An Alternative to Laser: Collagen Induction Therapy at Iconic Medispa, Perth

17 February 2017

Collagen Induction Therapy from Iconic Medispa

(This is me 8 weeks after CIT treatment, with concealer, foundation, powder, highlighting, a little mascara and really nice portrait lighting. Not entirely natural, but my skin is glowing!)

Some of you might remember my blog post about My 30’s Skin Journey, where I whinged about my skin and I talked about seeing a dermatologist, my skin treatment, using (and loving) Vitamin A and how I decided NOT to do laser.

Instead I went for lots of facials (Detox facials! Rejuvenation facials! Relaxing facials!) which are nice, relaxing, and wonderfully luxurious. But in terms of making an actual difference to my skin, most of them were meh.

So now I have been trying more “active”, but non-invasive facial treatments.

My disclosure here is that I was contacted by a friend of a friend of a friend, who also happened to be a high school friend’s sister’s husband — basically I kind of know the team behind the Iconic Medispa in South Perth and they asked if I’d like to try one of their facial therapies.

I actually declined at first, because I didn’t know very much about the therapies they offered. On their website, they say they offer HydrafacialsCollagen Induction Therapy (which is like skin needling), a range of chemical peels, facials, infusion masks and even wrinkle relaxers and dermal fillers.

Since I declined to write a blog post, I offered to take photos for some of their marketing social media instead.

So one day I went into their clinic to take photos, I started chatting and asking questions about their business and their therapies. They were all very professional, knowledgeable and passionate about what they do, and I got a really nice vibe from them, their practice and their ethos… and the more informed I was, the more I wanted to try a facial treatment.

Basically, I got to know Dr Michael and a few of his therapists.

He’s is an award winning dentist! He’s super humble, he’s got two daughters, he’s into photography, does triathlons, he’s a cyclist, he’s down to earth, he’s into further education and training/computer aided designs/new technologies that deliver real results (I liked this!), he confessed that he never really advertised his business because he just wanted to focus on doing great work and relied on word of mouth which inadvertently made his business thrive. He’s an all-rounder nice guy and he’s a bit of a geek :)

(And he’s not at all like the big talking cosmetic specialists – who I have met in the past, who talk fast and rushed like I’m taking up their time, and who talk down to me like I’m inferior.)

Chatting to him, I realised that he had Collagen Induction Therapy done to himself, for his own acne scarring.

And at that point, I was sold and super-keen to have it done too!

In the next part of this post, yes I do have close up before and after photos, I explain what CIT is, what happened during the treatment… and how I absolutely loved the results.

I actually had the treatment done 8 weeks ago and I am sooooo happy with the results, so I decided to write this blog review after all.

They didn’t pay me to write any of this, however they did provide the treatment as an exchange for some photography, marketing and graphic design work I did for them, months ago… which I was actually keen to do in order to extend my commercial photographic portfolio. So hey you can decide for yourself if I’m being a sell out or a freebie seeking blogger ha!

 

 

So what is Collagen Induction Therapy?

You can read all about CIT from Dr Google…(and see other people’s before and after photos).

But in Karen-speak: Basically Collagen Induction Therapy uses a skin-needling or micro-needling technique (which has been around for hundreds of years). The latest technology in this field is called “Dermastamp” where medical-grade, fine needles are pricked into the surface of your skin to promote your own skin’s boost of collagen growth and to stimulate skin rejuvenation.

Because of this natural boost of collagen, your skin becomes firmer, smoother, tighter, improves in texture and reduces the sizes of pores, fine lines, wrinkles and scars. The boosting effect of collagen growth and skin improvement lasts for about 6-12 months.

Er, it all sounded too good to be true!?

I was happy to do it because: It’s said to be just as effective as laser, it’s good for getting rid of acne scars, it’s very low risk, almost no pain, almost no negative side effects, it’s “natural” because it boosts your own collagen growth, perfect for Asian skin and perfect for people with hyper-pigmentation (like me!).

You can read a bit more FAQ on the Iconic site here.

My Treatment Plan

Dr Michael checked out my skin, and for my acne scarring he recommended I have 2 rounds of skin cleansing facial treatments first (as my pores were really clogged and I needed to improve my skin health) then have a total of 5 CIT treatments, alternated with the facial cleansing treatments.

These skin cleansing treatments were called HydraFacials and they were fantastic!

Basically a HydraFacial is a facial, but heaps better. They do a light scrub to exfoliate your face, they give you a gentle peel, then they use a special pen that extracts and cleans your pores, while infusing your skin with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid.

It’s soooo much better and more effective than a regular facial.

