* Prices may differ from that shown
Since reaping the benefits of Olay's Thermal Skin Polisher and 3 Point treatment Cream, two products I happily converted to a few months ago, I decided to place some more of my faith into the Olay brand purchasing their Micro-Dermabrasion & Mini-Peeling Kit, a high street alternative to two popular but expensive clinical treatments. Purchased from Boots for £25.99 the kit is not cheap, especially considering usage is limited to around fifteen or so applications although from time to time Boots run a three for two promotion across Olay's entire range so savings can be found if you coincide your purchase with their offers but if your prepared to shop around there are more competitive prices to be found at Superdrug and on Amazon and Ebay.
Scratching The Surface And Peeling Back The Years....What Are Micro Dermabrasion And Mini Peels?
Micro-derm-abrasion or small-skin-exfoliation is a form of facial exfoliation using crystals to deep clean the pores to effectively remove dead skin cells and rejuvenate dull skin. The procedure is generally performed in salons and clinics and regarded as an effective treatment to reduce the appearance of enlarged pores, blemish marks and acne scaring as well as evening skin pigmentation and skin texture. Mini Peels have become increasingly popular with varying degrees of results depending on the strength of the solution used. They are recognised for reducing the appearance of fine lines, evening the skin tone and tightening and firming the skin. Olay's peel activator apparently stimulates collagen and elastin production in the skin as well as reducing the appearance of fine lines.
Loving The Skin Your In?....Why I Decided To Purchase The Kit
It's only in recent years I have adopted a more mature approach to skin care, disciplining myself to implement a regimental skin care regime. For the most, I'm fairly comfortable with my skins condition but it's far from perfect and I'm fully aware my biggest concerns are self inflicted. I'm a smoker, which has a detrimental effect on my skin, accelerating the signs of aging. I'm fairly certain the crows feet around my eyes and fine lines on my forehead have been exaggerated because of my nicotine addiction and not just age alone. I've always suffered sensitive skin, one minute it's dry the next I have oil breakouts but it's enlarged pores that cause me the most concern as my blemish marks are superficial and can be concealed by make up, where as enlarged pores generally appear more prominent. I was intrigued by Olay's claim that this kit could take me one step closer to healthier looking skin. Certainly the pigmentation on my cheeks could do with attention and the texture of my skin wasn't as smooth as it could be before I began using.
The Whole Kit And Caboodle....
The kit contains two separate products, part of Olay's Regenerist range, instantly recognisable thanks to the black and red packaging, universal throughout this collection. Both products are encased in a plastic insert into the cardboard box which, although small, is still, in my opinion slightly over packaged but at least fully recyclable and the contents are easy to remove and access.
The first product is a 50ml screw top jar of the dermabrasion solution. A bright orange substance with the consistency of a part set jelly densely peppered with thousands of tiny bicarbonate crystals that offer a coarse contrast to the silky smooth gel to which they're contained. A scent reminiscent of tart oranges is noticeable when first opening the jar, although not pungent, a subtle hint that dissolves as soon as it comes into contact with the skin, a welcome relief as I'm not partial to scented products on my face. The second product is a 59ml tube of the mini peel activator. A translucent, odourless, serum dispensed from a flip top jar that is applied on top of the crystals and then massaged onto the skin.
Use Me, Don't Abuse Me....
The derma kit is suitable for those with sensitive skin, like myself although the application process is not as mild as your average facial wash and first time users may be discouraged by the fairly invasive nature of the treatment so I don't think it suitable if you suffer excessively dry or sensitive skin and I definitely wouldn't use if if I have any cuts. Olay recommend that the product be used twice weekly as part of a regular skin care regime but not in conjunction with other skin scrubs on the day of use. As a word of caution I would suggest you only attempt the treatment at night to allow your skin to recuperate whilst you sleep and also because immediately after using your skin maybe left quite blotchy. After using, the skin on my cheeks is generally a little discoloured and quite red as a result of the scrubbing.
