I admit it. I'm obsessed with skincare.
I love the way makeup can make you feel but I also understand how important it is to take care of your skin. I spend plenty of time and money to take care of my skin with regular facials and a consistent skincare routine for my dry, reactive skin. I had noticed additional signs of aging recently and was concerned. I turned 40 last year and I could see things changing.
My main concern was rosacea on my left cheek which I inherited thanks to my Dad's German ancestry. The rosacea had gotten worse in that it was bright red and covered about the size of 2 quarters just to the left of my nose and arced up towards my brow. It was angry skin- often dry, bumpy and would flush bright red after a glass of wine. Definitely not a sexy look. It also made getting ready even longer since I had to apply additional concealer and foundation to cover the large red area. I was also starting to feel insecure about going around with little makeup which I prefer on those days I'm running errands or working from home.
After some research I found that IPL or Intense Pulsed Light was the right approach to address the rosacea and uneven texture on the left side of my face.
I had my first IPL Photofacial session a few weeks ago and have been really impressed with the results so far even after just one session. IPL is a great choice for improving the look of skin plus it is non-invasive and usually performed in a doctor's office or medical spa. IPL is done in a series of treatments for the best results.
What is IPL?
IPL is a laser used in different skin treatments with a handheld flashgun. The most common treatments are photofacials or hair removal. They can also be called laser skin rejuvenation, photorejuvenation or laser resurfacing.
What is IPL Used For?
The most common use for IPL is to lighten and remove discoloration. Think sun spots, brown spots on the face, neck, chest, hands or other parts of the body. It is also used for lightening and reducing redness including rosacea, dilated blood vessels and broken blood vessels on the face, neck and chest. It can help control flushing as in my case.
My experience was so easy and relaxing. I've had IPL for hair removal before which stung for sure but this first session to address my rosacea was very different and it didn't hurt at all. I found a plastic surgeon's office in Edmonds with an aesthetician I really wanted to meet because of her experience (12 years! ) and knowledge of skin treatments. After an initial consultation where we discussed my concerns and how IPL would address those concerns, I came back for my first session. Also, did I mention she is a makeup artist? Thank you, Universe.
First, she numbed my face using a cream since the IPL would take place mainly on my cheeks and this would reduce any discomfort. This took about 25 minutes for the cream to take effect. Once I was numbed up, she took me to a lovely spa- like room with a bed and a couple of machines set up. I laid down, got comfy and she began to run the handheld device over my cheeks and asked if it was comfortable for me every time she made a pass over my skin. It didn't hurt. The only thing I noticed is the bright light it emits but you wear protective eye goggles similar to those worn in tanning booths. The whole session took about 20 minutes and she sent me home with instructions to gently cleanse and moisturize my skin but to avoid the sun, skin peels or fruit acids on my face. Sunscreen was a must too. I was able to wear makeup right away.
After about a week I noticed the redness on my cheek had shrunk down quite a bit and wasn't flushing as much.
I can't wait to go back for my next session.
Friends and clients often ask me what I use in my skincare routine to get glowing skin. I'm meticulous with my skincare routine and if I have to choose just one thing that I can see an immediate difference, it is Vitamin C. My skin changed for the better once I started using it a year ago.
If you want great skin everyday or in preparation for your wedding, incorporate Vitamin C into your skincare routine.
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant powerhouse. It's a must for fighting free radicals (pollution, dirt and smog) that can age our skin. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals and photo aging from the sun to prevent skin cell damage. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C and its role in collagen synthesis make vitamin C a vital molecule for skin health. Vitamin C is also proven to brighten and even skin tone. For these reasons it is my holy grail product. I can tell an immediate difference in my skin after just a couple days.
I recommend using a Vitamin C serum layered under your daytime cream with a sunscreen. It has been shown to increase the efficiency of sunscreen protection as well. You can also use it under your night cream and before any other serums or face oil at night.
My favorites are Skinceuticals CE Ferulic serum and Obagi Professional C 15%. The texture of both serums is lightweight enough to absorb quickly and are perfect for all skin types. Drunk Elephant also makes a lovely Vitamin C day serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex, essential nutrients, fruit enzymes, and an antiaging chronopeptide to visibly firm, brighten, and diminish the appearance of photo aging (sun-damage).