It did wonders for my pores!

It’s a great way to prep your skin before a more active skin treatment like CIT.

(And after doing a bit of research about it, I found out that heaps of celebrities and personalities do it but they don’t publicly announce it ha!)

My CIT Experience

First of all, Iconic Medispa runs in conjunction with their Iconic Dentist clinic. So all their medical and hygiene standards and procedures have to comply with strict Australian dentistry standards.

This is not a typical beauty salon, not a home salon, not a small beauty business renting a shop space in the city with 10 year old equipment. This is a professional and successful clinic that has been running for 14 years, using advanced, medical grade equipment and the latest technology from the US/Europe.

As I sat in the chair while they made mirco-punctures in my face, I realised that CIT felt less like a “beauty therapy” and more of a “medical therapy”, thus I came to appreciate their high hygiene, procedural and equipment standards!

The treatment took about 60 minutes.

Collagen Induction Therapy from Iconic Medispa
(This is the Dermastamp Pen, used for collagen induction therapy. I took that photo! Do you like it? It was being used on someone else, not me.)

Was it painful?

Nope. They applied numbing anaesthetic cream. When the Dermastamp Pen was pressed into my skin, it felt like an electric toothbrush, with light bristles, brushing over my skin.

What happened immediately after?

I was told that everyone’s skin reacts differently. Some people look a bit red after the treatment, like they had a touch of sunburn. While others become very red and inflamed for a few days.

For me, I looked awful. I looked like I was stung by bees. My face was inflamed, puffy, angry, red, really blotchy and there were places where my skin was broken and I could see tiny bloody dots. I was a bit shocked.

Maybe I’m being a bit over the top, and maybe on the scale of possible reactions to the treatment, I wasn’t actually that bad. But for me, my skin had never looked THAT bad!

I had to pick up my son from school later, so I swept mineral makeup over my face, even though they told me not to. But there was no way I was going out in public looking like that.

I was pretty upset that night. I was thinking OMFG WHAT THE @#$% DID I DO? HOW DID I GET TALKED INTO THIS?!?!

The next day?

Woke up the next morning. My face wasn’t as inflamed as the first day, but it was still red, blotchy and beginning to get scabby. I wore more mineral make up and I was happy to leave the house.

Day Three.

Less red and less scabby.

Day Four.

No more scabs. Skin looks pretty good. I’m kind of glowing.

Day Five.

OK WOW. This is impressive. My skin looks tight, plump and radiant!

Day Six onwards.

Holy moly, I can actually see a difference!!

Collagen Induction Therapy from Iconic Medispa

Here are my results after 2 HydraFacials and 1 Collagen Induction Therapy.

I have 4 more CITs to go.

These photos were taken by the team at Iconic Medispa, as part of their overall service. The photos are looked over by several clinicians to keep track of my progress and my treatment is tweaked here and there as necessary.

I was very reluctant to take photos in the clinic (and wasn’t planning to share them on my blog!), but now that I’ve seen them and compared them, I’m a bit gobsmacked by how compelling they are.

Collagen Induction Therapy from Iconic Medispa

Conclusion

It’s not a miraculous change.

But it has made a huge difference to my fine lines, pores, texture, firmness, smoothness and the overall look of my skin – just after 1 treatment.

My makeup sits and looks better on my face too.

It’s 8 weeks after the treatment and my skin is still GLOWING. It has a lovely radiance and perkiness to it, which is a bit hard to capture in a photo. I love that it’s a “natural glow” from my own collagen.

My pigmentation is still there, my pores are still on the large size (but that’s my skin type), but as I said – it’s a huge difference.

It’s by far, the most effective treatment I’ve done to my skin.

It was so easy and low risk.

And I’m so happy that I tried this before trying any lasers.

Moving Onwards

I CAN’T WAIT to go in for my next treatment!!

OMG I’m seriously so excited to see the difference.

I was told that sometimes people enhance their CIT treatments with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) or Concentrated Growth Factor or Stem Cells (CGF), which give faster and better end results… but I’m a bit scared to try it.

And to give you an idea of pricing at Iconic Medispa, HydraFacials are about $175 (face only) and one treatment of CIT is $450.

(I had a little snoop around to compare prices, and these prices are on the slightly lower end of the spectrum when compared to other clinics in Perth. And to throw a bit of gossip in here, apparently these guys have a newer and more advanced CIT machine than other clinics.)

OK that’s all from me. I might post up a few more photos after my future treatments.

Thanks for reading. Sorry it was such a long post haha!

