Give your skin the treatment it deserves with the help of a medical facial…

MAC Cosmetics Paris FW Fall/Winter 16, Alexis Mabille show

When it comes to beauty treatments a rejuvenating facial has been the norm, but they can often over-promise and under-deliver. Yes they feel great at the time, and your skin does look glowing afterwards, but a couple of days later you’re back to square one.
However, of late, many people have been going the extra mile by ditching beauty facials for medical ones. The trend is moving away from feel-good, all-purpose facials to problem-solving ones that have more visible results. These targeted treatments use new technologies as well as high-quality, non-irritant and customised products that contain active ingredients only available in medical clinics.
If you’re stuck in a skincare rut and need to give your complexion a boost, maybe it’s time you considered one too.

Skin is nature’s ultimate protection and our body’s largest organ, which is made up of two main layers. The outer layer, known as the epidermis, is responsible for the prevention of free-radical damage like pollution, chemicals and harmful bacteria. The inner layer, known as the dermis, is made up mostly of collagen, elastin, and fibrillin that give the skin its flexibility and strength.
Standard facials generally provide great skin pampering but aren’t the best at treating the skin at a deeper level. This means they only give temporary results that last about a week because the products only sit on the skins surface without penetrating to the dermis. The Dermis is where our skin does the most healing and repairing so it’s imperative that the nourishing ingredients reach it.
With medical facials, the prescription strength (medical grade) ingredients, which are exclusive to Doctors, reach the dermis to combat all skin issues. ‘They can treat everything from acne, scarring, dryness, pigmentation, rosacea, broken capillaries, sun damage and dehydration,’ says plastic surgical nurse Angela Frazer, from Prescription Skin Care NZ. Medical facials also improve the tone, texture and collagen and elastin production in the skin, thus slowing down the signs of ageing.

As well as relaxation, we want to see both instant and long-lasting results when it comes to our facials.
‘Firstly, a trained aesthetician will assess your skin’s health in a thorough skin evaluation which will look at your individual skin type, your concerns, goals and your lifestyle,’ says Angela. Treatment recommendations will be based on this. ‘It may be that all you need is a course of superficial enzyme treatments for mild skin imperfections or to give an immediate glow before a special event,’ she says. ‘The key thing is the results and improvement in many common skin concerns such as sun damage, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, enlarged pores and acne scarring.’ 

As with all medical facials there are lots of pros, but you should consider the cons too before undergoing any treatment. Redness, swelling, discomfort and downtime are factors in some (but not all) treatments, and is a topic that is always discussed beforehand by your aesthetician.
‘As all patients have a consultation to explain the after effects of the treatment there shouldn’t be any surprises,’ says Angela. ‘If any discomfort is expected you will have been informed, and with treatments such as medical needling an anaesthetic cream takes care of this. With nearly all treatments we offer there is minimal, or even no, downtime. If you were going out that night, we would recommend a treatment that will leave your skin glowing, and not one that could leave you a looking flushed.’ 

As with all great facials it’s important to follow a great skincare routine at home to promote the best results. Here are our top picks to moisturise, brighten, tighten and protect your skin for longer…

  • REVERSE AGEING: Medik8 Retinol Eye TR, $129 – This age-defence serum is a high does of pure retinol to treat fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots fast.
  • SMOOTH: Indeed Labs Retinol Reface Night Serum, $44.99 – Containing not one but three formsof retinol to help deliver softer, smoother looking skin, it also targets the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet.
  • HYDRATE: Elizabeth Arden Youth Restoring Essence, $95 – A revitalising, water-like treatment it instantly absorbs to restore suppleness, hydration and radiance to the skin.
  • PROTECT: Nimue Sun-C SPF 40, $69.95 – Shielding our skin from harmful rays can be the best thing for anti-ageing. With a high SPF and broad spectrum, this cream is perfect.
  • COVER-UP: Jane Iredale Golden Glow PurePressed Foundation, $95 – Known as the skincare make-up this foundation is gentle on the skin, but covers blemishes, redness and uneven skin tone easily.
  • NOURISH: Environ Environ®’s AVST 2, $81.30 – With medium levels of vitamins A and C, this antioxidant rich emulsion assists in rebalancing and moisturising the skin.
  • ILLUMINATE: Results Rx Xcell+ Brightening Serum, $115 – Formulated to promote a quicker healing process for damaged skin this is perfect after an invasive skin treatment.
  • MOISTURISE: Eve Lom Moisturiser + SPF 15 $108 – Rich in Shea butter and beeswax to nourish and seal in moisture, this is perfect for every day.

Myths about medical facials…

  • They are painful…
    Not necessarily. Usually, the concentration of the peels used is quite mild, and the clean-up process, while not painless, is quite bearable.
  • They are expensive…
    Basic medical facials are usually not expensive. It depends on the clinic, and what products or technologies the doctors or specialists use.
  • It’s only for people above the age of 30…
    Acne is a major concern among teenagers, and so, people who are 15 and above are prime candidates for such treatments. Hence, 15 being the minimum age for medical facials.

So what’s your opinion on medical facials? Would you have one? Tell us in the comments below…


WORDS: Elise Wilson
IMAGE: Supplied by MAC Cosmetics