Acne - SkinFirst


Most of us experience acne to some extent during our lives. It is estimated that at least 90% of people will have acne at some stage in their lives. Of course, it is the severity and persistence of acne that differentiates its impact on the lives of both teenagers and adults. People variously use the term acne to describe a range of complexion problems including pimples, small spots, large fiery spots, blackheads, and other lumps and bumps usually on the face, but also commonly on the back, chest, shoulders and neck. There are medical grades of acne and for many people the severity is no more than the milder grades 1 and 2 and it is simply a short-term annoyance. However, for others it is a life affecting condition that can be long term with both physical and emotional repercussions including damage to self esteem and an inhibitor to social interaction. It can cause depression – severe and mild.

Although acne is most often associated with teenagers it is on the increase in adults and many adults find that their skin can develop acneic symptoms later on in life even if they weren’t present when they were younger.

Whether acne is mild or severe, if it affects the emotional well being of anyone, help should be sought. Traditional treatments have a variety of side effects and sometimes require months to work, if they work at all. Topical creams and lotions have been known to cause redness and irritation. Oral antibiotics can cause stomach upset, light sensitivity and yeast infections in women, and recent studies indicate about 40% of skin bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, making them a doubtful ally in the fight against skin breakouts.

In the UK millions of pounds are spent on acne treatments and medications each year. In many instances, the money spent yields less than satisfactory results.

Medical practitioners are becoming increasingly supportive of the benefits of Intense Pulsed Light and advances on that technology (such as the combined technology of Multi Pulsed Light known as MPL, used by SkinFirst) to successfully treat acne and other skin conditions without adverse side effects.

At SkinFirst we do get remarkable results for our acne clients. This is partly because we are one of the few clinics which can target exactly the optimum depth (420nm) to the bacteria that is responsible for acne. Other practitioners frequently use a wavelength that doubles up for a number of different treatments (such as thread veins, pigmentation, skin rejuvenation and acne). But we at SkinFirst use completely different wavelengths for each of these conditions and that is one of the reasons why our results are so good. Our technology enables us to treat at the most appropriate settings for acne and other skin concerns. Without going into too much technical detail here, we have many features in our machines which assist further enhancement of treatment results (many more pulse and delay options than some popular machines) and of course, as always, the combination of radio frequency to boost the effects. Please see our technology section for an explanation but suffice it to say that we treat many clients for all grades of acne and we would welcome you to visit us to discuss your concerns no matter how mild or severe.

What causes acne?
The medical term for acne is acne vulgaris. There are three contributing factors to acne:

  • The over production of oil
  • The irregular shedding of dead skin cells and
  • The build up of bacteria.

It is also more often than not a hereditary condition. A genetic ‘defect’ results in a kind of ‘cellular-glue’ being over produced in the follicle. A simple overview is as follows:

At the onset of the acne process, this glue-like substance causes a microscopic blockage consisting of compacted dead cells, called micro-comedones. At this stage the process is developing in the follicle only and the surface of the skin can appear entirely clear and unaffected. As the cells continue to stick together, oil begins to get trapped within the follicle; the oil is ‘consumed’ by bacteria called Propiono-bacterium acnes (known commonly as the p.acnes bacteria) which then excretes an inflammatory fatty acid by-product. Eventually, usually after several weeks to months, the follicle becomes completely blocked. It is at this stage that various acne lesions may begin to surface.

How can acne be treated?
Using MPL® technology, carefully targeted to the wavelength and at the settings most relevant to the location of the bacteria, light energy destroys the acne.p bacteria quickly and easily and causes a shrinkage of the inflamed sebaceous glands that cause outbreaks of pustules. At the same time the light and radio frequency energy gently heats the skin around the spots, activating the cells in the skin called fibroblasts which stimulate collagen remodelling and new collagen production that boosts the healing process causing the spots to disappear. Because the SkinFirst machines have the additional element of radio frequency and because they also target a more specific wavelength than most other machines, we are particularly well positioned to ensure the optimum results for our clients.

The treatment is non-invasive so there is NO recovery period after treatment. Normal activities may resume immediately after the acne treatment.

Depending on the severity of the acne further treatments may be required and a maintenance programme employed to control the activity of the sebaceous glands and the bacteria responsible for causing the acne.

Homecare is also important. Once we have taken control of the bacteria and improved the skin condition visibly and within the lower levels of the skin, we need to ensure that the conditions which aided the onset of the spots and lesions is not re-created. As mentioned, acne sufferers often have an irregular shedding of dead skin cells and some of the cosmeceutical products we recommend can help to control this. Likewise, acne sufferers often feel that due to the excess oil they have on their skin, they should be drying the skin out and they use astringents that are wholly inappropriate and which, in fact, exacerbate the problem. These drying agents result in the brain receiving messages to produce more oil and the vicious circle continues! In reality they should be hydrating their skin at a deep level (which is different to moisturising the skin. Moisturising simply increases the surface lipidity). We have excellent product ranges for all grades and severity of acne. We also have products for mature skins with acne who are looking to combat lines and wrinkles too.

