What would you say if someone offered to turn back the hands of time? Would you do it? Would you go back to a younger you?
My answer? HECK NO.
I don’t know about you but the only thing really good about my 20s was that I could eat McDonald’s and never gain weight and I actually enjoyed the taste of cheap beer.
Since then, my tastes and lifestyle have improved dramatically. I feel more at ease with who I am. I feel confident, smarter, wiser, and even prettier. But some things haven’t improved drastically.
Like my waistline.
I’m about 10 pounds overweight. I’d like to blame it on the baby but since the baby is rounding the corner to five, it’s probably not attributable anymore. Plus, I did lose the baby weight. I just put it all back on. I’ll save that for another day.
Let’s talk about skin now. How is your skin doing? Is it aging gracefully? Do you long for the youthful glow of your 20s?
My answer? HECK NO.
My Skin Through the Decades
I’m going to be honest and tell you that I had plenty of breakouts all through my 20s and I never really understood how to take care of my skin. So, no, I wouldn’t want that again. Plus, there was the whole thing with my eyebrows being big and dark and, well, it just wasn’t a good look for me.
My 30s were good to me. My skin cleared up and I started buying good skincare products. And then I got pregnant. You know that whole myth about glowing when you’re pregnant? It’s true. My skin and hair never looked so good.
And then it all started going downhill.
There’s the whole loss of sleep when you become a mother. That doesn’t help. My skin has lost some of its plumpness. The fine lines are settling in nicely. The gray hairs are popping out. And my face has more spots and bumps than I ever recall. Such is the life of the aging woman.
Then I got an invitation from BodyLase Skin Spa to review their services. As in, try their services. I hesitated for about 0.43 seconds and said You bet I will!
I had no idea what I was getting into, really. I hear “spa” and I think relaxing robes and candles and facials and things like that. This is a totally different kind of spa. This is a skin spa, sometimes called a medical spa. It’s the kind of place where women go and then disappear to “Europe” for 3 weeks and then come back looking so rested.
Well, to be fair, they don’t do facelifts at BodyLase. But to be honest, I’ve learned there’s a lot you can do instead of a facelift to make you look like you would never need a facelift in the first place.
Aging: Fight or Flight?
Let me first tell you where I stand on this.
I find that most people, when in comes to cosmetic procedures, fall into one of three categories:
1. “I’ll take a facelift the first chance I get. I intend to fight the aging process every step of the way” (e.g., Joan Rivers).
2. “I’m going to age the way God intended me too, wiry gray hair, pruny face, and all.”
3. “I don’t mind getting older but I wouldn’t mind a few improvements. However, I don’t want to take unnecessary medical risks. And don’t want to look like Joan Rivers.”
Guess which category I fall into? Yep. Number 3.
So I took the plunge and drove to BodyLase to meet owner, Karen Albright, and nurse practitioner, Jule Pjetraj. I intended to go in for a consultation only. To talk about the types of procedures available and what it’s all about.
I left 2 hours later with a laser treatment and photofacial.
Here’s how it went down.
I met Karen and she introduced me to Julia, an absolutely fantastic nurse. She has her Masters in Nursing and spent years as an oncology nurse before switching to dermatology and finally to the skin spa. She was smart, friendly, funny, and down-to-earth so right away I trusted her.
We talked about what types of treatment might be good for an “aging” woman like me. The word “Botox” was thrown around, as was the word “NO!” I’m fine with all my facial muscles moving just the way they do. Plus I don’t like needles.
We settled on what’s called a 2D treatment: Laser Facial and IPL Photofacial.
Julia used what’s called the Laser Genesis Yag 1064nm Laser. Sounds scary, huh? With proper eyeshields in place, I laid down on the table and she began to run the laser all over my face. It felt like hot pulses on my skin. She would move it back and forth until it was a little too hot for my skin and then she’d move on to the next area of my skin. She got me good. Real good. But any discomfort I felt went away immediately.
The laser treatment is intended to improve skin texture, diminish wrinkles and large pores, reduce facial redness, and stimulate collagen production. Did it work? Read on to find out…
Then we moved on to the IPL (intense pulsed light) photofacial. I was pretty excited about this because Julia explained that it uses a specific wavelength of light that is attracted to browns and reds in the skin. It’s great for treating sunspots and rosacea, specifically.
I have lots of freckles on my face and not all of them are of the cute Pippi Longstocking variety. I was happy to do a little clean-up on my browns and reds so I let Julia place what felt like a very hot stapler all over my face. It wasn’t painful. It just didn’t feel very good.
Again, after the treatment, I felt fine. My skin looked fresh and slightly pink… until Julia slathered it with cream. She wanted to make sure I was properly protected from the sun. She’s probably right but it turned me a whiter shade of pale that made me look a little ghostly.
I was gentle to my face for the next week or so. No washcloths. Gentle soap. And I slowly saw some of the unwanted pigmentation rise to the surface of my skin. It was as if the melanin, or whatever it was, got zapped and slowly disintegrated. It looked like dark pepper dots on my face and then they faded to oblivion.
