Weeks ago, I headed up to Gangnam, Seoul for a first time aqua peel treatment at Renovo Skin Clinic. My skin has been more hydrated since I started using Korean face masks, but as I'm nearing my third decade of life, I figured it's time to really know my skin and continue to take care of it. I learned about Renovo while doing some research online and found that they give great detailed skin consultations. I was also looking for a clinic that offered aqua peel treatments, and it turns out Renovo is quite established in the dermatology field, popping out happy satisfied customers.
What is an aqua peel? The process is one that cleans, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates your skin. The treatment is effective in removing dead skin cells, sebum, debris from clogged pores including blackheads, and demodex impurities (tiny microscopic skin mites that we all have living on our skin and hair follicles that causes acne)! The procedure is known to have minimal risk, low recovery time and is not time consuming. Being an everyday makeup wearer and having an obsession with skin care, I figured this treatment would be helpful after all these years of wearing makeup.
When I first arrived at the clinic, I was glad to have met Tony who spoke fluent English and gave the preliminary skin consultation. This was followed by a more in depth consultation with a dermatologist. From a quick photo taken at the office, Tony looked into my skin pigmentation, skin tone, sebum levels and results of UV exposure over the years. All this information from a photo! It turns out I have dry skin (this wasn't new news), but also a lot of pigmentation below the skin's surface I never knew existed (we are not talking about freckles here, but sun damage hidden deep within the skin that will become more evident in the years to follow).
Your photo is uploaded on the computer and assessed for pigmentation, skin tone, sebum levels and effects of UV exposure.
Well, the take aways I received from the consultations are that wearing sunscreen is essential (Koreans here wear sunscreen with an average SPF of 50 daily), to drink tons of water, and to reduce alcohol consumption. Sunscreen helps prevent skin pigmentation disorders, and your skin will be less dry and renew itself faster with less alcohol intake. It seems obvious, but does anyone else find it difficult to develop consistency in these areas? When this was mentioned, I could only think about my bladder retention, all those times I had to hold off a bathroom visit while teaching and/or during a makeup job, and summertime patios paired with a glass of rose...however, I digress. Moving forward, I will commit to taking better care of my skin. I also learned that only laser treatments, like the Excel V can dramatically reduce skin pigmentation by up to 20% per session and increase skin radiance; this is something I may revisit later on down the road.
The aqua peel treatment itself took much less time than expected - I was in and out of the treatment room within 45 minutes. When I first laid down on the treatment bed, I had pads put on my eyes, and a thin cream was put on my face that is meant to help loosen skin cells and encourage peeling. A facial steamer was placed close by to get the skin pores to open and ready for suctioning. The suction tool came next. The specialist worked away at vacuuming all the gunk off my face (I'm not sure how much there was but the whole process felt incredibly satisfying and painless). After this process, the skin was cleaned and a formula was applied to my face, which was then covered by a sheet mask. This was followed by a thick vitamin and mineral-enriched goop that was placed on top of the sheet mask, covering my entire face. It had a refreshing scent and was cool to touch. After about 15 minutes, the specialist removed the mask and put some more creams on my face (so many creams)!