BEAUTY: Spectra Carbon Peel

Three weeks to the big day and there are several must-dos a bride-to-be should have in her checklist.

Aside from the bachelorette party, the bride-to-be checklist includes:

1) A spa pampering session
a. What better way to relax than with a full body massage after a hydrating spa session.

2) Manicure and pedicure
a. This can be done months in advance and just a couple of weeks before the big day. In fact, a once a month manicure session is ideal. Having luxuriously soft hands and carefully manicured nails is crucial, so you can show off your ring!

3) Hair treatments
a. Complete your wedding look with soft and healthy tresses that frame your face. Start with a deep conditioning steam treatment at the salon and follow up at home subsequently with leave-in hair masks.
b. If your hair is colored, make sure there are no grown out roots showing. Head to your local salons

4) Thorough facial and aesthetic treatments to get your “radiant bride” look
a. Camera shutters will be clicking, and you have got to put your best face forward.

Usually the wedding prep for the bride begins months before the actual day. A full body, top to toe pampering session is always on the cards for any bride-to-be, and I know some of my friends who went for Botox just months before their big day.

Most of the simple treatments above I could get done in the U.S, but I wanted to make sure I landed with good skin. So, just a week or two before I left, I went for treatment to get brighter, more youthful looking skin from Dr Jonathan Yong in Singapore.

You will know that I love the beach, but because of extended sun exposure, my skin tone tends to be slightly uneven. As such, I wanted something to help even out my complexion, improve my skin texture while giving me a radiant glow.

The clinic

The clinic was a buzz when I arrived, but the waiting time in the reception area took no longer than 15 minutes. After a short wait, I got to meet with the very accommodating and eagle-eyed doctor who listened carefully to my (vain) needs and who also later, assessed my skin’s needs.

It was very easy to talk to the patient (and very good-looking) doctor. After taking into consideration my schedule and requirements, he decided that a laser Spectra Carbon Peel was the best treatment for me. I let out a sigh of relief, thankful that the doctor has chosen for me because if he had asked me specifically what I wanted to do, I would not have been able to pick one! The clinic’s expertise area encompasses medical aesthetic treatments for all sorts of skin conditions – saggy skin, freckles, pigmentation, enlarged pores, skin rejuvenation, non-surgical 3D face contouring and much more.

If I had it my way, I would do everything I possibly could!

I know most people are concerned with the downtime and potential outcomes associated with most aesthetic treatments, especially with lasers. Seeing how this was my first experience with a laser treatment, I was too. But after sharing with the doctor my concerns about potential redness, he re-assured me that this gentle laser would leave no marked color differences or any redness. I was due on a trip in the next 2 days, and the doctor said that I would not have to worry about flying as the recovery for the laser treatment was the NEXT DAY!

How could it be?!

The reason for the quick recovery is that this treatment is designed to be delivered as a series of treatments over several months and helps progressively stimulate collagen growth in the deeper layers of the skin. As such, the laser is gentle, yet still highly effective, in comparison to other traditional laser with 1 or 2 days of downtime in comparison to 5 days of after effects.

Before the treatment

I was excited yet nervous at the same time. A treatment that would help stimulate collagen and return my skin to its youthful bounce; yet I was nervous about the pain. Having never done lasers before, I was not sure how painful the treatment would be.

A quick check with the doctor allayed my fears. According to other patients who have undergone the treatment, it would be as if someone was snapping a rubber band against my skin. On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain and 1 is smacking yourself, that would be a 3.

The treatment

Once the consultation was done, a bubbly and chatty nurse ushered me into the next room. She invited me to lie down on the treatment bed and promptly put a thick, comfy blanket over me. Ahh… So this is where the magic happens.

As part of the treatment, the first step after cleansing was a carbon mask. This mask was to help absorb and remove the impurities from deep within the pores.

It took about 15 minutes for the carbon mask to dry and once it set, you could visibly see that a layer of oil had surfaced. Oops, I think it is time to move on to the next step.

This is where it got interesting – the laser.

Wellness Suite Spectra Carbon Peel

As the laser fired into the deep layers of my skin, it would also remove the carbon mask at the same time.

Prior to the start of the laser, the doctor tested the heat and my pain tolerance on a small area of my face near the jawline, and if it the pain was too much, he promised to adjust the dial down.

So, was it painful?

Just as the doctor said, it was as though someone was snapping a rubber bang against my skin. The pain was bearable and eventually became a comfortable rhythm against my skin. It was just like a face massage!

After the treatment

With the little laser wand, the doctor covered my entire face (or should I say removed the carbon mask) in just over 20 minutes.

As you can see from the picture, there is some redness around the cheek and chin area, but overall, the skin is brighter thanks to the removal of the dead skin cells on the surface.

By the doctor’s advise, it was important to keep hydrating and moisturizing my skin after the laser treatment, which is why afterwards he proceeded with a Vitamin C iontophoresis treatment to enhance the glow that I wanted and to keep the skin plump.

The cooling treatment was extremely welcome after the laser treatment and I really enjoyed the experience.

The Vitamin C brightening serum served to soothe the fresh layer of exposed skin.

Sunblock was also key to protecting this new skin and I got a broad spectrum SPF 45 sunblock before I left the clinic.

2 days after the treatment

The results are most obvious several days AFTER the treatment because it takes time for collagen to be produced, and for the skin to settle.  

Taken 2 days after the laser treatment, my skin definitely has a brighter glow than before. One thing to note, is the dryness and skin peeling that are commonly experienced 1 to 2 days after the treatment and I saw some of this skin dryness on my nose tip and around, so you should not be alarmed if the same thing happens to you post-treatment. Simply use a deep hydrating gel mask to keep your skin moisture-locked.

I have better skin now thanks to Dr Jonathan Yong. The treatment he did for me was Spectra Carbon Peel and Vitamin C Iontophoresis. I was pleased with the brighter glow after one session with the Spectra Carbon Peel. But to really see the effect of fuller plumper skin, you will need several sessions before an ideal amount of collagen is produced. As I mentioned earlier, this gentle laser is designed to be delivered over multiple sessions for maximum benefit. So when I get back from California and am done with the wedding in the U.S., it will be time to prep for the Singapore wedding!

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Valerie Lim Written by:

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