Imogen Edwards-Jones is no stranger to pain in the name of beauty, but is the Dermapen worth the red face?
As most Glossers will probably know by now, I am relatively fearless in the face of cosmetic advances. I’ve had the Botox, the fillers, the Sculptra, the peels, the acid, the bleaching, the plucking, the sandblasting, the polyfillering. In fact my face has been lifted, tweaked and plumped more times than the cushions in Buckingham Palace. I am no stranger to the old ‘beauty hurts’ adage. Actually, I am a little dubious of anything that doesn’t sting or smart like hell.
But when it was suggested I might try out this newfangled Dermapen (£350 per treatment, www.medicetics.com ) that is at the forefront in the battle against crone face, I was, I have to say, a little nervous. I’d had a brush with its older sister, Dermaroller, a few months ago and honestly it was like having my face eaten off by a caterpillar with razor teeth.
It was effective, I grant you. Just like the Dermapen, the head of needles prick the skin, traumatising it enough so as to trick it into producing more collagen. But it was not a pleasurable experience and certainly not one that I was rushing back to repeat. My fears were also not allayed when I was sent a special gentle face wash (Tebiskin) and a super-duper moisturiser (Terproline) to use for ten days before the treatment to help prepare my skin. What on earth were they going to do to me?
The charming Vicky Dondos at Medicetics on Connaught Street, W1, tried to put my mind at rest. She re-slathered my face with more numbing cream (adding to the layer I’d put on an hour previously) and repeatedly told me it wouldn’t hurt. However even as I lay there with my terry headband on, I could feel my heart pounding and my bowels weakening by the minute.
“Ready?” she asked, holding up what looked like a rather aggressive electric toothbrush.
“Mmm,” I managed to squeak, as I grabbed the chair handles and braced myself for a root canal all over my face.
“I’ll be running the machine over each section of your face three times.”
“It works better with three.”
Oh, God. I closed my eyes and prayed... and actually, it wasn’t that bad - probably because I’d had so much numbing cream on my face I couldn’t really feel it. Some sections were more painful than others; between the eyes, the top lip, and my temples where the skin is thin. But it was not the full face of needles that I was expecting. It was bearable. I would even go so far as to say ‘fine.’
The downtime on the other hand is a different story. You leave the surgery with a face like a smacked arse. You wake up the next morning with a face like a smacked arse, you do the school run looking like smacked arse, you go to meetings with your face shining like a smacked arse, you do the ballet-run with the smacked arse. You go to dinner and pray the lighting is low enough so the whole restaurant doesn’t stare at the smacked arse. You wake up again with the smacked arse. You meet the headmaster with the smacked arse… you get the picture. My husband laughed so much when he came home from work that I thought he might actually pee on his own doormat.
Yes, your face is red. And it stays red for three days - at least - no matter how many times you re-apply the anti-inflammatory cream.
But eventually, the redness disappears and you are left with the sort of dewy, soft, smooth skin of a teenager (without the angst and the Facebook addiction). It is amazing. It’s a miracle! It is marvellous! And no matter how many martinis I drink, or Marlboros I get through, I still wake up fresh faced, smooth-skinned and glowing, looking like I have had about as much fun as Gwyneth Paltrow. Will I do it again? Absolutely. Except next time, I might be a little braver.