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Naoko's Skin Journey

Naoko's Skin Journey

"MY ACNE is NO LONGER A PROBLEM!!!! I’ve never had such clear skin!!!! I recommend these facials to anyone suffering from acne outbreaks or hormonal acne outbreaks. The laser treatments are totally effective to treat acne from deeper within the skin."

Naoko is a makeup artist from North London. We know, she’s beautiful. Having always suffered from acne and having recurring outbreaks since the age of 21, she decided to begin a six-session course of Absolutely Flawless - our trusty and oh-so brilliant advanced treatment for acne-prone skin - to combat her acne once and for all. The treatment includes acne-clearing laser, LED to reduce inflammation, extractions and targeted products to treat acne at every stage. And so begins her skin health journey with Pfeffer Sal.

Naoko's treatment plan

Therapist Notes: Phase I: Manage congestion which is leading to the cause of the scarring. Explained to client that we must address cause of scarring before treating scars otherwise will be a reoccurring issue.

Absolutely Flawless programme – 6 sessions ideally spaced over 2-week intervals

ClearSkin laser objectives: to effectively reduce the oil levels produced by the sebaceous glands, therefore leading to less congestion; reduction in P.Acne bacteria reducing breakouts. As an effect of this, less post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) = a more even tone and a healthier complexion.

Naoko's course included 6 Absolutely Flawless treatments. On one of our skin health journey plans, when you buy 5 treatments, you receive the 6th free.

Additional treatments - 1 Go Under the Light 20-minute session.

  • 24th October - Skin analysis, patch test and first Absolutely Flawless treatment
  • 31st October - Go Under the Light treatment to support skin healing
  • 6th November - Second Absolutely Flawless treatment
  • 22nd November - Third Absolutely Flawless treatment
  • 14th January - Fourth Absolutely Flawless treatment
  • 28th January - Fifth Absolutely Flawless treatment and skin scans to review progress
  • 20th March - Final Absolutely Flawless treatment

Skin history

Let’s start at the very beginning. Naoko’s skin was at its most distressed in her late teens and early twenties. “I had acute acne when I was younger - I had to go on quite a heavy dose of Roaccutane three times but it has never completely gone away,” she told us.  “I know it’s hormonal because it happens at certain points around my period and even though it’s no longer as bad as when I was younger, it does come back from time to time.”

Top left: In 2018. Top right: At 21 years of age. Bottom: Throughout her 20s.

Naoko's skin now...

Initial skin review

Therapist notes: 

Skin analysis showed combination skin – skin type IV; moderate grade IV acne, (inflamed papules and pustules - Burton scale); porphyrins present.

She presented with dehydration, poor skin lipid quality, textural irregularities, mild diffused redness centre of face and pigmentation in the form of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and sun damage. Noted also, increased activity within the sebaceous glands particularly on the T-zone area and extending onto the jawline.


Lifestyle analysis: exercises regularly which helps increase blood flow and carries essential nutrients to the skin. Healthy, balanced diet and using various supplements.

Home treatment skin care consisted of various different brands and no consistent regime.

Plan / issues to address:

Improve hydration and reduce over exfoliating/stripping the skin – restore skin health.

Reduce DIY extractions which are leading to self-inflicted scarring.

Manage congestion.

Introduce the following skincare treatment at home consisting of:

AM+PM – Double cleanse (AHA/ BHA exfoliator)

AM+PM – Hyaluronic acid serum

AM+PM – Non-comedogenic moisturiser

As and when needed – Spot treatment (to be applied on affected congested areas)

The Treatment Programme - Absolutely Flawless

Absolutely Flawless works wonders – wait, allow us to rephrase that - totally and utterly transforms congested skin. And trust us when we say, whatever it is that’s causing your skin to act out, it ain’t got nothing on this...

Phase 1

After a consultation, skin is cleansed before a skin analysis. Next up is the ClearSkin laser which glides over breakouts and works to shrink the sebaceous glands and reduce oil and bacteria.

