Last week I visited the Chelsea Bridge Clinic where Ethos London run their medical and aesthetic dermatology treatments, amongst other things. I'd been invited to try a chemical peel, which is an offer I could not refuse in my quest for a more even skin tone. It was the windiest day ever, with the kind of rain that comes at you from all angles, so by the time I'd walked from Sloane Square and across Chelsea Bridge I felt like my face had already had some kind of treatment. The clinic is tucked away beneath the bridge, and is a really beautiful space. Everyone was so welcoming - you're given tea and a comfy seat straight away, perfect for bridge walk recovery.
Vanessa, an aesthetic nurse, took me through to the room (pictured above) and we had a chat about my skin concerns: uneven texture from acne scarring, breakouts, and uneven tone. And some fine lines Vanessa adds as she peers at me, so... I'll also be adding those to my list from now on. After some quick medical history questions Vanessa asks me to lie down and covers my top with what looks like a plastic bib.
Vanessa explained that a series of chemical peels are recommended so that they can incrementally up the strength of the peel each time. They use Exuviance (above), which has a high percentage of glycolic acid to safely remove the top layer of dead skin cells and penetrate through the next layer to encourage collagen production. As your skills builds up a resistance, the percentage of glycolic acid can be increased to get better results each time.
After my skin is washed, the peel is delicately applied, and Vanessa sets the timer for five minutes, asking me all the time if it's too painful. It tingles a bit, but no way does it hurt, and I can do the whole five minutes easily. Vanessa tells me that it depends on a person's skin sensitivity; some people ask for it to be removed after a couple of minutes. Next, the peel is neutralised and removed, cooling gel applied, and then the all important sunscreen as peels make you even more susceptible to sun damage. Not that it was sunny that day, I may have mentioned ahem, but those rays can get you on cloudy days too.
This is such a speedy treatment, because the peel can only be on for a maximum of five minutes you can be in and out of the clinic in half an hour, if it's not your initial consultation appointment. The results are so good, I wanted to go back for a stronger peel immediately! You do have to wait two weeks between treatments, and apply a very mild glycolic acid product each night to help your skin get used to it, but I can see why celebrities use peels before big red carpet occasions. The day of my treatment and the next day my skin looked amazing, really plumped up and glowing, I got really excited because my acne scars looked barely there and I was hopeful they'd be gone forever. Sadly, my skin returned to normal, but it's exactly a week today since I had the peel and my face is incredibly soft, with less blemishes. If the lowest grade peel can be this good, I'm excited to see what a series of them can do. This is an excellent treatment for targeting a range of skin concerns from scarring and ageing to blemishes and uneven skin tone, and I'd really recommend Ethos for their friendly, helpful staff. Just get a taxi over the bridge if the weather is bad, it can get rough up there.
Call Ethos London for a discussion about their treatments and prices 0207 871 5511