able to treat the area  as and when necessary.

3). What are the benefits of choosing the iPulse over going to my local salon for a course of IPL treatments?

Convenience and cost are the two main  benefits however, there are many more.  For some people privacy is important and this enables the treatment in comfort of your own home at a gtime convenient to you.  Another benefit is time.  Using Boots Smooth Skin will take approximately 6 – 12 weeks due to the regulated energy output enabling a weekly or fortnightly treatment.  With salon treatments you will have a four to six week waiting period between each treatment – probably needing 6 – 10 treatments to achieve the same results and then there is the cost and inconvenience of traveling to the salon when it suits them!

4). iPulse offer an “IPL system”, the treatment I underwent at the SK:N clinic was on a “laser system”.  What are the differences between the two treatments and is one more effective for reducing hormonal hair growth?

A laser is the first generation of hair removal systems using one beam of light to treat individual hairs – IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is the next generation of light based therapy systems using multiple wavelengths and a larger spot size which enables the treatment of many hairs at any one time.   Offering the same results – permanent hair reduction – it is generally thought that treatment is faster and pain free with IPL systems.

5). Would you say that the iPulse is a particularly suitable option for women like me who have already undergone laser treatment and are looking for a cost-effective way to maintain their results?

Most definitely, this is a great way to keep previously treated areas hair free without the necessity of returning to the salon for further expensive treatments. A convenient way to ensure the initial results achieved are maintained.

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A big thank you to iPulse for taking the time to answer my questions.  I hope that you’ve found them useful too!

SK:N Laser Hair Removal – Final Video Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 25 - 2010

Oh god… I can’t stop talking.  I’m so sorry!  Condense… condense!

SK:N Clinic Laser Hair Removal Final Video Review from lipglossiping on Vimeo.

I shall take some well lit after photos in the next few days and show a quick before/after comparison too.

Is it Friday yet?

SK:N Laser Hair Removal – 3/6 update!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 11 - 2010

There’s not actually too much to report at the moment.  I’m about a week away from my 4th facial laser hair removal session courtesy of SK:N Clinic and things have generally been progressing well.

Remember how I told you guys about the ‘regrowth’ I was told I might experience around this kinda time?

Well, I’m experiencing it…

But let’s be honest, that’s kinda wimpy right?

I’m noticing a slight shadow under the surface of the skin.  Hell, that’s nothing I guess… I used to have a permanent and much, much darker shadow in the circled areas.

However, it’s definitely worth mentioning because it’s (once again) brought home to me how emotional this whole thing actually is.

Let me explain…

When I was warned about the possibility that after my 3rd/4th session, I may notice the hair appears to grow stronger, thicker and faster again… I took this on board.  I even mentioned it to you guys.  I was mentally prepared for the blip in the progress.

But really? Despite this awareness?  It still panics me.

“What if the hair’s just gonna return when the sessions finish?!”

“What if the laser can’t remove it more than this?!”

I’ll be completely candid.  I take my hair-free face for total granted now.  I would be devastated if either of the above scenarios occured.  Completely devastated if I had to begin shaving daily again.  Heartbroken if I saw a 5 o’clock lip shadow each time I looked in the mirror.

This is a big deal.

I’m looking forward to my 4th session next Monday, please let it put me back on the right path.  I’ve come to depend on these (so far) wonderful results.

While I’m here, I thought I’d link you to something I’ve just spotted on their home page.  It looks like they’re currently offering us the chance to get a skin assessment for the princely sum of £1.  I don’t have any specific details on this other than what this link tells you…. consider it a little heads up.

Boots iPulse Smooth Skin IPL in action!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 26 - 2010

And why I can never find knee high boots that fit my comically huge calves.

I’m a few weeks in to my trial, and have used the Boots iPulse Smooth Skin a total of 3 times… I’m not noticing any difference in hair texture or growth rate between my two legs yet, but it’s early days.

Very excited to start seeing some results!  C’mon, c’mon!

It’s not all glamour…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 6 - 2010

Soooooooooo The Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse IPL System…

Armpit or Leg…

Arm. Pit. or. Leg.

