This week (well, half this week, 16-22 May) is Skin Awareness Week.
What the heck is that? Well, it’s a campaign by Destination Skin, a leading laser removal and skin specialist company here in the UK, that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of unprotected sun exposure (because in 2016, lots of people still DON’T use sunscreen every day!).
Destination Skin has kindly invited me to take part in the campaign, which means I get to lecture you AND get a free facial. Life’s sweet, when you’re a beauty blogger.
UV rays cause 80% of aging
As much as I love free facials (they’re one of my fave things, together with white chocolate and Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals), I didn’t really need any encouragement to take part in this campaign.
If you’ve been reading this little blog for quite a while, you know I never tire of warning everyone I meet about how bad the sun is for the skin. It causes wrinkle, dark spots, and cancer, but in a very sneaky way.
All this damage (UV rays are to blame for 80% of aging!) doesn’t appear immediately, but it stealthily accumulates and show up on the skin years later, as if out of nowhere. That means that most of us have damaged skin and don’t even know it!
That’s why it’s so important to wear sunscreen every single day. Yep, every single day. Those pesky UV rays can pass through clouds, too. So, it doesn’t matter if you see the sun or not, from the time it comes up in the skin to when it goes down again, you need sunscreen. Period.
How To Fix Sun Damage
Ok, lecture over. Now, let’s see what can be done to fix your sun damaged skin. Cos, even if you’re diligent with sunscreen now (because you are, RIGHT?), you probably always weren’t (I’m guilty as charged, too), so we need some help to deal with it.
Destinaton Skin‘s solution is a chemical peel, which basically exfoliates skin, removing one layer of damaged cells. They offer two types: Skinceuticals Pigment Balancing Peel, which is perfect for acne sufferers, and Skinceuticals GL Peel, which is for everyone else. That’s what I had.
And, in case that wasn’t clear enough, they use Skinceuticals products, which is great because I usually love everything about them. Well, everything but the prices… Those I wish were a lot lower.
Skinceuticals GL Peel
So, I happily went to the Destination Clinic in Fulham, London, where I was welcomed by the lovely Larysa. She asked me to sit down and fill in a few forms to let her know of any skincare and health problems I may have, and remind me of the potential side effects of the treatment (if can be irritating, if you have sensitive skin).
The boring part over, we went down to the proper studio for the peel. And then, the really scary part began. Larysa asked me if I wanted to see how sun damaged my skin was. For some weird reason, I said yes (ok, I was curious). So I popped my head into one of those machines that can see the damage underneath your skin.
To mu surprise, it turns out that I only have a little sun damage on the bridge of my nose, around my mouth, and on my forehead. Frankly, I expected a lot worse. Even Larysa was impressed. See, avoiding the sun like the plague while your friends rush to the beach and wearing sunscreen daily does pay off! Phew!
She also said that my skin looks well-hydrated and that it is generally in good condition. I was so relieved to hear that, as my skin was pretty dry this winter. Those hyaluronic acid serums really worked, its seems.
Ok, time to talk about the peeling itself, or this post will never end. So, I laid down on the bed, and Larysa covered me with a blanket, and got my hair out of the way. Then, she removed my makeup and put eye patches on my eyes. Now, I was ready
to fall asleep for the peel.
First, Larysa applied the peel on the bottom of my nose and lips, and then on the rest of my skin. The peel contains a mix of glycolic acid and lactic acid, two of my fave exfoliates. Both are very hydrating, and glycolic acid can boost collagen production, too, so it’s a great weapon against sun damage.
Larysa left the peel on my skin for about 3 minutes, during which time she kept asking me if my skin was ok. Peels like this can irritate skin when left on too long, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for signs of irritations, like a burning sensation. I didn’t experience anything like that. My skin loves this kind of peels, and for a good reason, too. They make it look amazing!
After the 3 minutes had passed, Larysa removed the peel, and applied a vitamin C mask. This mask is made at the moment, as it is tailored to the customer’s needs. For mine, Larysa mixed Skinceuticals CE Ferulic with Skinceuticals Hydra B5.
Vitamins C and E are all powerful antioxidants that can fight free radicals. Vitamin C can also brighten skin, reduce dark spots, and boost collagen production. Ferulic acid and vitamin E boost its effectiveness. They really are the perfect combination. Hydra B5 hydrates skin (I know, what a shock!). As I said, my skin is in pretty good condition, so it doesn’t need anything more than that.
Then, Larysa turned me into a mummy. She put gauze on my face to create a shield that would allow the goodies in the mask to be delivered into my skin rather than evaporating into thin air. By the way, the mask smells amazing: citrusy, zesty, and fresh. Just like I like my scents.
This mask stayed on for 10 minutes. Once it was off, Larysa gave my skin another dose of Skinceuticals CE Ferulic followed by another dose of Hydra B5. This time, they stayed on my skin. No cleansing them off, so they had plenty of time to work their magic.
The last step was sunscreen (sun protection was the whole reason why I was there after all). Larysa used Skinceuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense SPF50. It has zinc oxide, but you would never guess, it’s so lightweight! And tinted, so it doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue either. I seriously need to buy a bottle.
The results? Well, my skin looked amazing. It was much softer and smoother, and glowy, too! The only problem I experienced was some dryness on my lips, which lasted several days. The peel worked like a charm for my skin, but my lips are more delicate, so they suffered a bit. But, even if they felt a bit uncomfortable, they had never looked smoother.
Before leaving, Larysa gave me a post treatment programme. It’s basically a skincare routine tailored to my needs to maximize the effects of the treatment and make sure that my skin stays in good shape even afterwards. Thanks, Larysa!
It’s you turn!
Now you know about the damaging effects of sun exposure and how to fix them, you have no excuse. Go get yourself a peel and wear that sunscreen daily (or there’s just no point in splurging on the peel).