I knew the routine by heart. After a dermatologist visit I would begin a regimen of several oral antibiotics. Three to four months later my skin would somewhat clear, and I would move onto maintenance using topical prescription creams. Eventually the breakouts would return, and I would start the same process over again. This isn’t the routine of a 16-year-old; it’s the routine of a 40-year-old. For those of you with adult acne, you recognize that it isn’t a joke.
Six months ago, at the height of my frustration, I decided to try something different. After reading about her in Stylebook and knowing numerous women who trust only her with their skin, I decided to call Sarah Akram. She was finally able to help me break this frustrating cycle.
After arriving at her elegant spa on King Street and settling into a room decorated in colors of soft gray, pink, and white, Sarah and I talked for about 20 minutes. The focus at Sarah Akram is exclusively on skin, and Sarah provides a customized approach for each of her clients based on their needs. Her “one-size-does- not -fit-all approach” was evident in the first five minutes of our conversation. First, she examined my skin and then asked me about my skin history and my current skin care routine. I mentioned my challenges with congestion and prescription medication, as well as finding the right products for my skin and my less-then-desirable facial experiences. An aesthetician at a reputable spa in D.C. actually told me not to bother with facials because my skin was just too congested!
- After cleansing , Sarah used microdermabrasion to remove layers of dead skin and trigger the skin’s natural repair process that refines pores and accelerates skin renewal.
- After steaming the skin, extractions were next. This isn’t exactly enjoyable, but I’ve come to accept this is an integral part of the process, as it clears debris that clogs pores and leads to acne.
- An acid cream mask followed. This sounds frightening, but it really wasn’t. This mask sterilizes the skin and kills bacteria that reside deep in pores.
- Next up was the use of two hand-held Light and Heat Energy (LHE) devices that emitted a flash after Sarah positioned them on the congested areas of my skin. The localized treatment, specifically for cystic acne, works to calm inflammation.
- More light-based treatment with LightStim , an LED light therapy that uses wavelengths of light to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria.
- A custom-blended cream mask finishes my treatment and deposits nutrients back into my skin.