Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Saving face

Actual Age: 30
How I look: (rumour has it) 25 (but I've gotten from 22 to 26)
How I feel: 17, at most

With the wedding (oh, not THAT again) coming up in a month (gulp!), I decided to talk to my esthetician about my skin. (She usually focuses on other (nether) areas... with hot wax...) To sum up, I don't have good skin, and I never have. My mom has rosacea, and I struggled with acne in high school and university, right up to the day that I got my doctor to prescribe a pill that would help. Four years later, I decided to cycle off, because at 25, there's no way I could still have acne, right?

Whoa.

Let's just say that the surge of ridiculously bad acne was worse than it was at 14, perhaps because I was 25 and less mentally able to handle it, but I think that it was definitely worse. (There's something fundamentally wrong with needing to treat acne and fine lines at the same time). So I went back to my doctor and got re-prescribed. She said it would take at least 10 weeks to kick in. So I asked for something topical, too. Again, 10 weeks. I doubled up, and it only actually took about 6 weeks to be clear again, but in the meantime, the horror!!!

But I digress. My daily skincare routine, I thought, was good. My face is always exfoliated lightly twice a day, I always wear moisturizing sunscreen SPF 25, and I have a night repair cream with AHA, too. So why is it always so red and blotchy?

According to the Amazing Petra, I needed a peel, I needed a soothing mask, and I needed to stop scrubbing and irritating the crap out of my sensitive skin twice a day. Cetaphil, and a non-AHA moisturizer from now on, she said, would help.

The peel itself isn't pleasant (I believe the chemicals are actually dissolving the top 12 layers of my skin, actually). It smells kind of gross, and it feels just like really bad irritation, kind of crawling and stinging and burning, but it's a) better than a regular facial (ugh, extractions), and b) only lasts 2 minutes, start to finish. Afterwards, I get a nice soothing mask, which makes me fall asleep. When I wake up, my skin is beautiful - even-toned and smooth and soft.

Third treatment is tonight, but this is something that I want to keep up. The difference, to me at least, is stunning, honestly like night and day. I remember being an awkward teenager (for 12 years, actually), just thinking that maybe, if my skin would clear up, people would see that I was worth looking at. I was starting to feel that way again, in photos where my face always looked red, or catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror at the gym. From the second that I saw the improvement, I felt better, more confident, more ... pretty?

The problem, aside from the cost (kaff...not prohibitive, but not wallet-friendly, for sure), is that she asked me to take out my nose ring before the first treatment, and I couldn't get it back in.

More on that in the next post...

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