I tossed a coin.  You get to see my hairy legs.  Or, leg even.  Just below the knee… to the right of the 2nd thread vein from the left.

I dunno why I watermarked it, it’s not like I wanna claim it as mine.

Random Internet User:  “Hey, lady… is this your photo of your pasty white leg with dry skin and multiple hairs protruding from one follicle (you freak)”.

Me: “Um, nope… no, doesn’t look like one of mine”.

Random Internet User:  “But it says here… Lipglossiping.com”

Me: “…”

On the positive side… we’re kinda meant to have hairy legs.  I feel normal posting this in comparison to the hairy chin pics.

Until I can put the The Boots Smooth Skin to work on maintaining my facial in-clinic laser hair removal, I thought I’d best put it to good use on some other hirsute part of my anatomy.  Stop making gagging noises and be bloody grateful you were spared the bikini line bitches.

So this is the benchmark, here we are. Day One.  Well, not day one… this photo shows about 4 days worth of growth actually.  I’ve done my test patch and I’m good to go…. raring even.

I’m a little bit sad that I can’t fake tan my legs whilst I’m zapping but in the grand scheme of things, I’d rather be white than hairy.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!

SK:N Laser Hair Removal – 2/6 update!

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 19 - 2010

Trout Pout. I haz one.

A quick SK:N laser hair removal update… check out my swollen top lip!  I’m impressed… that thing could take over a small country, it’s like the Goodyear blimp!

I don’t generally have much of a top lip as you can see in my FOTDs, so it’s only when you realise this that you can appreciate just how hugely puffed up that top lip is!

Anyway, I had my 2nd facial hair removal session at my local SK:N clinic on Wednesday and I was looking forward to it and dreading it in equal measure.  I’ve already said that I found my first session quite painful but I was hopeful that with a lot of the hair already destroyed, this 2nd session would be easier to bare.  And it was!

It was about 1/4 as painful as the first.  The only bit that had my eyes watering was the upper lip which they thankfully left till last.  The rest?  Completely fine…. just light pinging sensations against the skin.  Nothing to worry about at all!  Relief!

Compared to last time’s post-treatment soreness…. I have nothing.  Literally nothing.  After about 12 hours, the redness had completely faded… all that is left are a couple of whiteheads on my upper lip which probably have more to do with slathering on copious amounts of Aloe Vera gel than anything else.  A true 90% improvement in irritation and discomfort over my first session.

Except for the swelling.

The whole lower half of my face has doubled in size again, perhaps even more so than last time.  I look like a Spitting Image character.  I’m assuming this is just the fluid rushing to protect and heal the areas that it feels are under attack… but still, not attractive!

Here’s a post-treatment video just like after the first session, apart from noticing how horrible my bottom teeth are… try to concentrate more on how much less skin irritation I have compared to the previous video.  If it keeps progressing like this, it’s gonna be a doddle!

SK:N After treatment #2 from lipglossiping on Vimeo.

Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse IPL System

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 10 - 2010

They say that tattoos are addictive… I don’t have any of those but I’m here to tell you that you can add hair-removal and Foxes Coconut Crinkles to the list of things that “Lipglossiping got herself addicted to” in 2010.

The question is, will I have a single hair left on my body come Christmas?  Will I get carried away with it’s fabulosity and start chasing the neighbour’s Persian moggy round the block once I’m done with Mr. L’s hairy back?

The Boots Smooth Skin by iPulse IPL System arrived last week for me to try and report back on, and being the hairy Mary that I am… I honestly couldn’t think of a better candidate.

Until I read this:

I was all of an “OHMYGOD, I CAN’T USE IT!”  I may even have squeezed out a couple of tears…  and then a few more for the benefit of Mr. L (who missed them the first time round) after he looked up from Micro Mart to determine whether the wailing was coming from me or the baby.

After some email to-ing and fro-ing with the people behind the device, I learned that they’re actually in the process RIGHT NOW of updating the UK manual for the machine.  Infact, here it is in black and white from the rep:

…I have managed to get you the most up to date info on the suitability of Boots Smooth Skin for PCOS sufferers.

As you know, in the UK manual, it states that Boots Smooth Skin is not suitable for PCOS sufferers.

