(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 Hydrafacials, Collagen 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.
(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.
Less red and less scabby.
No more scabs. Skin looks pretty good. I’m kind of glowing.
OK WOW. This is impressive. My skin looks tight, plump and radiant!
Day Six onwards.
Holy moly, I can actually see a difference!!
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.
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.
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!