Hola!! I am so excited to write this post to share more about my acne journey with you darlings. You guys have heard me rant since forever about my crazy acne-prone skin. Today, we are exploring a new facial resurfacing technology to get rid of hideous acne scars.
Backstory, I have been on tons of drugs from Doxycycline to the infamous Accutane. They were all temporary cures and even now at 22, I am still suffering from acne... Have been in a HATE-HATE relationship with acne for 10 years.... is this what a long-term relationship feels like?!! As of today, I still do have frequent breakouts but they are much more controlled compared to the volcanic face I had 2 years ago.
Awhile back, my bae Aggy invited me to try out some skin treatments with her at her favourite clinic, which is now my favourite clinic as well because it solved my biggest insecurity! Originally, we were supposed to go for Skin Boosters together but as you guys know, acne is the cause of all evil, therefore my skin was deemed unsuitable for the procedure.
If you do not know what Skin Boosters is, it is actually the famous, celebrity sought after, procedure called 水光针! It is a procedure done using a series of micro-injections (about 900 tiny needles) to inject small amounts of Hyaluronic Acid just below the skin surface for INSTANT skin radiance! Your skin will retain tons of moisture and expect to look even younger as it boosts collagen production. Sounds amazing right?! Too bad my skin was not in the right condition for 900 needles as it may cause further infection and worst flare ups. However, after a detailed consultation, I was recommended by the doctor to try out Venus Viva Laser instead.
Before we move on to the actual procedure, here's some teaser results to show you the before & after! The scars on my forehead are much more shallow now compared to the original and this is only after 1 session of Venus Viva!
Understanding Your Acne Scars
Above is an overview of the types of acne scars. For me, I mainly suffer from 1, 2 & 3 + pigmentation scars which are basically those red/brown ones that will go off over time. Pigmentation scars can be easily concealed, however, these depressed scars are the worst because they are so obvious and there is no way make up can cover them.
There are many ways to treat acne scarring ranging from Fillers, Fraxel/Fractional C02 Lasers etc; I have always wanted to get Fractional C02 Lasers to get rid of my depressed scars on my forehead but all the dermatologists that I have been to REFUSED to do it for me unless my whole face is free of acne. So annoying right?! I have to look ugly forever cuz' I can't solve any problems on my face.
What is Venus Viva?
Venus Viva is basically fully customisable technology that makes use of radio frequency to resurface the skin. It deeply heats the skin instead of burning it like other lasers which results in lower downtime and quicker rejuvenation.
The micro wounds caused by the laser boosts collagen production therefore your skin gets even better with time! It is well known to reduce pore size while treating many other different skin issues like fine lines and wrinkles. What I truly enjoy about this procedure is that it can even be done while I am having active acne breakouts! Skin saviour 101, all my other dermatologists can suck on that! LOL
Venus Viva Laser Treatment Procedure:
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES BELOW!!
First off, we had to remove my make up. Yes I know I am very vain, gotta wear make up even when I know I am going for a procedure. Cannot help it though, imagine having this atrocious skin and going out in public?! Confidence level from 100 to 0 real quick. Make up is kinda like my confidence booster and this is probably the first time I am showing ANYONE the real condition of my skin.
Had a double cleanse to remove ALL traces of foundation/concealer on my skin. The lovely nurse was so nice, she left my eye makeup & lipstick on!! Love her so much, she knows the importance of fleek brows *claps*
Here's a left, center & right view for comparison. I totally forgot to switch off my beauty skin mode in my camera so my skin's texture looks a lot better compared to real life. Even with beauty skin mode, you can still see the depressed acne scars on my forehead from years ago. (zzzz, even technology can't save my face T_T)
My acne is concentrated mainly on the left side of my face all thanks to dirty sheets in hotels. I do have a couple of whiteheads on both sides of my cheeks + chin. Generally, the frontal view of my face looks clear except for the terrible depressed scars on my forehead.
