Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Taking Care of My Skin - HydraFacial, SkinPen and MyChelle Dermaceuticals

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a while. I took a bit of a break, but I have a lot to share so will be playing a bit of catch up for the next few weeks!

One of my goals for 2018 is to make sure that my skin is being well taken care of. I must admit that I haven't maintained the best skincare routine over the past few years. I started off the year with a HydraFacial. It felt great and really made my skin feel different. My skin felt softer, looked brighter and the texture was better. My aesthetician and I had discussed last year what I wanted to do for my skin this year, so the next step was treatment with the SkinPen. I set up my three appointments with the first one to be in March.

I had two months between the facial and first SkinPen treatment, so I returned to using the skincare line by MyChelle Dermaceuticals that I had started using three years ago, but had been neglecting. Because I know that skin is our largest organ, I also know that it is important to use the best products on it because we don't want to add toxins to our body! From the website, "All MyChelle Dermaceutical products are Vegetarian, Cruelty-free, and Free of Phthalates, Parabens, Sulfates, Ureas, Artificial Fragrances and Colors, Petroleum, GMOs, and Gluten." You can read what they recommend for beauty regimens on their website.

I use their exfoliator (twice weekly), eye creams, several serums, Vitamin C Peel (once weekly), moisturizers and SPF lotions - I use most of their products for anti-aging. The difference in my skin from using the MyChelle products in the past two months is absolutely AMAZING! MyChelle is always running a sale on their products and they offer free shipping on purchases and returns if you aren't satisfied. You cannot go wrong trying them out. They have special prices on bundled items as well. I will continue using their products as long as I'm seeing results. MyChelle is also available at Whole Foods.

Then it was time for my first SkinPen treatment "Microneedling, also known as collagen induction therapy, is a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation procedure that helps minimize the signs of aging, improve the appearance of acne scars and rejuvenate aging skin." My main purpose in having the SkinPen procedures done on my face and neck is to induce collagen production. Numbing gel was applied and allowed to dry, but honestly I don't think it helped much. The procedure did hurt, I won't lie. I looked like I had a really bad sunburn afterwards.

My face felt so warm! I drove with the AC vents pointed towards my face to keep it cool. I was given some HA5 moisturizer to put on whenever my skin felt like it needed it, which was often! It didn't sting and relieved the tightness. I was also given a peptide mask to use the first night and it really helped my skin feel better before turning in to bed. I was still very red the next day and kept applying the HA5. The redness was gone on day 2 post procedure, but I had started peeling around my mouth. This peeling would eventually extend to most of my face. You can see the beginning peeling above my mouth below.

You can also see the condition/texture of my skin in the above photo. It is kinda bumpy/not smooth. This is one thing I am hoping to see improvement in once the SkinPen treatment is completed.

I waited until the 4th day post procedure to return to my skincare regimen and begin wearing makeup again. I am now one week post-procedure and most of the peeling has stopped. I have one area that was still peeling this morning. However, my skin is sooooo soft and smooth, especially my neck which had a lot of  "chicken skin" texture to it before.

It takes at least 14 days for the induction of collagen production. I am having three treatments one month apart. Once that is completed, I will assess the end result and decide what to do next. SkinPen is not permanent and maintenance treatments of every 4-12 months are recommended depending upon what the patient desires.

In doing my research on how to take care of aging skin, I have read the recommended list of items to use regularly to continue a collagen stimulation program at home.

- SkinPen is recommended at least every 12 months.
- Growth factor serum: My plastic surgeon recommends TNS Essential Serum. It is expensive, so
  I buy mine new from eBay. I have just started using this, but will report back my opinions once I
  am through the first bottle.
- Retinoid: I used the retinal products from MyChelle - Remarkable Retinal Serum, Night Cream and     eye cream
- Anti-oxidant serum: I use the Vitamin C products from MyChelle - right now, I am using the
   Perfect C 12% Lotion. I will move up to the Perfect C 17% serum next and then the Perfect C Pro       25% serum.
- Hyaluronic Acid moisturizer - I will continue to use the HA5 moisturizer and will also buy it at a        discount online.
- SPF of at least 30 - I use MyChelle's Sun Shield Liquid SPF 50 Tinted

Currently, I use an Estee Lauder foundation that I have used for many years because I like a matte finish. I am not sure if I will continue to use it once it is gone so will be on the lookout for a matte foundation that doesn't contain toxic ingredients. I use Bare Minerals makeup, except for my mascara. I will pop into Ulta and get a sample of the Bare Minerals foundation to try when it is time.

I still am not happy with the condition of the skin under my chin and on my neck. Here are two pictures showing that area.

The CoolSculpting got rid of a lot of fat, but I still have a double chin and I hate it. So, I am looking into a neck lift and will have two consults done this summer to determine if I am a candidate. I know I sound vain, but I don't want to live the second half of my life hating my neck. It just isn't worth it to me. I am waiting to see if the SkinPen has any effect on the appearance of my chin/neck before I make a final decision. If I have a neck lift done, I will share it here just as I did my tummy tuck.

So, that is an update on what I am doing to take care of my skin! If you have any questions about the procedures/treatments I have had done, I'm happy to answer any questions ... just leave a comment!

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