Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Treatments to hold back time; when it comes to the ageing process none of us like to admit we need any help. However, a laser treatment could be the solution you are looking for, as I discovered...

Tried and tested: Facial rejuvenation at Bellaza salon Ranelagh,Dublin.

Growing old used to happen gracefully, and instead of signifying a nearing sell-by date, fine lines and wrinkles would proudly represent a lifetime of joys and occasional sorrows. But then came the anti-ageing marketeers. Suddenly wrinkles and crow's feet and anything that sagged were no longer allowed.

Instead the world was encouraged to splash out a small fortune on lotions and potions in a desperate bid to turn back time and delay the progress of Mother Nature. Of course, it wasn't long before that wasn't enough, and going under the knife was the ultimate way to delay the ageing process. 

However, for those squeamish about the thought of the surgeon's scalpel, it is possible to avoid the knife with the new range of cosmetic procedure treatments, available on the high street. Some are brand new to Ireland- others have been around for a while.
But do they really work?
I visited the Bellaza salon in Ranelagh to put their age busting IPL treatment to the test.

 BEFORE: Febuary 1st 2011.
The sun damage and broken viens  across my cheeks were causing me concern - not to mention those pesky spots on the side of my nose and chin!

Problem: Fine lines around the eyes/ sun damage
Solution: IPL laser treatment

For many of us, the area around our eyes is the first to really show our age and that‘s certainly true for me. Perhaps it was the legacy of my cigarette smoking twenties (which I bitterly regret) or my addiction to sunbathing - but there was no denying that the deep lines around my eyes were making me look tired and old.At 41, I honestly believed that the only thing that would get rid of them was surgery but that‘s until I discovered the wonders of lasers.

What does it claim to do?

The use of lasers is increasing in popularity because it is less invasive than other rejuvenating procedures, such as face lift and body lift procedures, it produces dramatically firmer skin, and it can be used on any area of the body.

Added benefits are the reduced risk of side effects and the lack of downtime following treatment. It tackles saggy areas, especially cheeks and jowls and generally gives the face a new lease of life. It won‘t make the lines under your eyes completely disappear (if only) but it will make them look far less pronounced.


The treatment
I had lead goggles placed over my eyes - the light from the laser is intense - and the machine was warmed up ready to de-wrinkle me. Now, I amnot going to lie. It wasn't excruciatingly painful but it did hurt. The laser works by penetrating the lower layers of the skin to regenerate the collagen which gives skin its elasticity. The damage the laser causes to the lower layers of the skin means the cells producing the collagen have to work harder as if to repair the skin.

This is then supposed to result in newer, fresher and smoother skin on the surface. It only takes minutes to complete the treatment and the pain is bearable because of this. You can feel heat and, when the laser hits the skin, it's a sharp pain combined with the heat. However, I can assure you that it fades quickly.

And the results?
For a few days after this treatment my skin was red and irritated looking but, as I was told to expect this, I wasn’t overly concerned. Without make-up, I looked like I had a bad allergy and the freckles around my cheeks and eyes had, curiously, become much, much darker.

But a week later, when the redness subsides, I looked different. Younger. The dark patches of sun damaged skin had, quite simply, vanished and the immediate response of friends who didn‘t know was, God, you look great. Have you had holiday?

February 12th 2011 -
 My freckles, broken veins and deep lines  have vanished - after just one treatment!

The net effect
I looked wonderfully rested, refreshed and yes, the lines around my eyes were less pronounced. Although I‘ve only had one session the results have been incredibly impressive. I‘m not saying that it doesn‘t hurt but the pain levels are manageable and the results are fantastic. As, as my lines deepen, I‘ll certainly be going back for more.


For more information go to: www.bellazabeauty.com
Cost: Depending on age and skin type, between two to five treatments per year are recommended for anti ageing. A full facial costs €300 but Bellaza has reduced it to €200 for the introductory period. Even better still if you buy 3, it costs €550.00.

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction."

Oscar Wilde


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