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.


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 – 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.

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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.

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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…

Sk:n Clinic – Consultation, Test Patch & Video!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 17 - 2010

So, last Friday (14th May) I had my first consultation and test patch for facial laser hair removal at the sk:n clinic in Southampton.

I had previously shared my concerns and nerves about this first meeting… but I needn’t have worried too much.  The staff and therapists at the clinic were very friendly and I was put completely at ease in their care.

When I arrived, I was given a few forms to fill out… general contact stuff like name, address, next of kin… and I was also given a consent form.

I asked if I could have a copy of the consent form and they were happy to oblige.  I really recommend you do this and infact, it would be great if they did it as standard.  It’s a well written document that summarises many of the important concerns about laser hair removal and if you’re signing your name on the dotted line… it’s good to have a reminder of exactly what you’re giving your consent to right?

So after these formalities, I was greeted by my therapist Hayley and led into a treatment room.  The laser device was the indimidating looking machine lurking in the corner looking a lot like a big photocopier with a hoover attachment.  It’s true… look…

Hayley went through a checklist of contraindications which included things like asking me if I were pregnant, suntanned (yeah right) and whether I was on any medication including steroids (I was assured that steroid inhalers didn’t count!).  We discussed which body areas were going to be treated and at this point I asked if it would be ok for me to pay to have a small patch on my chest included in the treatment area.  She grabbed a price list and gave me a quote for 6 sessions (just under £300) which I agreed to.

I was asked what I do to currently control the hair growth and I explained that I shave the areas daily.  She was pleased with this as it meant that the hair follicles would be intact and undamaged by the plucking or waxing process.  If you want to know more about why this would be important and how laser hair removal actually works (along with a video demonstration), check out this page on the sk:n clinic website.

The last thing we discussed was after care.  At this point, I was offered the option to purchase a ‘starter pack’.  What this basically includes is three products that are recommended for you to use after treatment to help soothe and protect your skin.

It’s obviously another string to sk:n’s money-making bow to offer you the option to purchase products directly from them at the time of treatment.  I don’t think they’re particularly marked up (although the seperate purchase price of £15 for a SPF30 Sunblock seems quite expensive).

Anyway, here’s the “Starter Pack”:

  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Spray Water
  • SPF 30 Sunblock

If you already have these… you don’t HAVE to purchase them.  For me, it was a convenient time to pick them up.  I’ve already been through a lot of the Aloe Vera gel and I’ll be buying another tube (albeit from Holland & Barratts!).

You’re advised not to use your normal skincare for a few days… simply because you don’t want to expose your skin to any lotions and potions that could cause extra sensitivity on an already sensitized area.  However, I made sure to check that wearing makeup wasn’t a problem!

The single most important aspect of aftercare however, (and Hayley drummed into me!) is sunblock.  Do not leave the house unless you’re protected from the sun.  To be blunt… don’t risk a tan whilst you’re undergoing treatment.  The whole premise of laser hair removal is that it targets melanin, the areas of pigmentation (i.e. dark hair and the follicle under the skin).  You start getting tanned bits and you lose the contrast making the treatment less effective and more likely to burn the skin.

Dun, dun, dun! It was time to hop up on the couch and get on with the test patch… my mouth went a bit dry at this point…

I was handeed a pair of sunbed goggles… you know, the ones that kinda fit the shape of your eyeballs and don’t extend much further… these are total blackout, so it’s immediately a little more unnerving as you can’t see a thing.  A side effect of this is that your hearing becomes a touch more acute… so when the machine (which was right by my head) fired up… I’m not ashamed to admit that my heart beat a little faster.

Hayley was constantly talking to me, explaining what she was doing and reassuring me that everything was as it should be.  I’m glad she was chatty… it really helped to put me at ease.  I’m such a wuss!

As the (I’m not sure what to call it!?) laser head bit was put over a small area on my chin… I felt a slight vacuum-y/cooling sensation before the laser fired and I felt a sharp twang on the surface of my skin.  It’s not painful… but the anticipation is uncomfortable for me.  It’s a bit like waiting for a balloon to be popped.  I think that as I get used to it and into the swing of a full session, this feeling will fade… but I was really aware of anticipating the next laser fire.

What I wasn’t expecting however, was the smell.  Burnt hair… really quite unpleasant and thanks to the treatment being carried out around my chin and top lip, right under my nose!  I think I’ll breathe through my mouth next time!

Immediately after, Hayley sprayed my skin with thermal water and applied copious amounts of Aloe Vera Gel which I forgot to rub in and spent the next ten minutes looking like I’d sneezed on myself.  My skin immediately turned a shade of lobster pink and I was sent on my merry way with an appointment for my first full session (Tues 18th May) and my starter pack of after-care products.

You can see how my skin looked 12 hours later and read my concerns at the time by reading my update here.