We are in the process of updating the UK manual with Boots to give a better explanation of the considerations when using Smooth Skin with PCOS.  We know many PCOS sufferers have found good results with Smooth Skin and some have posted their positive reviews on boots.com.

As you will know, in essence, PCOS is related to a hormonal imbalance.  Hormone changes may cause dormant hair stem cells to grow into new hair follicles.  So it is likely to take longer to be hair-free and require you to top up.

But we also know and understand what a huge comfort it is to PCOS sufferers not to have the extra hair that the condition causes to be so visible…

…We want to do the right thing by our consumers, and while we go through the final rounds of approvals with Boots we would love to give you the chance to get ahead of the UK change.

So there you go.  You heard it here first (maybe).

In all honesty as a PCOS lady, this device wouldn’t be my first stop for hair removal.  Not for my face anyway, which is precisely why I don’t already own one.

I’ve looked at this particular device many times in the past (it’s one of the few that claim PERMANENT results) and I’ve never been confident enough in it’s claims to go to Boots and lay my debit card down on the counter.   I think it’s important that you know this, and that I tell you why.

Regardless of whether there’s any substance to my opinion, as someone with a “proper” problem with excess hair, I knew that I was always going to opt for something that I perceive to be stronger.  I want FULL ON peeow peeow laser beams blasting my face yano?  I want someone with a clipboard to be operating a machine that takes up at least 10sq foot of floor space and puts a minor dent in the national grid everytime it’s fired up.

I won’t be using this on my face or my chest.  I don’t want it to interfere with the results that I may or may not get from the SK:N treatment that I’m currently undergoing.

Instead, you get to see my gorgeous hairy pins.  You lucked out.  Don’t worry though… I’m not showing them today, your appetite is safe for now.

Check out this instead:

It’s all very neat and compact… slotting into it’s own little vanity case that has been discretely designed without the words LASER HAIR REMOVAL emblazoned all over it.  In other words, you can totally leave the IPL stuff behind and take the case on a dirty weekend filled with furry handcuffs and the like.  Or if you’re me, Minstrels.

So, the plan is to do one leg.  Just the one.  Don’t worry, I’m still gonna shave the other one… but I think that doing it this way will leave me under no illusions by the end of 12 weeks whether I’m actually seeing concrete results from the Boots Smooth Skin.  I’m also going to pin down Mr. L (he really does have a hairy back and this is the only home IPL system suitable for men) – he’s gonna. love. it.

Much, much later on… god knows if you’ll still be here with me or even care, but I’ll put phase two of the hair-blasting attack into action.  I’ll use the Boots Smooth Skin on my face to maintain whatever results I achieve from my SK:N treatment once it’s finished.

For the purposes of the trial and for you ladies with PCOS, I wish I could do that bit NOW – but bad timing forces my hand and I simply can’t.  It’s pretty common for hirsute women with a hormonal imbalance to need extra professional laser sessions.  Sometimes as many as a couple of times a year to maintain completely smooth skin.  I’ve made peace with that, but for me… that would mean £220 for each topup session.  The Boots Smooth Skin currently retails at £274.99.  It makes economical sense for me to purchase one of these for maintenance and I would (despite my cautious attitude towards it’s claims) be confident enough in the device’s abilities to lay down my cash in an effort to maintain an area that’s already been treated.

Anyway, I’ll introduce you to the more technical aspects of the machine next week when I’m confident that my tan has completely faded (you can’t use the device on fake-tanned skin).

*glances up* Jesus, I can’t half go on.

Sk:n Clinic – Laser Hair Removal Update

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 5 - 2010

It’s time I be brave and post a before treatment / during picture.  Now that the irritation and redness has completely subsided (took about a week) from my first Sk:n laser hair removal treatment, I’m thoroughly enjoying my new (relatively) hairless face!

I have 5 more treatments to go and I’m in it for the long haul.  6 treatments in total, each separated by a 4 week period to allow for different growth cycles means I should be finished in October.

Let me show you the (gruesome) photos first and then I’ll share my observations about the current hair growth.

Yeah, looking at this 6 weeks on is a little bit upsetting.  I can’t believe that I sruggled with this for so many years.  Maybe I’m being blase…. I don’t know that this is going to be permanent, but jeez… one session is all I’ve had.  One.  Look.

