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Beauty Roadtest: Renew + Repair

Amanda Whitley

It’s not unusual to look in the mirror at this time of the year and think your skin could use some TLC.

The combination of perhaps a little too much festive cheer, harsh summer sun and sea (or chlorine) and air-conditioning can see us looking more Tom Hanks in Castaway than Tyra Banks.

And while it’s tempting to just pick any old hydrating facial off the spa menu, you’re going to get far better results from a combination of prescribed treatments delivered at the right time.

I’ve been a client of Clear Complexions for a few years now, and their recently-introduced Renew + Repair Suzie’s 3 Week Skin Boost Program was immediately appealing, as it covers off pretty much all of my concerns. An intense three-week treatment program, it’s designed to lighten sun induced pigmentation and vascular damage; hydrate dry, damaged skin; and soften wrinkles. The concentrated timing provides speedy and enhanced results as opposed to having the same combination over an extended period.

The program is structured like this:

WEEK 1

The program kicks off with a personalised Review and Analysis with a Clear Complexions Clinic Nurse so you’re both across your individual skin concerns and future treatment options. At this time, because anti-wrinkle injections are also on the agenda today, you’ll have a Skype Consultation with Clear Complexions’ consulting doctor Dr. Bronte Douglass.

Botulinum Toxin (more commonly known by one of its brand names, Botox) is one of those things that it’s natural to have questions about and strong feelings on (you can read more about my changing opinions on the subject here), so I really liked what Dr Douglass had to say in our consultation.

He asked me to frown and smile so he could see my facial lines, telling me that – yes, Botulinum Toxin would be very effective for my frown and laugh lines – but to not forget that those are the marks that show happiness and emotion. He was encouraging me to err on the ‘less is more’ side, which is certainly consistent with what I know of Clear Complexions’ approach to injectables (and my own personal philosophy) and made me feel comfortable and listened to.

After the talking was done, it was on to the first treatment: an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Full Face. IPL is a fantastic way to lighten pigmentation and to reduce redness, toning the skin. The IPL emits a pulse of light which heats up the melanin in pigmentation, whilst leaving the surrounding skin cool; this causes the particles of melanin to break up into smaller particles which the body then removes via its natural waste processes.

The IPL feels like a sharp, hot flick on the skin – it’s not a continuous ‘zap’ so that makes it far easier to tolerate. It’s not pleasant but it’s not unbearable (and you can squeeze on a stress ball if you need to!). You can read about IPL – how it works, what it feels like and the results – in more detail here.

Before I left it was time for the anti-wrinkle injections – six small injections between my brows and just a little sting each time. You can find out more about the procedure, including how long you can expect the effects to last, and the results here.

WEEK 2

Make-up free selfie post-Week 2

Make-up free selfie post-Week 2

Week 2 was all about healing, rejuvenating and producing new collagen, and incorporated three complementary procedures: Genesis Laser Full Face, Rationale Procedure Peel, and Omnilux Light Therapy.

Genesis Laser is a non-invasive laser technology designed to treat fine lines, wrinkles and diffuse redness and scars. The procedure is performed with a small handheld device, which is moved back and forth over sections of the face. It never actually makes contact with the skin, but works by gently heating up the upper dermis well below your skin’s surface and stimulates collagen and elastin regrowth. It doesn’t hurt – I think it feels like warm rain hitting your face – and is also fabulous for scars.

Once the Genesis was complete, a Rationale Procedure Peel solution was applied — great for sun damage, pigmentation, rosacea and acne, or those simply wanting a softer, smoother, more youthful look. The solution—comprising organic compounds such as lactic, salicylic, pyruvic and ascorbic acids—is applied with a cotton bud and is left to work while the Omnilux (the next step) does its job.

Omnilux is quite possibly my favourite thing ever. What you do is go in, lie down, lay under a lamp that shines warm light onto your face, try not to fall asleep (or give in and take a sneaky nap), get up after 20 minutes and go about the rest of your day.

Essentially, it’s a non-invasive LED that stimulates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid in your skin, strengthening your skin and rehydrating it from the inside out.

You can read more about all three treatments in Belinda Neame’s beauty roadtest.

WEEK 3

The final week! By now my skin is already looking smoother and more plump – today is about giving it a lovely deep clean with a HydraFacial, some more Omnilux action and IPL action, and a super-hydrating Rationale Hyaluronic Rationale Mask which works to repair dry, sun-damaged and sensitive skin by reactivating the skin’s natural moisturising cycle.

Our Associate Editor, Emma Macdonald, referred to the Hydrafacial as “a high-end version of a Morgans steam clean” for the face (read her roadtest here), and she’s not wrong. If you’ve ever had microdermabrasion, you’ll have some idea what this procedure feels like – essentially, it gives the skin a thorough exfoliation while extracting grime, grease and grit from the skin. But it also gives: pumping antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides and other nutrients into the skin as the other stuff comes out. The best bit? It ends with another opportunity to spend 20 blissful minutes under the Omni.

THE RESULTS

After three weeks of intense skin ‘bootcamp’ I’m certainly noticing the difference in my skin, but it appears others are too. My husband (who’d remarked on the brown patches of pigmentation on my forehead just a month before) commented that it had faded significantly – I hadn’t told him that I was getting treatments each week, so this was a nice bit of unsolicited feedback!

Looking back at the program’s goals of lightening sun induced pigmentation and vascular damage, hydrating dry, damaged skin; and softening wrinkles I have to say that it’s done ‘what it says on the box’. The pigmentation has been visibly reduced, my skin looks firmer and clearer, and the anti-wrinkle injections have give me a certain freshness. This is one bootcamp that I won’t hesitate to sign up for again.

the essentials

What: Clear Complexions’ Renew + Repair Suzie’s 3 Week Skin Boost Program
Designed to: lighten sun induced pigmentation and vascular damage; hydrate dry, damaged skin; and soften wrinkles.
How long: Once a week for three weeks, between 60 and 90 minutes per session.
How much: Clear Complexions are now offering the program for $1250 (normally $1825). Click here for more information.
Where: Clear Complexions have clinics in Bruce, Woden and Gungahlin.
Book: Contact a clinic near you here.

This is a sponsored post but opinions are the author’s own. It complies with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s guidelines on Online ReviewsRead our Sponsored Post Policy if you would like more information. The author received her treatments free of charge from Clear Complexions.

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Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author