Thursday 29 March 2012
So, using the RéAura last night for the first treatment in the all important week 6, which is when results should start to be miraculously apparent, according to some commentators. It’s been unseasonably warm here over the last couple of days, and my body temperature and my bathroom are warm, but this is Beckenham and not Riyadh where, incidentally, it has been raining, and I’m really not sure it’s warm enough to warrant overheating.
In the middle of treating the second zone of three on my face, the machine’s internal fan starts up and is followed presently by a red flashing light. In a panic, I switch off the RéAura and consult the manual. Apparently, the machine should switch itself off after flashing for 30 seconds and then if It shows green when I switch it on again, it’s OK to use. The light is green so I continue using it, but the same thing happens once or twice, so I stop treating my right cheek, conscious that I have not heard the “end of dosage” sound and that I have therefore under-treated this cheek, something we are warned not to do.
I move on to my forehead and the same thing happens several times. But I am determined not to under-treat my forehead, this being the area of most concern due to old acne scar pigmentation. I carry on with this, switching on to see a green light after the red error light has started flashing and switched off the machine, until I realise that I have been treating this area for a long, long time and the end of dosage sound has not been heard. When I consult the manual, this is because switching off the machine resets it so that does not remember the last dosage it has given. Which means that I have over-treated the area and the RéAura has forgotten this and not sensed an over-treatment, and locked itself, as it is supposed to have done. I have obviously over-treated my forehead and it is redder and sorer than it should normally be. I apply the soothing cream twice and go to bed fretfully, after having written up my experience on the RéAura website.
The next morning I call the Phillips RéAura helpline at 8.30 am, as specified on the website, only to be told by a very helpful call handler that the skincare team are not available until 9. When I eventually talk to the member of the skincare team, she says she thinks the machine is overheating because of the sudden warm temperatures in the UK and that I should leave the machine in a cooler place and contact her if it happens again when I next come to use the machine.
Sunday 1April 2012
When I try the machine tonight, it does not overheat and the treatment proceeds as normal.
Now, I am glad that this doesn’t appear to be a fault with the machine. I have grown fond of my little laser and am starting to see the effects of its use. But it highlights two problems:
1) If the machine over-heats in March in the UK, how will it stand up to use in, say, India or South Africa or the Southern United States in July?
2) I think Phillips should address the problem that if the machine has over-heated and switched itself off, it loses track of the treatment dosage when it is subsequently switched on and used again. Each time I switched the RéAura on again, the light showed green and it was deemed safe to use. But I over-treated my forehead as a result, which caused increased “dusting,” dryness and soreness. Now, as it happens, I eventually stopped treating that zone, but who knows whether or not I might have damaged my skin? I feel that Phillips should address this as a design issue, or at least explain things fully in their literature.
On the positive side, I am noticing a definite lessening of my hyper-pigmentation and I really don’t want to stop using the machine now. A previous conversation with a representative of the skincare team suggests that long-standing pigmentation from scarring is probably best treated in my case by regular weekly maintenance over a period of time. This is why I like the idea of the RéAura. I am not sure that one or two hugely costly Harley Street Fraxel treatments would address the pigmentation in this manner and this expensive treatment could be rather hit and miss. I like having the machine at home for top-ups if necessary.
My RéAura experience highlights the spuriousness of claims by manufacturers of creams designed to tackle pigmentation and scarring problems: if it takes a laser so long to even out scars and uneven skin tone, a cream sold over the counter just isn’t ever going to do it. Ladies (and men) don’t believe the cream hype!
*not a sponsored post*