It’s once again time for New Year’s resolutions. After 3rd child dismissed my face as unworthy of a dermatologist due to my etched-in and well-earned smile lines (bizarrely they do not bother me), I decided to explore not just my own skin goals, but those of others whom I love and admire. In the stories that follow over the coming months, I hope to address their concerns and offer possible solutions. #skingoals
Hello again! It’s me, Dr. Long’s sister-in-law Lara – the (reformed) sun goddess from Mississippi. It’s been just over a year since my first HALO laser treatment and I am writing to share my ongoing journey… (Spoiler: You can scroll down for Before, During, & After pics).
What a Difference a Year Can Make!
Last month, I looked in the mirror and realized I needed a serious refresh. Enter B (our family name for Dr. Long). I sent her a picture of my tired and spotted skin and asked for her help. She explained that maintenance (especially for a speckly sun goddess like me) is key. Add that to my ongoing maintenance list: hair color, mani-pedis, mammograms, strength training – of course skin should be in there! Now, as I approach my 43rd birthday, I can embrace this skin maintenance as something that I can do for myself to ensure I can age as gracefully as some of my friends, like Christy Brinkley, Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Anniston 😊.
In the fall of 2017, I had 2 HALO laser treatments spaced 4 weeks apart. My freckle beard receded, my pore size decreased, and my fine lines softened. More importantly, I found that glow that I used to associate with my youthful sun bronzed skin. As a low to no make-girl, a natural glow is super important to me. After another year of living my Northshore life of daily sun with tennis matches and baseball games, many sun kisses –doesn’t that sound better than age spots 😉 — had reappeared!!! All despite hats, parasols (no joke!), long-sleeves, antioxidants and sunscreens. While I had not returned to my baseline, I had no idea just how much impact the sun can have in just one year! Should I give up tennis? How much longer will the boys play ball? Should I invent a UV-protective bubble? Should I just let the freckle beard return? Is 43 too young to throw in the towel against aging?
RECAP: To see my full blog post on my HALO journey from last year click here.
A Different Approach
This year, B decided we would try a combination treatment of HALO + BBL (broadband light) spaced 2-4 weeks apart. She also used different settings to target my pores, brown spots and very early and thin “old lady spots” (seborrheic keratoses).
Day 0: The HALO Treatment
After an hour of numb time, AP began the HALO. The treatment was faster thanks to a software update and was relatively painless. I found the procedure far more comfortable this year as I could control my own cooling with the Zimmer chiller. Whenever I felt heat, I just pointed the blower tube at it and it provided instant relief!
After the treatment, I was red and hot, but that was manageable with ice packs and a cool stream of air from my AC vents blowing on me for the 3-hour trip home. Once home, I was a little pink but otherwise fine. I washed up with a gentle cleanser and moisturized with Cetaphil before heading to bed. I slept propped up to prevent some of the swelling I had last year, but with these settings I had far less swelling.
Post HALO Day 1
After waking up and using a gentle cleanser and sunscreen, I felt confident enough to head to the gym for a light workout and to run errands. It was a little pink, and tiny scabs (mends) the size of a pin point had begun to appear. But if you weren’t looking for it, you’d think I’d just been out in the sun.
Post HALO Days 2 & 3
My face felt tight and a tad itchy, but that was easily soothed with Cetaphil. My skin appeared bronzed and my freckles were darker. No one gave me a funny look, even after being the door greater at church, so no need to hide!
Post HALO Days 4 & 5
By day 4 – the mends were sloughing off and the shine was beginning! I was doing my happy dance – the holidays were approaching and I was going to look my best!
The BBL Treatment
What is BBL? BBL stands for Broad Band Light and it targets those really stubborn brown spots (like mine), redness and blood vessels. While this HALO treatment, left my skin smooth with a rosy glow (and over the next few months will further improve my pores and fine lines), I still had noticeable brown spots courtesy of 40+ years to sun worship. If you want proof of what a baseball cap cannot protect, see my lower cheeks, sides of my neck and chest. Two weeks post-HALO, I went back to RRD for BBL.
This time, no numbing cream was needed. AP prepped my face and neck and off we went! The BBL felt like a little rubber band popping me and was a little warm. The Zimmer chiller came in handy again! She also performed a SkinTyte treatment along my jawline and under my chin to improve my profile! Immediately after the procedure, my freckles really popped – especially on my neck! B also suggested a little Botox and a touch of lip filler – how could I refuse😊.
For a couple of weeks, the brown spots targeted by the BBL had a peppered appearance. These faded quickly on the face, but took almost two weeks on my chest. My skin did not swell, was not tight or itchy, and I was able to go about my normal daily routine without a skipping a beat (with extreme attention to sun protection, of course). By the holiday party season, the Botox had softened my forehead lines and crow’s feet, my lightly plumped lips looked 5 years younger, my sun kisses had faded, and my HALO glow was in full effect —in short, a “refreshed” version of me. This time, I will plan for better maintenance! #SkinGoalsfor2019
The Final Results
- Brighter, smoother, “glowing” skin with less brown spots #HALOGlow #ScitonBBL
- Decreased tired look with Botox brow lift, relaxed forehead muscles, and crow’s feet. Voluma cheek tacking to lift under eyes and mouth corners #Botox #JuvedermVoluma
- Restored lip plumpness with tiny amounts of filler #RestylaneRefyne
Sun protection, topical skin care products (including hydroquinone) and 2-4 Forever Young BBL treatments, Botox 3-4 times per year, filler for cheek lift and lips annually.
Looking for solutions for your #skingoals for the New Year?
Contact us at Red River Dermatology at 318-442-9395 to schedule a consultation for your skincare needs.