When we last spoke to our laser ladies in the autumn, they were all midway-through their treatments. Shirley Beattie was undergoing Applisonix, which was eradicating the fine hairs on her face; Dee O'Keeffe was experiencing IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to reduce pigmentation; and Teresa Daly availed of Laser 360, ipixel -- which is basically a non-surgical facelift. Here, we check on their progress and get some expert advice on how to keep the benefits.
Once Shirley is done, she will be entirely dusted. "The best thing about Applisonix is that once you complete your course you do not need any top-ups or extra sessions," says Danielle O'Doherty of Brazilia.
Shirley reports that there are several stubborn hairs hanging on for dear life, and reckons she's got another two treatments, making it a total of 10. "It is a little annoying having to go back," she admits. There is no doubt that she's found it all worth it, though, as she says, "Who wants a hairy chin?"
This laser stuff can seem like magic, and the results can certainly look like magic, but unless you've got a bottomless purse, you're not going to want to squander the money spent undertaking endless treatments. Dee and Teresa will have to take some tips on board if they want their rejuvenated skin to stay dewy.
Anita Fitzgibbon is from the Beacon Face & Dermatology Clinic in Beacon, where Dee received IPL. Unsurprisingly, one of the first things Anita says is that the application of "regular sunblock is vital as the main cause of pigment to the skin comes from UV rays, but this must be accompanied by a topical antioxidant".
Dee knows this. "I make sure I always have SPF in my bag to protect my face."
Roisin Carr is from the Therapie Clinic in Molesworth Street and she says she "would strongly recommend using a glycolic face wash to maintain the results of the ipixel, as this gently resurfaces the skin. An anti-oxidant serum is another must-have post treatment".
Teresa has found the treatment to be amazingly beneficial, but does caution about the amount of time it takes. "It takes three days out of your routine," she says. "I wouldn't go out for three days simply because my face was too red."
Finally, the boost to the self-esteem can't be overlooked. We are so hard on ourselves sometimes, and even if we are the only one who is conscious of the pigmentation mark, or the wrinkle between the brows, once that is sorted, it does wonders for confidence.
Danielle agrees. "We have found that clients who are self-conscious about facial hair have been delighted with Applisonix, and are therefore more confident in their appearance. So we presume this would have a positive effect on their psychological and emotional wellbeing."
Dee adds: "The area that bothered me was barely noticeable to others, but I was conscious of it -- I am not even slightly aware of it now."
Good skin doesn't just happen on the outside. Roisin Carr has some simple dietary suggestions that will help you maintain a lovely complexion, from the inside.
HOW? Antioxidant-rich foods are a must for their protective effect on the skin.
WHAT SORT? Grapes, olives, cherries and pomegranate are all excellent. Green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse, with strong anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing effects.
ANYTHING ELSE? Be sure to take in plenty of omega-3s, particularly if you're concerned with redness, swelling, blotchiness, acne breakouts or wrinkles. Walnuts, almonds, olive oil, flaxseed and oily fish are all excellent.
ALSO! Stay hydrated!
> Sue Conley
> Beacon Face and Dermatology, Suite 36, Beacon Hall, Beacon Court, Sandyford. Tel: 01 213 6220. Costs range from €150-€250 per treatment.
> Applisonix Ultrasound Hair Removal is €55 per 30-minute session and €100 per 1-hour session. Brazilia, 50 South William Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 675 0000.
> Therapie Clinics are located across the country; see www.therapieclinic.com for a salon near you. Laser 360 is €1,295 for a course of six, or €300 per treatment.