Once the blur that is London Fashion Week is over, I like to treat my over abused skin to a microdermabrasion facial. I block out the time in advance so that I can literally scrape the city off my skin and start fresh for October. This time though a perfectly timed opportunity arrived in my inbox, I was asked to trial the Nu Derm Six Step Facial which luckily for me, includes microdermabrasion.
Nu Derm takes the most successful elements of some of the most popular facial treatments on the market, and combines them into one simple, six step treatment using one machine. It’s still pretty new to the market so it’s pretty hard to come by but once the Pro Beauty North Show has finished in October, it’s certain to be more widely available.
I was invited to Number One salon to road test this treatment; the salon is one of two in the North East currently offering the full Nu Derm facial. So, what does this revolutionary new facial actually do? Well, a bit of everything. It takes a little bit of Caci technology, microdermabrasion, LED light therapy and Cryotherapy and uses each stage to line up the next. It’s jam packed with buzzwords and a super fancy looking machine with multiple tools and interchangeable heads, but is it any good?
When I arrive, I’m taken to a comfortable art deco styled room by my Therapist Gemma and after we establish the contra-indications to treatment, (the facial isn’t suitable for anyone who’s had facial filler or wrinkle relaxing injections / Botox within the last 12 weeks) and it’s agreed that I’m a good candidate, she talks me through each stage of the treatment and what to expect. My hair is covered with a band, skin is cleansed and toned and we’re ready to begin.
The first stage of treatment is exactly as it sounds, gentle heat is applied to the skin with a hand held tool to encourage the facial muscles to relax and open up the pores ready for stage two. It’s actually super relaxing, very pleasant and is a great way to easy you into a facial. My opinion? All facials should start like this.
My skin responds well to microdermabrasion, if you haven’t had it before it’s a great way to ‘reset’ skin after a trip or vacation, or if it gets to the stage where it feels a little ‘dusty’. It’s a super effective and safe way to fully exfoliate the skin, a handheld device like a tiny vacuum cleaner is used to fire tiny crystals on to the skin and then whip them away just as quick. It’s more effective, less abrasive and more environmentally friendly than a manual exfoliator with beads that you use at the basin and the benefits are long lasting – products work deeper and makeup sits better, what’s not to love? You can sometimes look a little pink after microdermabrasion depending on how much dead skin you have, but generally speaking this is one of my favourite facial treatments to have.
With Nu Derm it’s no different, the same hand held tool is used and the effect is the identical, clean fresh skin on the surface which is as a result, more receptive to skincare products and the stem cells that are used later in the treatment. There’s no mask with this one like in the Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion treatment because it’s a strict six step plan.
NON SURGICAL FACELIFT
This is where technology meets skincare. You’ve heard of Caci right? This is the new era of that technology. I won’t lie to you Voyeurs, it sounds a little scary as it involves micro currents being passed through the muscles of your face in order to achieve lift and increase tightness, but it’s nothing to be frightened of as the degree of current is controlled by your Therapist. It’s a technology that’s been proven to be effective as it began life in the NHS as a medical treatment for Stroke patients. There are endless case studies available that champion the efficacy of microcurrents in order to lift, tighten and tone facial muscles with the end result being better symmetry and control for Stroke patients and obviously anything which has a cosmetic benefit undoubtedly ends up in the beauty and aesthetics industry.
The treatment itself is bizarre. Not painful at all but definitely strange. I’ve never had Caci before so the feeling was new for me, basically the Therapist uses two wands, one to ‘earth’ the current and the other to direct it. It’s used all over the face and feels different in each part, when it’s used on the forehead it feels like water is being trickled on to the back of your head, on the cheeks it feels like your teeth are being tapped. It’s a strange sensation but not unpleasant and I’m in hysterics for the whole of this part of the treatment. if you’ve ever done EDM training the principle is the same, your muscles are forced to contract multiple times involuntarily to increase strength and volume.
Ultrasound is a bit of a buzzword in beauty, it’s another technology that’s made it’s way from the medical arena through sports injury clinics and into the beauty industry. It can be used in a few different ways with a few different topical gels, but for the face the focus is on stimulating collagen and elastin production as well as the renewal of damaged and aged tissue.
Another head is used for this part of the treatment and it’s something that you can’t see or feel working, but it’s very relaxing. The idea is that it drives a stem cell product deep within the dermis to improve fine lines and wrinkles and reduce hollows and dark circles under the eyes.
LED LIGHT THERAPY
This part of the treatment is tailor made for the needs of each client. There are different benefits associated with different coloured lights so depending on your presentation that day, you’ll be prescribed a sitting of 15 minutes under a light mask that fits the needs of your skin. I’m under red light to stimulate collagen production but there are other lights that can help to combat inflammation, rosacea, acne, cell renewal and scar renewal.
I’ve had these ‘Iron Man’ mask treatments before and depending on the provider, the masks can be very heavy, I’m pleased to say that this one isn’t. Gemma covers my face in a stem cell serum and activates the light with the mask in position. I’m then left in a darkened room to chill. Having the mask on with the warm light is definitely more relaxing than I’d imagined, it maintains its temperature never getting hot, and I definitely lose some of the tension I’ve been holding in my jaw.
Like with the Thermotherapy step at the very beginning of this treatment, this is how all facials should end. Another handheld tool is used with a tip that maintains an icy feel to cool, calm and regulate skin before sending you back out into the elements. It’s definitely not as cold or uncomfortable as it sounds, it’s actually relaxing and very pleasant. The tool is big enough to cover a large section of the face each time and it seals pores to ‘close in’ the treatment and reduce any associated redness.
SO HOW WAS IT?
In terms of the facial as a whole, it’s a well thought out treatment that sandwiches each step together perfectly. Thermotherapy is a lovely way to prep skin and ease you into a facial as it allows you to relax your body as a whole, the hard work is done in the middle, and the light and Cryotherapy round off the treatment perfectly.
Immediately after the facial my skin looked plumper and more radiant, sure I looked more sleepy but that’s because it’s such a relaxing treatment it’s hard not to drift and you are left with some indentations from the mask. Gemma hands me a card detailing the aftercare guidance which is basically to wear SPF (which you should be doing everyday anyway!), avoid swimming for 48 hours, and drink lots of water.
The Nu Derm facial isn’t yet widely available and it’s a shame because it’s a well planned treatment with no downtime. It’s competing with the likes of Caci, Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion and Hydrafacial and not only is it cheaper than it’s competitors, it takes the best elements of other similar treatments and combines them for one fast, effective treatment. Yes, Hydrafacial is a medical grade machine with amazing benefits, but at upwards of £100 for one treatment, Nu Derm is a great alternative.
The best thing about Nu Derm is that the benefits are long lasting. One week post treatment my skin still has that post treatment bounce and feels drenched with moisture – something I usually struggle to maintain. My advice? If you’re a fan of microdermabrasion as a stand alone treatment, try out the Nu Derm Six Step Facial; for just a little more than your regular treatment you get the benefit of microcurrent and light therapies and the difference is one you’ll feel long after the treatment is over. You’ll notice that your skin responds better to your usual skincare products, I haven’t changed my routine at all, I still pack my skin with retinol before bed but the benefits seem amplified. This is definitely one I’d do again and I’d be interested to see how much skin could improve over a course of six to ten of these facials.
I was given a complimentary Nu Derm Six Step Facial by Gemma Douglas at Number One salon in exchange for an unbiased review.
For appointments or enquiries call Number One salon 0191 526 0800
All images are unedited and taken at the point of treatment.