The Phillips RéAura: An independent review #8

So, dear reader, I’ve finally reached the final session of sixteen twice-weekly RéAura sessions for my face. This is probably the final regular post I shall write on this so I thought it would be a good opportunity to list my observations about the machine, the treatments and the results they have achieved so far. I must stress that everyone is different and the results achieved on my skin will not be the same as those of anyone else. I have written this account from my specific perspective as someone of 100% Indian parentage born and brought up in the UK because there seems to be so little information available to people like us about the problems we can encounter with our skin type and the effect of cosmetic treatments on them. I have spent my life learning how to care for my skin through trial and error, mainly error, and I hope that my children’s generation will not have to undergo this painful process to learn to look after their skin properly. It isn’t about vanity at all. How we look affects how we feel about ourselves and why not put one’s best foot forward?

I progressed almost immediately from treatment level 2 to level 3 and there was no discernable difference in pain or soreness associated with the higher level.

Short term effects after treatments:

  • Parts of my face were a little puffy for a few hours the morning after each treatment.
  • My face reddened, which lasted for more than 12 hours after each treatment. I assumed a ruddy look for a day or so and then my skin darkened for a few days, probably due to the “dusting,” as below. My skin has darkened overall and I look “tanned.” This might also be due to the week of warm weather we had a while ago as I have a watch mark on my wrist, but I have been assiduously using SPF on my face, so I would attribute the darkening more to the RéAura.
  • The day after each treatment, my face was covered with tiny scabs or “dusting,” which lasted two to three days. Phillips says that this is the pigment being released from the deeper layers of the skin. I don’t think I am entirely convinced about this. I could cover this dusting with tinted moisturiser and, apart from darkening my skin, I looked OK. Interestingly, the darkening has meant that I don’t need to use concealer at the moment as the skin around my eyes is lighter than the rest of my face. I look as if I have been walking around in a Mediterranean country with large sunglasses on!
  • An interesting short-term effect is that any blemishes lurking just under the surface of the skin are brought to the top where they can be, ahem, extracted.

I have used exfoliants a couple of times a week, Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant and Caudalie’s Gentle Buffing Cream to try and get rid of the dusting. To alleviate the soreness and dehydration that persists, I have used Bobbi Brown’s Extra Repair Moisturising Balm (Blimey, how much?) when needed – I already had it knocking about unnecessarily in my bathroom but I’m sure another rich moisturiser would do – but this effect has decreased as time has gone on and my skin has become used to the laser.

Longer term effects:

  • I can honestly say that the texture of my skin has become smoother and more even. This is particularly noticeable when using make-up. Any enlarged pores are starting to close but they have not as yet closed up completely.
  • I am not sure about wrinkles. Remember, the reason for my old acne scarring is my oily skin, which has meant that I do actually look younger than my age, although some lines do exist on my forehead. These have eased in width  but might have become deeper. I am noticing that my make up settles into them more than before. Perhaps this is a short term effect. The frown line between my eyebrows, however, has more or less disappeared.
  • The pigmentation on my forehead that was my main reason for buying the RéAura has eased but is still visible. This area suffered from the over-treatment a few weeks ago (see below) and I’ll be interested to see whether it fades in the coming weeks and months. It is largely for this reason that I have decided to keep treating this area weekly after my forthcoming two-week break from treatments.
  • Other old acne scarring has not completely disappeared but has become markedly less apparent. More recent scarring will be easier to eradicate, apparently.
  • Ingrown hairs have improved and the scars have faded. Not completely, but they are definitely on the right track. As I found with the horrid ingrown hairs on my legs caused by waxing (a long story for another day) the only successful treatment was the side effect of the laser used for hair removal. I am hoping that this is the case with these tenacious horrors, which developed last summer.

Conclusions:

I think I shall observe the condtion of my skin during the two weeks’ rest period. The hyper-pigmentation is still there but I feel that I shall be using the RéAura once every week to top up the effects of the first course of treatment. Hyper-pigmentation from 30 years ago is so tenacious that it probably cannot be banished in a period of 8 weeks. This is the beauty of having a home machine, if it works, as opposed to an expensive, harsh session at a clinic with drastic, though unpredictable, results. I do feel that the effects of the RéAura will be cumulative. We shall just have to wait and see and I shall report on them as I see them.

It is clear, however, that if hyper-pigmentation is so difficult to reduce with a laser, albeit a home-safe laser, it is just not going to budge with any over-the-counter cream. They are, in my opinion, not worth buying so don’t waste your money on them.

