My first photofacial with Skinsense, Mulund

Introduction: 

Have you ever wondered why your skin is all blotches but celebrity skin is crystal clear? Well, I can give you two top reasons for such a variance. One, the celebrities are always laden with good make-up which cover most of their flaws including bad skin. Second, they go through regular maintenance of their skin with top of the class specialists and aestheticians. The former is still understandable but the latter isn’t something which should keep us guessing. They go through regular treatments like Micro Dermabrasions, Chemical peels, invasive and non-invasive facelifts with various techniques. The most popular being the laser therapy.

And in the recent times, through photo therapy, popularly known as photo facial. Photo facial is through LED (Light Emitting Diode) and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). As one of the websites claims, “For those looking to improve the overall texture and appearance of the skin, IPL has exceptional results for photo rejuvenation. Benefits include reduced pore size, reduced wrinkle size and a more even skin tone. Best of all, there’s minimal discomfort and virtually no down time.”  So for a promise of a youthful skin in no down time, I decided to go to Skinsense in Mulund. Dr Shweta Iyenger, owner of the clinic gave me consultation for my skin condition.

The consultation: 

 

Skinsense Mulund

Skinsense Mulund

Skin problem included brown spots or freckles which I believe are hereditary along with few fine lines on my forehead. Ah! Age catching up with a little stress and lifestyle issues I believe. Wrinkles are beautiful on a mature face. But, I feel that the stress induced haggardness should get some medical help, especially in a career like mine where looks are equally important. So, I started telling my skin woes to Dr Iyenger. She was sitting across the table in a room which was dimly lit. She didn’t check my skin thoroughly which I thought she should have. May be with experience and with time, you just know how to treat a patient in the first glance. She asked me how long did I go out in the sun. I said, not much, as I had a sitting job in an AC office which consumed most of the bright and sunny hours. Then she asked how many hours I put in front of the desktop. And I replied, anywhere between 9 – 10 hours. She then told me that the pigmentation on my skin is partly hereditary and partly because I am exposed to the UV light generated by desktop/laptop screens. I was aghast. There was no escape as I would be working in these conditions till I retire.

The experience: 

But is it possible that our desktops can generate UV rays that can destroy our skin as these days most of the screens are LED based. Moreover, beauty industry is claiming that LED light is used in skin treatment for more collagen production. So, this theory didn’t go well with me and she wrote a long list of meds for my skin. A facewash with AHA (her own label for Rs 150, for a tiny bottle), an SPF block with anti-ageing properties called Avarta by Dr Batra (Rs 1100 aprox), A vitamin C supplement called EnerC 1000 (Rs 300 for 20 tablets) and a topical cream called Tryses by Vedaderm (Rs 3600 approx). I think every second paitient was being recommended Tryses. The next thing I know is that I am being explained the usage of these meds again by her receptionist who actually murdered English language before my very own self. Aargghh! But, at least she tried to speak English, though there was no grammar, pronunciation or punctuation in her speech. But I have to agree that she is a good sales person. Finally, she sold me everything except Tryses as it was a bit on the expensive side and I didn’t want to invest before knowing what it does to the skin. 

She confidently told me to check on each medicine on Google so that I could get more information on them. She told me to get an appointment after 7 days for the next treatment. Finally, she ushered me into the treatment saloon, which are 2-3 congested and cluttered rooms located upstairs. I could hear a girl squeal, ‘Aiaah! Lag raha hai!’ and then somebody else giving her a shut-up call in Gujarati, ‘Customer yanthi che, yeso nathi’. I could see flashes of bright light coming from that room and I just felt that it shouldn’t be the biggest mistake of my life.

Suddenly, I was greeted by a very young girl who said that she was an under-trainee in the same clinic and I thought I shouldn’t go ahead with amateur treating me with laser and lights. She started with Micro Derma which they fondly referred to as MDA. Her lose hair fell on my face while taking the treatment. I asked her to tie them but unfortunately she had nothing on herself that she could use to tie her hair. They didn’t have a cushion that I could use for my back support on the treatment chair. And then she started with the ‘MDA’ which was a punishment in itself. It wasn’t the first time that I was getting a Micro Derma, but it was the worst of the experiences as she pulled and pushed and bruised my skin in the name of skin polishing. I told her to go slow and she said that this pain was very normal.

Finally, she asked me to go to the other cube where the actual Photo-facial session was carried out. I was relieved that she wasn’t working on me. These young girls are not more than 19-20, there innocent faces are spelling, ‘let me get some experience before I land into the real world’. One of them was keeping a watchful eye on the clock and said ‘Nau kab bajenge?’(Closing time of the clinic). So you can very well imagine there experience, dedication and aptitude towards their job. Finally, the photo facial aesthetician greeted me who explained to me what to expect. The treatment started. She cleaned my face with an astringent. With cotton dabbed in cold water she wiped a portion of my face, put the IPL gun on my skin and started with the procedure. There were warm stings of not more than a second on my face. These were not painful but felt a bit uncomfortable at times due to sudden heat. The aesthetician adjusted the heat and it was fine. If you are used to the pain while threading your brows then this is just a piece of cake. The treatment was over in no more than 5-7 minutes. I didn’t see any difference in my skin. It felt a bit etched but nothing beyond that. I have started with other meds. Let’s see how this is going the end in a couple of days. (Even after 3 sessions, my freckles are still there, though have faded a shade lighter.)

The conclusion: 

With a country which is obsessed with fair skin, these small clinics have sprung up in every nook and corner. They do not have proper infrastructure to support these types of treatment, neither a correct ambience where a client is treated with care and comfort. It is more like a quick-fix factory, where inexperienced staff is churning out numbers. These numbers are people like you and me who would do anything to make their skin look flawless. Even if you forego the infrastructure part of it, the question remains if experienced hands are treating you with utmost care and hygiene. Though, IPL is a broad spectrum light so it is termed safe for skin as compared to laser. But there are many horror stories where people have been burnt and blistered due to unprofessional handling of the equipment or inexperienced staff. 

On a last note, I would like to say that old box like computer screens used to emit UV rays but the new flat variety of desktop screens and laptop screens do not emit UV rays. I am not saying this but research is. Though, there is no harm in applying sunscreen even inside office. You never know, the lights in the office or daylight penetrating from the windows might get you pigmentation. After Googling, I didn’t find much information on the meds prescribed other than what is written on their company website. No reviews. Tryses is used in very severe cases of pigmentation and skin damage. It makes the skin very sensitive and needs post care, as advised by a dermatologist friend. And, every topic related to IPL on Google says that there should be a gap of 2-3 weeks in IPL treatment as the skin needs time to recuperate.

About MumbaiGloss

Parimita Chakravorty is an author, blogger, features writer and a communications specialist. She has written for various popular magazines and websites related to beauty, fashion, jewellery and lifestyle, including HAIR India, Femina.in, BeBeautiful.in, Hello, etc. She has also contributed to various youth blogs and magazines. Her book ‘Look Stunning At Any Size’ has been well appreciated and received by the readers. Currently, she is part of India’s leading IT brand and takes care of their internal communications. Parimita is also working towards bringing awareness about Endometriosis in India; a silent epidemic which is consuming a lot of lives. She manages a page ‘Endometriosis India Files’ where patients discuss their condition and diagnosis.
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