Omnilux and Rejuvalight (Lumiere) Facials— Can They Really Turn Back the Clock?
I’m at an age where, if I wasn’t such a coward, I'd be seriously considering cosmetic surgery—perhaps a thread lift or mini-facelift. But because I'm such a worrywart about the risks, I’ve been searching for a safer, non-surgical way to look youthful.
I'm very excited to report that I believe I've finally found one! It's phototherapy. I had a salon-based treatment, but you can buy an at-home version, too.
What impresses me about phototherapy is that it's genuinely no-risk, and yet I can really see the results on my skin.
I tried and researched several other options along the way. I'd like to share my experiences here— both my false starts and the light treatment itself.
Thinking of non-surgical facelifts, the first thing I thought of was CACI. I remember reading that Princess Diana used it!
I tried it, and wasn't too impressed at first, until I discovered why. I'd totally misunderstood the kind of results it could deliver.
In fact, most people do sign up for the treatment with the wrong expectations. For more information on what it can and can't do, read my CACI Non-Surgical Facelift Review.
My next thought was to try the "Sixty Minute Facelift" - Thermage. It's a powerful radiofrequency treatment which stimulates your natural collagen to grow.
Then I researched and discovered a few Thermage horror stories. Used incorrectly, Thermage will purge fat from under the skin. That's great if you're using it to treat a flabby stomach or loose underarms. But for most women, the last thing they want is to lose volume from their face, especially if that loss is uneven.
In the early days of Thermage, many women were left with dimples and dents in their face, while others simply looked gaunt. I already have sunken areas under my cheekbones, so I certainly didn't want to risk making it worse!
Particularly as it seems even some plastic surgeons think it's a waste of time.
Rejuvalight and Omnilux
While researching Thermage, I came across another alternative — phototherapy. There are several salon treatments, but the most popular are Omnilux Revive and Rejuvalight (Lumiere Lift).
Phototherapy is gentler than IPL or laser, as it uses visible light. It's been used for years in medicine to accelerate healing and treat skin cancers. There are two different lights: blue light destroys bacteria in the skin and clears up acne but of course it was the red anti-aging light that interested me. The red light treatment:
- Stimulates collagen production (which lifts, contours and plumps the skin)
- Improves hydration
- Reduces wrinkles
I Googled, and found research results that confirmed the benefits. Even better, hundreds of happy former acne sufferers and de-wrinkled women, without one report of side effects or damage! That sounded like my kind of facelift! But was it so safe it wouldn’t actually do much, like CACI? There was only one way to find out—try it!
Light therapy can be delivered in two ways.
- Omnilux Revive uses a large bank of lights which you simply lie under.
- Rejuvalight Lumiere Lift (and others like it) use a small hand-held device which concentrates the light. The therapist strokes the device over your skin.
Just lying under the Omnilux Revive is relaxing but the light is very, very, very bright, even with goggles. It does freak some people out. If it affects you, then the Rejuvalight-style device would suit you better.
However, apart from that, which style you choose is purely down to personal preference and convenience. It so happened that my closest salon (Paris Medispa in Sydney) had the Rejuvalight system, so that's the course I signed up for. Here’s how it went:
- Facial #1
A full pampering facial as well as 20 minutes of Rejuvalight. The light treatment was completely painless, no heat or prickling, and in fact no sensation at all. My skin looked nice afterwards, but no more than I’d expect after such an intensive facial.
- Facial #2
This was shorter, just a cleanse, Rejuvalight treatment, and a 5-minute face mask. Spent the afternoon feeling shiny (no foundation). Heading home, I wondered if my husband would notice shiny – er, glowing - skin. Did he? What do you think!
- Facial #3
Mentioned my post-facial shine to my therapist who offered to “do my face” after treatment. I was in a rush, so I settled for a quick sponge-over with mineral foundation. Back at work, looking at myself in the mirror in the ladies' loo (why are those lights always so unflattering?), I’m struck by how good my skin looks. Is that the Rejuvalight or the mineral foundation? If it’s the foundation, I’m buying ten gallons!
After cleansing my face at bedtime, I still look fresher. Can’t quite put my finger on why, though. If I'd realized Rejuvalight was actually going to do something, I'd have taken a "Before" photo!
- Facial #4
Took my own make-up but can't see to apply it in the mood lighting in the salon. Later, in the loo at work applying make-up, the pigmentation on my cheeks looks lighter.
My "Wow" Moment!
- Facial #5
I had a real “Wow!” moment after this treatment—but you'll laugh when I tell you what it was.
Let me explain for the young folks. We older women have an image of our face that’s stuck back in our 30’s, before it all started to head south. Every time we look in the mirror, there’s a split second when we think, “Who’s that old bat?” before we realize that, actually, that’s us.
So when I say I looked in the mirror the morning after treatment #5 and recognized myself immediately – it really was a huge deal! I felt like I was looking at a face I haven’t seen for about 10 years.
Sure, I still have wrinkles – but they've shrunk back to the edges of my eyes instead of creeping down my cheeks. My skin feels firm and resilient instead of papery. I still look a bit sunken under the eyes, but the dark shadows have gone and there’s no puffiness. My double chin is still there, but my jowls have really lifted. It’s as if the Rejuvalight machine really is winding back the clock.
- Facial #6
I mention my “Wow!” moment to my therapist and we speculate that this is why some of her clients are thrilled with the results from Rejuvalight, whereas others are less impressed.
A surgical facelift can make you look as young and beautiful as you can afford. All Rejuvalight can do is give you back whatever beauty you once had. If you weren’t happy with the way you looked in your thirties, that may not be enough for you.
Overall, I’m delighted with my Rejuvalight experience. The initial course of treatments required an investment in money and time. But now, a once-a-month booster is all I need to maintain my skin.
My only problem is deciding whether to continue treating myself to a monthly salon treatment (with all that lovely pampering thrown in), or save money by buying a home version.
All text copyright Marisa Wright. Thermage photo thanks to mckibillo.
Treatment undertaken at Paris Medispa, Level 1, 22 Market Street, Sydney, tel. (02) 9299 4848. The author has no affiliation with the salon, except as a satisfied customer!