Tell Me the Truth! Do I Look 10 Years Younger?

Yes, I know I’m putting you on the spot. It will be especially difficult because I’m not going to give you before and after pictures. So, obviously, I’m just hawking for compliments. Go ahead, tell me I look younger :-) .

Yesterday I had my first ever microdermabrasion. It was a Groupon that I purchased a few months ago at a significant savings. I also had a facial, which was lovely. The original Groupon gave the choice of the facial with or without the microdermabrasion for a few extra dollars, so I decided, what the heck, and went for it.

If you don’t know what microdermabrasion does, it probably means that you are a few years younger than me and/or have perfect skin. Whether done with a product at home or in a professional setting with a specialized tool, the principle of microdermabrasion is the same. The idea is that if you remove or break up the stratum corneum (the very topmost layer of the epidermis), the body interprets that as a mild injury and rushes to replace the lost skin cells with new and healthy ones.

While the procedure can cause some initial swelling and redness, the healing process brings newer skin that looks and feels smoother. Some of the skin’s visible imperfections, like sun damage, blemishes. and fine lines, are removed. With that very top layer of skin gone, lotions and creams can penetrate the skin better, and their active ingredients and moisture can find their way down to lower layers of the skin.

I arrived a few minutes early for my appointment at Mirela’s Spa du Jour, which is just a couple miles from my house. Kate, my esthetician, greeted me as I arrived, gave me a paper to fill out and offered me a glass of water. She then escorted me to the treatment room. After washing and preparing my skin, she began the microdermabrasion. She uses a special tool for this, which shoots a stream of tiny crystals, like aluminum oxide, sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate, and collects the leftover dead skin cells and used crystals, sucking them up like a vacuum cleaner.

microdermabrasionKate tested it first on my arm to show me that it didn’t hurt. She then went to work on my face and neck, slowing maneuvering the tool while she held my skin taut. It took about 15 minutes. Following the treatment, she finished the facial. I relaxed (which I really needed!), and enjoyed the facial massage and the feel of the toners and lotions being applied to my skin. She finished by using a product that helps bring the blood to the surface of the skin to jump start the healing process. Before I left, she gave me a sample to use for the next several days. She also gave me a small jar of a glycolic lotion, suggesting I use it every other day.

When I left my skin felt soft and smooth. Of course, the first thing I did when I got in my car was to take a peak at myself in the mirror. I think I was hoping for some major changes, but aside from a little pinkness, and a couple red blotches, I looked about the same.Yeah, I know it’s not supposed to be instantaneous, but a girl can hope, can’t she?

This morning, I still had a little red blotchiness on my cheeks, easily covered with make-up. So here’s the big reveal:

First of all, I hate self-photos. I never look good in them. I never understand how some girls’ selfies look so beautiful (maybe “girl” is the key word). Either I look cross-eyed, or dazed, or my face just looks too damn narrow. Second, I know that it is still too early to really see results. My skin is still inflamed and needs time to heal. So I’ll do this again in a couple days (not write another post, take another picture!). Maybe I’ll have my husband take the photo, because his shots are always much better than mine.

Finally, I try to never, and I mean NEVER, allow a camera to get this close to my face. In the last two photos, I’m sitting in my office, under the bright fluorescent lighting.  I deleted picture after picture, until I found a couple that I could stand. Yes, vanity thy name is Debbie. That’s pretty much why I had the microdermabrasion in the first place, now isn’t it?

Have you ever had microdermabrasion? What did you think about it?

How do your self portraits turn out? If the answer is “great,” (hell, if the answer is “not bad”) give me your secrets! Pretty please?

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