Depending on the skin condition and client (including presence of scarring and pustules or not) then we would also perhaps recommend peels and water and oxygen treatments, but as a first step a free consultation would be advisable, so please do contact your local SkinFirst clinic.

How many treatments are recommended?
SkinFirst recommend combining the MPL® and radio frequency treatments with a good skin care regime to promote healthier, softer and more radiant skin.. For best results, we would suggest having a treatment once a week for four weeks or in some cases once every 2 weeks depending on your skin’s condition. Clients usually see significant improvement after 4 to 6 treatments. The skin should continue to improve after the course of treatments have finished. Following this, it is envisaged that further maintenance treatments may be required at six monthly intervals.

Are there any secondary effects?
IPL (or the more advanced MPL® that we use) can cause some slight brief pinprick sensations. In certain cases there may be redness in the treated area, local oedema (swelling) or peri-follicular papullae (goose bumps). These effects will disappear several hours after the treatment. However in the majority of cases there are no visible secondary effects. Girls and women often disguise their acne with make up, so please do wear make up to any facial and for treatments if this makes you feel more comfortable. We will cleanse the skin and make up can be reapplied afterwards. If treating the face we will always offer a high quality mineral make-up so that you leave the clinic feeling as confident as you did when you first came in, or you can put your own make up back on. For men we apply a cooling cosmeceutical product to relieve these side effects, and we also have tinted SPF to protect the skin and help disguise acne for men and boys if they like us to apply this until the condition improves.

We treat many people, young and old, with acne, and we offer privacy and discretion, so please do not be worried about your skin concerns, as we are here to help improve that condition, which is very common.


Client Testimonials

Fantastic service as always. Izzy & Millie make you feel so welcome. Izzy is super efficient & professional. I highly recommend Skin First.


I wish I could go for a treatment here every day, it was such a lovely experience! Hayley was wonderful, so informative and just magical at what she does! everything was fantastic from the music to the decor to the energy of the space. Can’t wait to book in again soon! I’ve never had a facial before as I felt intimidated by such environments but it was such a warm and friendly place to be, I’d highly recommend this clinic to anyone and everyone!


Izzy was brilliant, makes you feel really relaxed and takes time to make sure you are comfortable throughout the treatment. Had 3 RF Micro needling sessions and love the results.


I have very dark hair and have always been very conscious of it. I started to have the laser hair removal treatment firstly to my underarms. After only two sessions I was so impressed with the results. My hair was virtually gone! As a result I now have three areas treated. It is truly a fantastic treatment and leaves your skin not only hair free but baby smooth. Furthermore, the service you will receive is both informative and highly professional. After years of waxing and sugaring I have now found a hair removal treatment that I would whole heartedly recommend.

I have always had my underarms waxed but decided to try laser hair removal instead. After only one treatment I was surprised at how few hairs grew back. I have just completed my fourth treatment and can’t really see any remaining hairs. But i will finish my course of 6 to ensure that all hairs have been removed as my therapist (Cathy) told me that there are some hairs that may not be in the active growing phase which could still come through. I am delighted with the results and will definitely keep my standing order going until I have done my bikini line and then maybe even my legs.

I have always had poor skin tone and a red blotchy face, which was diagnosed as Rosacea 3 years ago. I have been prescribed antibiotics orally and taken topical medication which helped a little with the postules but did not really have significantly noticeable results; and I don’t like to take antibiotics longer term. I was therefore delighted to find that the light based treatment at SkinFirst was able to help my condition. My cheeks are much less flushed and my nose has improved markedly, and that is only at the half way stage of my full course. I would recommend this treatment to anyone else who has rosacea.

My treatment at SkinFirst, at The Village in Warrington, was quick, easy and I was very happy with the result. I had an unsightly cluster of small red veins on my face and they have now gone completely.

I would like to thank you for the improvements to my general skin condition. Many people have commented about how well I am looking and I feel like I look several years younger at least. It has given me a boost of confidence, and I think I am going to tackle my thread veins next.

I was amazed that the sun spots on my hands disappeared following a course of treatments by SkinFirst. I expected them to perhaps go a little lighter but not to go completely. There was the added benefit that my skin felt much softer too. My hands were a give away to my age and I now feel so much happier about showing them off!

As a Clinical Scientist, I recently carried out training with the staff of SkinFirst at Warrington and was most impressed with the new ‘Super MPL Combi’ machine they have installed. This new technology uses a combination of Intense Pulsed Light and Radiofrequency making the treatments effective at lower levels of energy than would normally be the case. This makes the treatments safer and more comfortable for the clients.

I am extremely pleased with the outcome of the treatment I recently received at SkinFirst in Warrington. I had a prominent blood vessel on the side of my nose which has now completely gone. I hardly felt anything during the treatment which only took a few moments. This bothersome blood vessel had been previously treated at another clinic using a different type of laser which was not only painful but did not completely remove the problem – it came back. I would certainly recommend SkinFirst for anyone with a similar problem.

