It is, I suppose, about time I updated you, dear Reader, on the effects of the Phillips RéAura home laser rejuvenation machine on my skin. I last posted on this subject at the end of my first 8 week course of twice- weekly treatments of my face. As recommended by Phillips, I then rested my face for two weeks and observed the effects of the course of treatment. At that time, I felt that my skin was considerably smoother and more even-toned than it had been before and that some dark acne scars were noticeably smaller than they had been before the treatment. In addition, the two ingrown hair bumps seemed to have shrunk and lessened in severity. I hoped to continue this effect so I decided to repeat the 8 week course on my face.
In my last post, I mentioned that my original RéAura machine had overheated and reset its timer with the consequence that I had over-treated the area of hyper-pigmentation on my forehead. Phillips contacted me immediately and asked me to send them my machine for testing. They replaced it that same day with a newer machine. Apparently, some machines in the earlier batches had been identified with this problem. I’m pleased that I have had no problems at all with the replacement machine, even through the week of high temperatures that is now but a distant memory.
So, I’m just about to start week 7 of the second course. Effects to date are as follows:
- Every RéAura treatment has darkened my skin colour really very noticeably. I look strange, as if I am wearing some sort of mask. I was going to include a photo with this post, but I’ve decided against that now. It doesn’t look good. A couple of weeks ago my singing aural teacher thought that I had fallen and bruised my face as it was obviously so puffy and red from treatment the previous night and my friend asked me what I had done to myself. As it had been sunny that week, I just explained this away by saying that I tan easily and had been enjoying the sun, but I am using a high SPF both in protective lotion and in Nars SPF 30 tinted moisturiser every day. The following day I had to take my mum to a reunion of her old Indian friends and many of their children. Let’s just say that my complexion was no longer wheatish. Now, I do hope that this darkening effect will lessen at the end of this course of treatment as it did before, or at least as sun exposure dwindles at the end of the summer. But I can’t be sure and this is frightening me. Phillips have categorically told me that it is impossible to over-treat the skin and that the RéAura does not react with skin pigment, also that they have tested the RéAura on many different skin types and colours, but you can see from a comment on my last post that there is at least a question mark over the use of Fraxel and the Réaura on darker skins. Even @dulwichmum in her blog says that the RéAura has darkened her skin, but in her case she says it has made her look more healthy. I don’t like my darkening at all.
- I am still experiencing what Phillips term “dusting” after every RéAura treatment. I was assured by both Phillips and Space NK that this was caused by “pigmentation coming to the surface of the skin.” Of course this is ridiculous, particularly since scarring pigmentation remains in the skin. It is, quite simply, that tiny scabs form where the laser has penetrated the skin and caused trauma. They go after a couple of days, helped along with a gentle exfoliator, but surely if it were skin pigment, it would be liquid and could be wiped away? This sort of spin really makes me so cross. Perhaps Phillips or their reps and spin doctors think we are all really that stupid? Although I am seriously wondering if I am really that stupid to have been taken in by another miracle cure. I am really exposing myself on this blog tonight.
- The RéAura seems to have unmasked spots and deep-seated skin blemishes and brought them to the surface. Which is good, but this process has made my skin more fragile and more liable to bleed at the touch of any sharp object. Be warned. Gentle exfoliation will do the trick with the little scabs. The good news here is that new blemishes heal very quickly and that the RéAura is most effective on most recent scars and blemishes.
- I have seen no improvement whatsoever in the size or depth of the lines on my forehead or of laughter lines by my eyes or around my mouth. To be fair, Indian skin ages well, so they weren’t really a cause for concern in the first place, but some people claim that it reduces wrinkles. Not in my case.
- And the hyper-pigmentation on my forehead that was the whole point of forking out £800 for a RéAura machine? It’s still there. At the moment it might even look worse than it was, because of the effects of the laser and of the UV from the sun. I am hoping that this will gradually fade at the end of this treatment course. I hope I am not being over-optimistic.
On the bright side:
- A couple of the long-standing acne scars on my face have decreased in size.
- My skin is smoother, although I’m not sure I see that much of a difference in pore size.
- The laser has lessened my horrible ingrown hair bumps and decreased the scars.
I think that the RéAura has taken longer to have much of an effect on my skin because it is obviously not as delicate as that of some more porcelain maidens. I am concerned that the RéAura might have made my hyper-pigmentation worse on my forehead, but perhaps we shall just have to wait and see whether this just fades in time in the same way as the other acne scars. It might well be that I should avoid using the RéAura in the summer and treat only in the winter when there is little UV exposure for my skin. It is certainly a strategy I would recommend to all of those with darker skins using laser hair removal. My suntan lasts for a lot longer than those of white people, and, having been badly burned by a laser on my legs, I’d now only ever use that from about November to March at the latest.
Do I think the RéAura is worth the £800? I’ll have to reserve judgement on that for the longer term. I am in a generally gloomy mood today, so all I can say is that I am relieved that I have not paid out £4,000 for a disappointing Fraxel treatment.
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