I suffered from acne when I was younger from the ages of 12-15, and it was bad! It started off with a few pimples and then progressively got worse. My doctor prescribed me all sorts of tablets to help, but the acne kept coming and so did the horrible comments like ‘pizza-face’ and people telling me that I look better in the dark, which as a teenager did nothing for my confidence! My acne got so bad that at one point I had a massive boil-type spot that filled my right cheek area and people would ask me who my twin was. It wasn’t until my trillionth visit to the doctor that I was prescribed a new drug on the market at the time called Roactine, which worked so well that my acne had pretty much cleared up within a year. I was absolutely thrilled by this and wanted to parade my new face off to the world, but although the acne ‘spots’ had gone, I was left with terrible scarring, especially over my cheek areas and by my temples.
Anyone who’s ever suffered from acne will tell you that it’s bad enough having to live with the physical symptoms of this condition, but that the mental trauma can continue long after the spots have gone.
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of money on treatments including microdermabrasion, all types of chemical peels, dermaplaning, and micro-needling in the hope that they would reduce the scarring. But sadly, none of them gave me the results that I wanted.
Ooh, what’s Fibroblast all about??
It wasn’t until about two years ago that I was reading an article in a beauty magazine and it mentioned a new revolutionary procedure called Fibroblast that had just become available. It claimed to give the same results as having surgery, but without the risks, the long recovery period and the expensive price tag! But what really grabbed my attention were the impressive before and after pictures of a man in his 50’s who’d had Fibroblast for acne scarring. The before picture showed deep scarring around the jawline and the second picture taken 8 weeks later showed the scarring was much less noticeable. I wondered if this was what I needed? But first I wanted to find out more…
So, how does Fibroblast work?
Here’s the science bit so pay attention! Actually, I’m no scientist, so in a nutshell… We all have fibroblast cells that lie in the dermis layer of our skin that are responsible for collagen production. Collagen keeps our skin looking tight and youthful and is an abundance when we’re young, but as we age, it sadly begins to dwindle, which can result in loose and sagging skin. ☹
With the use of a medical-grade Plasma Pen, tiny plasma flashes are blasted into the Fibroblast cells to remove the collagen that’s already there and stimulate it to produce new collagen. This new college reproduction lifts and tightens the skin, and dramatically reduces the appearance of hooded eyelids, jowls, baggy under-eye skin, crow’s feet, lines around the mouth (also known as smokers lips), Marionette lines (vertical lines from corners of the lips to chin), Nasolabial folds (vertical lines from the edge of the nose to the mouth) and most types of scarring.
My consultation with Ambertone
Ambertone located in Fishponds is owned by Jackie Emery, a lovely lady with a vast amount of beauty therapy, piercings, SPMU and cosmetic procedures training and experience under her belt!
Jackie was one of the first salon owners in Bristol to train in Fibroblast Skin Tightening and offer it to the people of Bristol, back in 2017. It was when I was doing some research into Fibroblast that I realised Ambertone offered this procedure, and how handy for me, as the salon is on my doorstep. I went along and had a consultation with Jackie who asked me why I wanted the procedure and what I hoped to get from it. I explained that I wished for my scarring to be gone. Jackie was completely honest with me and said that it would help to reduce my scarring, but that it may take a few sessions. She also explained the procedure and advised me what the aftercare involves. I was ready to give it a try so booked myself in.
Jackie asked me to arrive 30 minutes before my appointment time on the day of the procedure, so I could complete the 10-page medical questionnaire and have a thorough consultation with her. During the consultation, Jackie went through my medical history, skin type and asked if I had any questions. She said that the procedure can sometimes cause a bit of discomfort, but she hadn't had anyone leap off the bed in pain…yet. 😊 Jackie applied a high-grade numbing cream to the areas of my face that were going to be treated and left it on for around 30 minutes whilst I relaxed with some glossy mags and a cuppa.
I was ready to go!
Before Jackie began, she said that the more I move, the longer the treatment can take, so she asked me to try and be as still as possible. I always find as soon as someone says to me to stay still that my body suddenly wants to have a party! 😊 As soon as Jackie started the procedure, however, I realised the importance of what she’d just asked. Fibroblast requires complete concentration on her part and a very steady hand, so it’s not ideal for the client to talk or move around.