Hope you enjoyed it!

xxx


 

Back to Summer with Majorelle

15 February 2017

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

So I’ve been back in Australia for a week now and ooooh how I’ve missed the heat!

I’m definitely celebrating summer (again) and wearing every summery dress I can find.

I recently picked out this Salsa Dress by Majorelle (courtesy of Revolve) and it’s one of those fun, flirty dresses that ticks all the boxes.

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

Cute as hell. Beautiful print. Ruffles, off-shoulder, a bit of criss-cross wrap action. Adjustable straps.

Low at the front, but not too revealing. Short, but not too short. Perfect dress for a shortie like me.

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

The fabric is a silky, smooth polyester. It actually feels like silk, but it’s a lot more hardy, in that I could easily iron all the creases out on a low heat setting on my iron and it took me 3 minutes flat and no fuss at all.

The dress is lined, really well constructed and designed. It sits nicely on my hips, it doesn’t ride up my legs when I walk, it is super comfortable to move around in.

This is a Size XS and I’m usually a standard AUS 6.

Majorelle Salsa Dress from Revolve

This Salsa Dress also comes in a long sleeve version (a bit like a short, wrap dress) called the Tropicana Dress, with the same pattern.

And also a maxi dress, wrap style, in the same pattern called the Cubano Dress. They are all so pretty!

Also wearing my Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Handbag and Schutz Cadey Lee Heels.

I actually have a wedding to attend soon, so I might wear it then. Yippee!

xxx


 

Sweet Peas at the British Museum

11 February 2017

British Museum - Snowpeas

I bumped into this beautiful artwork at the British Museum.

The lines, shapes, composition and detail just blew me away, so I’m sharing it here on my blog, more for my own inspiration.

It is a woodblock print called Picture Album of Western Plants (1917) by Tanigami Konan.

The didactic panel says, “Modern Japanese designers and artists took special interest in Western plants, particularly during the 1910s, as the international Art Nouveau style became popular, with its flowing curves based on natural forms. This volume is from a set of richly printed books depicting flowers of the four seasons. The table of contents gives for each flower the English name and its Asian equivalent. The delicate blossoms here are sweet peas. Colour woodblock illustrated book.”

It’s the kind of print that I’d love to have on my wall so I can look at it every day.

And it’s also the kind of sketch I’d love to have done myself… and I know it’s possible for me, I just need a bit of practice! One day!


 

What I Wore: Tate Modern

10 February 2017

London

When the kids are all grown up, I’ve decided that my husband and I are going to do an Art Gallery Crawl across all the major cities of the world! #LIFEGOALS

I haven’t told him yet. However I might have to negotiate with him because he’d probably want to drag me to all the maritime and war museums too. And um, I don’t know if I’m up for that.

But what a life that will be right? Haha!

Yes the days have been cold and I’m actually enjoying all this rugging up in 4-5 layers thing.

I think I might actually miss it.

Here’s what I wore while traipsing through the Tate Modern.

I won’t be getting points for fashion creativity, but hey I was warm.

Uniqlo Heattech Singlet – I didn’t think it at first, but these are so handy for a bit of extra warmth without the bulk.

Grana White Linen Shirt – Not ironed and crumpled from being stuffed in my luggage, of course.

Uniqlo Cotton Cashmere Grey Sweater – These are no longer on sale, but here’s a similar Grana Crew Neck Cashmere Knit.

Topshop Double Breasted Coat – Oh man, this coat was so nice and affordable that I wished it came in a navy or dark grey. It comes in a Pink Blush and Light Grey, and I already have coats in those colours. They’re on 20% sale if you’re keen!

Frame Le Color Skinny Jeans – As I mentioned before, I pretty much lived in these jeans haha.

Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack – Great size for travelling and spending all day out and about.

Acne Pistol Boots – You know when you’ve bought well when you crack a quite smile whenever you put that item on. I’ll be smiling for years with these babies.


 

London Diaries: Running in 4°C

6 February 2017

London Running

You know how it goes. You take your running shoes on holiday, always with good intentions to smash out a run, only to be met with the old “Hmm yeah, maybe not today”.

But for me, 4 weeks in London was just a bit too long to be INACTIVE.

So I brought my running gear and here I am, going down the lift, taking a pre-run selfie, about to smash out that run, even though it’s somewhere between 2°C – 5°C outside.

In the end, the run went well.

In fact I did THREE 10km runs over my 4 week stay. So I consider that a WIN.

 

Things I Learned About Running in London in Winter

– I like running in the cold! Once my body warmed up, I felt great! I’d go so far to say that I prefer winter running now.