The Application Process....Step One-Scratching The Surface
The crystals are the first phase of the treatment and need to be applied to a clean, dry face, a slightly odd feeling if you use scrubs on a regularly especially as scrubs I've used in the past require application to damp skin. One teaspoon equivalent is all that's required per application, just as well as I'm not convinced I could stomach scrubbing my face with a larger amount. Rubbing the crystals in a circular motion (avoiding the delicate under eye area) for one minute is sufficient for each treatment and I tend to concentrate a little longer on problematic areas around the apples of my cheeks where I suffer enlarged pores and superficial blemish marks. The sensation of coarse crystals on dry skin is not the most pleasant and the jelly substance contributes no moisture so the process is quite scratchy and dry. Application is best described as mildly uncomfortable as the crystals exfoliate the surface of the skin. It's a feeling that takes a couple of applications to acclimatise to and even then I still couldn't say I particularly look forward to the process but that said it doesn't cause irritation or leave my skin over sensitive.
The Application Process....Step Two-Take The Rough With The Smooth
Again, around a teaspoon full of solution is required and is easily dispensed although the jar is not transparent and so it's easy to over pour the contents and use a little too much. I'm almost certain that my jar will run out a few applications before the crystals. The activator needs to be evenly dispersed over the face on top of the crystals and massaged into the skin for a further minute. The non stinging, light weight solution offers a welcome relief from the dry crystals in the form of a soft, light weight, creamy foam, much the same as a standard facial wash but minus the froth. The activator seems to breakdown the crystals causing some to disintegrate and is gentle on the skin and easily massaged thanks to it's silky consistency. It's upon application of the activator that I could first feel there was a notable difference to the texture of my skin which now felt almost perfectly smooth. Rinsing with warm water and pat drying the treatment is finished. A process that takes no more than three minutes or so.
On The Face Of It....My Results
I have to be honest I was sceptical about how efficient this product would be and I'm not naive enough to believe that a high street treatment could ever be as effective as a clinic alternative but I have been fairly happy with the results I have achieved so far although results have been less than amazing. I have persevered with the kit twice weekly for almost five weeks now in conjunction with Olay's Thermal Skin Polisher and 3 Point Treatment Cream so it's possible that a combination of the products has contributed to the improvement of the condition of my skin as opposed to just this product alone.
After the first use there was a dramatic improvement to the texture of my skin and with subsequent uses on a regular basis the product has helped to retain an all over even appearance to my skins texture. My skin is always incredibly soft and feels hydrated after using although the smooth appearance is temporary, lasting just a couple of days at most. My complexion has now become significantly brighter. The whole process, although uncomfortable does not leave my skin sensitive or sore, quite the opposite. My pores have been dramatically minimised, one aspect that I'm most impressed with, however these are all results I was already experiencing with daily use of Olay's skin polisher although this kit seems to have accelerated the results. Other aspects such as evening my skin tone, removing light blemish marks and reducing the appearance of fine lines has been disappointing. Whilst the surface of my skin is now toned the marks and fine lines are still visible and don't appear to be any less defined than when I began using.
To Buy or Not Buy....That Is The Question
Overall I would recommend Olay's Dermabrasion and Mini Peel Kit. It does provide some pretty good results although it's no miracle cure. These treatments are designed to be progressive and not aggressive but if Olay's derma kit can't remove light blemishes I doubt it could be used as an effective treatment against stubborn ones so I don't think it will be suitable for those with more serious scarring.
The results I have achieved have made the product, for me, a worth while buy but not at £25.00. The price could be justified if Olay were to include a finishing cream or perhaps even the option of a small resurfacing tool like other kits include. It's clear that to maintain the results I will need to continue to use regularly and I'm not sure I can justify the purchase of such a costly product if I can't guarantee I will fully experience all the advertised benefits. On the whole I have been reasonably impressed with the kit although I have reservations regarding the long term effects the fairly invasive procedures can have on the skin. I feel Olay's derma kit is little more than an over priced facial scrub, all be it a good one that delivers good results but not good enough for the price. Overall I have awarded three stars, dropping two stars because the price is too high.