Jackie started on the left side of my face, concentrating on the cheek area where there were a lot of ‘pock-marks’, and then moved onto the right-side, working from the bottom of my face where there was a lot of pitting, and all the way up to my temple to work on a large and deep ‘crater-like’ scar.
I was really surprised at how quick the procedure was. It only took around an hour and a half in total, and this included Jackie stopping for around 10 minutes to ease the cramp in her hand. I was also relieved that the numbing cream had done its job and that the procedure wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. I felt a bit of discomfort around the temple area, but it only lasted for a few minutes.
After the procedure, Jackie asked me how my skin felt and went through the aftercare with me, whilst I was looking in the mirror at the tiny polka-dot like scabs that were on my face. The aftercare was straight-forward but very important – keep the scabs dry for the next 3 days, so that meant no make-up until the scabs fall off. No sauna’s, hot tubs or anything else that could cause the scabs to get wet - even exercise was banned. No sunbathing, sunbeds, self-tanning, and SPF50 to be worn on sunny days when out and about, and ABSOLUTELY NO PICKING OR SCRATCHING THE SCABS OFF! Jackie said that it’s very tempting to do this BUT do so at your own peril because it can lead to scarring ☹
Day 1 Post Fibroblast
I woke up this morning and the first thing I did was look in the mirror to see what my face looked like. 😊 The scabs have now gone from red to brown which Jackie said they would. My skin felt a little bit dry and tight last night, so I applied some of the soothing Vitamin A&D cream that Jackie gave me, which helped. I think the scabs look worse than they are by the look I got from my husband, but I’ve had no pain, swelling or stinging so far. I’ve noticed that the large deep scar on my temple isn't so noticeable already! 😍
I know it’s only Day 1 but I’m really excited for the scabs to fall off so I can see what my skin looks like underneath. Make-up is a big no-no at the moment until the crusts have fallen off (I can use a mineral powder after 3 days) so I did the school run this morning with a scarf wrapped around my face. 😀 It is really cold here at the moment, so no one even noticed. 👍👍
Day 2 Post Fibroblast
Oh boy, my skin is itchy today! It’s taking me all my willpower to not have a good old scratch! But every time I’m tempted, I get an image of Jackie telling me not to do it. 😊
I’ve been using a small amount of the Vitamin A&D cream which is helping a lot. That stuff is AMAZING! 👍👍 The scabs have lightened a little bit and some of them have dropped off. I've still had no swelling or weeping from the treated areas, so it's all good. 👍
Day 3 Post Fibroblast
I’m really surprised that a lot of my scabs have come off today, and I haven’t been scratching! I’m still using the vitamin cream on the rest of my skin because it’s still a little bit tight. I’m now allowed to wear mineral make-up, but I’m not too bothered about putting any on. It’s quite nice to have a few days off from feeling like I have to wear make-up.
Day 5 Post Fibroblast
Pretty much all of the scabs are off apart from the odd few, and I can now see my new pink skin! Jackie told me that the new skin might be sensitive and to wear SPF50 when I go out because it’s sunny, so I used some Eucerin which is great as it sinks in really quickly and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy, and its matt too. 👍🏼
My skin does feel slightly sensitive but I don’t have any pain or stinging. I’m allowed to wear make-up now but I decided not to (apart from mascara) because I can already see the scars on my cheeks (especially the right side) is not as pitted as they were before, which I’m over the moon 👍🏼 😍 Jackie is amazing! 😍
I know that it can take between 2-8 weeks for the full results as my new skin heals further and returns to its usual colour, but I’m already really impressed and am so excited to see my skin over the coming weeks. 😁
Day 6 Post Fibroblast
It’s only Day 6 and I am absolutely delighted with the results already. All of the scabs have now fallen off and I've been left with a slightly flushed look, but the pitting and some of the pockmarks are a lot less noticeable! I’ve always been so self-conscious of my skin, so I'm not ashamed to admit that I did have a little cry when my daughter said: "Mummy, your face looks really good”.
Day 10 Post Fibroblast
I'm impressed as to how fast my skin has healed as pretty much all of the 'pink' has gone. The area of skin that was treated, feels so soft and smooth in comparison to the rest of my face. I had someone comment on how radiant I'm looking! 😆 I can still see some of the scarrings, although it has improved a lot, and Jackie did say that it can take between 8-12 weeks to see the full results and that I might need more than one treatment.
