For about 4 years now, I have struggled with adult acne. It started around the time I began my first job, took on University fulltime and started interning and blogging – looking back I was probably taking on more than I could handle. I started getting more involved in beauty: blogging about it, trialing new products and establishing a skincare regime (I didn’t really have one in my teenage years!) But I found that my skin gradually got worse and worse.
I have dry and sensitive skin, and so I have always looked for products that cater to this. Once I started blogging, I became fascinated with skincare. I never bought into pharmacy-sold products; I always chose brands that were well researched, which came with a higher price tag and therefore I thought they were better for my skin (Dermalogica, Estee Lauder, Clinique, etc.) And while some products were great for getting my dryness under control, still nothing was working to get rid of my acne. I tried cutting things out of my diet, changing my skincare regime and changing the makeup brands I was using but still nothing worked. I even tried asking the staff of skincare counters in department stores, but was always told that my acne wasn’t that bad and that I should just use a spot treatment regularly.
But it wasn’t until this year – graduating uni, and taking on a number of jobs: blogger, editor, freelance writer, social media manager – that my acne really got out of control and I was getting desperate for a solution. It wasn’t long after graduating that I collaborated with a brand called Aurae Skin (see my blog post here). I interviewed owner and Beauty and Dermal Therapist Laura Murphy, and asked for some advice. She encouraged me to see a skin therapist and have some regular light therapy treatments as well as some peels, saying that they would work wonders for my skin – and, honestly, I can’t thank her enough.
For the past 3 months, I have been going to Adelaide skincare boutique, Facialista’s, to have regular Omnilux LED light therapy treatments with skin therapist Bernadette Quirke. Before Laura’s recommendation, I wouldn’t have even considered going to see a skin therapist – I thought this would be for older people, looking to improve the appearance of their skin. What I didn’t realise is that all skin types can benefit from Omnilux LED light therapy. My skin used to be dehydrated, stressed, and acne prone. Now my skin is almost clear of any spots and my skin is hydrated and plump – it looks so much healthier than I can ever remember. My acne could have been due to a lot of things, but is most likely down to hormones and exacerbated by stress. Bernadette showed me that acne is a skin condition that I have but it can be managed through the right skincare and treatments.
Each visit to Facialista’s I have a steam facial, followed by an Omnilux LED light therapy treatment (with different lights to tailor a specific skin concern) and a neck and shoulder massage. Not only have these treatments transformed my skin but they’ve also become my forced down time each week; my 30 minutes of relaxation without any work or phone – and now I really look forward to it!
I recorded a skin diary for the first 13 weeks of treatments on what to expect from regular Omnilux LED Light Therapy treatments. I’ve detailed my gradual improvements, changes in my skincare regime and just how much my skin has changed. If there’s one thing you take away from this, let it be that getting rid of acne is a long process but if you stick with it the results will amaze you, and your confidence will come flooding back.
The Omnilux LED Light treatments I had were: Revive (red light) – for inflammation and healing, Blue (blue light) – to heal acne and Plus (white light) – which works deeper, healing skin tissue (perfect if you don’t have any surface skin conditions).
Weeks 1–2 (Treatments twice a week)
For the first two weeks the Omnilux light we used is called Revive, which targets inflammation and helps to heal. It is a bright red light and I found it hard to adjust to in my first treatment – I wasn’t relaxed at all and my eyes were constantly tearing up. After the first treatment, I noticed a visible change in my skin; it was more plump and the redness had lessened, but by the second treatment my acne had flared up again and I wasn’t feeling so confident in the Omnilux treatments. Bernadette suggested that I start a new skincare routine with products from the same range of one brand (as they are designed to work together, which can be far better for your skin than picking and choosing the products you like. I’d never really thought of it like this before but it makes sense!) Bernadette chose to use products primarily from the Priori LCA range as it is best suited to my skin. My new skincare routine at this point was: a rosehip cream cleanser (which I was already using), rose water toner, 1 pump of Elizabeth Arden Pro Perfection Facial Serum, 1 pump of Priori Barrier Repair (moisturiser) and a sunscreen. After my first two sessions I was quite underwhelmed with the results. I was hoping that my acne would clear up considerably, but I learnt very quickly that Omnilux treatments and repairing damaged skin takes time.
Weeks 3–5 (Treatments twice a week)
For the third, fourth and fifth weeks, I changed my skincare routine by introducing a new product each week. In the third week, we introducing 1 pump of Priori Cellular Recovery Serum (an enzyme repair serum) after my cleanser, which works to repair the DNA in the skin cells. In week 4, we replaced the 1 pump of Elizabeth Arden Pro Perfection Facial Serum with ½ a pump of Priori Skin Renewal Cream. And in week 5, we replaced the Rosehip Cream Cleanser I was using with the Priori Gentle Facial Cleanser. During these weeks, my acne became less red and angry. Some sessions I would notice my skin was worse than the previous, but this is all due to the fact that the acneic skin condition still exists – the Omnilux treatments are about managing the outcome. Omnilux treatments help with post inflammatory pigmentation and mild scarring, which I have due to my very fair skin. Omnilux is working skin deep, meaning you won’t always see the results straight away, but I promise you it’s doing something!
Weeks 6–7 (Treatments twice a week)
I finally started to notice a big difference at week 6. My acne became easy to extract, my skin texture was much better, as were my skin’s hydration levels and I finally started to notice that my face was less red and there were less spots overall. In week 7, we began lactic acid peels and I couldn’t believe how quickly I saw the results. In my experience, after just one peel in conjunction with my red light Omnilux treatment, most of my spots cleared up. The peel dried up the spots, as well as drying out my skin a little, creating mild scabbing of the active spots before noticeable flaking (it sounds worse than it is, I could still cover this all up with makeup and in my experience, it only lasted about three days). Before each Omnilux, Benadette would use the extractor so that the red light could help to heal my spots much faster than they usually would. As I have very pale skin, the marking can stay around for a bit longer. My hydration levels were very good, and overall my skin looked dewy and radiant. This was particularly noticeable to me because of my dry skin – before Omnilux treatments I would use two pumps of my moisturiser day and night and my skin would still look and feel dehydrated.
Weeks 8+ (Treatments once a week)
Since week 8, my skin is consistently looking better every week. My face appears white overall, instead of red (It’s crazy to think of what it used to look like!) My hydration levels are excellent, my skin looks plump and healthy. I still get a couple of spots a week but these usually heal within 3 days and this is absolutely normal as acne is a condition that I am managing not curing. I will still continue to have these treatments once a week until my skin is completely clear. Then I will go to fortnightly treatments before going once a month. I have also started introducing new products to my skincare regime as my skin continues to improve.
By restoring the barrier of my skin with the Priori skincare products and the Omnilux LED lights, it’s helping to manage my acne, reducing the breakout dramatically as well as cutting down the recovery timeframe (now usually 2-3 days). And when I apply my everyday makeup look (bareMinerals BAREPRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation) my skin appears flawless. I absolutely love my Omnilux treatments and have since learnt that they’re well loved in the beauty community (Gritty Pretty‘s Eleanor Pendleton and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl to name a few). I’m so grateful to my skin therapist Bernadette for working with me to create a skincare and treatment regime that works for my skin.
*In collaboration with Facialista’s. As always, thoughts, opinions and experiences are my own.