Someday, when my daughter is old enough to wear makeup, I pray she’s comfortable enough in her own skin not to feel as though she has to cover it up. I hope her inner eight-year-old remains and that makeup would be fun to play with but not vital to her self confidence. Yet despite what I want for her, I’m a little bit of a hypocrite. You see, I’m not personally super confident going barefaced. And it’s partially summer’s fault.
So you don’t think I’m super shallow, I’m not talking about needing to be in full face when I go to Costco. As a mom and freelance writer, I can work from home in my yoga pants if I desire, so clearly I’m not super high maintenance in my makeup routine. But when going beyond the bus stop at 8 a.m., I just feel a little better with some BB cream and mascara on, ya know?! Also to share my strange and unique inner struggle with you, I feel as though I’m judged a little bit more for my complexion than your average gal. I mean, with a dermatologist for a husband, I should have AMAZING-LOOKING skin, right?
Wrong. While it’s not too late for my daughter to care for her skin better than her mama, my teen and college years of acne and poor sun protection have left their mark. And even now by the end of summer, despite my diligent shade-seeking, wide-brimmed-hat-sporting, sunscreen-applying ways, my face is covered in melasma (brown patches) and my gunked-up pores need HELP. Come fall, I’m on a mission to reverse what nature hath wrought upon my skin.
Thankfully, I’ve found a procedure that’s been really effective for evening out my complexion when it’s time to say goodbye to summer. SkinPen is a professional microneedling device that, according to the company, causes controlled microinjuries and stimulates the body’s natural healing process. Exactly how micro are these injuries and are they super painful? My initial response would be to say needles, even micro ones, no thanks. But given the results I’ve seen for myself, I’ll gladly have this procedure again and again for both the short-term cosmetic results (bye bye allover brown spots) as well as the long-term anti-aging effects (see-ya fine lines and wrinkles).
Disclosure: I receive a family discount for procedures performed at the MedSpa at US Dermatology Partners of Lee’s Summit, but I’m not asked to share my personal opinion, nor am I paid for it.
During the SkinPen procedure, an estetician applies topical anesthetic cream to my entire face. Then, she adjusts the tip of the SkinPen to the appropriate depth: Enough to cause pin-prick bleeding on my face but not so deep that the injury is overly painful. She passes the device over my entire face, triggering my immune system to respond, removing debris (helping slough off damaged skin cells) and increasing blood flow to my face. By injuring my cells on a surface level, the procedure then causes them to rebuild with new cells, collagen and elastin, resulting in tighter, smoother, younger-looking skin.
Following the procedure, I just want to put my baseball cap on and go hole up in my house for a few days if possible! My facial skin feels hot, tender and tight. And all those brown spots definitely pop out in full effect!
I had the procedure around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, and this is what my face looked like that afternoon. My kids got home from school, took one look at my face and exclaimed”Mommy’s Scary!” It honestly took me a minute to figure out what they were saying, because I felt completely normal! When I figured out they were referring to my face, I had them take this picture.
The first night post-procedure, I just splash my face with cool water and apply a calming cream given to me by the office. This is basically my facial regimen for the next few days while my skin is still pretty inflamed and feeling tight.
About 48 hours after the procedure, my face starts feeling pretty dry and itchy, but not visibly peeling at all. It’s no longer tender, and I’m fine to gently wash with my regular everyday face wash and moisturizer. On the third to fourth day, I wash with my cleanser and gently rub my face with a soft wash cloth to gingerly exfoliate that top layer of skin off of my face. What’s left underneath the old, dry, itchy spotty skin is smoother, clearer skin that feels brand new! I apply a light moisturizer and can start wearing makeup again, only this time I feel like it’s not necessary.
So there you have it! Anyone who asks me about it knows I’m somewhat obsessed with SkinPen for helping clear up my melasma and removing that dull outer layer of skin. It’s something I’ll continue to do on a regular basis for these benefits as well as the long-term ones of reducing fine lines and wrinkles!