I'm still being a bit cautious of what I put on my new skin, but I've been washing, cleansing and moisturising my face as normal, and have been wearing a bit of SPF50 CC cream during the day with no problems. The main NO NO's are tanning of any kind (self and sun) as this can cause hyperpigmentation (where the skin over-produces melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour), and skincare products containing glycolic/salicylic/retinoic/AHA/scrubs or any other exfoliating ingredients and devices for at least 21 days, or there's a risk of irritating the lovely new skin and we don't want that do we! 😀
Day 21 Post Fibroblast
I'm really pleased that the scars are not as deep pitted as they were and not as noticeable. Jackie did say before I had the procedure that I might need to go back for another session because some of the scars are quite deep. I can't go back quite yet though as my skin is still healing, and it will continue to improve over the next couple of months. My skin still feels remarkably soft and smooth, and I feel more confident to show my face off and not hide behind my hair as much as I used to, which for me is a big deal. 😀
6 weeks post-procedure
I can definitely see more of a difference on the right side of my face (where a lot of the scarring was) in comparison to the left side and I’ve noticed that one of the scars on the right side has gradually faded over the six weeks since I had Fibroblast, and it is almost non-existent now! How amazing is that! Jackie did say that it can take up to 12 weeks to see the full results of the treatment, but I am astonished as to how my skin keeps on changing. I haven’t had a treatment like it before. 😊
Fibroblast …my skin 10 months on
Nobody would have guessed that when I first had this procedure done in January that we would now, 10 months later, all be in the midst of a pandemic caused by Coronavirus and be in another lockdown!
So, what is my skin like now I hear you say? Well, I’ve noticed a big improvement in the scarring on the left side of my face. The ‘pockmarks’ on my skin are not so noticeable now and my skin looks and feels much smoother and fresher.
When Jackie did my consultation, she said that I may need another round of Fibroblast on the right side of my face due to the depth of the scarring. That’s not to say I haven’t seen an improvement though. The big round scar that is on my temple has decreased in size and is a lot flatter and much less noticeable. The ‘pock-marks’ on this side of my face have also shrunk, but I think I would benefit from one more session like Jackie advised.
The best thing for me about having this procedure is that I wear a lot less make-up. I don’t feel like I need to ‘cover-up’ my face with concealer and foundation as much as I used to.
During the summer I only wore the recommended SPF50 and a bit of mascara, and now it's nearly winter, I put on a bit of SPF30 in the morning, a light dusting of mineral foundation to give my face a bit of colour and some mascara. To say I feel liberated by not feeling the need to wear a lot of make-up, is an understatement. Having clearer skin alone has made me feel more confident and although I know my skin is far from being perfect, I don’t feel the shame that I used to. It’s like I’ve transformed from an ugly duckling to (a little bit more of a) beautiful swan! 😊
So, what do I think about Fibroblast?
I was surprised by the fast treatment time was and that although it was uncomfortable in places, it wasn’t painful. For me, I found having a Jessner skin peel more painful. But everyone has a different pain threshold and don’t forget that is what the numbing cream is for.
The ‘down-time’ was as I expected. You’ve got to realise that you’re not going to look your best for at least a week after the treatment because of the scabbing. I followed the after-care Jackie gave me and my scabs had all fallen off by Day 4/5. Sometimes the scabs take a lot longer to fall off, and that all depends on how your skin reacts to the treatment and how quickly it heals. I didn’t experience any pain, inflammation or swelling but had dry, itchy skin for a few days after, which the Vitamin A&D cream sorted out.
One thing worth mentioning is that I did have some hyperpigmentation on the left side of my face due to my skin tone, but Jackie recommended a topical serum that helped to clear it up. So, if this is something that you’re worried about, then be assured that it can be treated.
You’ve also got to realise that this is not an exact science and that the procedure is limited to the results it can produce. It’s down to the person performing your treatment to advise what results can be achieved, and how many sessions you might need as Jackie did. Some people see fantastic results after just one treatment, while others may need further sessions before they see the results they want.
There is no quick fix with this treatment, and it can take between 8 and 12 weeks to see the full results. However, the results far outweigh any of those that you get from other treatments like fillers and Botox and it’s permanent.
Although my scarring hasn’t gone 100%, I am really pleased with the results. I haven't been able to go back for another session because of the national lockdowns, but as soon as Ambertone is allowed to reopen, I'll contact Jackie, so keep your eyes peeled!
If you’re interested in having this procedure or want to find out more information about Fibroblast, get in touch with Jackie on 07515 549382.