Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Environ Skin Peel - For Men!

Environ Skin Peel

This article is updated over 6 weeks in chronological order as the face peel treatment is carried out

As a guy I'd never considered a skin peel or for that matter any kind of male beauty treatment up until recently. Being a man I'm cursed with having to shave and so I get to see my face close up each day. At 43 as you can imagine after years of sun damage, parties, cuban cigars and general wear and tear my complexion when viewed close up has all the qualities of a breeze block.

Whilst talking to a web design client and friend recently who owns a beauty salon in St Helens, Merseyside the topic of rough skin came up. Lisa, the owner from Omni Therapy Rooms is already an Environ stockist and authorised treatment centre. In addition to the facial treatments already offered her salon has now added Environ Skin Peels.  Skin Peels are popular but predominantly with Females.

Lisa is keen to attract more Male clients to her salon not just from St Helens but from around the North West and so asked if I'd like a course of Environ Skin Peels free of charge in exchange for her being able to photograph it at each stage and also for me to blog about it. The promise of ugly duckling into a swan or in my case Mickey Rourke into Daniel Craig was enough for me to agree! I knew I'd get some abuse from my "Blokey" mates but after a lifetime of being comfortable wearing pink shirts I knew I had broad enough shoulders to carry it.

Lisa asked me a few questions and we completed a form. She explained the procedures and asked if I had any questions, Bear in mind that I'm a bloke and so all that I can recall from that conversation is a few words such as fibroblasts, collagen and dermis, and was I allergic to Asprin? The rest was white noise i'm afraid.

The area around my eyes and upper cheeks are particularly rough, I've been plagued on and off with the odd blackhead in this region and so having tackled them in the past in true bloke fashion (dremmel, tweezers, squeezing, various power tools) the skin in that area is like a woodpeckers front door and in desperate need of restoration.

Lisa gave me some special Environ Face Wash and some Environ Moisturiser to use for the next three weeks prior to my first session. This stuff is loaded with Vitamin A apparently. Later that day I received 6 appointment confirmations on my iCal, one each week for six weeks. As a bloke, I was impressed with the technology of receiving the appointments electronically and being able to confirm my attendance when my reminder goes off on the iPhone.

For the next three weeks I used the face wash and moisturiser religiously and to be honest I could see an improvement already in that my skin seemed to have a really healthy glow. If i'm honest I was quite surprised at this. Up until now I've been skeptical about beauty treatments and the claims made about them. Shampoo adverts even make me smile as words that are invented by marketing agencies are banded about on screen whilst Cheryl Cole struts her stuff and tells us she's worth it, which I suppose if I'm honest she is! I digress... Seriously though, I really was impressed with the healthy clean look that my skin had already. I was quite looking forward to the treatments now.

Environ Skin Peel Treatment One

My first appointment was last week and prior to the treatment Lisa took a photo. I was told that this was a results driven treatment, I had lots of questions this time around and Lisa answered them all fully. The Environ Skin Peel uses a variety of acidic gels and creams instead of the more traditional acid solutions normally associated with skin peels.
After 3 weeks on the Environ Vitamin A face Wash and Moisturiser but before the first skin peel treatment.

These products are designed to remove the horny layer of the skin (it's ok to smile at that phrase) whilst preserving the waterproof layer of the skin. The Environ Skin Peel repairs skin cells whilst encouraging cell exfoliation. The products used during the treatment preserves as much of the epidermis as possible whilst at the same managing to get a safe yet highly effective dosage of hydronium ions into the dermis.

The Environ Skin Peel treatment is effective on the following skin conditions

  • Acne
  • Acne Rosacea
  • Problem Skins

So lay on the treatment bed and wearing a device to keep the products from getting on my hair the treatment began. I'm not certain just how many stages there were in total, I'll pay better attention next time but from memory I'd say that there were eight separate products applied over the course of around 45 minutes. All the sensations were pleasant and relaxing, some were tingly, some cool but all enjoyable.

Lisa told me all about Environ, It's founder, the products and the ethics behind the products, To be honest it was quite fascinating, rather than me go into detail you can read more about Environ Skin Care on the Omni Therapy website here.

The treatment ended with a fantastic thick and cool face mask being applied, I had the option of it going around my eyes or straight over them. I opted for going over them and the sensation is fantastic! I can see now why beauty treatments appeal to females. After the treatment my face felt really small, I know that sounds odd and I'm not normally stuck for words but it felt smaller, tighter, like when you put on a pair of freshly ironed jeans. 

