“Time marches on,” Dolly Parton said as Truvy in Steel Magnolias, “and sooner or later you realize it’s marching across your face.” As sad as it is for me to admit, I’m at that tipping point where “it will happen one day” has become “it’s happening now.” It’s time to ask myself a serious question: What would Dolly do? She’d pull out the big guns and she’d fight the march of time. So that’s exactly what I did.
In this instance, “big guns” means a BBL laser, which I experienced at Facial Aesthetics Center of RI. BroadBand Light therapy is a laser treatment that treats discoloration like rosacea and sunspots, stimulating new collagen production in your skin. Long story short: it makes you look younger. But, it’s also a laser. A hot, hurty laser that I was going to let someone apply to my face a lot of times, in the hopes that afterwards I would like what I saw in the mirror more than I did before.
When Licensed Medical Esthetician Jennifer Amaral asked me what I wanted to concentrate on, I gestured to my face, with its ghostly little lines and sunspots, and said, “I want to fix all of this.” So she went to work - and I went under the knife, literally. To start, Jennifer did a Dermaplane, which is a manual exfoliation of the face. Unlike a chemical exfoliation that dissolves the gunk, this uses a surgical blade to remove the top layer of dead skin and fine hair. Think of it like an old timey barbershop shave. It sounds a little scary, but it was totally painless, took only a couple of minutes, and left my face smooth and radiant. That alone would have been a huge step in the right direction for me, and the Dermaplane is usually done in combination with a facial, but can be done alone, too. After, we did a Hydrafacial, which is a fast and very effective facial treatment that deep cleans your pores and leaves your skin glowing from the inside out.
Now my face was cleaned, prepped, and ready for the main event: the BBL laser. It went like this: a one-second hot zap, followed by a few seconds of cool, and then onto the next section. It didn’t feel like nothing, but it didn’t feel nearly as bad as I imagined a laser on my face would feel. The whole thing took maybe 20 minutes. Jennifer concentrated on rosacea and brown spots on my face and the emerging marionette lines around my mouth. After, to calm my skin down, she applied a Skinceuticals Phyto Masque to soothe redness and inflammation, followed by a regimen of high-powered Skinceuticals products: Phyto Gel, Hydrating B5 Gel and Ultra Clear SPF.
Jennifer had warned me that I might have a few days of downtime, and that I needed to be vigilant about sun exposure for three weeks. I felt like I looked very red when I left the spa, but when I met a friend for dinner immediately afterwards, I had to point out the color before she noticed. For a couple of days, I felt tender and looked a little swollen, but nothing that made me feel uncomfortable leaving the house. Through the next couple of weeks, as my skin fully repaired itself, I started noticing subtle differences. My skin looked plumper. The tone was more even. Those tiny lines filled themselves in. I had a glow that was definitely new. The amount of makeup I wanted to wear lessened each day, until it was just tinted moisturizer and mascara. Very unlike Dolly. And very unlike my normal self. This is a war I might just win.
Facial Aesthetics Center of RI
2730 South County Trail, East Greenwich