– Running in a new city is so much fun! I must say that I had such an incredible time running along the River Thames, through the city, along the narrow streets, the cobblestone footpaths, past all the posh housing and renovated warehouses. I did about 10kms and I covered a lot of ground. It was so interesting and exciting!

I felt pretty safe, because it was a Sunday and there were tonnes of other runners using the same track.

– I need to wear gloves. My thumbs and the back of my hands got a bit numb. It was distracting.

My hands got SO cold that I started to look for the possibility of finding someone’s discarded beanie/scarf on the ground so I could wrap my hands around it – and lo and behold, I did find a beanie, I couldn’t believe my luck! But it was in a puddle and it looked a bit disgusting, so I decided not to do it after all.

I thought about stopping to take off my socks and use them to keep my hands warm, but I decided I’d rather have cold hands than blistered feet. These are the things I think about during my runs haha.

– I need to wear ear warmers. Especially on really cold days. My inner ears and jaw got so cold, numb and painful that I had to just stop running.

– Smartphone Maps are a life saver! I ran 10km through back streets and small paths… and I would have been completely lost without my phone!

 

My Running Dreams for the Future.

So. I enjoyed the running sooooo much, that I’ve decided on some new #LifeGoals.

When my kids have grown up, when I’m old and retired, I think I’d like to spend my holidays running through Europe in Winter, exploring and discovering the countryside, cities and streets… and of course, stopping for a coffee.


 

Tate Britain Gallery: Highlights

4 February 2017

Tate Britain

During my London trip, I had the pleasure of visiting all the major art galleries in the city.

I was like a kid in a candy shop :)

Of course I didn’t buy any art, but I did take THOUSANDS of photos!

I took photos of the entrances! Of the floors! Of the corridors! The art. The didactic panels. The frames. The doors. The spaces. The negative spaces. Haha I truly enjoyed every little detail.

I didn’t plan to share any of it on my blog, because seriously, even I think I over did it.

However, I do want to share these snaps from the Tate Britain Art Gallery, home of British art from the 1500s to present day.

Tate Britain

Close up of Portrait of Elizabeth I (1563) by Steven van der Meulen and Steven van Herwijck.

This is the earliest known full-length portrait of the queen. Here’s the link to the full portrait. It’s gorgeous!!

Although it looks yellow here, the background was “gold” paint and had a stunning, satin sheen to it… making the whole painting shimmer.

If I paid money to get my portrait done, I’d want something OVER THE TOP like this too haha.

Tate Britain

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1885–6) by John Singer Sargent

I don’t know much about John Singer Sargent, except that he was a famous portrait artist based in London/Europe and he used to hang out with Monet and the other Impressionist dudes.

I recognised this painting from a high school art book (over 20 years ago), and yep… it is more amazing, more staggeringly beautiful and more mind-blowingly impressive in real life.

I have no words.

Tate Britain

Study of Mme Gautreau (1884) by John Singer Sargent

This is the sketch (yes a sketch!) of Sargent’s infamous painting Madame X, which caused such a huge controversy in Paris at the time that it damaged Sargent’s reputation as a portrait artist, and as a result, he decided to move to London. The rest of the painting can be seen here.

Whatever the case, it is a stunning study, and I would kill to be able to “sketch” like that!

So inspiring!

Don’t know about you, but I want to crack open my charcoals after all this…


 

Paris Dairies: Tularosa and A.P.C

2 February 2017

Tularosa Tunic Dress

After a few weeks in London, my mum and I popped over to Paris (my first time there!) and spent 3 days exploring the beautiful city.

We stayed in a gorgeous boutique hotel called, Hôtel François 1er, just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées (area with lots of cafés and luxury shopping), within walking distance to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Grand Palais and a long walk would have taken us to the Musée du Louvre. It was also 3-4 minute walk to a Metro station.

(Hotel wasn’t sponsored, it was recommended by a friend and a little mishap saw us being upgraded to a massive executive suite wayhey! I completely recommend it!)

Tularosa Tunic Dress

I loved wearing this gorgeous Arabella Tunic Dress by Tularosa during my travels, kindly gifted from the team at Revolve.

I adored the embroidered details, the little fringe and ruffled sleeves, making it look very unique and understated.

It was a bit thin for London and Paris, so I did have to wear a Uniqlo Heattech Top underneath.

I chose the size XS, which was nice and loose on me, however, I don’t know if I would wear it as a dress on its own, because it’s a bit short. I think I would wear black shorts underneath it and – like the model on the website – I’d wear it with over the knee boots.

But who knows, I might change my tune by the time summer comes along.

