Lift off |

7 mins

Lift off

New treatments tackle pigmentation and we try out some advanced lifting and peeling facials

Dermalogica Pro Melanopro Peel

The Melanopro Peel is a two-phase system that works to counteract environmental skin damage, helping to fade dark spots, reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and smooth skin’s texture.

Phase one is a professional application of a peeling mask by the skin therapist, while phase two is a clinical-strength, at-home routine that incorporates a resurfacing cream and calming mist. During phase one, the therapist applies the peeling mask and asks the client to leave it on the skin for two to seven hours before removing it at home. This kickstarts an intense exfoliation. The at-home programme then begins with application of Continuous Resurfacing Cream, which continues for up to six weeks.

The cream contains 10% azelaic acid, combined with tranexamic, glycolic and lactic acids, retinol, hexylresorcinol, niacinamide and brightening peptide acetyl hexapeptide-1. This is to be applied two to three times daily, following the instructions of the therapist, to stimulate continuous exfoliation, brighten skin, smooth texture and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Dermalogica recommends charging £350 per treatment. 0800 917 7147 /

Tried and tested… Germaine de Capuccini Mesoboost

The lowdown: Mesoboost is a tech-led treatment that uses a device with a microcrystal tip to create microchannels, while simultaneously using electroporation to drive active ingredients deeper into the skin, helping to firm and hydrate. Germaine de Capuccini (GDC) describes the device as a transdermal electroporation meso-chip system, with benefits including increased collagen synthesis, reduced wrinkle depth, improvement in appearance of scars and hydration.

The experience: I visited the training room at GDC’s UK head office in Surrey, where head of training Gina Baker assessed my skin. After an opening ritual with scent inhalation then a thorough cleanse, she applied a 10% lactobionic acid peel to deeply exfoliate and prep for the device. It was mild and not at all tingly on my skin, which can be sensitive to peels.

The device is super compact and has a handpiece with a microcrystal tip made of pyramid-shaped metal spikes. It works in a stamping motion, mimicking needling but without causing the associated trauma. At the same time, the electroporation function sends pulses of current to help push active ingredients into the skin.

For me, Baker chose the Lift Complex, which features DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) for tightening, as well as peptides and centella asiatica to induce collagen and elastin fibre synthesis for skin plumping. She also used Rejuvenating Complex with niacinamide to brighten and galactomannans, which she explained has a retinol-like action, without the associated side effects.

Baker began working across my forehead then cheeks. Around the eye and nose area it felt strange as the current pulses made my muscles twitch and I could feel how they connected across my face. It was never uncomfortable though. Afterwards, Baker applied Skin Recovery Mask to calm, giving me an arm and shoulder massage while it worked. She explained this mask is great for skin that is easily sensitised and helps reduce redness. The treatment finished with massage and application of SPF 50.

  The verdict: This was an interesting treatment to try as the sensation was like nothing I’d felt – when it moved across my forehead, the device had the effect of someone knocking on my head but was never painful, even as Baker increased the intensity. Afterwards, my skin was lifted, plumped and glowy.

Business benefits: The treatment starts with a welcoming ritual that includes aromatherapy and warm towels to cleanse the feet and hands, bringing GDC’s spa roots into this advanced facial. This, paired with the fact that the treatment is not aggressive, makes it a great option for spas or luxury salons. The size and portability of the device also makes it good for mobile or home-based therapists.

Germaine de Capuccini recommends charging £155–£175, depending on location. 0845 600 0203 /

Tried and tested… The Perfect Peel

The lowdown: The Perfect Peel is a medium-depth chemical peel that can be used on all skin types and requires no pre-peel skin preparation. The key ingredient is glutathione, an antioxidant that the brand says has been proven to reverse the metabolism of melanin. The peel also contains phenol, vitamin C and trichloroacetic, salicylic, retinoic and kojic acids, to improve tone, texture, hyperpigmentation, pore size and collagen production. 

