My experience with the Laser and Skin Clinic
What is it the Laser and Skin Clinic
The laser and skin clinic is an award winning clinic that specialises in advanced forms of non surgical treatments for a variety of cosmetic issues. They deal with problems such as acne and acne scarring, signs of ageing, saggy skin, varicose veins, cellulite and hair removal.
There are 3 clinics in the country – Dublin, Mullingar and Athlone.
My Skin History
I have always been self conscious of my skin. As I entered my teenage years, I remember getting little whiteheads over my nose and chin. I was horrified by them and would stand in front of the mirror and feel a little satisfaction every time I heard that pop when squeezing them into oblivion! Looking back they were absolutely tiny and not a problem.
As I got a bit older, my blemishes got worse – although looking back at pictures they never look as bad as I remember thinking they were. At 17 I went on a pill called Dianette – which is aimed at problematic/oily skin (As well as having no babies of course!). For a couple of years I had great skin. All was well…!
After this, at the age of about 21 is when my skin started to get bad. I have realised over the years, it seems largely connected to my mental health. I have an anxiety and panic disorder, and it is always when I am going through periods of intense stress that all hell breaks loose on my skin. In between, I would have months where my skin was pretty okay with only a few spots showing up at times.
When I moved to Galway and ended up in a well-paying job, I decided it was time to really tackle my skin – and confidence. My skin was pretty okay at the time. But, I thought I could get it looking absolutely perfect. That is when I visited the Laser and Skin Clinic in Athlone.
My experience in the clinic
I visited the clinic on the 11th May 2019. I sat with the Skin Specialist and discussed my aims. Porcelain skin of course! I was assured that in a few weeks my skin would have been transformed (for the better I had hoped!). To treat my blemishes and slightly scarred skin, salacylic acid, retinol and oil free moisturiser and SPF was suggested. I was also advised to come in for 4 skin peels at €100 a go.
I voiced my concerns about using salacylic acid. Previous times after trying products high in this ingredient, I have ended up with a painful rash on my face. When I tried Paula’s Choice salacylic acid acne treatment I was left with large patches of cystic acne on my cheeks too. These concerns were pushed aside. I was told it would be fine.
I do remember feeling quite pressured. Although I had thought this was just a consultation, after our talk I was brought to the till with a list of products that cost over €400. My face must have dropped to the floor when she gave me the total. This was a weekly wage gone in one! After standing there in silence for 10 seconds, I said I would not be able to afford this (which was super embarrassing to admit) and that surely I could knock a few products off the list “for now”.
Instead of being reassured and made at ease, I was told there wasn’t really anything they could take off the list! Looking back now I wish I had walked out. I had gone there for help and being told I “had” to spend over €400 euro is just ridiculous. In the end after refusing again to purchase the lot, one product was removed, a vitamin c serum, and the total dropped to 320. Eager to get out of there I paid and left, with a huge sinking feeling of disappointment in myself for going at all.
I felt as though all that was important to them was sales, and not making me feel at ease or listened to. Although, I did feel a little better thinking that in a few weeks, my skin would look immaculate, and when that happened it would be worth the money!
[ A friend of mine was in the clinic in Dublin. She was also shocked when she got to the till and when she voiced her concerns, the lady was super nice and took half the products away. She said not to worry and to come back and pick up the rest if and when it suited. So maybe not all clinics are this pushy with sales]
After visiting the laser and skin clinic – results
A couple of weeks in:
Within a couple of days using the products, I had red irritated patches of what seemed like excema on my face which I’d never had before. I also had dry flaky itchy skin around my eyes, and nose. Although this hadn’t been discussed with me, I did see after that it was explained on a sheet I was given that this was a possibility.
Over the next few weeks it continued to get worse. I emailed the store and the skin specialist was very nice. She gave me new instructions on using the products. I had to dramatically decrease usage to get my skin used to them. I once again voiced my concerns about my sensitive skin but was told once I was used to the products, my skin would improve hugely. So I kept going, although at this point I was more self conscious with my skin than I ever had been. Even with makeup (oil free and acne friendly) the large spots showed through and makeup gathered around the flaky skin. I hated going to work and leaving the house.
A couple of months in:
From that point my skin got worse and worse. After reducing usage, my tolerance improved as she said. The rash went away as did the flakiness. However, as I upped the usage again, my skin erupted in protest. The blemishes turned to cystic acne as I had feared – and spoken about in my consultation. All along my jawline on both sides became clustered with huge red sore spots and all around my mouth became one big mass of bumps. I also had blemishes dotted all over my face.
Left: July 2019. Right: August 2019. From when I started using the product
I have not had any time at all where my face has not been speckled with spots
or patches of heavy acne.
3 months in:
I had another phone call with the in august, explaining how my skin was worse again. I asked should I just stop using the products at this stage. Instead I was told no, I needed to go back to the clinic so they could reassess my skin and I would have to try different products. SPEND MORE MONEY! After spending 320 and being assured I would have flawless skin, I was then advised to come back and spend more money on their stuff?! After my experience I have no trust in any of the advise I was given. No way would I be willing to spend more money after being assured the initial fortune I’d spent would see my skin transform into something blemish free.
Today – 7 months on:
Still today 7 months on, my skin is worse than ever and has resulted in a huge knock on drop in my confidence. Once I have finished the products, that will be it. Will not be re-buying or trying any more. I am afraid of my skin getting any worse.
Now, I was told it might get worse before it gets better. However, it’s been 7 months an I’ve seen no improvement, only worsening. On the information form I was given it promised that with daily usage, “Transformation” would begin at 2-6 weeks and maximum results would be seen in 5 months. Unfortunately at 7 months I’m still waiting for any improvement at all. My skin has transformed alright, but into a hideous red blotchy mess.
Currently, my skin is actually worse than when I started. My skin has angry red painful spot which are impossible to hide with makeup. They are all over, but majorly concentrated on my cheeks and around my mouth and jawline.
After: 8th December 2019. 7 months on. Should have seen maximum improvement by now.
I know my problematic is largely down to my anxiety disorder. That being said, I went to the laser and skin clinic hopeful I would see some improvements. Unfortunately in my case, it has been the opposite. I am not saying the products caused this, but they definitely haven’t helped the issue at all.
To be fair, I have a friend who went to the clinic in Dublin and had a hugely different experience. After a few weeks her blemishes had disappeared. Her skin was glowing and look phenomenal! So clearly it works for some people. Maybe I am just an unlucky case.
The thing is I am really most disappointed about is how it is “sold to you”. That I was told my skin definitely would improve. That in a few weeks I would be “unrecognisable”. That’s for sure! There was never a thought to the fact that maybe it wouldn’t work. And my concerns were never discussed, just pushed aside as I was sold this idea.
Spending that much money on skincare was a helll of a big deal to me, but that is how conscious I was over my skin. 7 months on I do really regret visiting the clinic because coincidence or not, my skin looks awful. I’m not saying don’t go to the clinic or that their methods don’t work. But for me they clearly have not.
If you have problematic skin and have been considering going and visiting a clinic like this, I would advise that you really take time and think about it before you make that jump. Hopefully taking this step will really help improve your skin. But if you have sensitive skin that is easily irritated, I would definitely think twice.
If your budget is unlimited and can go back repeatedly go back and try different products and avail of skin peels etc then maybe you will see the preferred results over a longer period of time, but if like me, your budget doesn’t stretch as far as multiple visits, I would keep this in mind.