I've talked about my skincare routine here [and a quick editor's note to a recent change in it here] and my specific skin type. To recap, I am 24 and deal with the occasional hormonal breakout, lots of blackheads, and dry skin in the winter. I have a pretty normal skin type so if you deal with the same issues I think this post may be helpful! If you have a different skin type then I encourage you to find a dermatologist in your area who has an in-office aesthetician. It is extremely helpful to combine both the knowledge of a dermatologist for prescription treatments and the knowledge of an aesthetician for facials, chemical peels, Botox, etc. I couldn't recommend D&A Dermatology enough if you're in the Chicago area. Dr. Patel and Monica, her aesthetician, really cater their treatments to your individual skin type. I talked to Monica about the treatments I get, the treatments she recommends to every twenty-something woman, and she has a lot of insight into what we can all do to protect our skin and keep it looking young and fabulous!
Dr. Patel put me on a few topical creams for my acne (Retin-A Micro and Aczone) as well as a pill (Spirolactone). She then explained to me that our skin suffers from the occasional wear and tear mainly due to what we put it through each day (i.e. sun exposure, air pollution, stress). Our skin requires continuous maintenance to give it the best defense against these harsh elements. Microdermabrasion provides an effective solution and helps increase the strength of your skin—it is a progressive method of non-chemical exfoliation to refine the texture of the skin while simultaneously tightening its lower layers.
Again, I did what I do best... Research! I researched the differences between microdermabrasion and chemical peels. I researched how often I could get microdermabrasion and if it would have any effect on my Botox. Research, research, research... I would say that microdermabrasion is expensive, so if this is something you're interested in you should spend the time researching and talking to a medical professional on whether it is the best approach to your skin. A word of caution... Like any semi-invasive procedure, this could cause serious harm to your skin if done wrong or poorly. I would highly recommend doing your research as to where you go. If a deal on Groupon is too good to be true, it probably is! However, I'm not here to tell you what to do, so you do you, girlfriend!
After some research, I learned that in addition to exfoliation microdermabrasion is also used to thicken your collagen, which results in a younger looking complexion as collagen is a protein in your skin that is abundant when you are a child and makes the skin appear taut and smooth. As we age, collagen production declines, which results in looser, uneven skin. With microdermabrasion, you can successfully rejuvenate the skin on your face for a fresher, younger look. (source)
It is also very important that you do not get microdermabrasion if you have extremely sensitive skin, diabetes, vascular conditions (Rosacea), skin inflammation, bacterial infections, lack of tactile sensation, keloid scarring, cuts and abrasions, or have gotten Botox within 72 hours. (source)
What It Is:
Microdermabrasion is usually done with SilkPeel technology. This device combines diamond-tip microdermabrasion with dermal infusion, delivering potent topical serums into the skin, down to the level of the pores. This one-of-a-kind procedure can reduce acne, brighten skin, treat hyperpigmentation, and promote new collagen growth for better skin texture and overall skin health. Your aesthetician will select the appropriate serum for your skin care concerns. (source)
For a one time treatment, it costs $150 for SilkPeel Microdermabrasion. At D&A Dermatology there are packages you can buy that decreases the cost. I have looked at a lot of different spas in Chicago and this seems to be the average rate in the city.
What I Expected:
I expected to go into my appointment and have the device scrape off my dead skin cells and suck out the gunk in my pores. I'm using really medically accurate terms here, can't you tell?! But that is what I envisioned. Scrape off the dead skin cells, pull out the gunk, squirt serum into my pores, walk out with a fresh face.
What Actually Happened:
Below is a picture of the actual procedure. What I expected and what actually happened were pretty similar. I walked into the appointment and laid down on the table where Monica gave me a headband to hold my hair back. First, she washed my face and used a hot towel to wipe off the excess. Then, she started the procedure. Monica held my skin taut and ran the device in straight lines over my skin. She went over my neck and cleavage as well. Everything that was pulled out of my pores ended up in a small jar where I was able to see everything. I was amazed! The whole process took about 20 minutes. She then put serum, sunscreen, and lip balm on my face and I was able to go back to work. This procedure really is perfect because there is no downtime! You can get an amazing facial during lunch and be back to work for your afternoon meeting!
My skin really clears up after these treatments. It gives my face a clean slate and I know my serums, medications, and moisturizers really sink in to my skin better after getting this procedure. I try to get microdermabrasion done once a month, but life happens and sometimes I go six weeks or two months without getting it done.
A Few Thoughts...
I talked to Monica about what every twenty-something woman should do to keep her skin in top shape. She told me that we should be getting Botox (if needed), microdermabrasion once a month, and in-office microneedling treatments. I asked her what she thought of microneedling tools that you can use at home and she didn't recommend them! I was SHOCKED. But everyone uses these?! They're supposed to be miracle workers! She told me that she has had to laser off far too many scars from microneedling gone wrong. Well, that was enough to scare me! Instead, Monica recommended getting microneedling done in-office. At D&A Dermatology, it is a series of three treatments and that is enough to last for the whole year. I haven't gotten this done yet, but I will this Fall and I will keep y'all updated on what I think of it!
Another thing I talked to Monica about was shaving my face. I first heard about shaving your face from The Skinny Confidential. Her post about it is fabulous and I highly recommend reading. I have gotten Dermaplane done at D&A Dermatology before my SilkPeel Microdermabrasion treatment, which is kind of the same thing.
Dermaplane is a specialized technique that utilizes a surgical blade to painlessly remove the most superficial layer of epidermal skin. In addition to exfoliation, this procedure also removes fine vellus hair on the skin (peach fuzz). A single treatment can remove up to three weeks of unhealthy build-up on the skin. Dermaplaning allows products to penetrate deeper into the skin, enhancing their effectiveness. Skin appears softer, smoother and more even toned after treatment. A chemical peel or SilkPeel Microdermabrasion may be added to enhance results. (source)
Monica said there should be no issues with using these little razors to shave your face. Some people use men's razors and love it... I just don't have enough courage. I've loved the way my make-up applied after getting Dermaplane so I thought, "What the heck?!" and grabbed a tinkle off Amazon to shave my face last Sunday. I held my skin taut and used the tinkle to "shave" upwards on my face. I did not shave my neck and did focus more on the spots where I had peach fuzz. I then sprayed the tinkle with rubbing alcohol to clean it and the process was done! All in all, I loved the result. My skin gets SUPER dry and flaky because of the Chicago wind and this completely cleared up that problem. It was a great exfoliation technique. I will say that I need a little practice because I did cut my face by my nose which was a bit traumatic. All in all, I think I am going to implement this into my weekly routine for exfoliation, but also because I love the way my make-up applies after I shave my face.
Wewh, that was a long winded post! If you're still with me, what are your favorite exfoliation techniques?!