This post was written in May 2018.
I am back with a life-changing update for you all!
I had the absolute pleasure of venturing into Smooth Skin Center after I received a complimentary consultation and treatment in my goodie bag from a Milli event that I attended. I met with Amiee the owner and operator of Smooth Skin Care a little over a month ago now and we began this incredible journey to help correct my number one skin issue, HYPERPIGMENTATION. A condition I have been dealing with for over 5 years!
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of the skin due to excess melanin production, making the affected area appear much darker than the rest of the skin. It has a tendency to occur in darker skin tones and it can occur on its own without acne. The hyperpigmentation that I experience is a result of pimples, it doesn't matter if I pop one or leave it alone it's always the same result, in the end, an annoying dark spot that takes months to go away!!!
My Skin History
Soo, I will give you a quick history of my skin. Growing up I had excellent skin! In my teens I never experienced acne, I would get an odd pimple and I did have some light discoloration but nothing I couldn't manage.
Going into university, my late teen's early twenties, I saw a dramatic shift in my skin and body! (It was like I hit puberty lol) I didn't gain an excessive amount of weight or anything, but I noticed my body had more shape to it than before and my skin started to break out before my period, while at the same time, my period symptoms themselves got more severe. I figured these changes where due to a combination of several contributing factors including lack of sleep, stress, drinking, and lack of exercise.
Current day (five years later) I am still battling old scaring and new scaring and things, had improved, but not much. After graduating from school, I made some major lifestyle changes and I could start to afford better skincare products and services. I decided to take a more holistic approach to beauty, something I still advocate for and believe in, but I was not using any medicated products. Which brings us to current day!
Amiee really changed my way of thinking about what "natural" products can do for your skin as opposed to what medicated products can do. I will always be a natural girl, as I still am a strong advocate for the power of natural ingredients. However, medicated products have active ingredients that can penetrate this skin barrier and really treat your skin. When you are treating a pimple, it is similar to treating a wound, you want to treat it with active medicinal ingredients.
My skin tends to overreact (a lovely personality trait of mine) it overproduces new skin causing build-up and that dark appearance in the skin. Therefore it is important to treat the affected area quickly and help to correct my body from overproducing new skin and to regulate normally.
The Smooth Skin Experience!
Amiee was very welcoming on my first visit to the clinic, she did a skin assessment and asked me about my skin concerns, some background info including allergies and skin routine. She then went into to explain why my hyperpigmentation happens completely with a diagram and also her theories as to why my pimples may be occurring. Based on what I told her she felt I had hormonal breakouts and that my hyperpigmentation could not only be treated but prevented.
Amiee swears up and down about not using moisturizer! And I know what you are all thinking, WHAT?! That is insane!! But it makes total sense! Your skin creates moisturizer naturally!!! When we use moisturizer we are sending our skin mixed messages, and we inhibit our skin's natural production of oil. Our skin is packed with receptors that will stimulate oil production, when we apply moisturizer the skin does not produce oil and when we over-dry our skin with really strong cleansers and whatnot, it does the same thing, and thus our skin overproduces oil! So we need to always strike a balance. Using products that allow our skin to breath and balance out our oil production will help to decrease the likelihood of breakouts!
In addition Amiee as swears by exfoliation!! Regular exfoliation is also the key to healthy, glowing, clear skin! When we apply moisturizers we are just packing on more layers of unnecessary stuff on our skin, as well as trapping dead skin and clogging up our pores. This is a huge No-No! When we exfoliate our skin we are making sure the dead skin we shed is off of our skin and allowing our skin to breath which helps our skin to better regulate the production of oil! Daily exfoliation is KEY!!
After my consultation, we began my first treatment! I received 4 consecutive treatments as well as two weeks using only ZO products on my skin! Here is a quick breakdown of the steps Aimee took to treat my skin.
Smooths Skin health prep exfoliation treatment.
Step1: ZO exfoliating polish to remove superficial debris - the polish is made using magnesium crystals which are refined to all be the exact same size and shape for an even polish. Magnesium helps to bring energy to the cells as well. This is like a microdermabrasion facial in a bottle!
Step 2: The crystals are dissolved using a lactic acid solution. Lactic acid and water are like magnets to each other - this step attracts water to the skin while driving the activities of the magnesium to the cells.
Step 3. ZO Invisapeel is massaged into the skin. Invisapeel is an enzyme-based product that aids dead skin cells to release. This step allows for the most efficient exfoliation on a deeper level than even microdermabrasion, without excessive irritation as it prepares the cells and the entire epidermal structure for their release.
Step 4. Peel prep is patted on the skin, absorbing any surface oils that will impede the peels process in the next step.
