Freckles in April: I Spent Money on My Skin. And Now I'm Writing About It

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

I Spent Money on My Skin. And Now I'm Writing About It

There's this podcast called Be There in Five and she just did a "deep dive"on Mormon Mommy Bloggers and it really took me back to Ye Olde Golden Age of Blogging where I'd just sit down every day and chat about whatever my heart desired and people would comment and we'd have conversations and I felt like I had these lovely friends all over the US (and some places outside the US too). Ah, the nostalgia.

By the end of the 2 hour (!!) podcast episode I had Blogger opened in a tab in my browser. I didn't know WHAT I wanted to write about but I just kind of wanted to write. For the memories, you know? For the sheer joy of letting the words pour from my finger tips and then chuckling at my own cleverness (I've always been my own biggest fan. Narcissism! The cornerstone of a successful blogging career!).

Then I remembered a post I wrote back in the day about the changes I saw after I used retinol for six months and figured I might as well do an update. That was four years ago, which isn't SO LONG but long enough that I'm now Mid Thirties and my husband just turned FORTY (perk of being married to an older man: I always feel like a spring chicken) and I reached the point where I was like, "Ok, not getting younger, time to put some money into my face."

I was definitely inspired by Jenny Komenda and her Instagram stories about going to see an esthetician to address some things that bothered her about her skin. My skin has always been the thing I'm most self-conscious about. I had teenage acne and then I had scarring and then I got older and had a bunch of sun damage and I just...didn't love it. I am all about self-love and acceptance but if there's something that bothers you and you have the means and desire to address it, then why not?

SO I made an appointment at Laser Smart Skin in Gilbert after seeing that Camille had gone to see them (and Marco Poloing her about it to hear her honest opinion). Dana seemed super knowledgeable and I was really interested in trying out their Visia camera.

Eight images showing varying types of skin damage

The Visia camera takes an unflinching look at your skin and what's going on in there. Lower percentages are not better so you can draw your own conclusions from the 1% and 4% sections up there. If I could have a chat with 15-year-old Kayla we'd definitely discuss sunscreen usage.

My consultation was interesting because it helped me figure out what was really bothering me with my skin. I thought it was a texture issue due to acne scarring but, as it turns out, my texture is actually pretty good. The sun damage and brown spots, however, were making my skin look blah.

Dana and I had a good chat about options and she was confident that an IPL photofacial treatment would get me the results I was looking for. It pulls sun damage up to the surface and then slowly sloughs off, leaving you with prettier, cleaner looking skin.

The treatment itself was a bit intense but still doable! It's like concentrated electric shocks that leave your skin feeling hot and a little raw. My toes were curling near the end but then it was done. Afterward, she had me sit with a mister and fan for a while to cool my skin down. She gave me an ice pack for the trip home and I was glad to have it in my hot car (you know that feeling when you have a sunburn and then step into a hot shower? Similar). I was red and a little swollen for a couple hours afterward but looked ok by the evening. I went to book club that night and no one was like, "So, what exactly is going on with your face?"

First thing in the morning selfies from day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 7 post-treatment. I think the pictures look scarier than I did in real life. A little makeup had me looking pretty normal.

Over the next few days I was a little puffy and my freckles (and other spots) started coming in really dark. By day 4, though, the puffiness was gone and my spots slowly started to fade and slough off. After one week I only had a few dark spots left (mostly lower on my jawline) and they were totally gone by the two week point.

Post care is straightforward- baby your skin. Gentle cleansers. No scrubbing. Stay out of the sun.

After a couple weeks with a lot of babying my skin looked...ok. The brown spots were gone! But it was dull and congested from the lack of exfoliation and active ingredients. I went to Dana for a follow-up appointment and ended up doing a Hydrafacial (like a power wash for your pores!) and walked out looking like the very best version of myself, which is honestly more than I knew to hope for from my treatments. My skin has been happy and glowing ever since.

For the sake of comparison, here are my 2015 "after" pics compared to pics I took post-shower this morning:

I'm actually a lot less red now than the lighting would have you believe. Wearing BB cream and powder in the top pics, no makeup in the bottom

The most marked difference is in my left cheek (far right in the pics above). That's the side that's in the sun when I drive so it had more sun damage than the right side. It's been crazy to see how much that side improved!

I was so pleasantly surprised by how much progress my skin made so quickly. These days I only wear tinted sunscreen (this one is AMAZING) and a little translucent powder on my T-zone to cut the shine.

That's it for my skin! Living my best low-maintenance life! Happy skin plus short hair has made my life SO EASY.

When I posted about this on Instagram stories a bunch of people asked about cost. It's not super cheap but I ended up coming in under my budget. The IPL treatment was $350 and Hydrafacial was $179. I'm pretty much always willing to get a Groupon when it comes to facials and whatnot but, when it comes to the heavy duty stuff, I save up my pennies then go to really solid people. Dana spent ten years training estheticians to use lasers and whatnot and then she got tired of the travel and decided to set up her own shop. She is insanely smart and passionate about her craft and I felt really comfortable putting my skin in her hands. I appreciated how dedicated she was to getting my skin to a good place. It was an investment and, for me, totally worth it.

Have you tried IPL or any other kind of heavy-duty skin treatment? How was your experience?

Let's socialize // IG // FB // Tw // Pin //

Posts may contain affiliate links. Thanks for helping me support my blogging habit!


  1. I need both of these ASAP. I'm researching estheticians and am probably going to treat myself this holiday season. Wheeeeee! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I listened to that podcast and it was fascinating. I will definitely be going back for when she does her look at bloggers such as the Freckled Fox.
    It's good to have you back blogging. I have been checking for updates for months! Will you be writing anything further about life outside the LDS church?


Thanks for your comment!

Any trolls will be dragged into the trees and beaten soundly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...