In need of some serious rebuilding, Imogen Edwards-Jones tries the Byonik facial powered by NASA research
Sarah-Jayne, the lady with the laser panel probes poised above my face, was trying to be kind.
“Your skin,” she hesitated, while I lay there looking up at the ceiling. “Your skin is… um, a little blocked and, um, a little grey-looking.”
Poor love. She was trying her best when confronted with my baggy chamois leather cheeks that have been left out in the hot Ibiza sun all summer, their only hydration being large bottles of rose wine the size of small children.
As you might realise, I’m not a girl who looks after her skin. I don’t have unctions falling over themselves in my bathroom cabinet. I don’t even have a regime. I’m the first on the sun lounger and the last out on to the street, stumbling around, mole-eyed, looking for a taxi. And I smoke. Not quite like a teenager at buttock-clenchingly awful party, but not far off.
After precisely 45 minutes of lying down and feeling nothing, my skin was radically different
So when I get myself together enough to book a face appointment to do something about the terrible state of everything, I need something that actually works. Frankly, the last thing I need is to have someone pat pretty little potions on my enormous eye-bags while rigid with irritation, I stare up at their nasal hair.
It was with great excitement that I bounded into the reassuringly glamorous confines of the soon-to-open Cosmesurge clinic on London's Harley Street to sample Byonik, the UK’s first personalised laser treatment facial guided by your own heartbeat. An odd concept, but apparently the brains at NASA have discovered there’s an optimal moment when your cells can absorb moisture and it’s linked to the millisecond before your heart actually beats.
Very clever them, obviously, with all that lovely science, but can they make a silk purse out of this sow’s face?
First using creams from the B yonik Concur Anti-Pollution and Anti-Ageing skincare range, Sarah-Jayne cleanses my face which apparently released a lot of sebum (perhaps you didn’t want to know that. I certainly didn’t). And then she slathers on a papaya mask, which is all designed to make my skin brighter and more alive. While she is massaging away, she goes on to explain that the Byonik treatment can be used for those with acne, rosacea and as a way of speeding up the recovery from other more aggressive procedures.
And then finally, at last, comes the laser. I’ve had laser before and it was rather uncomfortable. It felt a little as if I were putting my face under the grill and sizzling it gently like a rasher of bacon. But this one combines red and near-infrared light and is much gentler on the skin. Unlike other anti-ageing skin treatments, this one does not damage the skin in order for it to repair itself. Unlike needling or deep peeling or other harsher laser treatments, this is atraumatic, which means there is no downtime. And most importantly – it’s painless.
From underneath my protective shades, with my heartbeat monitor strapped to my finger, it was difficult to work out where the laser panel probes were. All I knew was they were supposed to zap my skin in time with my heartbeat, thereby maximizing the absorption rate of the hyaluronic acid. And the percentage strength of the acid chosen for me was obviously indicative of quite how far along the crone spectrum one is.
“I think we’ll use the Superior,” said Sarah-Jayne, opting for the highest hyaluronic acid content serum (51per cent) in the range, which is usually reserved for old boots.
“Yes,” agreed her assistant, nodding knowledgeably while inspecting my skin. “Superior.”
And off Sarah-Jayne went, layering in the Superior while shooting red and green lights at my face while I just lay there and thought about what I might have for lunch.
“Oh,” said Sarah-Jayne as she turned off the lights and leant in for a closer look.
“Amazing,” agreed her assistant wielding my phone.
“I haven’t seen plumping like that in a while.”
“Plumping is good? Right?” I mumbled from under the shades.
“Excellent,” replied Sarah-Jayne, giving me cheek a prod. “Look at the bounce.”
And she was right. After precisely 45 minutes of lying down and feeling nothing, my skin was radically different. It felt smooth, all the lumps and nascent acne bumps had disappeared and in their place was a pair of lush baby’s buttocks. My face felt fuller, smoother and it certainly looked a lot brighter.
And that wasn’t the only thing that felt brighter. I did. It’s extraordinary what a good mood having good skin puts you in, and it’s only afterwards that you realise how depressing it is to look old and grey and practically pensionable.
“Right,” I said as I checked myself in the mirror, looking, I could safely say, at least a decade younger. “Right,” I repeated, a spring returning to my stride. “Thank you very much. I’m off to do something really very important today. Something very important indeed!”
Imogen's latest novel The Witches of St Petersburgh (Head of Zeus £18.99) is out now.
The Byonik laser treatment costs around £220-£275 per session Byonik.net . It's available at The Skin to Love Clinic in St Albans.