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We’re all agreed that Angelina Jolie has the most amazing skin, right? Yes, we know there’s great products being used and she has access to the best makeup artists in the biz, but her complexion is flawless. Her secret? A high-tech facial called Laser Genesis, which she describes as, “feeling like warm raindrops on the skin”. It’s painless, takes about 30 minutes and there’s no downtime. At around £225 a pop (prices vary) it’s not cheap but here are all the things that it can help with; reducing redness, smoothing wrinkles, tightening pores, boosting collagen production and targeting and deactivating the tiny blood vessels that contribute to rosacea. Making this treatment arguably one of the most effective and suitable for all skin types and skin issues out there.
Of course, whenever there is a treatment that a celeb raves about, our Beauty Director SJ isn’t far behind. She was one of the first to try JLo’s Hydrafacial when that launched and when she heard about a new Botox Mist Facial that shrinks pores, she booked in immediately.
So when facialist expert, Nicola Russell aka The Skin Geek, who is an expert in doing Angelina’s favourite Laser Genesis facial, was in London (she divides her time between the Fitzrovia Clinic in London and her Skin Geek salon in Falkirk, Scotland) she headed to the clinic to find out what all the fuss was about.
What is the Laser Genesis facial?
Laser Genesis utilises a laser called nd:YAG. Russell explains to me that the reason nd:YAG is so effective is because it was originally developed for laser hair removal treatments as it can penetrate deep into the skin and target pigment in hair but also because, “it’s one of the few lasers that doesn’t recognise skin tone so can be used on all skin colours.”
However, clever skin scientists soon realised what it could also do is target and neutralise blood vessels that cause skin issues like rosacea as well as stimulating collagen making it a great laser to use on the face too. “The treatment pulses laser into the skin which causes a controlled wound,” explains Russell. “The skin then responds by producing collagen to repair itself. Because the laser is so targeted and precise it can also get into the microcapillaries that cause redness, flushing and rosacea. We all have thousands of capillaries in the skin and they tend to be bunched together. nd:YAG laser can target them and cortorise them preventing them from causing future flushing. It’s not strong enough to target the big juicy veins that you may have around your nose but for smaller ones it’s very effective.”
She also tells me that it’s a great treatment for anyone suffering with acne, “the laser kills bacteria underneath the skin surface so is a great option for anyone that gets spots”. In fact laser Genesis is the treatment model Kendall Jenner credits with improving her acne. “It’s also very effective at breaking up pigmentation patches,” continues Russell. “It’s my most popular treatment because I can tailor it to suit any skin type and it can help with nearly all skin issues.”
The frequency and intensity has been tweaked from how it is used when removing hair on the body making it safe to use on the face. “It won’t get rid of facial hair so men can have the treatment too, it won’t blast away beards! But you may get a faint scent of burnt hair when having Laser Genesis.”
SJ’s verdict on the Laser Genesis Facial
My treatment begins with Russell thoroughly cleansing my face and giving it a good massage. This is for two reasons. One, because it’s lovely and relaxing and two, because Russell believes that by stimulating the lymphatic drainage and getting the circulation going the treatment works better.
Then it’s on to the main event, the laser. Having a laser put on your face may or may not sound intimidating to you. If it does, I can promise it sounds more dramatic than the reality, especially as you have your eyes closed and covered with some very stylish goggles anyway. The laser is a handheld gadget that looks like a probe and is held about 1cm away from completely dry and product-free skin. It’s moved round the entire face in sections but can be concentrated in areas that need it most.
Russell told me beforehand that it will feel warm and a bit like lying in the sun. Or, if you’re of a certain generation and had a grandma with an old-school electric fire, it feels exactly like sitting a bit too close to one of those. Angelina Jolie describes it as the ‘warm raindrop facial’ and I would concur that this is an excellent description. It feels like heat being pulsed onto the skin. It isn’t painful or uncomfortable. I could have fallen asleep while it was happening and it took about 15 minutes in total.
My treatment was then followed by a mild exfoliating enzyme mask and a ten minute session under a LED light, which isn’t a standard part of the treatment but something that Russell likes to do to help reduce the redness in the skin as you will leave the treatment with a slightly pink face.
My pale complexion is prone to redness and a mark and bruise quite easily so I still leave the treatment looking a bit pink and flushed but after two hours my skin has returned to normal.
Afterwards, you must avoid heat – so no saunas, hot tubs or steam rooms – for two days and keep skincare to basic and gentle products that will moisturise and that’s it. No retinol or high strength vitamin C serums required. A great face SPF is essential.
In terms of results, a week after my treatment I noticed a considerable different in the redness around my nose. I always have to go in with extra concealer to tone it down and now I don’t have to use any. That’s quite something after just one session. My skin has also looked and felt extraordinarily plump and juicy. If you are looking to treat skin concerns such as acne or rosacea I have no doubt that this is a great treatment but you will require multiple sessions, however I’ve heard great things from friends after just one.
I can see why Angelina Jolie turns to this treatment to keep her skin ticking over. It’s time efficient, requires very little to no downtime but also because this one high-tech treatment targets so many skin issues so while it does come with a high price point, it’s sorting lots of things in one go.