What's the difference between these top 4 facial treatments?

Posted by Grace Gowdie on

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Grace explains the difference between micro-dermabrasion, micro-needling, IPL and LED Light therapy

I’ve had about 14 years experience with facials and skin treatments so I wanted to share with you my take on most types of treatments as I know there are so many options to choose from.  

So, in light of this, I wanted to break down a few treatments that have become popular in recent times and explain to you their different functions and benefits and if I’ve experienced them, share with you my thoughts.

 

Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion

  • Known informally as micro’s or micro-derm it is a minimally invasive procedure where by a suction treatment with an abrasive surface gently sands away the outer layer of the skin
  • It's not painful, it just feels like a bit of skin pulling and slight rough on your skin but it is great at removing clogged pores and removing dead skin cells
  • Microderms also improves the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, scarring, acne spots and melasma

 I’d recommend this treatment as it makes you skin look refreshed and gives it a deep cleanse.

Take a look at this youtube link to see what it’s like to receive this treatment in a clinic - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRkKquQg5yU


Microneedling

microneedling salon
(It looks similar to the microdermabrasion picture, but I can assure you, they're very different treatments!)
 
  • Microneedling or skin needling is fantastic for helping reduce the appearance of deep or old acne- scarring, fine lines, wrinkles, reducing pore-sizes, pigmentation and stretch marks
  • The downside about this procedure is it requires numbing cream to be applied 45mins before the treatment time, which makes it a long treatment time. Once the numbing cream has worked it’s magic, the needling is not as scary and doesn't feel too bad
  • It can be a bit painful in areas that don’t have a lot of fat (like the forehead and chin), but the cheeks are fine
  • Microneedling is also different to a derma roller. Typically, you can use the derma roller at home without the use of numbing cream. Some salons use derma rollers but they’re needles aren’t as deep and therefore your results aren’t as effective.

 

See this youtube video where Aesthetician, Charlot, describes why microneedling is better than derma rolling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loDyT1Z8K90 
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In terms of results, I’ve had a great outcome with microneedling and so has my sister who had deep acne scarring left from her teenage years.
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Usually a course of 5 is required to see a difference, but be aware this is a costly treatment.
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I’d recommend trialling micro-derms, facial peels or LED light therapy before giving this type of treatment a go.

 

IPL

IPL treatment salon

 

  • IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light treatment and no, it is not the same as LED
  • This can only be performed in a clinic and is very intense. I took this next segment from Healthline, which describes the actual process.

“IPL penetrates down to the second layer of your skin (dermis) without harming the top layer (epidermis), so it causes less damage to your skin. Pigment cells in your skin absorb the light energy, which is converted into heat. The heat destroys the unwanted pigment to clear up freckles and other spots.” 

As pigmentation is not my main concern I have never received this type of treatment but from the reviews I've read and watched, IPL has helped to significantly reduce the signs of ageing.
They also describe IPL as feeling like a rubber band is flicking against your skin. I imagine it’s the same feeling you get from laser hair removal.
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Watch this youtube video about IPL treatment and what to expect:
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Or… if you would like to read about sun damage on the decolletage area and how one lady treated hers, click this link https://www.glamour.com/story/ipl-sun-spot-removal-treatment-review.
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LED
Dermatec Skincare LED

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Lastly we’ve come to my holy grail. My absolute favourite treatment of all… LED Light Therapy.

I know I am slightly biased about this treatment, but I have seen so much improvement in my skin from regular LED use.

  • It's non-invasive and works to treat acne, scarring, pigmentation, healing, inflammation, circulation ... the list goes on!
  • It can be performed in a salon or at home
  • It has a variety of lights to choose from (red, blue, yellow or infrared) and each has their own benefits

In my experience, LED really calmed down the redness and inflammation in my skin.

I first started with the red light and then eventually alternated between both red and blue. I also liked the fact I could relax during the treatment. The lights are really warm and I enjoyed being able to have a quick snooze while the LEDs worked their magic.

I wish I could share with you some before and after pictures of when I was suffering from severe acne. I have them stashed on an old laptop somewhere, but there’s not too many as I didn’t want to take photos of my face as I was ashamed of my skin.

In terms of pricing, it is also a cheaper option compared to the other treatments. Although, like the others, you will need to go for regular treatments to notice a difference in your skin.

Click the following link to watch Dr. David Lim (Dermatologist) explain the function of LED light therapy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6g565sE1A4

In the end...

If you’re thinking about going to a facialist to see what they can do for your skin, whether it’s acne concerns, ageing, pigmentation or any other skin issue I would advise you to run through a plan of attack on how you can achieve your goal. Make sure you’re comfortable with the facialist and they thoroughly understand what outcome you desire. 

If you have any questions, please reach out as we’d love to hear from you!

Grace xx


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