The experience: I visited L’Atelier Aesthetics on Harley Street to experience the peel with Kelly Saynor, a nurse, director of Renew Medical Aesthetics and clinical director at Medica Forte (distributor of the peel). I had the option to choose between the original Perfect Peel, the Superblend (a hybrid medium and superficial depth peel) and Glutaceuticals Pep Talk (a home-use instant mask peel). I wanted the full experience, so opted for the original Perfect Peel.

Saynor cleansed my skin before applying the peel, which had a kick to it but was completely tolerable. It’s selfneutralising, so all Saynor needed to do was give me the Home Kit and aftercare instructions (no picking!) and send me on my way. I left it on my skin for six hours then washed my face with water and applied the post-peel towelette, which helps further active the peel process.

The next day, my skin felt warm and tight and it looked like I had sunburn. I applied a mineral sunscreen, then used the towelette again in the evening. Day three was when the peeling began; it started around my mouth and nose before later moving out towards my hairline. I applied The Perfect Peel Moisturiser to soothe when needed and carefully removed peeling skin with nail scissors.

By day six, the peeling was mostly complete apart from mild sloughing around my mouth. My face was still red in places, but the sensitivity was gone, and I resumed my regular skincare, focusing on products to speed up healing and restore the skin barrier. 

The verdict: The peeling process wasn’t the most pleasurable experience and I had to give myself a pep talk each time I left the house with my flaky face. Hypochlorous acid spray and The Perfect Peel Moisturiser became my new handbag essentials. However, I knew what I was signing up for and Saynor had made sure I was aware of the process. I’m glad I persevered because my skin is clearer and brighter and I’ve had fewer breakouts.

Business benefits: The peel range is great for tackling multiple concerns in one treatment and is incredibly time-efficient – the process takes less than 15 minutes, meaning it’s easy to fit around other clients and treatments.

Medica Forte recommends £300 for The Perfect Peel, and £200 for Superblend. 0330 111 8574 /

Tried and tested… Medik8 Total Skin Reset Peel

The lowdown: Medik8 peels are professional-grade exfoliating acids applied with a brush to resurface. This particular peel combines three exfoliation methods.

The experience: I arrived at Beyond Medispa in Harvey Nichols, London, to be among the first to try the new peel. I was greeted by therapist Sarah Herring, who asked me if my skin was sensitive – something I always have trouble answering, so Herring said she would treat my skin as though it was. The first step after a cleanse was physical exfoliation. Herring mixed Medik8’s Bamboo Micro Polish into Surface Radiance Cleanse and massaged it onto my face before removing with a warm mitt then toning.

Next came enzyme exfoliation with the new Superfacial product. This was applied in a thin layer, avoiding the eye area. Superfacial can be massaged into skin for up to 10 minutes or until it becomes “tacky”. Its enzyme exfoliators attack dead and damaged skin cells.

Herring then applied Universal Peel with a fan brush, starting at my forehead then my chin, leaving the cheek areas until last as these are the most sensitive.

For Fitzpatrick types I-IV, the peel can be left for one to 10 minutes but for my Fitzpatrick V/VI skin, it is recommended to leave it on for one-to-five minutes. Immediately I felt the tingle, which quickly started to get more intense. It felt unpleasant but not painful.

After a few minutes, Herring neutralised the peel. Calmwise Soothing Cleanser was sprayed and I was covered with gauze saturated in neutralising spray. Herring repeated this step three times until I could no longer feel tingling. Hydr8 B5, Calmwise Serum, C-Tetra Luxe, Ultimate Recovery Intense and Physical Sunscreen were applied and I was given an aftercare skincare set.

The verdict: After the peel, Herring told me I was experiencing some frosting, where areas of skin go white. This is normal and shows the peel is working. In the days following, my skin got tight and dry despite being slugged in thick moisturiser. Around day three, skin in my t-zone started to flake. At the one-week mark, I started to receive compliments on how dewy my skin looked.

Business benefits: This peel is great for all skin types and a perfect treatment to offer in spring to get clients summer ready.

Medik8 recommends charging £75. 03330 142434 /

This article appears in April 2024

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