Pimples and acne are part of the deal as a teenager. It goes hand-in-hand with curfews and zero alcohol limits. It sucks, sure, but it will one day magically clear up and you’ll ditch the braces, discover contact lenses, your skin will miraculously clear up overnight and you’ll magically blossom into Beyoncé – just time for the Year 12 Formal. But what happens if your skin doesn’t get the memo?
I tried various types of the Pill, I was prescribed expensive medicated facewash, I consulted a naturopath who put me on strict 30-day cleanse, I changed make-up and skincare brands with regularity… and I even experimented with different pillowcases. I became best friends with various industrial-strength concealers as it just became something to manage. The reality was that I was living in constant fear that a particularly bad breakout would happen before an event, a date or a big meeting at work. Which it inevitably did. And being a crazy pimple popper, I always made it 10 times worse every time, that just added to the cycle.
Looking back, the only time I’d ever really been pimple-free was when I was pregnant. I was a brilliant side effect of enforced clean living and baby hormones and I relished it walking out of the house with just a slather of BB cream and a lick of mascara. It was only then that I realised what a problem my skin actually was for me and how much it had been affecting my self-esteem, my confidence, my motivation to socialise and sometimes, on particularly bad days (normally when my period was due), my enthusiasm to even leave the house. It was a light bulb moment.
So once the newborn fog wore off and I stumbled back into the workforce, the pimples had returned and I knew that it was time to take action and find a way to have pregnant shiny skin as my new normal.
I had been into Clearskincare Clinics before for laser hair removal and had always been curious about their skincare treatments, so I decided to give Dr Phillipa McCaffery’s Acne Treatment a try. It promises to “eliminate acne, breakouts and pimples permanently without using any drugs or products and has no side effects” with a 95% success rate after six to 10 treatments. Could this really be the solution to my 15 plus years of adult acne?
I was mildly sceptical going in, as I just didn’t want this to be another false promise. My technician explained acne is caused by “rogue” sebaceous glands that produce too much oil. The treatment would literally blast every gland that was visible on my face with heat through a tiny needle, melting them away and effectively stopping the acne cycle.
And the promise is after six to 10 treatments the end result is clear, acne-free skin. The first treatment took just 30 minutes and it was unexpectedly painless. I could feel the small needle for a split second but I visualised it blasting that pimple and felt great. Take that acne! The final 20 minutes was spent with an eye mask under a UV light, which was surprisingly relaxing and having an enforced time with no chance of scrolling through Instagram was quite nice (albeit initially unnerving).
I had to go out that evening and was worried I’d look like Samantha in that Sex and The City face-peel episode, but there was minimal redness. The technician told me that it might get worse before it gets better, and to look her in the eye and promise not to undertake my nasty popping addiction on any pimples that formed.
After a few days, my skin honestly felt amazing. I still have some minor spots but overall it felt clear, smooth and I felt confident in just BB Cream. I returned for the 2nd treatment and the therapist was blown away. She said she found it hard to find pimples to treat! Result! I walked out feeling slightly amazed that this whole time, the solution was this easy. I will continue to do the treatment down the track as the odd breakout appears, but at least I have something in my repertoire that is effective and easy to access. It’s such a relief to know I don’t need to carry a baby to have great skin.
Women’s Health readers receive a FREE Dr McCaffery’s Acne Treatment Express.