20 December 2011

Treatment Tales: Fire and Ice Treatment at The Hospital Group

Excuse scary 'no makeup' images!

I was recently invited to try an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment at The Hospital Group and, before this session, a Fire and Ice facial was recommended to prepare my skin. I was hugely impressed with the results and thought the most effective way of describing it would be showing you these before and after pictures, taken in the Kildare Street Clinic in Dublin. The group also has clinics in Cork, Galway and Belfast as well as a network of 20 clinics across the UK and more than 10 in Spain.

Using iS Clinical products, an American, results-oriented cosmeceuticals brand, the Fire and Ice facial is reportedly popular with Hollywood stars including Halle Berry and Gwyneth Paltrow, and is known in LA as the 'Red Carpet Treatment'.  While described as a facial, it's worlds away from whatever relaxing spa treatment that name might conjure up. The experience feels more like a medical procedure, as befits an intensive clinical treatment that's designed to resurface the skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and encourage cellular renewal. It's said to bridge the gap between salon facials and chemical peels, providing immediate and impressive results with no down-time.
 
This is a two phase facial: after cleansing, the Fire treatment is applied. This is basically a mild glycolic peel that resurfaces the skin: as well as glycolic acid, it contains retinol, citric acid, vitamin B3 and antioxidants. True to the name, it feels warm on the skin and tingles as it's left on for about 5 minutes. To me, it smells like cinnamon.

It's followed by the 'Ice', a rejuvenating masque that cools, soothes and hydrates. The main ingredients are hyaluronic acid, aloe vera gel and extracts of  Japanese green tea, licorice grape seed and rosemary.  This tingles too, and smells like mint. 
 
This treatment had the most dramatic, immediate results I've ever seen. The whole procedure takes about 20 minutes and afterwards, I saw an instant improvement in my skin. It felt plumped up and was noticably softer and smoother than before. I definitely felt I looked younger and fresher, and gratifyingly, I got a lot of compliments in the few days after the treatment.

There were no downsides -- I didn't experience any redness or flaking, just instant results that last for around 4-5 days, during which time I can't stop stroking my face! I'd highly recommend this for a big event or special occasion and, judging by these results, the iS Clinical skincare range definitely merits further investigation too.

The Fire and Ice Facial is usually priced at €120 but is currently being offered at a 50% discount (a total of €60). I wish I'd known that before Mr Fluff picked up my Christmas pressie! Check out the website or call 1850 20 40 90 to book an appointment at your nearest clinic.

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