Getting the Needle

1st July 2016

Jill Glenn experiences a revolutionary skin treatment...

Dimmed lighting, calm decor, a narrow couch made up with a white quilt (lightly heated on this cold June day)… it’s all very inviting. It’s one of the ways in which Bare Beauty, on Bushey High Street, overcome the fact that the Dermapen treatment is more about the results than the process. You’re not really here to be pampered, but to feel and look better at the end –though they’re going to do their best to make it as comfortable as possible.

Those in the know say that the revolutionary Dermapen has redefined needling, a method by which skin is tightened, lifted and rejuvenated. It’s ideal for treating fine lines, wrinkles, facial scars (from surgery, or acne, for example), stretch marks and pigmentation, and is used medically, as well as in beauty clinics. Essentially, the needling creates ‘trauma’ for the skin, stimulating a self-healing process of natural collagen reproduction.

The needles are contained in a spring-loaded ‘pen’, able to produce 1300 micro holes in the skin, per second. Of course, the very word ‘needle’ can produce its own fears for many of us, but you don’t see anything that looks like a needle, and the feeling in use is of sharp pin pricks more than anything else.

I’m nervous, but in the background there’s a playlist of low key, mellow music – Tracey Chapman, David Grey – and that, along with the kind, professional attitude of therapist Danielle, sets the tone for what proves to be a surprisingly easy and relaxing experience.

Danielle begins by cleansing and examining my face, identifying the blemishes, and explaining what the Dermapen can achieve. Then she applies a hyaluronic acid serum, to plump and hydrate the skin, as well as to provide a ‘slip’ for the needles to move. She opens the sterilised, single use pen cartridge in front of me, and then tracks across my face, area by area: she begins with the forehead, where the feeling is… not painful, exactly, but certainly uncomfortable, just as it at the top of the cheeks, against the bone. By the time she reaches the neck, though, it’s almost pleasant.

For a medical treatment, this is generally where the procedure ends. At Bare Beauty, however, there’s more: a muslin cloth – impregnated with copper peptides, vitamins, zinc and more hyaluronic acid – is applied to your face as a mask. While that’s on, Danielle uses a cool stick (straight from the freezer) to soothe, and reduce the potential for redness. Then the application of SPF30, and, given that I’m out in the evening, some light make up.

By the end, the skin is slightly tender (Danielle says she’d be worried if it wasn’t), but I can feel and see the difference. I look, if I say so myself, pretty good with a summer glow. Danielle explains that, after a week or so, the effect will appear to diminish, as I get used to it – but I’m promised that, because of the way in which the treatment works below the surface of the skin, that in six weeks or so, when the current top layer is sloughed off, I’ll experience that rejuvenation all over again…

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