GFIT – sounds like a new gym but is actually a revolutionary new skin treatment so good that people are abandoning their surgical treatments in favour of this facial. I, the ever-ready guinea pig, decided to check it out and see what the hype is all about. I went to Amy Knoetze, Medical Aesthetic Therapist, Director AQ Skin Solutions SA and Founder of Pulse Dermatology and Laser, who helped bring this new treatment to South African shores.
What Is GFIT?
Growth Factor Induction Therapy (GFIT) is a term to describe the introduction of specific growth factors into the skin. What are growth factors? Basically, they’re messenger cells that, when isolated into specific forms for different functions, talk to your cells and tell them to create certain processes in your body. For example, growth factors for scarring would ask your skin cells to heal that area and prevent scarring, while growth factors for hair growth would ask those cells to accelerate hair growth. With GFIT, growth factors are harvested, isolated and then used in its most targeted, ideal form. They can be used for vaginal rejuvenation, hair growth and in various other forms.
What about the vampire facial?
The vampire facial, also known as the Blood Plasma Facial or Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), takes your own blood, and therefore your own growth factors. The result is that the effects can vary from person to person, depending on the propensity of your own growth factors to facilitate cell regeneration. “In PRP, you’re using the same growth factors in orthopaedics, for your face, for your hair. So you can get a good result, sometimes not so much,” says Amy.
Part 1: Prepping the skin
“Today we are using the growth factor specifically for repairing the tissue of skin,” says Amy. First, she preps my skin with a quick clean and then aplies numbing cream. That’s because the growth factors need to be needled into my skin for maximum retention, which hurts quite a bit. My face is then wrapped in clingwrap and we wait about 30 minutes for the cream to take effect.
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Part 2: Growth Serum Introduction
Next, the numbing cream is wiped off and Amy applies the growth factor serum to my skin, which is then introduced further using a Dermastamp. The Dermastamp, a small stamp dotted with little needles, is a form of microneedling: pricking the skin with tiny sterilised needles. “The small wounds cause your body to make more collagen and elastin, which heal your skin and help you look younger,” explains Amy.
Part 3: Soaking it all in
Next, Amy leaves the growth factors on my face and uses a growth factor mask – AQ Skin Solutions Intensive Moisturising Repair Mask. The mask is so potent and popular, says Amy, that tons of therapists have been using them at the end of their treatments to maximise the results.
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Part 4: LED Therapy
With the mask on, I’m treated to a further ten minutes under the LED light. Using red light therapy, the mask and light treatments work together to ease scarring, zap acne and give me that spa glow.
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By the end, my skin was completely glowing, as though someone had gently wiped off the dermas on top, leaving me looking like a freshly-born baby. In a good way. For aftercare, I have a tube of AQ Skin Solutions Active Serum, which I’m to apply every day. The growth factors shouldn’t be washed off for one day, and to get the most from the treatment, no sun exposure is allowed.
The next few days, my skin is absolutely radiant. To date, two weeks on, I have’t had an extra pimple to complain about, and my hyperpigmentation seems to have taken an early vacation from my face. All I feel is #blessed.