Design improvement suggestions:

Given how helpful the RéAura is at detaching below-the-surface blemishes, it would be useful to have an attachment capable of treating noses which, alas, the current laser head cannot do effectively. It would be a pity if one could henceforth tell a woman’s age from the condition of her nose.

I was really alarmed at my RéAura experience in that warm week, when it over-heated and kept resetting its dosage measurement, which resulted in me over-treating my forehead. I’m not sure it has recovered yet. It is very small as foreheads go and received a huge over-treatment. Let us hope that the dusting and the darkness fade evenly to unpigmented skin in the next few weeks. But honestly Phillips, this was Beckenham in March! If your machine overheated then, goodness knows how it will perform in Houston in August or Delhi in May. Presumably these are also target markets? If so, the design must be adjusted so that the machine does not overheat so easily.

It would be useful if Phillips could make clear in their marketing that they have actually tested the machine on people of various different ethnicities and skin types. This sort of information should be more readily available to people who are deciding whether or not to part with £800 for the RéAura. This only came to light in my long conversation with Keira, the skincare representative. It’s my whole reason for doing these posts: that there is such scant information available on products for people with non-white skins.

So, that’s not completely the end. I shall keep posting intermittently as I see a longer-term improvement (or not) in my skin texture and tone. I hope that so far all that I have written has been helpful to the surprising amount of people worldwide who have searched for and seem to have read these RéAura posts. I do hope Phillips are grateful for all the free publicity for them and their machine.

*RéAura posts are not sponsored in any way by Phillips or any of the other manufacturers of skincare products mentioned on them. If only. But this does mean that I can write truly independent opinions, unfettered and unmindful of any sponsor*

©MsAlliance April 2012

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11 thoughts on “The Phillips RéAura: An independent review #8

  1. i really apprecite your review. I finished my 1st treatment on Friday. I’m excited but apprehensive at the same time. I also have the dusting that you did, but they seel like little scabs to me. it’s obvious that those are little holes from where the laser penetrated the skin. Its wierd that they told you it was pigment. i’m sure your skin will continue to imrove as time goes by. i’m 43 caucasian hoping for smoother complexion, less fine wrinkles, ansd better texture. Did you find that the sandpaper feeling continually got qworse with each treatment or did it stay the same?

    1. Hi. Thanks for your comment. I think the sandpaper feeling, which lasted only a few days each time stayed more or less the same. My skin is fine now after 10 days without treatment. I now have to decide whether to treat once or twice per week.

  2. Hey there….thanks for writing a very thorough review of the ReAura product! I became interested in it, as I’ve now had 4 Fraxel laser treatments from a dermatologist (extremely painful, but very effective), and thought a milder version at home might be a good option for me. I’m still not sure, but your review has been helpful in my thinking.

    I thought it worth mentioning that my doctor advised Fraxel laser treatment (upon which this product is developed) is not for everyone. She said I was just on the edge of being treatable….as darker skin tones have a tendency to hyper-pigment from the treatment. She herself is Israeli with dark skin, and she cannot have the treatment done. For that skin tone, there are better options that don’t cause hyper-pigmentation (peels maybe?). Thus you may want to contact Philips and answer your own question from above….what skin types have they tested this on. I’d be a little concerned that the hyper-pigmentation you’re seeing will not go away, the laser is the cause, and perhaps you should stop so you don’t cause additional discoloration or darkening of your skin. I don’t mean to scare you, I just think you should have all the relevant information to make informed decisions.

    Thanks again, and good luck!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time both to read my post and to comment so helpfully and thoroughly.

      This is exactly why I feel I needed to share my thoughts on the RéAura. I’m currently nearing the end of my second 8 week treatment course on my face and my feeling is that I should move to weekly or two-weekly treatments or perhaps only treat in the winter when levels of UV light are low here in the same way as I would recommend using laser hair removal only in the winter months to avoid burning the skin. I’m certainly not convinced that the machine is a skin care or rejuvenation miracle.

      Phillips assure me that they have tested their product on many different skin types and they also assured me that the RéAura does not react with melanin skin pigmentation but it does say that hyper-pigmenttion is a risk with use of the machine. The instructions are all so vague and non-specific and it seems that people who are considering spending a considerable amount of money to buy this machine need much more information on its actual effects.