We decided not to take a photo after the treatment and to stick to doing it prior to each treatment weekly. Lisa gave me some Environ cream for sun protection and gave me some instructions which I forgot as soon as I got into my car. 

It's Tuesday as I am writing this, I'm due back for treatment two tomorrow, I've still been using the vitamin A face wash and moisturiser and my face is looking better, certainly around the trouble area. I'll keep you posted after my next treatment.

Environ Skin Peel Treatment Two

Today I had my second treatment at Omni Therapy Rooms in St Helens. Before the treatment Lisa took another photo. You can see that the skin actually looks rougher around the problem area so the last treatment along with the daily home wash and moisturiser is doing something. 

Environ Skin Peel Week 2
Taken immediately before the 2nd skin peel treatment

I paid a little more attention this time around and it turns out that there are actually nine steps to each treatment. These are

  1. Pre cleanse and extraction
  2. Exfoliate
  3. Cleanse
  4. Tone
  5. Active Peeling Treatment
  6. Mask
  7. Eye Gel
  8. Moisturiser
  9. SPF (sun protection)
I've noticed already that the general condition and tone of my skin looks a lot better however as I already mentioned the problem areas look more pronounced. My treatment today started with Lisa paying particular attention to impurities that the products from the last treatment have brought to the surface. Whilst she did this we chatted more about the end result and also the cause of the blackhead problem in the first place. I asked Lisa that if the treatment was successful what was the likelihood of the blackheads reappearing in the future? Lisa explained that the treatments should remove the bacteria but also smooth the surface of the skin therefore making it difficult for bacteria to reestablish itself again. 

In the words of Environ, 

"The Skin Peel treatment is specifically designed to address problem, acne & acne rosacea skins, this gentle peeling treatment helps to clear the complexion and calm inflammation. Mild forms of lactic acid are used to destroy bacteria, boost hydration and remove the build up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, helping to decongest the skin and smooth its texture."

I think I mentioned in the previous update that I was a little skeptical about the effectiveness of beauty treatments, well to be honest I still have been to a degree up until today. Although there has been slight improvements each week, I'm a bloke and therefore impatient, I want enough RAM in my Macbook so I can have a billion windows open and never see the timer wheel, I want enough BHP in my car so I can put my foot down and go from 60 - 120mph in a nano second and I want my local Chinese to deliver dinner the moment I put the phone down! After todays session however I had a pleasant surprise!

Once Lisa had removed the elastic device from my head that stops any products going onto my once golden locks I immediately went over to the mirror to fix my hair (yeah, yeah!) anyway, whilst doing this I happened to look at my face and it was REMARKABLY different! The rough areas of skin were just not visible! Instead there was a noticeably smooth finish around my eyes and upper cheek areas. I have to admit I was impressed, so impressed in fact that I subconsciously started to pout like Daniel Craig! 

I suggested to Lisa that maybe we should photograph it again to show the immediate and impressive change but we both agreed that we would be better sticking to taking a photo before each treatment in the interests of continuity.  So, assuming that I dont fall face first onto a hedgehog during the next 7 days you should see a big difference on next weeks photo. 

For more information on the Environ range contact Omni Therapy Rooms on 01744 633445, to hire me as a Daniel Craig lookalike contact me on 01744 .....  :)

Environ Skin Peel Treatment Three

It's getting to be a regular treat, lying on a treatment bed each Wednesday afternoon having various creams and gels applied to my face that cool, tingle and relax my skin. As always we took a photograph before the treatment started. 
Taken immediately before the third skin peel treatment

This is a harsh test as although the photo is only taken with Lisas phone, it's a latest model, high end Samsung with a HD camera, and the shot was taken in the treatment room with variable daylight depending on the weather and really is a laid bare snapshot. The difference in my complexion is subtle and yet very apparent. The area of problem skin is now looking much more smooth and clean. The difference is more noticeable in an everyday situation and looking at me full frontal so to speak!

Lisa had come up with a better solution to the device that covers my hair for this session. As I wear some product in my mop to keep it from taking on a life of it's own, the device that she normally uses messes with my hair when it's removed so this week I wore a hair net!

(I've just proof read this and realised just how feminine that last sentence is, none the less I'll leave it in.)