Then we move on to numbing cream! Hehe both Aggy & I are doing a "Who Can Take the Pain Better" Challenge on YouTube so stay tuned! Told this to the nurse and kept asking her to spam more numbing cream so that I can win HAHAHAHA. Left this on for about 30 minutes+++ and then we moved on to the actual procedure! Was so excited because I can finally have prettier skin!
Had to put on protective goggles so I was not able to see anything throughout the entire process. Pain wise, it was extremely bearable. It felt like tiny ants walking on my face. I would rate the pain level a 2/10. It is slightly more uncomfortable when the doctor did the second round. However, my skin was visibly a WHOLE lot redder, it kinda look like a really bad allergic reaction.
While she was zapping away all my gross acne scars, it actually smells a little like burnt pork? HAHAHAHA, not saying that I am a pork but ya know the gist! My skin was not burnt though, it was just really red and swollen. I could feel a pore tightening effect but it could also be due to the swelling of my face.
Since the skin is extremely sensitive after the laser, it is important to slather on a really high strength sunscreen to protect it. The nurse applied IDS Skincare's Tinted Sunscreen which is da bomb because it immediately diminished the redness and made me look more presentable.
Brought home IDS Skincare's SPF50 Non-Tinted Sunscreen because of the matte finish which is more suitable for my oily skin. Omg this sunscreen has officially become my holy grail sunscreen?! It is not oily at all and I love how lightweight it feels on the skin. The best thing? Even with the high sun protection & it containing titanium dioxide, I do not have the crazy white-face flashbacks during flash photography! Super important because of all the flash photographies during events. If you are interested, I will be writing a laser aftercare post soon so stay tuned! I have lots of tips to share with you darlings! ;)
Above is my face immediately post the Venus Viva Laser. With the tinted sunblock on, my skin is not as red and irritated. Managed to take public transport with just a face mask on. Yay! Anyway, I have an awesome secret weapon that literally took off my redness in 15 minutes! Will be sharing more about it in the aftercare post.
In case you were wondering, you can actually put on make up right after the procedure! Since I was heading out to town to meet my homies, I put on a thin layer of Canmake's Marshmallow Finish Powder (best touch up powder!), touched up my brows and lippie and was good to go! The downtime for Venus Viva is a lot shorter than traditional ablative lasers like Fraxel/CO2. On average, the downtime is about 3-4 days. I look perfectly normal after day 4.
Day 3 after removing all traces of make up. The redness is very minimal. Everything could be easily covered with make up. I even went for events and nobody could see the redness. Was even complimented on my improved skin texture especially on my cheeks. Notice the scars on my forehead is slightly less pronounced? Woohoo, zap all those pesky scars away! The laser also helped to get rid of my active acne on my cheeks (thank god!)
During the healing process, you will see tiny little scabs forming on your skin as pictured above. Fret not, it is perfectly normal and remember not to pick at it! It is very tempting because your face feels kinda sandy every time you wash it. Just leave them be, they will fall off naturally within a week and you can say hello to beautiful skin!
Extremely pleased with the results of Venus Viva. I have tons of friends complimenting on how much my skin has improved after the procedure. My skin texture is much smoother although I am still plagued by the depressed scars on my forehead. The scars on my forehead are not as deep as before though. I have also noticed that the pores around my cheekbone area have shrunken and my skin is a lot smoother there as well.
In general, these things take time and it is extremely important to upkeep instead of going overboard. A good skincare regime is definitely a must. Right now, I am planning to get rid of my existing acne before taking the next step of scar removal again. Looking forward to make up free days, it's been forever! :D
Thank you Aggy for inviting me along to get our skin pampered by our favourite clinic! My skin has never been smoother and I am so pleased with the results! I have spent so much time and money on consultations, treatments & products just to keep my skin in check but none have provided a result as good as this (except for Accutane, omg love that so much). I am so thankful to be introduced to my newfound favourite clinic by Aggy, finding a place that genuinely cares for your skin's well-being is tough but it is possible! Cheers to clearer skin!
Thank you guys for reading & hope this posts help you fellow acne-sufferers in finding a solution to your scarring problems!