I’m revising and reposting some of my archived content as I am working to build all the images back into my original blog posts. This post (from 2007) hit home as lately I’ve been trying to further simplify my daily skin care routine.
I have received several questions about facials and wanted to shed a little light on my past experiences.
Since I was little, I’ve been looking at fashion magazines and seeing the beautiful skin of the models. I had no idea they were airbrushed, so in my mind, that was how I wanted and expected my skin to appear. I suffered with some breakouts throughout high school. And when I moved from Seattle, Washington, (mild and moist climate) to Tucson, Arizona, (hot and super dry) for college – my skin really suffered. The mixture of the dry climate and sun exposure was horrible for me. Inside I felt great, but on the outside, my skin didn’t reflect what I wanted it to. I tried every product I could get my hands on. (Which I now know is the worst thing you can do.) Moving back home to Seattle – being super conscious of what I ate, exercising regularly, and being out of the sun helped me get my skin where I wanted it to look.
In 2001, I was at a charity auction, browsing the items, and came across an Esthetique Medical Spa package for a series of chemical peel facials. I didn’t know any specifics about what that meant – but it peaked my interest immediately. Luckily, no one else discovered the item and I won the auction for $60. (The package was worth over $500!) The series helped my skin tremendously. And it was the first exposure I had to what a “facial” could do.
Since that time, I’ve had facials all over the world. Some for deep cleansing. Some for exfoliation. Some for hydration. And all had a component of relaxation associated.
Here is what I have found to be best for maintaining a great complexion:
• Facials are relaxing and refreshing – but unless there’s some form of damage reversal (peel, microdermabrasion, laser) involved, it’s not worth it to me. The cost of these treatments is minimal compared to the frequency required for surface facials or spending all kinds of money on over the counter products – that claim miracle results. If it sounds too good to be true (the cream version of Botox!), it probably is.
• If you’re going to have a deep cleansing facial, ask for light extractions and use the time for mental relaxation. The effects of the facial will likely wear off after a couple days – that’s why I prefer something that does more work to improve my skin.
• Go to a medical spa for facial treatments and ask for a consultation with the MD to start. The pictures above are from an skin analysis I had at Regenesis Medical Spa in Charlotte. These images are the first realistic view I’ve had of the damage done to my skin from laying out in the sun and tanning in booths. Seeing these gave me an opportunity to make goals about how I can to improve.
• Pick a simple skin care routine (and it doesn’t have to be costly). I use
Cetaphil CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, prescription clindamycin pledgets, and Aveeno lotion with SPF Cerave PM lotion. The cost is around $20/month for these. Don’t be fooled by the fancy claims of some of the products on the market. Find items that work for you and stick to them. Spend (or save) the money you would have on over on the counter products and use it to reverse the signs of sun damage or aging with a chemical peel, microderm, or laser treatment.
• I’ve recently added SkinMedica’s Retinol Complex at night to aid in exfoliation. Since I’m on the airplane so much, I need to keep the regeneration of cells moving. It’s not irritating and I wake up knowing I’ve helped my skin through the night. The product was developed by a pharmaceutical company and was recommended by a dermatologist.
• Drink water. Eat for energy and nutrition. And exercise your mind and body.
2012 additions for a skin care plan:
• Visit a dermatologist. They can help you. Dr. McElgunn in Charlotte is the best I’ve encountered. He’s the first doctor I’ve ever visited that sees his patients exactly on time and based on his experience can immediately assess your situation.
• If all else fails, and you’re having a crappy skin day, do this.