About a week afterwards, I looked back to normal (no pepper face). About two weeks later, I thought I looked pretty good. And when I went in for my follow up photos four weeks later, I was happy. But it wasn’t until I saw the photographic proof – the before and after – that I became a believer.
Can you see some of my freckles have faded into oblivion? Can you see the redness around my nose is gone? (By the way, why didn’t anyone ever tell me my nose is HUGE?) And I honestly see a reduction in what they call “pre-jowls.” Yes, it’s sad that this is the terminology of my life now but it’s reality.
On this side of my face, I can definitely see less pigmentation and I think, overall, my skin looks much better. To me, the differences in the pictures are dramatic. It is my skin, after all. But to the outside world, I hopefully look “well rested.”
What do you think? Would you consider it? I still stand by my rule of non-invasive procedures but I’ve got to be honest, I’m looking forward to going back.
And my theme song is no longer “If I Could Turn Back Time.” It’s now “Forever Young.” YES!
I’ve been considering treatment like this for awhile since I have acne scarring, and have some redness I think is roseacea. You look fabulous in both pictures, but the after definitely looks like your skin is smoother and less freckled. Now I just need to find a place to go!
Find someone that has been doing it a while. I also liked the fact that it was a nurse doing the procedures. They would be able to do WONDERS for you (even though I think you already look great).
Wow, I want to try that too! Thanks for posting before and after pics – I never know what treatments to take and if they really work…
It’s works! It’s worth it!
I’m a big chicken when it comes to having spa treatments especially when I won’t know how it will turn out or if it’s going to hurt or be uncomfortable. I am comfortable with what I look like although I could use a hair coloring apptointment.
If you like what you look like, then just be happy! I hadn’t thought of treatments before but when they asked, I realized how unhappy I was with my skin. It definitely looks better. I guess we all just have to be comfortable in our own skin.
Awesome! I am still in my thirties and I feel like my skin is already the way you described yours, pre-treatment. And I hate it. I just might have to go out and have this done!
I’m convinced now that this is worth it and I would definitely pay to do it again.
You look fabulous!
So do you, dahling!
This is so interesting! I have been debating getting some skin treatments and wasn’t sure what to try.
I don’t think you’d be sorry with this!
Wow – I’m still not sure I understand even what they did but it seems cool. I would totally do that if given the chance, if only to see what would happen!
All I know is there was a laser, some heat, and then some better looking skin. Next time, I promise to post really overwhelming scientific information next time.
I don’t mind aging…but I am over my post baby body and no amount of gym is going to get me the results I want, so I am thinking I will eventually go under the knife.
I have been looking at my face and wondering what kind of treatments I could undergo to smooth things out…these sound cool and look like they worked well for you! Thanks for doing before and after pics to show the procedures worked!
There is so much out there now that is non-surgical. You wouldn’t believe what’s available instead of liposuction via surgery. Don’t suck the fat out – LIQUEFY IT!
It’s worth exploring, for sure.
I’d be the one whose skin burned or turned to ash or something. I’ve never done a thing to my skin other than use drugstore face cream and daily sunblock my whole adult life (though I did have a brief affair with Clinique in my 30s). I don’t think I could muster this sort of procedure/treatment myself.
I think you have totally beautiful skin so I can’t imagine anything you’d need to do anyway. Although they are very good at pre-procedure questions. I doubt they do the IPL on you to pull the browns and reds out of your skin. You’d be colorless!
This sounds very familiar….I did IL a couple years ago…LOVED the results. I will admit I just tried botox – never thought I would…and now I can say I LOVE my forehead.
I think I would love the look of my forehead with botox… until I tried to be expressive. If it makes you happy, go for it. For me, I’d rather still with treatments that help repair and restore (and don’t wear off after a few months!)
Oh yeah….I would totally do something non-invasive like this if I had the chance. Look at your skin, woman!!!! Fantastic 🙂
Thank you! I thought my skin looked okay before but I didn’t love it. I still don’t love it but I think it looks so much better!
You look great. I’ve always been a lover of facials. I feel like if I get them done often, I’ll have younger skin. Let’s hope this is true!
It IS true! Exfoliating is key. Get rid of the dead skin cells to keep your skin looking fresh. But as you, ahem, age, you might need a little more work!
I love all your before child photos. The before and after photos in this post is amazing. Great information.
Thanks, Leigh! Although I was surprised to see that even before I had a child, I still had lines around my eyes. WHAT???
I was very happy with my over all appearance until right around 36…then wrinkles set it and I gained weight. It took me awhile to realize I could not longer eat whatever I wanted.
I firmly fall into category #3. People do not know that there is a way to have work done and not look like Joan Rivers.
Mostly nobody else notices but I do. And if you do when you look in the mirror….get thee to a medical spa.
Yay! Another believer! I’m all for natural aging. I don’t want to be someone I’m not. But if I can “enhance” things a little without risking my health, I think I’m totally okay with that.