We chatted a lot through this treatment about pretty much everything except the treatment and so the time passed really quickly.

As always the treatment ends with the most incredible thick and cooling algae based face mask that I opted again to have over my entire face including my eye lids. This apparently helps to remove any unwanted cells and also drives the products deeper into my skin locking them in as the pores close up.  All very technical blokey stuff then!

I'm now half way through the treatments. Initially I was a little skeptical as I did mention. To see the results so far is quite amazing really. I hope that the photographs are able to demonstrate the change up to date. After my final treatment I'll put the first and the final photos together for a better comparison.

There may be a break for a week or so in the update as I'm on holiday shortly.  I'm on strict instructions from Lisa not to apply zero factor Hawaiian Tropic oil to my face, apparently it's not big and it's not clever! 

Environ Skin Peel Treatment four and five

Ok, top marks to those who have spotted that I'm reporting on the past two treatments in one update. There are two reasons for this, the first being that my fourth appointment was the day after I landed back in the UK and so I simply wasn't paying attention. Instead I relaxed and enjoyed the sensation of a facial treatment. The second reason was erm, I was busy! yeah, that's it, I was really busy :)

So, you're looking for an update maybe? Well the changes are subtle week to week as the treatment isn't agressive however after my final treatment next week I intend to post a before and after shot. You may see a difference as I've gained a bit of a tan (despite me switching my usual zero factor Hawaiian Tropic for a more sensible factor 20 Environ Sun Protection)  and i've also shaved my lovely locks off for charity after an impromptu bet in the pub quickly turned into £1100 for breast cancer research! This has now rendered me bald (very nearly) and has made Lisas hair net redundant.

At weekend I was out with some friends and my Sister and Brother in Law. My Sister hasn't seen me for several weeks but was aware that I was having these treatments. The first thing she noticed when we met was the vast improvement in the overall look of my skin. That's quite encouraging really. 

It's worth mentioning also that the week before I went on holiday Lisa and Omnitherapy Rooms held an Environ Skin Analysis day at her Salon in St Helens. This involved having my photograph taken by an odd looking device that was linked up to a laptop which in turn was operated by a girl with such perfect skin, makeup, hair, nails, eyes, voice that I didn't pay the slightest bit of attention again! No seriously it was quite an eye opener, the photo machine I mean, not the operator! The photo was analysed in many different way and shown impurities, ageing etc. Lisa intends to report on this on her website later in the year so please bookmark www.omnitherapyrooms.co.uk .

So, back to the past two treatments. What we found is that the deep impurities had risen to the surface. These were extracted before the various stages of the skin peel were applied. 

Taken before the 4th Skin Peel
Looking at the these photos, the above taken last week before treatment started and the one below taken this week before the treatment that there is a difference just in one week. I can't wait to compare the week one to week six photos.
Taken before the 5th skin peel

I've just decided to enlarge all the photos that I've posted thus far, I suppose for vanity reasons I had them quite small originally but in the interests of journalism you can now see my hideous complexion. These certainly aren't the sort of photos you'd post on Match.com. So next week sees the last treatment. 

I'm sad about it coming to an end really as the whole process has been pleasurable not just because of how successful the treatments have been but because each session really is a treat. I've got used to each stage, the cleanse, the tingly bit (see above for the technical name of each stage) and my favourite stage the thick cool face mask! 

Check back next week to see the final results and for a conclusion.

Environ Skin Treatment Week 6

It was a sad day really, What I thought would be a chore has actually turned out to be a weekly treat. Not only is it rather relaxing to lie there having stuff put on your face but i've also enjoyed the conversation as Lisa is a switched on business owner and so the conversation over the weeks has explored many avenues as we've chewed the fat over business issues and opportunities. 

What is rather nice is that Lisa is as pleased as I am about the results that the treatments have received.  Take a look at the photo below, On the left is week 1 on the right is week 6. Click the photo to enlarge.

Skin Peel Results
Before and After

I'm sure you'll agree that the difference is remarkable really. The problem area particularly under the eyes has been eliminated. To be fair the photos don't do it justice either. If you click on them to enlarge you'll see the imperfections on the first photo quite clearly. If you were to see me in person then the results are really impressive. It's in the interest of journalism that we've focused on the same area in each photograph over the past 6 weeks.

