Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My first foray into 'cosmetic' procedures...

Having reached "a certain age" I decided to splurge on Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) for my rosacea. Fine lines and wrinkles, I don't mind. Combine them with red blotchy skin, visible broken capillaries and occasional breakouts and forget it!

For the past couple of years, my dermatologist has been suggesting the IPL treatement when I'd visit her to have individual capillaries zapped away (by tracing along the capillary with a superfine, heated needle - an ouchie, by the way). About once a year, I'd pick up a packed of info and price list from her, but I never took the plunge.

It's not the procedure itself, but rather the price (approx. $400 for the whole face) that put me off. But I've been working part time for a little over a year now, saving some 'mad money' and decided to splurge.

I had my first IPL treatment on April 28. The procedure itself wasn't too painful. A cool aloe gel was applied to my face, and I put on protective eye ware. Next, a "wand" was moved along my face for a couple of test spots. Once the technician determined the best setting, she went to work. The wand itself is cold, but the IPL feels like tiny pin pricks (or ant bites minus the after-pain) every half inch or so.

It took about a half hour to do my entire face. A hydrocortisone cream was applied and I was sent on my way (makeup can be immediately applied). I was told that the effect is cumulative, meaning that the inner layers are heated by the pulsed light. As older layers are sloughed off, the new skin will be more even in tone, and hopefully, the capillaries (my biggest concern) will diminish. The full effect wouldn't be seen for at least two weeks.

So what did I think after Treatment #1? The capillaries along my chin were significantly reduced. Tiny red moles turned dark brown then vanished days later. I was still red, but not all over. The full impact didn't strike me until I was applying my mineral makeup three weeks later. I realized the shade that was perfect for two years is suddenly too yellow and too dark. Off to buy new GloMinerals foundation.

Stay tuned...

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