It remained hot to the touch ’till Sunday evening (60hrs after treatment) but the redness and swelling have now subsided.  There’s still visible signs of irritation, but it doesn’t feel ‘burnt’ anymore.  I’m a lot happier that my skin isn’t reacting in some unusual way.  It also would have helped if I’d read the aftercare sheet FULLY and not just scanned it thinking I recognised everything I’d already been told:

2. …the treated area may become red and swollen and may remain so for several days after treatment.

Sorted.  My skin probably isn’t going to fall off then.  I am Norman normal, just perhaps a teeny bit more sensitive than hardier types!

You’re gonna have to excuse the hair… I have shaved twice since my test patch on Friday… I guess you can see why I so desperately want this treatment done huh?  Anyway, at the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious… the red bits are irritation and these photos show the affected areas 60hrs after treatment.

Honestly, I’m kinda dreading what I’m going to look like on Wednesday morning after my first full session.  I’m thinking Freddy Krueger.  Don’t forget I’m practically having the whole of my lower face lasered…  I’m not sure I’ll be able to leave the house for a few days if the test patch was anything to go by.  I guess it’s something I didn’t consider.  Oh well, I think it’s time to stop worrying and wait and see what greets me in the mirror on Wednesday morning.

So that’s it really… a full on update.  In total, I’ll be having six sessions and although I won’t be updating with as much detail as this after my subsequent treatments, I’ll still be doing progress reports and posting photos when appropriate.

I guess that if I’ve got something worth sharing, I’ll be letting you guys know about it.

Here’s a vid that Mr. L shot when we went for a cup of tea afterwards, please excuse the sillyness at the end.  Apparently, I’m boring, unlike the dude that walks behind me with a giant red erection… no, really (40 seconds in).

sk:n consultation and test patch from lipglossiping on Vimeo.

Quick sk:n laser hair removal test patch update!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 15 - 2010

Ok, so I have another video update on the way…. it needs a little bit of editing and I’m totally new to this video lark so still learning how to do all that stuff! I’m happy to overshare… but not look like a total moron, hence the need for editing.

I thought I’d give an impromptu update on the test patch I had at the sk:n clinic today in preparation for my course of laser hair removal. More of what actually happened during the consultation will be revealed in the vid, but as of a quarter to one in the morning following my consultation and test patch, I just wanna say…

Owwie! (please excuse the hint of boob-age)

The technician lady/laser thingy operator said that the redness (and any swelling) usually fades after an hour or so… but this is still going strong 12 hours later. It feels hot to the touch and slightly stingy but not too bad. I’m guessing it’s laser burn.

You can see that the hairs in that area *blush* are unshaved and I think this is the cause. She said that it’s best if I shave on the morning of treatment as the skin can suffer from burning if there’s much hair above the actual skin surface.

The lady was very nice and explained everything very well… but I kinda wish I’d known about this before hand. Or that they had disposable razors onsite that they could have offered me to quickly remove the surface hair and avoid this discomfort. I’ve been applying Aloe Vera like it’s going out of business ever since.

A somewhat personal journey…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 13 - 2010

My first video… eek, no edits!  Video queen I ain’t…

If you have any questions (no matter how silly you think they may be) about professional IPL treatment at a clinic, please ask and I’ll either be able to answer them through my own experiences or find out on your behalf.

If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions in the comment box, feel free to email me privately.

To find out more about the sk:n clinic and the treatments they offer, visit their website here.

EDIT 13/05 20:51:

I wanted to quickly update to say…

Firstly, thank you SO much for being supportive and generous in wishing me the best of luck with the treatment, it’s really appreciated and very good of you.

But I also want to clarify something…

I don’t feel brave and I don’t think you should think me brave either.  Save that for someone who writes openly about something like this without being rewarded with many many pounds worth of free treatments in an attempt to fix it.

Honestly?  I wouldn’t be discussing this on my blog if it weren’t for that fact.  I’m certainly no martyr to the cause of hirsutism!

I seriously contemplated limiting my experiences, review and photographs to my upper lip.  It’s the least ‘freaky’ area to suffer from excess hair and the place where most people would be able to relate.  But the simple fact is that receiving this free treatment puts me in a privileged position.  I’m not a bonafide beauty writer… I’m a lucky girl dedicated to her blog and I think I can suffer a little bit of indignity if it:

a). helps highlight the more embarrassing aspects of excess hair in a sympathetic way.

b). brings a small amount of comfort to even one person who may read this and realise that there’s literally loads of women with the same problems.

c). (if the treatment works) bring hope that there is an effective solution to the problem.

d). (if the treatment doesn’t work) potentially save someone a good deal of money, or encourage them to explore other options first.

Regardless, from now on… if I see any of you checking out my FOTDs with a magnifying glass… you’re off my Christmas Card list FOR GOOD!

RANDOM

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