I catch myself stroking my chin with the back of my hand occassionally… surprised at the feeling of smooth skin… but mostly, I’m loving just not having to think about it at all.

I’m currently shaving every 3rd/4th day, compared to once or even twice a day previously.

When the hair does come back through, it feels finer and less coarse.  It’s still dark and the pinpricks of colour under the surface of my skin are noticeable if you look closely.  But what an astounding difference.

I didn’t expect to achieve such instant results.  I know I need to continue the ‘course’ and not be lulled into a false sense of security as I’ve been told the hair can sometimes appear to get even thicker than previously after the 2nd/3rd sessions thanks to the different growth cycles… but for now…. I’m on cloud nine.

SK:N Treatment Update: First Full Treatment

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 21 - 2010

This is the most horrific video and after watching it, I very nearly stuck to just still images for this post (and you’ll probably wish I had).  I was blatantly traumatised enough by the whole experience to think that filming a video in direct sunlight without a scrap of makeup on was a FABULOUS idea!  Perhaps the laser fried my brain aswell as my follicles?

Oh god… Don’t judge me bitches.

Ok, enough of all that…

So here’s an image showing the area around my chin and neck later on the same evening after my first full treatment at the sk:n laser hair removal clinic.

It was pretty much as sore as it looks.  Itchy too…  Bear in mind that my skin was completely clear when I woke that morning… so this is all from the laser.  I spent most of that evening with a wet muslin cloth pressed to the area to take the heat out of it.

Having known other women who have undergone the treatment, I honestly didn’t expect to develop such a strong reaction and seeing it in all it’s gory glory on here makes me feel a little bit better about being a touch wimpy during my first session.  Put it this way… if flinching were an Olympic sport, I’d have been high on that podium saluting the flag.

My cousin reminded me yesterday that I was the only one in the family group (as a child) who managed to get sunburned severely enough to need A&E treatment whilst on holiday in Devon.  In October.  I’m so pleased that my Sk:n therapist agreed it would be wise to turn the laser down for me!

I had a rough time that first night and didn’t sleep well.  The itching was driving me insane and I don’t know HOW I managed to keep my nails away from my skin.  The next morning, I woke up looking like I’d done a few rounds with Mike Tyson.

It’s not that easy to see here, but my upper lip was really swollen.  When I pressed my lips together, my top lip completely overhung my bottom and it was tricky to talk without sounding silly.

It wasn’t painful though, the best way I can describe it is thus… yano when you get a blister on your foot and you press lightly?  It feels slightly numb and cushion-y?  That was how my lower face felt.  Admittedly, not the most pleasant sensation.

You can see that the redness had subsided by the 2nd day, but the swelling is also apparent around the jawline.  Frankly, I felt pretty hideous.  I didn’t want to wear makeup, despite having been assured that I could if I wanted to… I just wanted to hide in the house, preferably under the bed.

.

So, those last two photos were from the day before yesterday (Wednesday) and it’s getting better as each day passes.  Today (Friday) the whole area is back to being flesh-coloured and the swelling has completely disappeared.  The treated area is still covered with bumps where each dark hair-containing follicle has been zapped, but these are camouflageable with a bit of concealer and patience.  I’ve also still got a bruise coloured tache as in the 2nd photo, but it’s fading.

It’s been a tough few days since my first full treatment on Tuesday.  Tougher than I imagined it would be.  I honestly expected to go in and emerge 30 minutes later with some redness that would subside within a few hours.

.

Back then, I was the only 9yr old getting her blisters popped in A&E and again… I find myself being the exception rather than the rule.  Whilst it’s beginning to look like I’m not your average ‘reactor’ to the treatment, I think that my experience is perhaps even more useful as a result.

It’s hard to underestimate just how DIFFERENT we all are and I’m starting to understand why there just can’t be any guarantees with something as personal as laser hair removal.  I’m also secretly hoping that this extra dose of irritation means that those bastard hair follicles are taking an extra battering and admitting defeat under the awesomeness of the laser.  Pee-ow, pee-ow!

Stay tuned…

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