Is It Worth It? By Nedahl Stelio
It hits me when I’m going to see a gig for the first time in years (Phoenix at the Hordern, they were brilliant).
“Oh no! I’ve forgotten my ID!” I exclaim as I enjoy a glass of wine with dinner before it starts, which really should have tipped me off – what young person sips expensive wine before a gig? “Should I go home and get my ID?”
My friends scoff.
“You won’t need it,” I’m told decisively by my partner.
How can he be so sure? Every gig I’ve ever been to, even well into my 30s, I’ve been asked for ID. But now, suddenly it’s clear. I’m beyond ID-able. The fact that I’m in my late 30s is showing on my face. It’s not so much that I’ve got wrinkles, I don’t feel like the Grand Canyon quite yet. It’s more a combination of pigmentation from my pregnancies and my skin’s texture. Everything is starting to drop. Is there anything that can be done about this? Something that will even out the surface so my face feels less like train tracks, more like a smooth pond. With the odd ripple of course. I don’t have time for a regular facial, which might be relaxing but does about as much for me as a long sleep (and to be honest, I’d rather sleep). I need something more hardcore, but nothing “invasive”, just the word makes me shudder, and I want the results to last longer than a movie marathon. Beauty industry, are you listening? Apparently, they are. Here’s what I tried.
THIS WEEK: I walk into Zecca Cosmedical, which promises “the most technologically advanced and innovative non-surgical cosmetic treatments currently available”. That sounds exactly like what I’m after. After a thorough consultation, it’s decided I’ll start with a Dermapen treatment.
WHAT IS IT: Essentially, it’s a pen with tiny, superfine needles on the end of it. The needles roll over your skin, pinning holes in it as they go. They can penetrate the skin up to 2 millimeters, but I’ll be getting it to 1 millimeter. This definitely sounds more hardcore than a facial.
WHAT THE HECK FOR? Apparently, causing controlled damage to your skin will prompt it to produce a bunch of collagen, which is the building block of skin. The more collagen you have, the more elastic, less wrinkled and better textured your skin will be. (There is a much more complicated explanation here).
WHO IS IT GOOD FOR? Anyone with sagging skin, fine lines and wrinkles. Also recommended for scarring.
WHY I’M GETTING IT: To improve the texture of my skin and try and get its bounce back. I haven’t got many fine lines, but my skin is definitely starting to slacken.
WHAT THEY DID: Firstly, I had a numbing cream placed all over my face. This is no poncy balm, it’s a serious anesthetic cream which made my entire face numb, feeling extremely weird. This will stop me feeling the needles which is good because I’ve never been fond of a needle.
The cream stays on for an hour, after which, I’m ready. Ann explains there will be some bleeding as she is basically pinning holes in my face. She moves the pen all over, working on it section by section, checking in every now and then to see if it’s painful.
HOW DOES IT FEEL? Surprisingly, fine. Perhaps it’s testament to how tired I am with a six-month-old baby at home, but it’s actually quite relaxing. Like a massage, only instead of padded fingers, it’s a rough little boulder going over every inch of your face. The numbing cream has done its job well, clearly, because Ann says I’m bleeding quite a bit.
AFTERWARDS: I’m very hot. Very, very hot, and a bit stingy. My skin is quite red and sensitive. I put the air conditioner in the car directly onto my face. The hot feeling doesn’t subside until six hours later. The next morning I’m quite tight and dry and still very red, like I’ve sat with my face in the sun for a whole day. I slather on sunscreen because one thing I’ve learned after visiting anti-aging salons to research this piece, is that it’s really our only defense against aging. I can put make-up on to cover the redness, but it’s subsided by the second day and by the third, I’m back to normal.
DID IT WORK? My skin is clearer after a week. The pigmentation I have around my lips from my pregnancies has already almost disappeared. I’m feeling more confident without make-up. They tell me the real results will be seen a few months from now.
CAN I GET THIS RESULT AT HOME? There’s no equivalent product at home to a Dermapen as it’s essentially damaging your skin to encourage it to produce collagen.
HOW MUCH IS IT: $550 per treatment.
TIME TAKEN: Together with the numbing cream, an hour and twenty minutes.
IS IT WORTH IT? I can imagine that after the suggested four treatments my skin would look pretty amazing. The experts at Zecca however, have assured me I don’t need more than one Dermapen treatment (though I try and insist otherwise) and would instead like me to do their “rejuvenation package”. I’ll keep you updated. Only you can decide whether you want to go beyond a regular facial. At $550 it’s not cheap, but there is no downtime and it’s less invasive than a laser, plus the results will last longer. I’m looking at it like an expensive coat, which is an investment in looking good. And I’ve decided my face is more important than a coat.