At 42 years of age, I think on the whole I’m not doing TOO bad on the ageing front. Yes, I have to have my hair-coloured every 5 weeks or bad things happen in my parting, but from a face perspective, I haven’t yet been plagued with too many lines and once I put on a face-full of make-up I can still go out and about without scaring small children. I know I have my parents to thank for good genes, they both look ridiculously younger than their years – so, cheers for that Mum and Dad!
One thing I have noticed though, particularly since turning the big 4-0, is that my face is definitely a lot less plumper and youthful looking in terms of the texture and appearance of my skin. So while I don’t have many lines, I definitely have lost the plumpness and glow of youth… sob… so I’ve been on a bit of a mission to try to recapture that in some way, shape, or form.
One of my favourite products, which I think has helped, is Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum, which I have been using for about 6-months now, daily (although I’ve slacked a bit in the last month or so), after toning and before moisturising and I really think it’s helped particularly when my skin has looked a bit dull. Note to self: must also try harder to DRINK MORE WATER – because I am properly TERRIBLE at that and I know that helps massively to keep your skin looking great and of course costs less than fancy creams!But I wanted to write and tell you about a treatment I had about a week ago that chimes with my pursuit of plumpness and youth, the ‘OPERA LED Mask’, which uses light therapy to combat the signs of ageing. I was invited to give it a go at my favourite local beauty salon – Beauchamp Beauty in Richmond – who have recently starting offering the treatment (usual price £60 but look out for special offers as they sometimes do a £10-off) and was very intrigued to give it a go.
The ‘OPERA’ mask is a low-level light therapy LED facial mask that uses three wavelengths to provide a multitude of skin rejuvenation treatments to the face and neck. It’s clinically proven, painless and non-invasive and can target a variety of skin conditions by using specific colour wavelengths of light to penetrate the skin at varying depths.
There’s the Regular LED OPERA Mask treatment for anyone – like me – with skin ageing concerns: this treatment stimulates collagen cells resulting in fine line reduction and a dewy bouncy look to the skin. Just what I’m after! But for anyone suffering with acne prone skin, there’s the Blue LED light therapy option, which has deep cleansing, anti bacterial properties that help to stabilise oil secretion and calm inflammation.And this is the mask!… you can see now why there’s a reference to the Opera, right?! So, in pursuit of youth, yes I was prepared to go a bit ‘phantom’! Luckily, I’m not prone to break-outs so I decided to opt for the regular LED light therapy treatment rather than the Blue and the whole thing lasts about 20 mins or so, which is quite speedy and allows you enough time for a bit of relaxation without you getting bored and restless (or is it just me that finds it difficult to relax?!).
The treatment began with my face being thoroughly cleansed by the therapist and then once that stage was done, she laid a hydrogel mask over my face, which is just like one of those thin paper-style masks that are covered in a gel/moisturising liquid that you can buy on the high-street: only I’m sure this most likely has it’s only unique combination of good-stuff in it/on it that does wonders for your skin.
The OPERA mask was then placed over my face and while it does feel a little weird at first, I didn’t find it claustrophobic or heavy. The therapist did leave me with some little chimes to ring in case I freaked out when she left the room, but I didn’t! So yes, she left me lying there with the mask on my face, which is rigged up to the machine and once turned on glows red as the LED light penetrates your skin. I asked her to take my pic whilst I was lying there and this comedy photo is the result – look at me looking all Michael Crawford, LOL:As with all these things of course, I’m sure a series of treatments is probably needed in order to see any real long-term benefit but the therapist did say that a one-off can give you a 24-hour skin boost so if you have an important event coming up and want to give your skin a little turbo-charge, then it can be great for that purpose. I certainly felt good afterwards, but you be the judge… here’s a pic of me, taken immediately afterwards, no make-up on and untouched skin following the session:The benefits of OPERA LED Light Therapy are listed as:
- Increased blood circulation
- Increased levels of nutrients and oxygen levels to the face and neck
- Deeper penetration for great effect and stimulation of products
- Combats the signs of ageing
- Speeds up the healing process
- Stimulates collagen production
- Promotes youthful, nourished skin
So yes, basically sign me up for all of the above! But at £60-a-pop I might have to just keep it to some one-off special occasion usage, although, it’s pretty tempting and if – in the words of Cher – I could turn back time…. hmmm….