Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Four-step facial at Renew: a review

For the past couple of months, I’d been noticing a change in my skin. I gave up smoking on January 1st and somehow convinced myself I’d automatically have baby soft (and clear!) skin as a result, but that didn’t actually …

Mon, May 9, 2011, 10:30


For the past couple of months, I’d been noticing a change in my skin. I gave up smoking on January 1st and somehow convinced myself I’d automatically have baby soft (and clear!) skin as a result, but that didn’t actually happen and, instead, I noticed that I was getting a lot of areas of congestion around my cheeks, bizarrely! This news did not please me, as you may imagine.

Then around a month ago I was contacted by Renew Aesthetic Clinic on the back of a tweet I sent mentioning that I was considering microdermabrasion or a glycolic peel, and offering me a sample of their wares in their Dublin 2 clinic. (There isn’t a day that goes by, incidentally, that I don’t get impressed and astounded anew by the growing power of social media, and PR engagement is getting better and better.)

So I headed in, anyway, to try out a glycolic peel; microdermabrasion scares me. When I arrived, Jen, the lovely receptionist, gave me some forms to fill out, told me I had amazing skin (great service, wha?!) anyway, and told me that Samantha in Sex and the City‘s peel-gone-wrong is the worst thing ever to have happened the beauty industry. Hilarious!

Renew is run by two nurses, Jeanette Dunne and Sinead Gallagher, which makes it a little different from your average salon in that they have medical experience, which I think is always comforting if you’re dealing with something that has the potential to have a lasting effect – they also deal in laser hair removal and, recently, colonic irrigation (which, as I am an oversharer, I will tell you that I would not recommend in general).

My peel, a four-layer Face Lift (€85), was done by Jeanette, who was really lovely in that I’m-not-being-overly-chatty way. She didn’t ask me once about my holidays! The process itself was really straightforward. A layer of this, a layer of that, a layer of this. I’m sure there are medical terms but what I understood was that there was a light glycolic layer, along with a mask and exfoliant, all of which was removed and then my skin was moisturised and serumed, and I was sent home with an at-home kit to try out.

So what did I think? For the first few days my skin was a little dry, but I was forewarned, as it’s your skin’s top layer checking out to reveal the beautiful layers beneath. Otherwise I had no ill side effects. I used the daily system by Image skincare, which comprised a cleanser, serum, moisturiser, light glycolic mask and another moisturiser for night-time, as often as I remembered (and only finished it a few days ago, roughly three weeks on). I have to say, I didn’t notice a huge difference to my skin initially, but now, three weeks later, it is a lot clearer than it was before.

I’ve had the odd breakout spot, which is unusual for me, but it also seems as if the congested areas on my cheeks have cleared up quite a bit, which is a welcome development! I especially liked the serum, which made my skin feel really great – of all of the steps, that’s one I’d definitely invest in. So would I recommend it? It’s pricey, which is my first issue, but a lot of facials are – and my skin is definitely looking better than it ever has from a run-of-the-mill Dermalogica facial.

Has anyone else had a peel / microdermabrasion done? What did you think? Tell me all!

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