I also suffer from the aforementioned cystic acne. And I have a few thoughts on the matter. First off, STUFF YOU ACNE! I know at least 85 per cent of you reading this can agree with my sentiment – an understatement, might I add, but I’m trying to keep this PC. Yes, acne can haunt us long after our teen years are done and dusted and in my case, I thought I’d escaped it completely. I never had acne when I was younger (just the odd pimple here and there) and looking back, I wish I hadn’t taken my blemish-free skin for granted. Apparently acne can strike at any time and, at the ripe old age of 28, I’m having to deal with this breaking-out sh*t in all its inflammatory and infuriating glory.
Long gone are my days of whacking on some BB cream and strolling to Sunday brunch. I’ve become a fully-fledged user of full-coverage foundation, no matter how small the outing. I won’t so much as step foot outside my apartment unless I’m, well, fully covered. And it does take its toll. There are days I want to scream, days I just cry and days where I want to jump into a pond of salicylic acid.
I’ve tried it all – lotions and potions, chemical peels and even needles, but nothing proved to be a long-term solution. Pimple by pimple, my acne always came back.
So, when I heard about a brand spanking new acne treatment, I had to try it.
Enter Kleresca, a game changing BioPhotonic treatment (not as scary as it sounds, promise) that uses a unique light conversion system designed to stimulate the skin and improve complexion. Basically, it kills the bacteria that causes acne and even promises to reduce any scarring you may have. The trials offered some impressive results, with 9 out of 10 people seeing an improvement in their skin and every third person reaching clear or almost clear skin.
I went to see Dr John Sullivan at Holdsworth House Dermatology in Sydney and it was music to my ears when he said the treatment works best on acne like mine – the inflammatory kind. My main problem area is around my chin as you can see in the before shot below.
So, after an initial consult, I meet with dermatology nurse Ezgi Polat, soon to become a very friendly face, for the first of 12 Kleresca treatments (you have to go twice a week for 6 weeks). Before doing anything, I have to remove all my make-up (rookie error showing up caked with foundation) and then I take a seat in the reclining chair. I am given a headband to keep all the hair out of my face and Ezgi placed some patches on my eyes to ensure I keep them closed during treatment. So far, so good. Then she applies what feels like slime all over my face. It feels wet and strange, but not uncomfortable.
She then positions a light over my head and turns it on – and it’s hot, like really hot. Imagine you’re lying on Bondi Beach in peak Summer – it feels like that. But it’s only for 9 minutes and to be honest, I quite liked the fact it forced me to stay still for a bit during my busy day. For those wondering if there is any pain, there’s none. Nada, zilch!
Once the 9 minutes is up, the gel is wiped off my face, eye patches peeled off and I’m free to go. I head to the mirror and my nose and cheeks are a bit red, but I’m allowed to put my make-up back on, so I just cover-up with some mineral powder.
The next morning, my skin feels much smoother (and not red!), but the acne is still there…
Two weeks in
I’ve had four treatments so far and my acne is far less ‘angry’ and my skin feels more plump and smooth. The only downside so far is trying to find time to see Ezgi twice a week – I’ve been ducking in and out of the office, trying to squeeze it into my lunch breaks.
Four weeks in
Dr Sullivan warned me that at the 3-4 week mark, I’ll look like I’ve been for a holiday at the snow due to hyper-pigmentation (he’s basically saying I’ll be as rosy cheeked as AF and could develop a tan), but that it’ll go away in due course. As a big fan of the tan, I don’t see this as a side effect, and quite like the natural ‘glow’ I’ve got since starting the treatment. In fact, my freckles have also come out to say hi and my boyfriend thinks they’re ‘cute’. If these are the only side effects, I’m not complaining! My skin is definitely improving and my cheeks are now completely clear, but the mountains on my chin aren’t showing any signs of evacuating…
Six weeks in
I purchased – and wore – a light coverage BB cream for the first time in a long time, first to brunch and then…wait for it…drinks at my local pub. This sounds so clichéd, but my skin is better now than it was in my early twenties. My cheeks and forehead breakouts are completely gone and most of the zits on my chin are too. I had a scar on my chin from a fall, which has also seemed to fade. Yes, I do still have two cystic pimples, which will take time to clear, but they’re already so much smaller and far less red and robust. The best part? Ezgi and Dr Sullivan say the best results will come in the next 6 weeks as my skin continues to regenerate!
My after shot above for you to see… just kidding (why can’t Snapchat filters be RL?). But seriously, look at how my chin has cleared up…
At approximately $210 per treatment, it’s exxy, but worth it. To be able to go for a walk in the morning and feel comfortable without having to slap on concealer has been a complete blessing for me – and my skin is actually improving as the weeks go on. Perhaps I’ll even be chucking my new BB cream to the curb soon (but let’s not get too crazy…)!
For more information on Kleresca, go to: kleresca.com.au.