I always rather enjoyed Kim Cattrall’s portrayal of Sam Jones socialising post-peel in Sex and the City – initially sheepish, eventually defiant. ‘Honey, I’ve had a little something done, and it’s not as bad as yesterday, but I’ve looked better,’ she tells Carrie on the phone before bravely clipping her chandelier earrings on.
Last month, reader, I was Sam Jones, only rather than drumming up a little chutzpah for a friend’s book launch, I tried to look soigné while the global make-up artist for a huge brand attempted to demonstrate a make-up technique for a video on my crusty post-laser skin.
After the episode, I came to this conclusion: there is never a good time to have a peel/laser treatment/anything invasive done. Three days to a week of having a red face (even if you’ve willingly inflicted it upon yourself) is always going to be a bit inconvenient. But then, it has its plusses and given the chance again, I’d laser away.
Here’s why: skin that’s been ‘damaged’ by a laser will, after downtime, look clearer and any scars, wrinkles and pigmentation will be reduced thanks to the extra collagen and elastin produced during the heal phase.
My decision to try for better skin via laser treatment was the result of a moment of excitement during a chat with Clare Peters at the Joshi Clinic. Clare has been a notable therapist for over 17 years, working alongside Olay and Dolce & Gabbana skincare and treating scores of models and actresses. In her opinion, her signature Venus Facial (using a Viva laser that creates wounds by piercing the skin speedily with 160 needles) would be just the thing to clear up a bout of spots and send my skin into a regenerative mode.
Cue a handheld laser being whipped over my skin and more than a few ‘ouches’ from me. If you’ve a low pain threshold, ask for the numbing cream prior – apparently it makes the sensation much more bearable. I went without (stupid me), and had to wince and swear a bit – it felt like hot needles were being raked over my face.
It didn’t last long, mind. Half an hour later, I was on the streets of London, red face shining as brilliantly as Rudolph’s nose, sunglasses firmly planted in place. Over the ensuing days my skin became less red, looked a little like it was covered in bubbles that made me think of Aeros, and, after about four days, was clearer, brighter, healthier – basically, all the stuff Clare had said that had made me opt for the most effective facial she offers.
Despite feeling curmudgeonly about the prospect of publishing the forthcoming video in which my face has a porridgy texture, I’ll be booking back in. The bumps were far preferable to the full on peeling I had after this treatment, and had I opted to have the treatment on a Friday, I’d have weathered the worst of the effects during the weekend only to go back to work with a slightly mental, but by no means comment-worthy, complexion. And I’d also be a bit smug inside: a few days of dodgy skin for this kind of result isn’t too bad a trade to make.