Review - Clear Skincare Clinic Express Microdermabrasion
I was a lucky recipient of a gift voucher for an Express Microdermabrasion in the Clear Skincare Clinic. Having been a regular customer of Ella Baché's microdermabrasion I was both excited to compare but also felt a bit guilty to try a new place. The Clear Skincare Clinic that I chose was in Macquarie Centre.
Clear Skincare Clinic in Macquarie Centre
What is microdermabrasion
The name 'microdermabrasion' could sound harsh and intimidating. However, it can be catered for all skin types. By incorporating different products and using different settings on the machine, it can be customised for sensitive, normal, dry or oily skin.
Microdermabrasion is a specialist facial technique used to physically dislodge the surface layer of dead skin cells. It improves skin texture, reduces the appearance of pigmentation, smooths fine lines and boosts cellular turnover for a smoother and brighter complexion.
More background on microdermabrasion can be found in my previous microdermabrasion blog post.
About half an hour before my appointment I received a voicemail saying that the schedule was running late. These things happen, but I was already at the shopping centre by that time so the phone call did not help me a great deal to re-plan my time. I arrived the clinic at the new time, but still had to wait for about 10-15 minutes before I was seen.
The clinic has a minimalist design and the lighting is too bright. It makes me feel tensed rather than relaxed which is the complete opposite of what I wanted to achieve in a facial treatment. While waiting for the therapist I was asked to complete the following disclaimer.
Clear Skincare Clinic disclaimer
This was my least favourite part of the experience. The therapist took a close-up picture of my skin using her i-pad, showed me a zoomed-in picture and pointed to almost every single flaw there was - dehydration, pigmentation, uneven texture, fine lines... you name it. And then, of course, she started cross-selling: laser, peel, LED... Being a makeup artist I have seen a lot of skin closely so I know that no skin is perfect and no one is going to look at my skin that close (well, except my makeup artist who is me). She didn't go very far with that strategy with me, but I can see that it could be very effective on others who might get a bit shaken by seeing their own skin like that.
Express Microdermabrasion ($59) is designed to be a quick 10-minute appointment consisting of one single pass of microdermabrasion. The steps explained on the website are:
1. DOUBLE CLEANSE with our signature glycolic acid Gel Cleanser
2. EXFOLIATION with a single pass of our diamond tip technology
3. BOOST with active serum application customised to your skin & concerns
4. CORRECT + PROTECT with our SPF Clear Skincare BB Cream
The treatment room has a very simple set up with paper towels on the treatment bed like a GP clinic. No music, no essential oils, no frills. I did not have to changed into a robe before lying down on my back (and with shoes on, too). The steps above pretty much sum up the treatment, except that mine consisted of a double cleanse, one pass of microdermabrasion and only hyaluronic serum application. Even with one step missing, the whole process was longer than 10 minutes - more like 15-20 minutes. It would be wise to factor in some extra time.
Pictured above: Clear Skincare Clinic treatment room
From what I can find about the Universal Medical Aesthetic Ultra Hydro machine that was used in this treatment, the microdermabrasion surface is a diamond tip, with the wand simultaneously sucking away the dead skin cells shed in the process. The action is different from my usual microdermabrasion treatment which uses powerful streams of pure organic flower grains instead of diamond tip.
Pictured above: microdermabrasion machine used in Clear Skincare Clinic Macquarie Centre
I am glad that I am a microdermabrasion regular. I know from my experience that microdermabrasion can feel abrasive (like a strip of sand paper dragged across the skin). However, I also know from my experience that the discomfort should not be painful - and if it is, the therapist needs to be informed immediately to change the setting. This particular therapist must be quite experienced - she chose a setting that felt just right for my skin. The action was consistent and the coverage was thorough. For certain places such as the sides of the nose I actually got "two passes" instead of one. I was very happy with the technique and the way that she did the microdermabrasion.
Since this was an express treatment, I did not get the other steps such as infusion, massage etc etc. That said, the treatment room set up was not really a relaxing or comfortable setting so I was glad to leave as soon as the microdermabrasion was done.
It wasn't until I starting driving home when I felt my skin was getting sensitive - which was probably considered quite "normal", but it was a feeling that I had not experienced before despite regular microdermabrasion. I put it down to the fact that (1) it was my first "diamond tip" microdermabrasion - which is stronger than plant grains, and (2) I did not get the hydration infusion and soothing massage which I would normally get. The sensitivity was calmed within 2 days of using Vanessa Megan's Intensive Dermal Repair, but I wish I had brought the moisturiser with me so I could apply it immediately after.
Despite having the uncomfortable sensitive feeling, my skin did not look red or dry. Once my skin has calmed, it felt smooth, looked radiant and I'd say it worked just as well as the microdermabrasion with the whole lot. So it was indeed very effective - even with just one pass.
Will I go back for another treatment? Express Microdermabrasion is quick, cost-effective and gives good results, but it is very no frills. Can't say that I received any "service" other than the treatment itself either. It suits those who needs to get a no-fills treatment done quickly. For me, going for a facial treatment is an experience, like a treat for me to look forward to. I don't feel Clear Skincare offers what I am looking for in facials, but I may go back for other treatments such as laser hair removal or teeth whitening.
$59 for 10 minutes.
Tips & pointers
Be mentally prepared for it - think of it as a results-driven treatment, rather than a pampering session.
Be prepared for cross-selling - know what you want and say no to what you don't need.
Avoid exfoliation one week prior to treatment.
Bring a calming cream mask or moisturiser to use post-treatment.
Always wear SPF 50+ broad spectrum sunscreen after and between treatments.
I received a voucher as a gift from a person who is not associated with Clear Skincare Clinic. My opinion is honest.
Makeup artist and hair stylist based in Sydney. Founder of the well-known award-winning bridal specialist team Faces Makeup & Hair. Beauty junkie with an obsession for skincare.