So the question I suppose you'll be asking is, Would I have paid for this treatment? I've got to be honest and say that at first no I wouldn't. Yes my skin did have problems but like most guys over 40 I suppose I had just accepted it along with a few grey hairs and the odd back pain. I suppose I was unaware that there was an option. Now that the treatment is complete however then I would most definitely say that yes, I would pay for it. The difference is quite remarkable. What you can't see in this picture is that the skin has also tightened ever so slightly but enough to make a noticeable difference.

I've also continued with the Environ face wash and daily moisturiser.

Will I need repeat treatments? Apparently not. The problem had arisen through years of sun exposure, skin dehydration and inefficient cleansing. As long as I follow the rules, cleanse properly, use a suitable sunscreen and refrain from rubbing diesel onto my face then my skin should stay in good condition.

Whilst the challenge was to transform me from Mickey Rourke to Daniel Craig in six weeks, I'll have to be honest and admit that to date I haven't received any offers from Hollywood, No amount of facials, Aston Martins and Omega watches will make me look like our Mr Craig but, on a positive note I do look and feel much better. In fact that is an understatement. My skin was particularly poor. This treatment I suspect will be of interest to a greater number of females rather than males. On that basis it's perhaps a given that a female will have better skin than I did at the beginning and so the treatment will perhaps have an even greater effect.

If you live in the North West, Male or Female and you'd like to find out more about Environ skin peels or the Environ range of products then visit the Omnitherapy website at www.omnitherapyrooms.co.uk or speak to lisa directly on 01744 633445.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

50 Shades of Grey - Why all the fuss?

I couldn't help but notice the buzz that is currently manifesting itself all over the UK and indeed the rest of the civilised world.

Otherwise quiet and respectable Mummies are exhibiting strange behaviour, their status updates on Facebook hint of ripped jeans, light bondage and other erotic references. After a little digging I discovered that the catalyst for this wave of excitement amongst these ladies is a book entitled 50 Shades of Grey by a British Author E.L. James.

I haven't as yet read this book but I intend to despite its obvious market being female. The Authors own website describes the book as:

"Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever".

The book, the first in a trilogy, started out as fan fiction based on the Twilight stories. Originally released as an ebook, word of mouth and social networking lead the book to become viral. A publisher then paid what is reported to be a seven figure sum for the trilogy. The rest as they say is history albeit recent and this previously unknown British Author is now responsible for kickstarting the libido of females across the globe.

Discreet Erotica in the form of an ebook

Erotic fiction isn't new so why has Fifty Shades of Grey been such a success? The advent of ebook readers, most notably the Kindle has meant that our choice of book has become more private. You can read any novel on your kindle, ipad, phone, tablet in any environment without anybody knowing what you are reading.

In the past, housewives up and down the country have thumbed through the erotic fiction in the supermarket only to put the book back on the shelf so as to save the embarrassment of going through the tills with a book featuring a whip and handcuffs on the front cover. The ebook readers remove the need for such embarrassment as the book is securely delivered electronically to your chosen device.

Be it by accident or absolute brilliance, E.L. James has taken full advantage of this shift in technology and delivered erotic fiction that has brought out the horny little minx in every female who has read it.

You can be sure that there will be a flurry of similar novels released from now on as both amateur writers and publishers sit up and take notice. So, the secret it seems is to harvest as much information about the fantasies of our wives and girlfriends and mix these into a novel amidst a cast of powerful, sexy and dark characters.

I'm working on the outline as we speak! :)


I'm back

Right, So, an apology or at least an explanation as to my absence.

I've been busy, doing what, I have no idea. My life and my time has been consumed by various things none of which I'll blog about but rest assured that I now have time and the inclination to blog personally again. Whilst I've not been blogging personally I have been blogging for business and also doing various web design and SEO freelance work. You can read more about the SEO and Web Design work that I do by clicking here.

Ok so, what's new? Well I have more grey in my beard than the last time I was a regular blogger and my hair's a little longer (it's in the really scruffy stage at the moment as you can see on the pic, I'm attempting to grow it before it decides to fall out). Other than that, there isn't a lot to report really.

So, how have you all been? I've noticed reading through my blogroll that a lot of you have moved on, stopped blogging altogether in some cases, others have evolved as life has taken you down new paths of opportunity, trial and tribulation. Please pop by and say hello, and please accept my sincere apologies for my rude departure from the blogosphere, you'll see a lot more of me from now on and I promise to subject you all to pointless ramblings :)