In her ongoing quest to discover the precise co-ordinates of the fountain of youth, our Editor-in-chief learns that not all roads to luminous skin need be harrowing.
In my long tenure as a magazine editor, I have inflicted on myself all manner of beautifying treatments, disguised — somewhat farcically — as editorial research. Because, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t go to extensive, experimental lengths for the promise of eternal youth? (Particularly if it was regularly served on a silver platter.)
And so it has been, that over many years I have suffered the slings and arrows (quite literally in some cases) of a range of invasive beauty procedures. And while many have worked wonders, others have left me feeling semi-violated by the intense pain their processes require, and more often than I would care to admit, have left me very little to show for my efforts.
Thankfully, the world of cosmetic enhancement, in recent times, has taken a step away from invasive, surgical procedures, instead, focusing on enhancing the quality of the skin itself. As a strong believer in this approach, I was interested when renowned French skincare brand, Sothys, presented me with the opportunity to try its new innovative Micro Dermobooster treatment.
Designed to leave your skin looking visibly younger, without having to go under the knife, Sothys unique cosmeceutical machine combines three functions; aesthetic microdermabrasion, controlled cosmetic microneedling, and a modelling massager, and promises the kinds of results that leave me intrigued to learn more.
So, in the name of research, I commit to the treatment protocol, carried out weekly over a six week period, and (luckily) find myself in the extremely experienced hands of Cheryl Welsh at Exhibit Beauty, in Auckland’s Epsom. With more than 18 years of working with the Sothys brand both in New Zealand and internationally, Cheryl, I quickly discover, is a master of her craft.
Having had previous experience (some good, some bad) with the likes of derma needling in the past, I admit to being apprehensive as to just how intense this treatment programme will be. I’m not one to pussy foot around (I expect results) and over the course of my decades-long skin care journey, I have come to associate meaningful results with a degree of discomfort and a required period of post-treatment healing. So it was a surprise to me that this was not the case here — particularly with the level of results promised. Each weekly treatment begins with the removal of my make-up, followed by a peel and deep cleansing. This removes dead cells from the surface of my skin by combining two types of chemical exfoliation via both products and mechanical exfoliation using a sterile, nylon, micro-rotating disc. And while it might sound aggressive, it’s actually very gentle (to the point of almost being ticklish).
Once the skin is clean, it’s ready for the next step which involves cosmetic microneedling with Micro-L and Micro-S handpieces that, rather than employing needles, use nylon bristles instead, that are less aggressive and more controlled, with no risk of allergic reactions. Via a series of customised movements all over the face, neck and décolletage, Cheryl is able to optimise the length and shape of bristles depending on the area, and swaps out the head to target smaller areas around my nose and lips. Contrary to similar experiences in the past, this process is so relaxing that I actually fall asleep.
While I am snoozing, the bristles are creating micro-channels in my epidermal tissue that allows for Sothys’ micro-needling solution to penetrate my skin. This causes a reaction that activates my skin’s fibroblasts, collagen and elastin production.
The next stage is a modelling massage, designed to reproduce the typical kneading and rolling usually done by a beauty therapist’s trained hands. Here, a tool with a flexible silicone rotating oval tip creates vibrations that cause the underlying muscles to contract involuntarily which serves to tighten and tone my skin. And the process feels divine.
The final step of this luxurious facial experience is the application of Sothys’ moisturising ampoules and SPF 50+ sun protection.
I leave each weekly appointment with a take-home course of moisturising ampoules, to be used morning and night for the following three days to boost the efficiency and long-lasting effects of the treatment.
After six weeks, I can say that I have never had so many comments on my radiant skin. It’s never looked more glowing. Even after a three-week stint in the dry air and harsh conditions of skiing in Queenstown, it’s still holding its form. And while one course of treatment seems to have done what it promised (and then some), I’ve been missing the relaxing and rejuvenating experience, so I’ve booked myself in for another six weeks, kicking off next month.