Step 5. Malic acid 10% is brushed on the skin. The acid peel does not need to be any higher as the skin has already been prepped. The malic acid works like a little Pacman absorbing all of the dead cells that have been lifted and ready for release. Malic acid also draws pigment granules most efficiently, helping to lighten discoloration more effectively than just glycolic acid.
6. I massaged a hydration gel into the skin that helps to supply water binders to the skin's barrier for extra soothing.
These treatments always began with a cleanse, using the ZO cleanser, which feels amazing on the skin. The next step is the microdermabrasion, she uses a wand-like object that feels like a cat licking your face! It is infused with serum and it works to really remove dead layers of skin. The first peel (step 2) is applied this one has a bit more of a warming sensation as it is massaged into the skin, I found this very relaxing. The second peel is a bit more uncomfortable but got better with every treatment, this one is brushed on and then the second product (the peel prep) is patted in and gives a tingling sensation (step 3), but it is definitely tolerable and you can actually feel it working! Lastly, a soothing gel is applied, this feels soooo good on your skin! and a very relaxing way to end the facial.
Zo Skin Health
Amiee was also kind enough to provide me with a complete skincare system to use for about two weeks after my treatments. I used only these products over the two weeks to see how my skin reacted to the products and to give you all the best review possible.
The products I used are;
My Morning Routine
1) Oilacleanse facial cleanser: This product had a light scent, it lathers nicely and has exfoliating beads in it, you really feel clean with this product! I think this would be great for someone with oily skin! I would also use my spin brush or my exfoliating hemp cloth to do a gentle exfoliation every morning!
2) Some mornings I used the Te-Pads but mainly only when I had an active breakout
3) Then I use this SPF breathable tint by Lycogel (sold at Smooth), this product does not break you out and it actually provides really great coverage! You can definitely build with this product.
My Evening Routine
1) Remove makeup with a makeup remover (I currently use the Micellar Water by Garnier)
2) Oilacleanse facial cleanser- with spin bush always if I have makeup on!
3) Offects Te-pads- I like to use this only for my breakouts. This product is really strong and has active ingredients so it tends to dry me out. But I love using it when I have an active breakout, they heal the acne quickly and they also keep the pimples small, which means less of a deep dark mark in the end!
4) Brightamax- I flip flop between the whole face and just on my dark spots. This product is the LIFE-CHANGING PRODUCT it literally lightens dark spots in a matter of days!!! It's incredible, but strong, so my recommendation is to build up the use of this product gradually! Start off with a very thin layer all over the skin and then build more and more. This also causes some peeling but very light so don't get too worried. I only use this at night because it can be very damaging to wear this in the sun and you must use an SPF while using this product!!
These products are all medical-grade products, which mean they have active ingredients, acids that will actually penetrate the skin's barrier. With that being said it is important to meet with a professional that can show you how to use these products safely and effectively to address your skin concerns.
My Rating and Overall Experience
I was so impressed with my results a month after this whole journey began, my skin is clearer, my dark spots are nearly completely faded, my skin feels smoother and looks healthier overall. I have tried countless products to lighten my dark spots, and my intention was to do this in a quick timeline and I can say NOTHING I have tried in the past has worked this effectively and quickly to achieve this! With that being said, I did have a combination of using both the treatments and products and I will say that the most noticeable difference occurred when using the products and having treatment.
These products and treatments are not cheap! I personally have not invested this much into my skincare, but I had wanted to do something like this for so long and was ready to make this investment when I came in for my consultation. The treatment I received I would estimate to cost around $600, I did receive these treatments complementarily. However, Amiee is really great and prices according to your individual needs and will work with you within your budget! I would highly recommend taking up a consultation, and starting the conversation!
Here are the before and after of my skin over the course of the four consecutive treatments:
I did purchase two of the skincare products; Brightamax and the Offects Te-Pads, running me about $170.00 The most I have spent on skincare hands down but I am beyond impressed with my results with just incorporating these two products into my skincare routine it is incredible and I wish I had done this years ago!
I would highly recommend this to anyone with acne, acne scarring or other complex skin conditions. I know how much skin issues can affect your confidence and stress levels, it can be so frustrating trying to combat what seems like a never-ending battle but I cannot stress enough about how much of a positive experience I have had with Amiee.
Amiee was also kind enough to offer a promo for you all! Use promo code SmoothHippie for 10% off your treatment! Book soon, because, for all of November and December, all consultations are free at Smooth Skin Health!
Please let me know if you have any further questions in the comments! I hope this was helpful to anyone thinking about getting something along these lines done!
Thank you once again to Amiee for this amazing experience!
As always Peace & Love
The Hamilton Hippie ✌🏾♥️