- ClearSkin

The non-ablative Er:Glass 1540 nm laser deeply penetrates the skin, causing thermal damage to the sebaceous glands, destroying P. acnes bacteria and reducing sebum production while leaving the surface layer of the skin (epidermis) intact while contact cooling protects the skin, reducing discomfort. It treats various types of acne while also achieving a gentle rejuvenating effect, diminishing the appearance of acne scars by stimulating collagen renewal. One of the most comfortable laser treatments available - the laser tip feels cold so when the laser is fired it feels nice and warm. The aim is to destroy acne bacteria, reduce inflammation and control oil production.

Phase 2

This is followed by exfoliation and then extractions to safely remove any congestion.

- Exfoliation

Exfoliators are products that encourage cell turnover. Exfoliators can be physical (grains that manually scrub dead skin cells off), or chemical (chemicals that dissolve dead skin cells).Exfoliating routines help to remove the build up of corneocytes (non living cells) allowing healthy looking skin by reducing the thickness of the utmost layer of skin and maintaining reproductive properties of the cells.

- Extractions

Extraction is the process of physically clearing clogged pores. This can be done via vacuum technology, with special tools, lancing, or manually applying pressure to free the clogged oil. Extractions are also helpful in the removal of milia. Although very satisfying, efficient and safe extraction is a specialised skill and should be left to the experts! A trained dermal therapist will be able to judge which breakouts are suitable to safely extract, and which ones should be left alone.

Phase 3

Next is a sheet mask, shoulder massage (you know, for extra ‘mmm’) and then the LED light to ease inflammation to finish


LED phototherapy technology uses clinically proven wavelengths of light to effectively treat and improve multiple skin conditions and overall skin health. 

The combination of blue and red light are remarkably effective at tackling acne, ridding the skin of problem-causing bacteria to prevent future breakouts and calming inflammation. For those with sensitive skin and Rosacea, LED treatment is an ideal, allergen-free way to improve the skin’s barrier function, making it more resilient and reducing redness.

LED also has the ability to revitalise skin cells, stimulate collagen production and improve the energy function of your mitochondria (the powerhouse of skin cells).


What did Naoko think?

“I feel brighter - I just glanced in the mirror and I feel very dewy and refreshed. I was surprised that the laser didn’t hurt at all and that it was actually a really relaxing experience. I have had painful laser in the past where it felt like a rubber band was being flicked against my skin which made me flinch every time the laser went off but this was completely different. There’s a cold head on the end of the laser meaning you don’t feel the sensation of it on your skin."


Meanwhile back at home

Naoko is working hard to maintain her skin in between treatments. Here’s what she’s using...

4 months and 4 treatments later...

"I’ve had 5 acne outbreaks since my first treatment but my skin has cleared up each time within a few days.
My skin has never been so clear! I am so grateful for these incredibly effective treatments.

So far, these treatments of laser, chemicals peels, LED’s (and great skincare) have massively improved my skin quality and MY ACNE is NO LONGER A PROBLEM!!!! I’ve never had such clear skin!!!!
I recommend these facials to anyone suffering from acne outbreaks or hormonal acne outbreaks. The laser treatments are totally effective to treat acne from deeper within the skin."

End of Course Treatment Review

Therapist notes: 

Considerable reduction in the activity of the sebaceous gland activity and the presence of porphyrins. Visible improvement in scarring as a result of less picking from client and introduction of relevant homecare treatment programme to help manage reoccurring congestion.

Noted overall changes:

- much more even tone and texture, plumper skin overall

- reduction in diffused redness, less underlying inflammation

- reduction in fine lines, skin is able to hold more moisture

- considerable progressive reduction in breakouts, and faster healing if and when they occur

- reduction of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

- overall healthier complexion

Current skincare maintenance homecare programme:

AM+PM – Double cleanse (AHA/ BHA exfoliator?)

AM+PM.- Toner (balance the pH of the skin and promote the growth of "friendly" bacteria on the skin)

AM+PM – Synergie Vitamin B serum

AM+PM - AHA/ BHA serum

AM+PM – Non-comedogenic moisturiser

As and when needed – Spot treatment (to be applied on affected congested areas)

Phase II: Address scarring.

Proposal to address PIH scarring with Ultra Synergy (microneedling).

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