Earlier this year, Australian skincare brand, Vanessa Megan, conducted clinical trials to prove the effectiveness of natural products in treating problem skin.
Over social media, the brand called-out to anyone over the age of 18 years suffering from acne, pigmentation or rosacea to participate. They advertised a 6 week skin study, trialling their certified organic products.
Those interested answered a questionnaire about their lifestyle and specific skin issues, sent in photographs without makeup, and were asked to submit a short video explaining why they wanted to be involved.
All entries were assessed by Alex Owen, the brands’ resident aesthetician. A group of 22 were chosen.
“I wanted to see visible signs of the conditions – we weren’t looking for people with a tiny spot or freckle who assumed their skin was really bad,” she told SPA+CLINIC.
Alex spoke with each successful applicant over Skype to diagnose their condition, then prescribed them with 6 weeks worth of complimentary Vanessa Megan skincare.
In exchange, participants were asked to closely monitor their skin, documenting changes and reporting to Alex on a weekly basis. At the end of the trial, they were asked to submit a final video, discussing their journey and send in photographs of their transformation.
They were prescribed and supplied with various Vanessa Megan products suited to their individual conditions over the weeks that followed, but three products were used across the board: The Petitgrain Cream Cleanser, Rose Water Spray, and the Natures Elixir Face Oil.
“Skin conditions often become chronic because the skin has been overworked and is over-sensitised and over-exposed,” Alex explained.
“This is why we made sure we stripped routines back-to-basics, then once they were into the program (and we could see how they were responding) we gradually introduced more products.
“Although most of the people in the trial knew a little bit about our brand, none had used it before – most were used to more clinical-looking skincare and using lots of products.
“Now the study has finished, we’re working to share their stories on social media so we’re trying to get great “after” pictures that really capture the improvements.
“Some saw results within a week and said immediately that their skin and others went through an initial adjustment phase but then everyone’s skin balanced out – and the positive feedback from the weekly questionnaires was unanimous.
“By the end of the trials, it felt like we’d won 22 true brand ambassadors and they’re all people who wouldn’t have normally bought our products.
“A lot of participants said their skin had never felt better and that their friends and family had noticed.”
Maggie Ball, an office-worker based in Martinsville, NSW, was the first to finish her 6 week trial. She hoped to find a solution to the hormonal breakouts on her chin. She was also concerned by the tell-tale lines developing around her mouth. It was a catch 22, as every anti-ageing skincare product she purchased in an effort to reduce them, aggravated her acne.
“Maggie actually had pretty good skin for a 52 year old,” Alex said. “But I could see quite a bit of redness and believed that by consistently using the Vanessa Megan range, she could diffuse it, while lessening the visibility of the lines around her mouth.”
We share Maggie’s Vanessa Megan skin journey:
AM: Splash your skin with tap water if desired, there is no need to cleanse. Apply Triple Action Eye Lift Serum around eye area. If skin is a little dry and you feel you need to moisturise use Rose and Chamomile Moisturiser. The Vanessa Megan philosophy is to let the skins natural oils rebalance during the day. Your skin should still feel incredibly soft, clean and bright from the previous evenings product use. Use your preferred sunscreen and or make up if desired but please avoid if not needed.
PM: Gently cleanse with Petitgrain Cream Cleanser (apply using circular movements and rinse away) Apply Triple Action Eye Lift serum around eye area. Apply Neo Oil and Epi Cell Serum mixed together (3-6 drops of each equally mixed together) Massage all over face and neck.
Weekly Additions: Use Prebiotic and Vit C Exfoliator twice a week in the evening in place of cleanser. Mix a little of the powder (a 10 cent size piece) with tap water into a paste solution. Apply all over the face and neck, leave on for 5 minutes and rinse away with water doing light circles all over as you rinse away, so you get a gentle but thorough exfoliation. Use the Cryo Ice Cube Facelift Treatment once a week after exfoliating as above apply in the given muslin cloth all over face and neck straight from freezer. Allow to melt all over face and neck and massage well into the skin including the eye area. Leave to sink on skin overnight.
The Skin Diary
Week 1: The transformation in my skin this week has been pretty dramatic. My hormonal breakouts have entirely cleared up. My skin is brighter with a visible reduction in redness and fine lines and increase in radiance. I’ve had several compliments.
Week 2: This is the best skincare I’ve ever used – and I’ve tried a lot of products. It feels like my skin is transforming from the inside – getting healthier in a way that is sustainable rather than just improving on the surface layer. My skin was very hormonal before I started – breaking out a lot on the chin and that has cleared up completely and very quickly (within the first week). My skin is literally glowing – I haven’t touched blush since I started the trial and I have received a lot of compliments telling me how well I look. This is the first time I’ve been able to use a moisturiser on my chin and around my mouth without breaking out. I love the lemongrass scent, the ease of the routines, the way my skin feels, and the fact that everything is good for me. So delighted with this trial and how it has changed my skin and the way I feel about myself.
Week 3: Though the change is not quite as spectacular as last week, my skin continues to be good, glowing and healthy looking. I had a hormonal breakout on the chin on Monday evening and by Tuesday morning they were entirely gone/clear (thanks to an extra application of the wonderful Neo Oil. This week I’m noticing a tightening of the pores and general overall density improvement – my skin feels and looks tighter to me. I’ve had no dryness at all since starting the treatment and a few dry patches in the eyebrows have also cleared up. I’m also really looking forward to my ‘indulgent’ exfoliation twice a week and especially the Sunday night Cryo Facelift, which leaves my skin looking particularly glowing all throughout Monday (a nice way to improve Mondays!).
Week 4: I continue to feel very good about my skin and look forward every night to using the products, especially Wed and Sun when I exfoliate and on Sunday, when I use the Cryo Facelift cube which makes my skin feel extra amazing all through Monday. This week I’ve been noticing more subtle changes like a continuing increase in density and tighter pores, plus a reduction in the very fine lines next to my eyes.
Week 5: Most of the changes this week are in density, fine lines and a reduction in pigmentation. I’ve really noticed a difference in the eye area this week and also some reduction in pigmentation.
Week 6: I’ve been so happy overall with this trial – my skin is so much better – tighter, denser, glowing without makeup. Improvement continues this week around the eye area, which has taken a bit longer to show up but is now happening – tighter lids (I use the eye serum on my lids – it’s gentle enough!), fewer wrinkles, underarm bags lessened and generally brighter. Density is also better and colour more even. I love these products, and will be continuing to use them ongoing. They’re the best anti-aging, anti-inflammation products I’ve ever used. Thank you!
To view Maggie’s “after” video, click here.