I have only compliments to say, having had beauty treatments for many years Skinfirst has to be the most professional, confident, competent and comfortable to date. I wish you and you company every success and I will certainly be recommending you in the future.

I was nervous, but felt a ease straight away. I had a lot of questions which were always answered. Saw great results after 2 treatments, I would recommend SkinFirst to my friends.

I have always felt very welcome when visiting the clinic. The service was excellent and I am very pleased with how quickly I got results.

Excellent introduction, I was put as ease and the course was clearly explained. Very professional, I felt that June gave that little extra in my treatment. I have used many treatments and anti-biotics with little or no improvement over a 35 years period. The results during and at the end of the course of 6 treatments goes beyond my expectations. My only wish is that I had done this 30 years ago. My thanks and gratitude to all at SkinFirst.

Wonderful night, extremely informative. Friendly girls with lots of advice, thank you very much to you all and see you all again soon.

I have found my skin tone improved immensely and my skin felt moisturized and hydrated, I would definitely recommend SkinFirst to my friends.

I am so impressed with the treatment and love the way that it works in a non-aggressive manner. From previous laser hair sessions I was always left with burnt, damaged hair and slight skin redness and scabbing following a treatment which looked unsightly for a couple of weeks whilst the hair was worked out of the skin. Your treatment worked without any of these nasty side effects… really impressed!

I had a Radio Frequency treatment and I couldn’t believe my husband even noticed! He said it looked a lot smoother and tighter around the jaw line and on the cheek area and he said it looked younger! The results are amazing, I can’t believe that was after only one treatment!

I was a little nervous about coming in for a treatment as I’ve never had anything like this before, but I was put at ease immediately. I can honestly say I really enjoyed the whole experience – Natalie was lovely, and very understanding. I was having laser hair removal on my bikini and she was so professional and I hardly felt anything. It was 2 weeks ago and I have already seen an amazing result with patches where there is no hair. I will definitely be booking in for my underarms and legs now I know how good the results are. Thanks so much and I wish I had done this ages ago!

Results were fantastic – even after a couple of sessions. It’s like a miracle! No longer do I have to shave thick black hairs on a daily basis.

Thoroughly professional atmosphere and treatments.

For the first time in years I don’t have to wear make-up. I have had spots for most of my life and can’t believe how my skin looks now. Thanks so much!

I would definitely recommend the laser hair removal given by SkinFirst. It has completely changed my life. The service is excellent, staff very friendly and I have complete confidence in them.

I have fair skin & dark hair, after having just four sessions of the SkinFirst MPL machine. I have seen such a difference, the hair growth has slowed down so much I hardly have to shave, on some area’s like my underarms and bikini line there is no hair there any more, Its permanently gone!

Thank you so much for such a reasonable priced treatments, such good response.

My Birthday was coming up so I wanted a special treat for myself. So I called Skin First. I was welcomed with a warm reception and a glass of cold champagne.

I must admit I felt a little nervous, but everything was explained to me and I was soon looking forward to having a treatment done.My skin felt so much better and softer and I certainly saw an improvement in my skin.

I would recommend a visit to Skin First to everyone. I’m looking forward to my next appointment.

I go here for my MPL face laser treatment and I have to say Izzy is amazing! Pain free and you feel like your getting a mini facial! I love it and will always to go to SkinFirst.

Warm, comfortable surroundings and amazing treatment!

I highly recommend SkinFirst. It’s a lovely place, they make you feel really comfortable and provide all the info you need. I’m definitely going back for more treatments!

I love the results I am getting from their hair removal treatment! It does not hurt and the results can be seen straight away! Millie is amazing and the advice received is extremely useful. I would obviously recommend it to anyone wanting to get rid off any unwanted hair.

Absolutely amazing! Izzy is a credit – makes each visit brilliant by caring and making sure you’re well looked after. Can’t wait for my 4th visit in December! Thanks so much for each treatment. It’s lovely and clean & relaxing environment. Highly recommend to anyone.

I have been going to Skinfirst for a couple of months now and would highly recommend them. The dual radio frequency works absolute wonders on your face and is so relaxing. My skin is much more smooth, and so much more youthful looking, lines are far less obvious. Hair removal is so effective, very happy with legs and bikini. All treatments are very competitively priced.

Millie is so friendly, professional and puts you at ease straight away. The whole environment is very relaxing. I will continue to use Skinfirst on a regular basis. Thank you so much Millie.

The laser hair removal I’m having will be truly life changing when it’s complete, and my first radio frequency tonight was wonderful – can’t recommend it enough! Lovely staff and premises too, always enjoy my visits.

From the moment I walked through the door Millie put me at ease! The atmosphere is calm and relaxing, Millie is friendly, professional and knowledgeable.

The best bit? The laser hair removal is quick, painless and works! Can’t recommend it highly enough!

First visit to SkinFirst, so impressed with my facial by Izzy.

So relaxing, lovely welcome. Thank you x

11th May 2023

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