Now that I’m 46 years old, I’m starting to see a lot more issues with my skin. I’ve always had acne issues. But my 40s started something else…. Wrinkles. Uneven pigmentation. Dull skin. Sagging. And I still have acne issues! Nothing good happens to your skin after 40. In fact nothing good happens to your body after 40. I need reading glasses and can’t lose weight to save my life. And then there’s just random aches and pains. But I digress.
I started with Botox in my 11s, or forehead area, the lines between my eyebrows. I was noticing all my photos showed those pronounced lines. Like I was angry looking in all my photographs. The first time I got Botox, I was scared. But it’s only five little pricks with the needle. The results were great at first. Lasting a solid three months. However, after the past two years of continuous treatments, I’m noticing it’s only working about 6 weeks. I was tempted to go more often but can’t help but feel every three months is enough. Plus $200 a session isn’t cheap.
So I’ve decided to move on to new treatments. I had noticed that not only was the Botox softening my fine lines, but the Botox was also helping my forehead acne. A quick talk with my medical spa physician assistant and she recommended dermal infusions. So I looked it up.
Dermal infusion is also known as SilkPeel, an advanced skin resurfacing treatment. It’s an exfoliating treatment designed to make your skin look better. The dermal infusion device is a pen shaped tool that exfoliates and sucks up grime from the skin while infusing the skin with treatment. The tool has a three in one hand piece, a diamond plate to gently buff away clogged pores and dry skin with a low pressure vacuum to suck up dirt and dry skin which is enclosed in a serum filled chamber to push customized serums straight into the pores. Your esthetician works with you to determine which serums to use. There is a salicylic acid serum to clear pores and fight breakouts, a hyaluronic acid serum to plump skin, and a brightening serum to fade acne scars and melasma.
At my office, a single treatment was $225. But they recommended multiple treatments to have any effect. My office offered a six month program in which you paid $149 a month for one treatment a month. On the third and six month slot you could get an alternative treatment. Based on what goals I was trying to achieve, we decided to do IPL. My goals are to have less acne, less wrinkles and a more even skin tone by getting rid of brown spots.
I got my first dermal infusion treatment. The procedure take about twenty minutes. They take off any makeup you have and then apply the machine. I went with gentlest cycle as I have extremely sensitive skin. It didn’t hurt at all. It just felt like someone was scraping my skin slightly. I was able to leave and go straight out. There was no redness. In fact, you could not tell anything was done but for the moist feeling on my skin.
They used a combination of the salicylic acid and the hyaluronic acid. I really looked the same. The next day I broke out. Some fairly bad cystic acne pimples. I was not happy. After the breakout subsided, my skin liked the same.
Returned for another dermal infusion. Stayed on same lowest setting. No pain or redness. I can definitely take it up a notch. I stuck with just the salicylic acid this time. I was getting ready to break out so I didn’t want to risk making that worse.
This time the serum worked. My impending breakout was averted! Winning! I didn’t notice any other effects. My skin looked the same. One week later, pimple back with a vengeance. Losing!
So far I have not noticed any difference in my skin. I still have wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. I’m feeling like this is a waste of time and money.
IPL. I’m scared. On the third month, My program includes a switch. They recommended IPL.
Intense Pulsed Light. Also known as photorejuvenation. IPL hits the skin with quick and powerful flashes of light to erase mild sun damage, freckles, and irregular pigmentation.
The technician started out by removing all my makeup and slathering some thick cold gel on my face. She also added a tiny pair of goggles to protect my eyes.
The pain to be expected was described as being the snap of a rubber band. That scared me. The zaps of light felt like weak snaps of rubber bands. So it really wasn’t bad. Oh and we used weakest setting for this first treatment. Took about 15 minutes as she zapped my skin over 100 times. But I really didn’t think it hurt.
Afterward I actually looked fine. Barely any redness. I thought it would be worse. But afterward I experienced about 30 minutes of burning on my skin. It felt like I got a really bad sunburn for a half hour. But they told me to expect that.
After that initial burning, I look pretty good. The office told me to expect the brown spots on my face to get darker, before they fall off. Basically meaning that the lasers burn the brown spots off. They darken before falling off. I’m starting to see some dark brown spots on my face. But basically my freckles are darker so the brown spots just look like more freckles. But it’s not very noticeable yet.
The dark spots took about 10 days to disappear completely. I love it! This faded some old acne dark spots. But not all of them. Kinda wondering why it worked better on some spots and not others. Next time I’m getting a deeper treatment because I loved this.
I have to say one negative about the IPL. I was out in the sun and my sunscreen wasn’t strong enough and all the dark spots came back. So while IPL will lighten dark spots, you need to be diligent about avoiding the sun forever. So that is something to consider.
Another dermal infusion, ugh. I’m dreading the breakout. I kept the same low setting with the salicylic acid infusion.
So far no breakout! Finally. But I really haven’t noticed any difference with my skin after four months. And at $150 a month, that’s just too much money to waste on something that doesn’t work. I’m going to see what they can do for month 5.
I spoke with the clinic and they are switching my next procedure to Laser Genesis, or laser resurfacing. Hmmm, I don’t even know what that is. Will have to look into it. Here’s what their website has to say.
I arrived for my appointment. I went into the room and they prepped me by taking off my makeup and then placing eye goggles over my eyes. The lasers can damage your eyes so you have to take this precaution.
Then the technician uses a wand that shoots the laser on your skin. She works in small sections passing the laser over the same area until the area gets very hot. There were some points I had to stop her so the heat would lessen. It’s gets hot and the laser almost shocks you. Like small zaps. You also smell the faint scent of hair frying. At one point the technician also covered my eyebrows and teeth with cotton to protect them from the laser.
The whole treatment took about half an hour. Overall, my skin was slightly red. I felt slightly hot for a few minutes but it wasn’t really noticeable and didn’t last long.
About an hour later I discovered small whitehead pimples on my chin. I also realized my eyebrows got s little singed. Like curly on the ends. Losing part of my eyebrow was not what I wanted. But luckily my hair grows fast.
Day 2. A couple more small Whitehead pimples. My friend said maybe my skin looks brighter. By night, I had some bumps on my face. Day 3. Another little pimple. Day 4. My skin looks great. The little Whitehead pimples went away and my skin does look brighter. But once again, I went outside and the sun completely ruined the effects.
So after five months, what’s my conclusion? The dermal infusions were a waste of money. All they are is expensive facials. You get a nice deep cleaning but my skin didn’t look better. Same wrinkles and fine lines.
The IPL and laser resurfacing were great. My skin did look brighter. My uneven complexion was better. But if you ever go into the sun again, the effects are immediately reversed. You will have to commit to hats forever. I had sunscreen on and it wasn’t enough to stop the sun from ruining the effects. You can literally never go outside again. So I just can’t keep wasting my money on these treatments. I have decided to move on from my skin to focus on my sagging face. I’m looking into Ultherapy and skin tightening treatments like Exilis. I’ll keep everyone posted on this next venture.