If your skin feels like it’s suffering from the change of season, you’re definitely not alone. While the UK cranks up the heating, in Dubai we’re (finally) turning off the A/C and spending more time outdoors, which means more sun and more pollution clogging up our pores. It’s tricky managing our skin in this part of the world at the best of times, as freezing recirculated air is hardly ideal either.
As such, an invitation to have a bespoke pHformula facial landed in my inbox at just the right time. Newly launched in Dubai two years ago, pHformula is described as a ‘dermatological skin resurfacing system’ positioned between cosmeceuticals and the physicians practice.
As someone who hasn’t dabbled with acids or gone beyond any surface level treatments before, I was intrigued to understand more about professional skin resurfacing and how the combination of products could be used to tackle different skin concerns.
In my case, that was horrendous hormonal acne. I did not sign up for teenage skin at 36, and yet having thrown every product at it that I could think of, it stubbornly refused to budge, getting more angry and inflamed by the day. Add into the mix overall dehydration and my skin was in dire need of some TLC.
After explaining my concerns to the therapist, we decided to focus on a treatment that would reduce the breakouts and balance out oil production as the first step, moving to then work on any post inflammatory hyperpigmentation spots (from acne scarring – I’m a squeezer, sue me) and brighten my skin complexion overall.
Safe to assume this wouldn’t all be achieved in 60 minutes, but I liked having a roadmap of what we could do in the short-term to fix the immediate concern, and work towards healing bigger problems that I’d been struggling with, but haven’t known how to tackle. See aforementioned ‘kitchen sink’ approach.
Here’s the full lowdown of what I had done…
Step one: Double cleanse with the E.X.F.O. cleanser to break down the dirt, impurities and to clean my skin, leave it feeling more hydrated already.
Step two: A skin primer was applied to prepare my skin, removing any excess oil or grease to ensure maximum product penetration.
Step three: S.P. complex to determine the tolerance of my skin, which then helps the therapist to choose the most appropriate treatment strength and how many layers can be applied.
Step four: Time for A.C skin resurfacing: This was chosen to target my unbalanced skin, which was experiencing some breakouts. The aim was to improve a variety of skin concerns, including imperfections, excess sebum, enlarged pores, uneven skin texture and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The therapist worked at a specific strength and applied three separate layers of the acid, applied via a large cotton tip and rubbed with pressure into the skin.
Step five: The therapist applied a hydra gel mask to calm and soothe my skin following the resurfacing. It also served a dual purpose of reinstating some hydration into my skin and healing the skin’s barrier due to the chicory root extract in the mask.
Step six: Application of post recovery cream: Suitable for all skin types, the cream contributes to attracting water to the skin to enhance hydration.
Step seven: Final application of SPF 50+: A very high broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection ideal to use outdoors.
After some initial redness, my skin calmed very quickly and my breakouts were noticeably less red and angry immediately after. The texture of my skin felt plumped up and fresh – I’ll definitely be back.
Check out @pHformulaUAE for more information on products, treatments and the approved list of clinics and salons to book your treatment.
words by Laura
For more news & events in Dubai click here.