Pigmentation, be gone!
What: Dermaceutic Spot Peel with Debbie Thomas.
The lowdown: Ever wondered what that block of colour on your forehead is? Lurking around your upper lip or across your cheeks? If you’re pregnant, on the pill or juggling antibiotics, it may be hormonal melasma. But Debbie Thomas can help. Unlike the peels of old, hers doesn’t throw bleaching agents at the problem, but stops skin from making more melanin. After a punchy, two-week, at-home regimen, you’ll be back for the peel. Go home, clean it off before bed, and carry on where you left off the next day.
Our verdict: Steer clear of the sun and you’ll see results within a fortnight — less patchy, generally perkier skin.
Details: From £450. At 305 Brompton Road, SW3 (debbiethomas.co.uk; 020 7581 5211).
PIGMENTED ACNE SCARS
What: Consultation with Dr Nick Lowe at the Cranley Clinic.
The lowdown: Sometimes red, sometimes brown, always there — spots leave behind some of the most stubborn pigment. And to get rid of it, you need a proper game plan. So pay a visit to Dr Nick Lowe, who believes in attacking from all angles — but gently. He might start off with some sessions of Fraxel Dual, a low-energy laser run in lines across the face, which causes skin to shed and fresh cells to resurface. Next, a quick blitz of his ruby laser — a focused beam of red light that fades problem patches. For scars on the back and shoulders, he’ll brush on a VI Peel, which contains salicylic acid to break down discoloration on thicker hides.
Our verdict: It sounds full-on but hang in there — three months later, you’ll be blemish-free.
Details: Ruby laser, from £250; VI Peel, from £300; Fraxel Dual, from £350. At the Cranley Clinic, 19a Cavendish Square, Wl (drnicklowe.com; 020 7499 3223).
What: Skin Matters Bespoke Facial, plus MPX laser with Joanne Evans.
The lowdown: Not only does Joanne’s bespoke facial completely resuscitate a worn-out face, but she’ll also tweak it to tackle blotchiness too. Perhaps by painting a thick, orangey layer of beta-carotene gel across decolletages, or whipping out an ultrasound probe to help a brightening vitamin C solution penetrate the skin. There are lactic-acid peels to jolly things up and calming aloe-vera masks, but her trump card is her Elite MPX IPL laser, which shoots infrared rays straight into splodges with a three, two, one — flash! of light.
Our verdict: Spots will instantly darken, so things seem worse before they get better. Everything settles down in five days, leaving you looking like a happier, clearer-skinned version of yourself. Ha!
Details: From £200. At the Medical Rooms, Royal Garden Hotel, 2-24 Kensington High Street, W8 (skin-matters.co.uk; 020 7938 2195).
What: CO2 laser with Marko Lens.
The lowdown: Age spots, liver spots, sun spots — whatever you want to call them, they’re not pretty. And the backs of our hands seem to bear the brunt. But there’s a way to do away with a mottled dermis. Cue Marko Lens. His powerful C02 laser removes the top layer of skin with a tidy back-and-forth motion that magically rubs offending marks out. We won’t lie — it burns. But there’s anaesthetic cream to take the edge off and the sizzling is kept snappy.
Our verdict: Things get a little crusty over the next week, and nuked areas look red for about 20 days. But the results? Ta-dah! Hands as clear as the day you were born. Details: From £250 for up to five spots. At 20 Wimpole Street, Wl (markolens.com; 020 7631 3212).
What: CryoPen at Fiona and Marie Aesthetics.
The lowdown: If you’ve ever found yourself peering in the mirror, painting over those dark patches that pop up on your temples, the ones that refuse to fade no matter HOW much concealer you use — well, you can stop. Because in less than 20 minutes, Fiona or Marie (both brilliant, both total whizzes with niggly skin complaints) will have things sorted. Instead of heating, blasting or dissolving pigment, their nifty CryoPen works by making everything very, very cold — by applying freezing, liquid nitrous oxide directly to the skin, which kills the cells. While things thaw out, a tiny scab forms, which soon drops off to reveal virgin skin.
Our verdict: The quickest, easiest, least painful fix you’ll find. You’re welcome.
Details: From £50. At Fiona & Marie Aesthetics, 121 Harley Street, Wl (fionamarie.co.uk; 020 7487 3032).