i’m feeling more exposed these days. literally, figuratively, all the ways. a real array of stuff is peeling off, and molting and changing and opening up.
accompanying that perceived vulnerability, i quit using self-tanner about a year ago and that’s been an odd experience. i’d sworn by it for as long as i can remember — like high-school styles — and it was great – it was covering up my body! that felt much more comfortable, disguised that way. i got to hide behind it – people don’t have to see how i really look, because i’ve smeared orange all over myself.
with all this exposure, my skin is becoming more precious to me. right now, i’ve prioritized a few battles (with nature) worth fighting — i feel better when i’m taking care of my skin, when i feel like i look fresh, and healthy, and yes, youthful. because of my lifestyle, my life, how i live, whatever – i feel fairly youthful, and i admit, i’d like to look it.
1. microneedling – this is a procedure done with a tiny roller with lots of little sterile needles on it that prick the skin, and in turn induce the body to create collagen and elastin to essentially heal the punctures. it also opens up your skin to allow products to penetrate more powerfully – helpful stuff, like serums and creams.
2. similarly, i use a retinol cream every other night before bed. retinal is vitamin a, and it also promotes collagen growth and skin renewal. it’s kinda like having an in-house dry cleaner for your h&m t-shirts so they never have to die in the washing machine, attacked by nubbles. it definitely irritates the skin, a lot of first for me, so you have to ease into it, but if you stick with it, it begins to fight the good fight for you and starts speeding up your cell regeneration so you can have fresh new skin that’s more even in tone, has less lines and spots, and is firmer underneath, softer on the surface. like a conveyer belt in your closet that’s minting new t-shirts. the cream is by rx only and mine is $85 – i get about 3 months out of that.
3. i’ve got those two items on offense special teams, but i’ve still got a few not-kewt dark spots from the sun that are like supernova freckles combining to establish deathstar territories on my face. for those trouble spots that are out of retinol’s league, i need a defensive strategy. i’ve done ipl (intense pulse light), which is a laser that’s super hot and works by targeting the pigment below the skin’s surface and breaking it down with heat. the tiny particles eventually come to the surface as scabs, flake off and the spot is gone. i’ve got a fairly noticeable spot on my cheek, and i’ve had it done maybe 4 times in the last few years — it fades each time by about 80%. that’s a lot. enough for me to move on to something else to worry about. i did my whole face in a series of treatments a couple of years ago, but now i just do spot treatments. i recently did a spot i didn’t care for on my arm and it’s 100% gone. my spot treatments are around $150, and the whole face was about $300. i have this one done at skin raleigh as well.
4. and finally, you knew it was coming. botox. let’s make this not at thing, agreed? it’s not scary, it’s not a big deal, it’s the one thing that most of my friends haven’t tried but are interested in and we whisper it in coffee shops and yell it in bars. all the intrigue over botox. just do it. it’s safe, it does exactly what you’re hoping it will do, and it’s not that expensive.