      I just don’t know: on the one hand I do like the way that my skin has become smoother and more even-toned but I am still concerned that the darkening is permanent and that the area of hyper-pigmentation of my forehead has not gone away. I’ll be posting more fully on this shortly.

      I’m interested though, if you have had 4 Fraxel treatments and are happy with the results, why do you even need to consider the RéAura?

  3. I have hyper pigmentation in my forehead and cheekbones. It is 2 months since my last treatment and has not gone. I am Asian and have medium brown skin, I was told that Re aura was suitable for me and am very upset at having wasted so much money on a product that I will not use because of the hyper pigmentation it has resulted in.
    Has anyone else experienced this?

    1. I too bought the RéAura to address hyperpigmentation from past acne scarring. I had originally wanted to have Fraxel treatment, but this was a lot less expensive.

      I did two 8 week treatments to my face and, as you can see from other posts on this subject on this blog, I was very worried about the subsequent darkening of my skin. I shared your concerns.

      Now, the darkening has gradually eased and, whilst it hasn’t completely removed the previous hyperpigmentation of my skin, it has evened my skin tone out and improved the general smoothness and texture of my face.

      I’m still reserving judgement on whether I have wasted £800. I still have the reservations about the lack of information provided by Phillips before and after purchase. I think I shall continue using the RéAura but probably in the winter when my face is less subject to UV sensitivity.

      Not sure whether this helps you or not. I do hope your skin eases. Have you addressed your problem to the RéAura helpline at all?

  4. I’m very grateful to stumble across this blog. Maybe I can add some benefit to everyone. I am olive skin italian. I did fraxel back in 2005 / 2006 when they used the blue dye. I think it is equivalent to Fraxel Restore.. BIG MiSTake in terms of hyperpigmentation. I was only doing eye area and half way up forehead. Ended up with an impossible to fade raccoon mask. Very embarrassing. I ended up doing another 3 treatments full face and neck to “bring out” the pigment everywhere. I figured if i can’t fight it might as well try to even it out everywhere. The theory worked somewhat but left my forehead two toned. The top was still light and middle of forehead and down was dark.

    The only thing that faded the pigment was DERMAROLLING.. i don’t know how it did it. but it worked. My face is light skin again. I Rolled 1 per week 1.5 mm for about 15 weeks.. The pigment evened out. Now I’m getting older and looking at the REAURA and scared to death to use (it’s still in the box on my shelf, beckoning me to try it.. – I really loved the results of fraxel 6 years ago.. aside from the horrible pigment issues. I understand this machine is equivalent to fraxel REFINE, so it’s not as powerful. Maybe it wont’ hyper pigment me. but I’m scared to death. it was such a pain in the ass last time.. Any thoughts appreciated..

    1. Thank you so much, Matt, for sharing these observations. I’m glad you managed to get rid of the hyper-pigmentation in the end. It is horrible, isn’t it, especially since the RéAura seems to work so well for those with fairer skins.

      Given my experience with the RéAura, I would approach it with extreme caution, especially at this time of the year when (in theory anyway) there is so much more UV light around than in winter. For me, a combination of RéAura and sunshine is disastrous, and my feeling is that it’s best not to use the RéAura in summer. I think I should send mine back to Phillips as I’m so unhappy with it and had to spend £800 to find out that is exacerbates hyper-pigmentation, but I’m embarrassed to do so over a year after I bought it. For me, it was a total waste of money and I didn’t, unlike some beauty bloggers, get a complimentary tester machine.

      I am about to try a 6 month course of glycolic peels to try and get rid of the original and the exacerbated hyper-pigmentation. I’ll keep everyone posted about the results.

  5. Not trying to be debbie downer – but I tried EVERYTHING, obagi + hydroquionone , series of microdermabrasions – fade creams- you name it. It comes back.
    Buy a dermaroller and get going.. Do it weekly or every 10 days.. Use it with (retin A + moisturize every other day) regiment.

    It will work and save you a bunch of heartbreak watching that pigment fade with a peel and then come back..

    I don’t know, give the peels a shot for a bit.. if it doesn’t work – get on the dermaroller.

    Curious on the Reaura, aside from the hyperpigmentation did you see any firmness or tightening, plumping ? Any benefit at all?

    1. I hear you. Good advice, thanks.

      Yes, I saw some benefit. My skin was freshened and plumped for a couple of months but I had become so dark that that benefit was outweighed and fairly temporary anyway.

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