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Information Skin: IPL Experience

At the end of 2012, I had given up with treating and living with Rosacea using just skincare, and doctors appointments. I took things into my own hands. Doctors didn't think my condition was bad enough to warrant a referral to a dermatologist, and makeup is only a temporary fix. When you have rosacea it's not just about the redness, the boil type spots and 'how bad things can look'.

Similarly to suffering with Acne, you become incredibly self conscious and as sufferers will know, psychologically living with Rosacea it can be incredibly difficult to live with, not only when you are in the later stages of life (as is most common) but also when you're in your teens / early twenties surrounded by friends and magazines showing you a definition of the flawless face. Frustration after frustration, and the thousands of pounds spent on makeup, skincare and antibiotics etc over the years, 2013 brought me IPL.

From February to September of 2013 I was undergoing Intense Pulsed Light therapy to help treat my rosacea. I was excited that something would actually show me results and I was finally talking to people who knew what this skin complaint was, and understood how to get rid of it. In early 2013 I had paid £600 for 6 sessions of IPL and it was time to take some serious action.

I tried my best throughout the process to document stage by stage, and even got round to writing a couple of posts related to each session here. If you do want more information on IPL, you can find that in those posts. Here I really want to summarise in photos and text my experience as a whole.

The pictures aren't pretty, so please accept my apologies! Please take a look further down the post, to see in photos the changes in my skin. This is one of the reasons I started blogging to share this experience and am so glad if I can help anyone, who maybe in a similar situation or interested in these treatments.

Firstly, I have only used 5 of the 6 IPL sessions. The results for me were not really what I expected - my skin just didn't react enough, and the pain that IPL began to cause my skin was just not comfortable or pleasant and I remember during one session being close to tears, as I began to feel like  rosacea was just taking over my life - pretty much feeling bad for myself.

 The more inflamed your face is the more painful it will be when that ping of light targets that vein or area, I thought it would get better but it just didn't and the results were, compared to what I was told would happen, quite disappointing. In my case of targeting rosacea with IPL, it didn't work and isn't for my skin.

The experience is kind of like an elastic band being ping'd on your face, 15 times over depending on your complaint.  Sometimes they even felt like tiny injections. For me, for now I am trying to avoid the million and one things that can trigger rosacea flareups and manage the condition with great skincare. You can see my current morning skincare routine here.  Whilst I do think my skin has improved slightly from Sept to now, I would not say the IPL was solely responsible for that, which I thought it would be from the start.

As this is my review, and just a summary of my experience I really recommend before considering IPL you have a skin patch test and a full consultation with a skin specialist. It can be used to treat many different skin conditions.

Top Beauty Finds of 2013

The New Year brings time for a little reflection on the last one. Although we are still a day away from 2014, I thought that this is a great time to share my best beauty picks from 2013. 
The inspiration for this post came from having read around Kirstie's (of a Yellow Brick Blog's) post.

Whilst I know not all of these products mentioned were released in 2013, I was having a rummage through my collection and all of the products I am including came to my attention as a ‘must feature’ in this post for one reason or another. 

Why not let me know what’s on your list of Top Finds for 2013 in the comments?

Let’s kick off this product packed post with a star product from Estée Lauder; 

In 2013 I began being treated with Intense Pulsed Light therapy to target Rosacea (you can read more on this here). As part of this treatment my skincare changed to a brand called Image Skincare as recommended by my consultant. Having run out of the hard to find products I needed - I had to find a substitute for my night treatment as I can not sleep without having slathered something into my skin! I took to an Estée Lauder counter on my own one weekend (fyi - this should never happen!!) and asked about the Advanced Night Repair serum. I had seen the scientifically enriched ads, and had heard other bloggers live for this stuff, so I caved and gave it a go. 

Well, I’ll just say you notice when you do not use this product, a few drops of this serum goes a long way and just needs to be patted in the skin before bedtime, and a moisturiser application. Wowed by all the patents this products has against it’s name, this is a product I have almost finished, and my skin never fails to feel lack lustre in the mornings. Definite re-purchase into 2014. 

Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Repair Creme
Available at Dermatology Clinics

One product I can not live without, along with their Vital C Cleanser, is the Image Vital C, Hydrating Repair Creme this rich creme, (introduced to me through IPL treatment) which is used at night, is particularly suited for irritated skin types such as Rosacea. Cooling, hydrating, and again it is one of those cremes that I know through how my skin feels and looks in the morning, whether I used it the night before. You can buy this on the internet I believe - but I never like to do that with skincare unless it is a reputable retailer. Most of the IMAGE products, which are created in Florida are brought my cosmetologists and skin consultants and sold only in clinics for high, high-end prices, but my skin would not be in such a good state without it. 

Bringing the budget down a notch, but keeping the performance levels as good as you would expect from any product in the high end market, is the Sleek Contour Kit. This has been around for a good few years, and is a steal at under £7! Now available in Boots stores as well as Superdrug this is easier than ever to try out and the contouring you can achieve with this fail safe product is fabulous. Take the dark ‘bronzer like’ colour under your cheek bones (permission to make the fish face is granted) and then use the highlight under the brow and on top of the cheeks, for a slimmer looking face and cheekbones you never knew you had. I have really got to grips with contouring this year, and its all down to this little compact. 

HD Brow Palette in Vamp

Back when I was subscribed to GlossyBox, I received the HD Brows, Brow Pallet in Vamp - this consists of 4 colours suited mostly toward the eyelids or brows - and can take my mild and meek looking brows to spruced up and face framing in no time. I use this daily and am a believer that brows are a game changer when it comes to facial features, even if you go out with no makeup take those precious minutes to put your brows in place!

Having already posted about this fragrance earlier in the year here, it has maintained to be a solid favourite. Not only does it remind me of my trip to Edinburgh this year, but it is so wearable for any occasion. I do think its lasting power for an Eau de Parfum is a little weak but it will keep me buying many a bottle. 

Earlier in the year I was itching to get my hands on these, US beauty bloggers had them, UK beauty bloggers who had been to the US had them, and then finally the humble boots shoppers were able to get them around September time. My favourite is the hydrating one (in the blue) but the other colours are really versatile and smell heavenly. Its a great lip balm that feels like its not just siting there covering your lips, but actually hydrating them. Definitely a competitor with the Rimmel Lip Butters, they too are packaged in great colours and deliver the same great pigments. I only apply lip products when I know the product I am using works, and I miss not using it, and needless to say I have these in my handbag at all times. 

As a self confessed nail polish junkie / snob, I was pulling myself back from trying these Barry M Hi Shine Gelly nail paints, because to be honest I thought the application and the staying power was not going to be up there with OPI, Essie and your other salon brands. I have always brought Essie, OPI, Orly, Leighton Denny and my collection is bursting at it’s seams, however, this never stops me! I was pleasantly surprised with these and thought the application was so great, simple, fast drying and long lasting - just what you want in a polish - I am definitely hoping for more great things from Barry M in the next year!

I consistently swapped between two foundations this year, one being Laura Mercier’s Silk Creme, the other Nars Sheer Glow in Mont Blanc. I like everything about this glass bottle of skin tone evening, and concealing joy. It’s lack of SPF means true colour and less shine in photos, it also has a hydrating consistency and feel on the skin. Above all the GREAT coverage and good staying power got me dipping back into the bottle for more - I will be getting a pump dispenser in 2014 though! 

Having only discovered the Maybelline Fit Me range quite recently - the good things I had heard about this concealer pushed me to the checkout with shade 15 in hand. This concealer does not dry out, or cake around the area I am trying to conceal, it works well covering the red areas around my nose and it stays there like you would not expect a high street concealer to do. The colour is a great match and after hearing how similar this is to the NARS Creamy Concealer I have been continually using this through the festive season and it has not disappointed. 

I always go fail safe on a night out or in tough weather conditions with my Urban Decay Makeup Setting spray, after your look is complete for a dewy glow hold the product about 4cm about from your face and spray away which ensures your makeup stays as is ,until you want to take it off. Its been a hero product in 2013. 

It’s been a rather long post, to commemorate an equally long year. Enjoy the New Years celebrations and make sure you look fabulous to welcome in 2014!