Our beauty columnist Hayley Ernest gets skin deep with those all-important facial treatments.

Fine lines and wrinkles, under eye bags, laughter lines, uneven skin tone…. hands up who looks in the mirror and remembers a younger looking face?

Living in a generation and society where our appearance and the pressure of striving to look our best is ever mounting, there are constant reminders of perfection on social media, magazines and TV; It is no wonder that people are turning to Surgery, Botox and Fillers in an attempt to ‘Stop the Clock’ on the ageing process, and turn back time to regain a more youthful appearance.

It’s true that the ageing process is inevitable and whilst it is linked to lifestyle choices, genetics, diet and environmental factors. Frustratingly, even if you are maintaining a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, and getting the right amount of sleep, there is no avoiding the process of becoming and subsequently looking older.

I’m sure that most of us are guilty of sun exposure and other such ‘Skin Sins’ which have worsened or prematurely aged our skin, but what if you’re not quite ready to take the surgical route or commence with injectables to combat those fine lines and wrinkles?

Whilst the cosmetic skin care market is booming with lotions and potions that claim to turn back the clock and stop the ageing process, surface Skin Care Products (cleansers, toners, moisturisers or serums) no matter what the price bracket or special ingredient contained therein, can only work to a certain degree. In most cases, the damage and ageing to our skin is far deeper than most good facials or skincare regimes can effectively treat or reverse.

Unfortunately for us, there is no fountain of everlasting youth and so, in my pursuit of healthier, more youthful looking skin, I have recently researched and tested some of the most revolutionary, non-invasive treatments and procedures available.


After a hot cloth cleanser, a wand delivering a fine jet of abrasive crystals is passed over the skin, which erodes the dead skin particles, and a vacuum action removes the debris. This dual action results in only slight redness, stimulates blood flow and encourages the skin to resurface. An application of an SPF Moisturiser completes the treatment. Microdermabrasion treatments will speed up skin cell renewal, ridding facial skin of dead cells and dull patches to reveal fresher looking skin.

The Perfect Peel 

A medical grade chemical peel with downtime of around 5-7 days, The Perfect Peel is a virtually pain free process which takes only 15 minutes to complete. The extremely effective combined ingredients (including a lightening agent, retinoic acid, salicylic acid, as well as minerals and vitamins) exfoliates the skin, lifts sun damage and hyperpigmentation, stimulates collagen production which is necessary for improved and renewed overall skin tone and condition.  Retinol wipes and a vitamin C moisturiser is provided for aftercare to assist with the peeling process and enhance results.

Micro Needling

With minimal downtime of 0-2 days, Digital Micro Skin-Needling (also known as Multi-Trepannic Collagen Actuation) is widely recognised both medically and cosmetically as an extremely effective treatment for scar relaxation and remodelling, wrinkle therapy, full facial skin rejuvenation, fine lines and wrinkles (an
effective alternative to using Botox & fillers), reduction in the appearance of stretch marks, resurfacing acne scars/large pores/pot holes, improving the appearance of burnt tissue and improving vitiligo/hypo pigmentation.

A digital needle makes tiny insertions to penetrate the skin at variable depths, (targeting the problem area accurately and precisely) causing mild trauma to the skin which commences the natural healing process and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
Typically, a series of 3 treatments (in some instances, more) is required with a period of 4-6 weeks in between each treatment.

iSClinical ‘Fire & Ice’ Medical Facial (SOTC’s beauty columnist Hayley Ernest Highly recommends the ‘Fire & Ice facial and it’s amazing, visible skin renewal following treatments performed exclusively by The Cardiff Clinic)

I am a huge fan of this intensive clinical based treatment, which has a growing celebrity following and is also referred to as the ‘Hollywood Red Carpet Facial’.

Designed to resurface the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and encourage cellular renewal, the treatment involves the application and subsequent removal of 2 different facial masks.

The ‘Fire’ stage of the facial is an intensive resurfacing treatment clinically formulated with 18% un-buffered glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, retinal, vitamin B3 and potent antioxidants, applied on the face, neck and décolletage.

The ‘Ice’ stage of the facial is a cool, soothing and intensively hydrating treatment containing hyaluronic acid, aloe vera gel, green tea, grape seed and rosemary extract. This pampering part of the facial cools the skin after the initial ‘peel’ and leaves the skin feeling tighter and toned.

The ‘Fire & Ice’ Facial has no downtime and helps to tackle skin disorders such as sun damage and rosacea. Skin is deeply cleansed and hydrated, texture is refined, pore size minimized and a bright, clear, glowing complexion is achieved.

BTL Exilis Elite

The BTL Exilis Elite device represents the latest innovation designed to combat and improve the natural signs of ageing in the face and body. Using a combination of Ultrasounds and Radio Frequency, treatments are designed to firm excess skin, which makes this advanced, non-surgical solution the perfect treatment for sagging skin, eye bags (eye hallows) jowling (sagging cheeks) or ‘turkey’ necks.  Targeting several problem areas accurately, Exilis tightens loose skin on the face and neck whilst stimulating and strengthening collagen which in turn improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

On the body, Exilis is an excellent contouring tool, which essentially means it can reduce your chosen area in inches by melting stubborn fat deposits on places such as the waist, thighs and buttocks, thus creating a smoother, sleeker silhouette.

IPL (Intense Pulse Light) Laser / Co2 Fractional Laser 

Laser Skin Rejuvenation or Laser Resurfacing using IPL Laser or Co2 Fractional Laser, produces highly effective results and is commonly a more sensitive procedure with downtime of up to 11 days.  Laser Frequency Settings are adjusted to suit the skin type and to treat varying skin problems including sun damage spots, rosacea, melisma, acne scars, uneven skin tone and fine lines and wrinkles, whilst resurfacing the skin and promoting the stimulation of collagen to reduce the signs of ageing.

An in-depth consultation with a trained clinical practitioner should be carried out prior to any course of laser treatment.  Post treatment, a high Zinc based SPF cream should always be applied and sun exposure should be avoided.


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