There is no shame in experimenting and exploiting some of the fantastic skincare treatments on the market in order to hold off the ageing process. There are alternatives to the needle - anti-ageing options that are safer and less intrusive, and more importantly, reversible. Enter Sqoom, the somewhat strangely named, innovative microcomputer-controlled anti-ageing device that led to the most extraordinary of outcomes for our tester.
A hand-held machine that promises to give the effect of a youthful complexion without the needles, pain or post-operative swelling. Its round metal transducer operates at one million ultrasound vibrations per second, apparently separating the skin cells, which in turn allows the ionisation energy to literally get to the root of the problem, driving the products deep into the skin's layers and giving the same effect as fillers or Botox. Sqoom's accompanying gels work in conjunction to moisturise the skin, improving the appearance of pigmentation or red veins.
How it works
By massaging both the epidermis and the dermis, Sqoom supplies the skin with much-needed nutrients and oxygen, which increases blood circulation in the vessels as well as stimulating the lymphatic system. This way, more nutrients and oxygen are supplied, which in turn encourages the skin to regenerate, fill and lift.
It sounds more technical than it is, but broken down, the plan simply cleanses, tones, massages, lifts and decreases wrinkles in a short eight-minute programme. Five different programmes are available, with specific gels that you apply to the metal transducer (cleanserGel, xcential hyaGel, DeSpot Gel). You start with the gel cleanser, which prepares the skin with an intensive deep clean, removing impurities and providing much-needed moisture. Aloe vera gel moisturises the skin while panathol and camomile extract have a soothing effect. Secondly, I applied the xcential hyaGel, an anti-ageing gel that includes small hyaluronic acid particles that are transported to the deep layers of the skin where they fill the hollow spaces caused by ageing. Problem areas such as hyper-pigmentation can be targeted with the xCential deSpot troubleshooter, a whitening gel containing a combination of the active ingredients sulforaphane and genistein (a similar compound to oestrogen), which brighten dark pigmentation caused by sun damage. As well as the face and neck, Sqoom can also be used on areas that need a little help such as the décolletage or the backs of hands. It can be used daily initially, followed by maintenance once or twice weekly in eight-minute sessions, or simply when you feel the need.
What's in it?
The main ingredients in the gels are anti-ageing elixir hyarulonic acid, aloe vera, argireline and panthenol. Jojoba oil and camomile extracts are there to soothe the skin.
Does it work?
I was sceptical, like I am with most so-called "wonder-treatments", and worried about putting anything near my sensitive skin. But by the second day, I noticed a dramatic change in the texture of my skin - and so did a few friends who had no idea I was using anything different. I used it over a period of four weeks religiously and by the end of my treatment, the fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes that are threatening to take over were noticeably minimised. My dry skin became more supple and the mild rosacea on my cheeks all but disappeared. Most interestingly, the stubborn hyper-pigmentation spot on my left cheek, caused by sun damage, decreased, leaving me with skin I can only achieve after a very expensive facial. My skin looks brighter and feels smoother, in the way intensive exercise improves the skin's blood circulation, giving you a healthy glow. It's addictive in the way I imagine Botox to be (I even carried it with me on a flight to Australia for fear of losing the effect). There are a lot of dud treatments on the market and I can safely say this is not one of them. What's not to love about Botox in a box?
The Sqoom system costs Dh3,999 for the starter kit, which includes the device, charger, one cleanser gel, one xcential hyaGel and one SkinCare Cream. Available at Galeries Lafayette in The Dubai Mall or Al Manara Pharmacy in Abu Dhabi's Marina Mall