TIME FOR A DO-OVER
Resurfacing Treatment Revives Aging Skin
"You shed the skin layers as your body repairs and heals itself, producing collagen and elastin in the skin again."
Approaching her 65th birthday, Rose Johnston wanted to feel better when she looked in the mirror. The appearance of her skin with lines, wrinkles and sagging bothered her. She thought that a facelift might be the answer but shied away from such an invasive procedure. She was on the hunt for alternatives that would bring about the dramatic results she desired without resorting to surgery.
After talking to Charlene Jones, co-owner of London’s Artistic Esthetic Spa, Johnston decided to try a new type of treatment that the spa was offering – Opus Plasma Laser. Though the treatment was somewhat painful, she loved the results so much that she told her friend Elaine Knight, who is 63, about it. Knight was pleased with her own results, and, like Johnston, has now had two treatments. Both are planning to have a third.
“It has made a huge difference in my confidence; I really like what I see when I look in the mirror first thing in the morning. It makes a difference to how I start my day,” explains Johnston, whose treatment area was concentrated on her face.
Though she also had her face and neck treated, Knight was most concerned about her décolleté area, disliking how crepey her skin looked from long-term sun damage. “It’s made a big difference on my chest. The discolouration is gone and my skin is much smoother.”
"I really like what I see when I look in the mirror first thing in the morning. It makes a difference to how I start my day."
According to Jones’ business partner Allyson Taylor, the Opus machine uses a different type of laser technology, mixing oxygen and nitrogen to create plasma sparks, to resurface the skin. “When it is ‘injuring’ the skin it goes deeply through the layers to create channels but not puncturing like micro-needling. You shed the skin layers as your body repairs and heals itself, producing collagen and elastin in the skin again.”
Both women and men – ages 30 to 80, with the majority in their 50s and 60s – have been receiving Opus treatments at Artistic Esthetic Spa. When a client comes in to talk about having this type of treatment, Taylor or Jones talks with her/ him about the biggest concerns for the skin, asking what type of results she/he is looking for. Are the expectations realistic? Factors that would rule out this treatment include diabetes, pregnancy, breastfeeding and having open sores.
The procedure, aftercare and costs are explained at the initial meeting. The procedure itself takes 15 to 20 minutes, but an additional 30 minutes are needed prior to starting, to allow numbing cream to be effective in helping with the pain. The laser is described by most as “feeling like currents burning the skin.”
Aftercare is crucial, with three days to a week of downtime. For the first three days, the area must be kept moist. Taylor recommends using Aquaphor, a thick gel-cream, to moisturize and protect the newly revealed skin. Avoiding getting the face wet or exposure to the sun during this time is also crucial.
After the initial healing period, and when returning to daily life, Taylor says that a good skincare routine is a must, including a quality moisturizer and daily use of high-SPF sunscreen.
Johnston says it felt like a bad sunburn but was better after the third day. Knight found the treatment less painful, with the redness returning to normal after a week. Both saw results after a week of healing but are continuing to see improvement. Maximum results develop over six months as the skin rejuvenates.
Procedure costs range from $600 to $1,000, depending on which areas are treated. Purchasing a package of treatments lowers pricing. Artistic Esthetic Spa uses pharmaceutical- grade skincare products from Vivier. The spa also receives medical consultation from Dr. Shelendra Joshi.
The Opus Plasma Laser treatment tightens and improves the quality of skin as it removes the outer layers, and the resurfacing reveals new skin. “It just feels so soft,” says Johnston. “I love the way it feels now.” She notices the biggest improvement in the deep lines around her mouth and has experienced lifting of the labial fold area around her nose.
Knight concurs saying that the rosacea on her forehead, nose cheeks and chin has been improved. “I’m really happy with the results,” she says, “even happier than I thought I’d be. It’s taken five years off my face.”
According to Johnston, “It’s like a do-over for your skin. It’s a chance to have the skin you had years ago and to take really good care of it.”