Way back in February, before lockdown, before the new corona virus turned our lives upside down, I found myself on Harley Street with an hour or so to kill. I decided to call in on the lovely Lesley Reynolds, co-founder of The Harley Street Skin Clinic, to see if she had time for a cup of tea and a chin wag. The kettle is always on at the clinic and tea cups at the ready.
However on my arrival, it turned out she was about to go into a meeting. “Don’t worry”, she said, “Jessica is going to take care of you and will use the Visia machine to look at your skin properly.”
The what machine??
“No I’m fine”, I said, “I really just want tea and biscuits”
But before my cuppa had time to brew I was being whisked up the stairs.
Jessica cleaned off my make up and started peering earnestly at my skin.
“Mmm”, she said, “not too bad on the surface but let’s see what Visia makes of it.”
“What IS Visia”, I asked her as she marched me toward a big machine where she told me to rest my chin on the ledge provided and told me to close my eyes.
Visia is a skin analysis device, a sort of giant microscope
Designed to examine what’s happening underneath your skin, it looks at:
- collagen breakdown
- sun damage
I began to get an uneasy feeling. I know have sun damage after growing up in Africa and baking out in the sun with no protection whatsoever. I also know I have enlarged pores and some congestion and wrinkles beginning to appear on a weekly basis. Do I really need a giant microscope to tell me what I already know??
I even avoid those magnifying mirrors they have in hotel bathrooms
No-one is going to whisk out a magnifying mirror at dinner, so why should I bother? What I don’t know can’t upset me is my mantra.
But here I was, like a fruit fly, with nowhere to escape
And soon enough the machine began to give me the clinical facts about my skin. And it was a little depressing, I’m not going to lie. I get so used to people telling me I look youthful for my age and that I have good skin, but with Visia there’s no beating about the bush, no flattery, just cold hard truths.
So yes there was considerable sun damage, there were UV spots, there was an embarrassing amount of bacteria (‘but I clean my skin really well”, I wailed) and there were wrinkles. A lot of wrinkles, which really surprised me as I didn’t think I was that wrinkled for my age. My pores were large, my texture was not exactly smooth and I was more congested than I should’ve been. I was feeling quite desperate now, searching Jessica’s face for a ray of hope.
“Is this normal for my age”, I asked?
Now I was really hoping that she would say that as bad as it sounded it was actually incredible for my age. But no, she said this was pretty much what was expected. “Oh I see”, I said, feeling thoroughly deflated by now. “But I’ve seen a LOT worse with people of your age”, she added. That made me feel a tad better.
What now I wondered?
Jessica seemed unfazed and said cheerfully,
“Don’t worry, we can fix all this with the right products”
“Really”, I said sceptically, “you think skin products can make much of a difference to these quite profound skin issues?”
“Definitely”, she said. “Now that we know exactly what’s going on with your skin, we can prescribe the correct products with active ingredients and you will see real change. Then in 2 months we will pop you back on the Visia machine and look at the results.”
Now that was a challenge I couldn’t resist
However I had a dilemma. As most of you know, I only use natural and non-toxic products. The skin ranges used at the clinic are produced in a lab and whilst of the highest and purest quality, they are synthetic and not natural. They don’t use parabens, sulphur or perfumes but do contain other chemicals. Was I prepared to give them a go?
Jessica felt that whilst organic products were wonderful, we reach a stage where we have to bite the bullet. The beauty of Visia is that it shows exactly what’s going on in your skin and you can then target those issues with very specific products designed to give a good result and improve the longevity of your skin.
After giving it some thought, and taking into account that my skin had so much sun damage and more wrinkles than I realised, I decided to go ahead.
But what were these magical products?
And would they REALLY make a difference?
Find out next time in Part 2…..
Check out the clinic below: