Give Good Face or Aging is Hell

Aging is hell.  It’s inevitable.  We all have to go through it, but there’s no joy in feeling 18 years old on the inside and looking into the mirror to see a wrinkled face staring back at you.  I know I’m pretty lucky in the fact that I have good genes and I don’t look my age.

But these days, no one looks their age.  Face fillers, Botox, lasers, oh my.  I have not been one to jump on the “I want to mess around with my face so I look younger” train, but there have always been things that bothered me and I decided to do something about it.  If I was doing an internal transformation after my divorce, I was doing an external one as well.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I got horrible melasma.  I’ve always had freckles, and I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with them.  But, when some of my freckles turned black, and others grew, got darker and combined into one big freckle, it drove me bananas.  You know what else drives me bananas?  No makeup selfies, but here you go.  No filter, no melasma.  Yippee!

Aging is hell

I had been seeing a dermatologist regularly for skin cancer checks, but I always asked about the melasma, and I was always told there wasn’t a lot I could do about it.  She said she could laser them off for me, but it wasn’t covered under insurance and the day I forgot to wear sunscreen or a hat, they would return.  I decided those were odds I didn’t want to fight with, so I left it.

When that dermatologist left and I got a new one, I complained about one particularly troubling spot on my forehead.  She thought it looked suspicious, so she froze it off for me, but she didn’t see anything wrong with the other areas and basically told me the same story.

Fast forward several years when I’m having dinner with my friend Autumn, who looks amazing, and I asked what she was doing to her face?  She referred me to her esthetician, Laura, and it started from there.

Facials

Dermaplaning– This one is like getting a shave.  Dead skin cells are removed with a scalpel, along with all that peach fuzz.  Your skin will feel as smooth as a baby’s butt, but it’s not my favorite facial. While there’s nothing wrong with it, I just saw better results with microdermabrasion, and I can shave my own face if I want to.

Enzyme– Once I did the IPL, I wanted something lighter that didn’t sting.  Your skin looks really good afterwards because it’s nice and exfoliated.

IPL Photofacial– We started with three IPL treatments. IPL gets rid of the sun damage and those nasty melasma spots.  It doesn’t remove them completely, nothing will, but it lightens them and I immediately saw a difference.  She puts gel all over your face and then she blasts it with a high intensity light thingy. It stings and you’ll be red for a little while afterwards, but it was minimal downtime and it only hurts when you’re being zapped.  The brown spots get darker, turn into what look like coffee grounds, and eventually fall off.   These treatments are done in succession about 2 weeks apart.

I had a 4th treatment, but really feel three was the magic number.  I was also told, sunscreen every day and wear a hat in the sun at all times.

Microdermabrasion– Like dermaplaning, this gets rid of the top layer of dead skin cells by exfoliation.  She uses a little tool that blasts the skin with tiny crystals, while simultaneously sucking up the crystals and the dead skin.  Of all the facials, I thought I had the best results with this one.

Microneedling– Ahhh nothing like getting your face pelted with an instrument that holds tiny needles which puncture the skins surface, promoting collagen production.  It feels like you’re getting tattooed.  First, there’s numbing cream.  I’m not sure what it numbed besides my lips, which I couldn’t feel, but I wouldn’t want to try this procedure without it.

Laura said she would start at the forehead which was the worst since there’s not a lot of fat there. I was worried about my nose, but that was the part that hurt the least.  She just moved the wand all over and all over again and all over again. You’re face feels like it’s on fire and it gets really red.  Then she said, “Wow, you’re bleeding a lot,” as she kept rubbing my face.

I said, “My very own vampire facial.”  To which she replied, “Exactly.  By the way, don’t you ever do that.  There’s no science behind it and its total crap.”  I wasn’t planning on it…  Finally, she finished with some sort of mask.

The fire feeling only lasted a few hours, the redness one day.  This was by far my favorite procedure.  I had some slight peeling, but not bad.  My skin feels more plumb {all that new collagen} and my pores are visibly smaller.

Laser

Erbium– This hurt like a motherfucker, and I have a high tolerance for pain.  It’s basically frying off several layers of skin, resulting in what feels, and looks, like the worst sunburn you’ve ever had.  A couple days later, your face turns really hard and leathery, then your skin starts to crack.  Next comes the peeling and you molt like a snake.

I will never do this one again because I was expecting amazing results for the pain endured.  Coupled with the amount of downtime {about a week before I could wear make-up} I just didn’t think it was that great.

I text Autumn a lot about my different treatments, so when she invited me to a concert two days after this laser, I just responded with “Dude, my face.”

I’m all about aging gracefully, but I’ll follow the French protocol of fixing the one thing that bothers you and leaving the rest alone.  Let’s chalk this external transformation up to self-care, preventative care, and righting the one thing that bothered me.

Go visit Laura at Skinsanity!  She no longer does laser treatments, but she will refer you to someone who does.

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