Wednesday 19 February 2014

Glasgow Reviewed: Laser Therapy at La Belle Forme

I have been SO excited to share this post with you but I wanted to wait until my treatment was completely finished before showing off the amazing results. I have suffered in the past three years with really bad melasma on my face, melasma is a dark discolouration of the skin through over stimulated melanin that is in my case is caused by the hormones from taking contraception. Over time my dark colouring has spread and become much more noticeable and although in the privacy of my home and around friends it does not bother me- it does mean I always wear some kind of base even if just a good BB cream when going outside as it is really noticeable! I am always so envious of people with beautiful even toned skin as mine had become so patch worked that even with a good coverage foundation my dark parts were visible, and most of the time applying certain make up products just resulted in my face looking dirty when it was just in fact my darkening colour!

I have tried a variety of creams to try and lessen the pigment over time but had no major success with any, so I was over the moon when the opportunity to try laser therapy at La Belle Forme in Glasgow arose. Based in the merchant city this cosmetic surgery clinic offer a huge array of services, from breast implants to bikini waxing and everything in between. When arranging my appointments I found the staff were incredibly helpful and approachable and made the process so easy, and on arrival at the clinic I was super impressed with how welcoming it was and with a waiting area jam packed with fascinating reading of the treatments on offer, I really felt at ease.

On my first visit I met with my consultant Norma who is an absolute joy to work with. I went with my make up off ( such a weird feeling!) and she agreed with me on how bad my pigmentation was and took me through why light therapy was the best way forward in reducing it. She was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the treatments they offer but at no point tried to over sell or promote multiple procedures to me which I think is important when establishing a relationship of trust between you and a practitioner who is going to perform any kind of treatment on you. Norma took some photos using the amazing Visia Facial scanning machine, which analyses your bare face and  breaks down your skin- able to pinpoint how many wrinkles, spots or in my case brown spots you have! I then got settled on the bed, applied a cooling gel and then did a patch test using two different kinds of lasers ( yellow and green), she was then able to tell if how my skin would react and allowed me to see if there were any adverse effects over the next couple of days. What I loved about this was it gave me an idea of how the upcoming procedure was going to feel which was good being my whole face was being dealt with on my next visit! And how does it feel? I wouldn't sugar coat it, it stings. There is a bright flash and very quick 'snap' on the skin but it is nothing that can't be handled and is over very quickly. I was a little apprehensive of how it might feel when my whole face was being subject to these snaps but actually it was no where near as bad as I though.After the first couple you are used to it, you might jump and flinch at the more sensitive areas such as under the nose but the therapist moves so quickly you get used to it and then before you know it is over.

Norma was amazing,she knows when to stop if its hurting, keeps an excellent pace so the procedure is quick, was very reassuring and chatted away during to put me at ease. Afterwards as I lay on the bed and Norma applied a heavenly soothing balm to my face, it did feel hot and tight, not massively but I was aware my face was going to look a little.... treated. It was not as bad as I thought it might be however, my worse pigmented areas were very red but nothing too horrific, no one screamed at the sight of me in the street on the way home anyway. In the hour that followed my face was definitely very stingy but it quickly went down and off I went to bed.

In the days that followed all my dark parts went even darker as I had been told they would so it was no major surprise. It might be a little alarming to some, but I was actually fine with it, when I covered it with make up yes it was still obvious but with wearing my fringe down and keeping my glasses on it was covered mostly and with each day it went down. ( Apologies for the lack of snaps of my skin after treatment, I lost them all in a disastrous laptop failure-so frustrating!!) By 4 days later it was mostly gone and anything remaining were perfectly covered by make up which was quicker healing than I had anticipated, between day 3 and 4 it went from really dark to mostly disappearing and that is when I noticed it.... IT HAD WORKED. 

Looking at myself in the bathroom mirror I noticed just how much less the dark was, when I put on foundation and popped cream blush on top as normal my cheeks didn't look dirty- HURRAH! I was so intrigued by how much it changed I quickly stitched together a couple of before and after shots on my phone and then I was shocked, it hadn't just worked a bit- it was a massive difference. My boyfriend almost fell of his chair when I  ran over to show him my comparison snaps, he could not believe how much had changed in only 4 days and couldn't get over how bright my skin looks. I was so completely over the moon, I had such a confidence boost going out that day- i just wanted to show everyone those snaps- I had to stop myself popping them straight up on here!

In order to keep up my excellent results I need to make sure I am meticulous in using sun screen all year round, I usually always do but now I am sure to never go without. When I look back at the before pictures I realise just how bad it was and i really want don't it to go as dark again, I much prefer my clearer looking skin! On my return visit to see Norma at the clinic so she could take a look at the results and she too was so impressed with how well my skin had come up. A comparison photo been taken on the Visia machine showed that on top of the obvious colour change my skin texture had improved by a massive 42% and I was bowled over that my wrinkle percentage had halved, my spots have improved by 23% and my pores reduced by a futher 20! To be able to see such incredible changes was just an amazing feeling and it really has changed how I feel about my skin.

I could never have anticipated how much one session of light laser therapy could do for my skin and how much I would be screaming it from the rooftops at pretty much ANYONE who will listen. yes £150 is a lot, but considering how much I am willing to save and spend on skincare products that more often than not yield no results, I am more than happy to pay that price for skin as good as mine is right now- and the confidence boost it has brought. I cannot recommend enough getting along to La Belle Forme if you have any skin problems at all you are looking to change. The Staff there are all truly lovely, offering a superb thorough and welcoming service that has been a joy to experience. I really felt anyone I spoke to there wanted the best for me and my final results and that was so encouraging.

Huge thanks to all involved for turning my skin around- can't thank you enough. I have already taken advantage of a fantastic 1/3 off non-surgical treatments they were running to book in for another session of laser therapy to get rid of the remaining pigment this weekend, which I think is the biggest thumbs up I could ever give!

You can contact the lovely team at the clinic by ringing 0141 552 0828. They also have clinics in Edinburgh and London which you can read more about here. My skin adventures with La Belle form don't end with this first laser treatment so keep your eyes peeled for my next post for a review on my first ever derma roller experience!

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