There's nothing new about the fact that at 45, my skin is thinning and becoming way more creased and tired-looking, so when I heard of a treatment called Exokine that would restore the plumpness and collagen naturally, I jumped at the chance to try it.
Natural Face Aesthetics is the only clinic outside of London that offers the Exokine treatment, so curious and with a bladder bursting with water (drinking lots improves the results), I set off down the M4 to see what was in store. I had been told that they take your blood, incubate for 6 hours it in a special vial with glass beads, then extract the serum naturally created which then gets put back into your skin. I arrived at a beautiful cotswold farmhouse on the edges of Malmesbury, to be warmly greeted by Jo Akinloye the owner of the clinic. Jo is a walking advertisement for her work as at 49 she looks more like a fresh faced 35-year old - I was inspired so let's get started.
I arrived at a beautiful Cotswolds farmhouse on the edges of Malmesbury and was warmly greeted by Jo Akinloye, the owner of the clinic. Jo is a walking advertisement for her work as, at 49, she looks more like a fresh-faced 35-year old. I was even more inspired to get started.
First thing to point out, the blood they take is removed from the vein in your arm just like when you give blood, not your face. This might seen obvious but I really wasn't sure! Then, as it incubates away, a plethora of beauty treatments are on offer, so I settled down to eyelash extensions and a wonderful Shellac manicure by resident beautician Emily, before meeting a couple of local friends for lunch.
On my return, we took some "before" shots and applied a thick layer of anaesthetic numbing cream. The blood had separated - one part blood and the other, a large pile of golden serum. You know when you have a small spot, or little scratch on your face you can get a crystallised yellow layer on top? Jo explained this is part of the skins own healing properties and this is what the serum that is extracted from my blood is made from. Putting it back into the face significantly improves the skin quality and health. Best of all, there is absolutely nothing artificial added.
"Think of it as a super-charged platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment. Your blood is incubated for an extended period, which together with the science behind Exokine®, is used to create your own unique anti-ageing serum. With no preservatives or additives, it's a totally natural anti-ageing serum that allows for beautiful glowing skin and a natural look" says Jo.
The serum was poured into small micro channelling device which lightly punctures the layer of your skin to penetrate the serum. I was very grateful for the anaesthetic cream - while the first pass over the face was just mildly uncomfortable, think eyebrow threading/bikini line discomfort, during the second and third rotations, I did feel sore as it was pricking skin that had already been touched. However, 15 minutes under a UV ray lamp after the treatment brought any inflammation down and had me ready to leave.
I looked puce, but in a healthy way as if I'd just done a spinning class rather than had any kind of invasive procedure. That evening I applied a sensitive face serum after gently cleansing with water and a soft cloth.
By the very next day my skin had completely settled. I was back to my normal routine and was amazed that colleagues at work were already noticing a difference and complimenting me on my skin. It looked plumper, with a tightness around the jaw line and less visible shadows under my eyes. The results continue to improve with time, so week two and three will see me turning back the years even more.
Ideally, you are recommended to have three treatments that are around two to three weeks apart which will see results last up to 12 months.
With an increase in demand for natural products, what could be better for you than your own DNA serum?
Facial Plastic Surgeon, Mr Greg Bran MD PHD, who consults at Jo’s Clinic on a sessional basis, describes ageing as "a gradual tissue degeneration. It is based on a daily chronic inflammatory process that effects all our tissues with the consequences being decreased vision, joint ache and ageing skin. The Exokine® technology has the potential to not only stop the chronic inflammatory process, but also to help your skin to return to a better, younger version that it used to be."
For more information, visit their website here.