Tularosa Tunic Dress

I used my A.P.C Half Moon Bag everyday while I was in Paris. I just needed something small that I could wear close to my body, that would fit my purse, phone and keys. I avoided using my backpack, as there were so many warnings about pickpockets. My camera was slung around my neck for most of my outings, like a true tourist!

My Jensen Booties by Acne Studios proved to be an excellent travel accessory because it was both a “comfortable walking boot for the DAY” and “a smart looking winter boot for the EVENING”. I brought another pair of boots, but they were a bit on the chunky side and not exactly suitable for a fancy restaurant. So I probably could have saved a bit of room in my luggage and just brought these Jensens haha.

Also I lived in my black Le Color Skinny Jeans by Frame. They were just so comfortable, they were slightly thick to give me a little warmth and they looked great.

I have hundreds of photos from my Paris trip! Can’t wait to share my highlights!

xxx


 

Quilted Handbag

28 January 2017

Rebecca Minkoff Purse

It’s the Chinese New Year and according to tradition you’re supposed to buy a new outfit to wear. Sounds pretty good to me!

While not exactly an outfit, I picked out this new Rebecca Minkoff Quilted Mini Affair Bag as my go-to clutch for simple, evening dinners. A lot of my bags are medium-sized and in a casual style. I’ve never owned a black leather clutch for more “dressed up occasions”.

Anyway – yay – this quilted bag is a great size, made from lovely leather, and it’s a classic style that goes with everything.

I can fit my purse, phone, lipstick, keys and compact camera in this baby!

Rebecca Minkoff Purse

I was tossing between this Quilted Mini Affair style, or this Geo Quilted Crossbody Bag or the Love Crosbody Bag.

I eventually chose the Quilted Mini because of its smaller size (20cm x 15cm), the chain on the shoulder strap is thicker and it has a 2-length strap, which means I can easily change the length of the strap (long crossbody style where the bag sits below my hip or having it sit above my hip).

Yes, it’s very Chanel-esque without the Chanel-esque price tag, which is why I chose it, but it means I get to save for another bag I have my eyes on — oops!

Also pictured here are my Marc Bale Rose Gold Watch and The Peachbox Pearl Orb Bangle and Acne Studios Suede Pumps.

Happy Lunar New Year!


 

What I Wore: The British Museum

24 January 2017

Topshop Khaki Coat

This is me at The British Museum! My lovely mum and I stood against this white wall and tried to dodge the huge crowd of of visitors, tourists and school kids – which was close to impossible!

I’m showing off my new Double Breasted Coat from Topshop.

Love the colour! So affordable and great quality too.

I wasn’t actually planning to buy a coat during my trip. I have so many at home in Australia.

You see, I didn’t pack a nice, wool coat for my 4 week stay in London, because my sister said I could borrow her coats. She and I are the same size, so it made sense to reduce my luggage weight, which actually just meant I brought 5 pairs of shoes instead of 4.

Anyway, when I found out her only wool coat was a Burberry one – I borrowed it once, wore it for 7 hours, walked around all day doing some shopping and sight seeing, slinging my backpack over my shoulder – I KNEW that I would scuff it up and wear it out at the shoulder (from the constant rubbing of my bag strap).

So I didn’t want to damage her coat, so haha that was my excuse to buy myself a new coat.

Not a Burberry one though!

I’m also wearing a Turtleneck Wool Sweater from Country Road (old season), Uniqlo Heattech Top (lovely and warm!), Frame denim Jeans, Adidas Stan Smiths (on sale at ASOS), and my Rebecca Minkoff Backpack.


 

Museum Highlight: Iznik Ceramics

22 January 2017

Iznik Designs from London Museums

One of the highlights of my visit to London were all the Turkish Ceramics and Middle Eastern designs at The Victoria and Albert Museum and The British Museum.

I’ve seen and studied Iznik Ceramics in books before…

But this is the first time I’ve seen ACTUAL Iznik artefacts from the 1550s, up close, with my own eyes, staring at their intricate patterns, their tessellating tile goodness, each teeny-tiny brush stroke, and marvelling at the way the colour puddles at the end of each painted line.

Yeah I got a bit excited.

And yeah I’m a bit embarrassed that I’m just in a London museum and not actually in a mosque in Istanbul, looking at these Iznik patterns, in their natural surroundings.

(There’s a travel goal in that one!)

Iznik Designs from London Museums

london-Iznik Designs from London Museumsiznik03

Iznik Designs from London Museums

So I really couldn’t contain myself. My heart was singing and doing cart-wheels all over the place!

I took hundreds of photos and just HAD to share some of my favourites!

Enjoy!

xxx


 

Read Older Posts »