The Facial 411

Circa 2018

Believe it or not, I suffered from severe acne from my teens into my early adult years . I visited dermatologists regularly , went on several drug protocols . Nothing worked. A dermatologist in NY had prescribed Accutane, which was supposed to be the sure fire cure if prescribed correctly. Unfortunately, that dermatologist committed suicide, #truestory, and I could not bare to continue treatment with his wife who was his partner in practice . I continued to suffer. Always attempting to cover up the road map of pimples until one day a coworker decided to step in. She told me her husband had terrible acne on his face and back and had found Dr Cohen in NYU who cured him . This dermatologist did not take insurance, which was fine since at that time I did not have any . I scheduled my appointment and waited two hours to see him but it was well worth it . When I saw how young Dr Cohen was, I had my doubts but luckily I was so wrong . After listening attentively to my skin saga , and all the treatments I had endured, he suggested another round of Accutane. He explained that I most likely didn’t have the expected results the first time because of the dosage . He took all the tests and precautions and was somehow able to get me the drug for free since I did not have insurance. Normally with Accutane, the skin gets worse before it gets better, but Dr Cohen knew exactly how to increase the doses so that I never experienced the negative effects of the drug . 4 months later I was done with treatment and a miracle occurred. I could look at my face in the mirror without crying . From that day I decided that I would be in control of keeping my skin in tip top shape .

As I got older I became more and more diligent in my skincare. At age 52, I have tried out almost every skin treatment and will continue to do so . Since I am a self proclaimed expert , I will walk you through the various facial options . As I have aged my skin has obviously changed so I had to adjust my skin care regimen accordingly.

When I was younger I used to go for facials in an effort to control my acne . Since I had deeper skin issues these facials only were only a temporary fix . Having said that , I believe that you should start taking care of your skin at an early age .

Allow me to walk you through the various facials available for all ages and all skin types . I’m sure I haven’t tried them all but trust me , I will .

1. Basic Deep Cleansing Facial

This is best option for those who do not have serious skin issues but just want to maintain a youthful glow . This facial often begins with a cleansing following a steaming to open the pores and prepare the skin for extractions . Extractions help clear skin congestion by cleaning out blackheads and whiteheads . For this alone it is very important to choose a expert esthetician. Done by a skin rookie , extractions can cause breakouts . In my opinion, extractions should be done monthly and can be incorporated into any type of facial, but this is the part of any facial that must be done by a licensed , experienced professional. Do your due diligence when choosing an esthetician.

2. Radio Frequency facial

As I said, extractions may be incorporated into any facial and actually prep the skin for

additional treatments . I had the BEST facialist when I lived in NYC , Kim the owner of Kim Laudati Skin Care . Kim carefully analyzed my skin and utilized several treatments. She would often give me complimentary “ add-ons“ so that I could see the effects they had on my skin . She introduced me to the Radio Frequency Facial. Radio-frequency is all about stimulating your own collagen production. During a treatment a machine is used to heat the skin . The result is a tighter, firmer feel to your skin .

3. Facial with Dermaplaning

Down the block from my office in NYC was Skin Bar.

They offer great memberships which I took advance of since it was so convenient. What’s better than a facial during lunch time! It was there I discovered Dermaplaning, which is a form of exfoliation. What I love about Dermaplaning is that the tool used actually shaves that annoying peach fuzz off the face, leaving your skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom. By removing that barrier , the skin is better prepped to receive various skin treatments.

4. Microdermabrasion Facial

When I moved to Miami I was in search of a good facialist . I turned to #groupon, and found a hidden treasure , Tuya Spa. Tuya has her own no frills room in a Pilates Studio, which serves its purpose. She incorporates #microdermabrasion into a basic deep cleansing facial, finishing off with a peel off mask. Micro-dermabrasion is another method of exfoliation, which removes dead skin, while the tool used literally sucks impurities out of the skin. It is also said to boost collagen and increase cell turnover leaving skin smoother and brighter .

What I love about a Tuya Facial, is that she gives the best shoulder, chest, and arm massage in the beginning, during the facial steaming and while the mask is drying . She also massages the product into the skin .. sooo relaxing . I usually see Tuya every 6-8 weeks. She is my “ go to “ esthetician , while I try other skin treatments in between .

5. Micro-needling Facial

The facial treatment that I found to have the most profound results is #microneedling.

Micro- needling may be used to infuse various forms of skin treatments into the skin such as Platelet Rich Plasma, Vitamin C, Hyalurolonic acid and other anti aging serums. #prp is definitely my Micro-needling infusion of choice, so much so that I wrote two #blog posts on this treatment.

It's a bloody mess, but it works!

The best results are seen after 6 treatments done 6 weeks apart . Then you can take a break for at least 6 months . I’ve seen amazing results after 4 . Along with the rejuvenation benefits, micro-needling helps to soften acne scars and reduce hyper-pigmentation.

I had a bad experience when I lived in NY with IPL (Intense Pulse Light) on my chest, to treat hyper-pigmentation. Because of the rectangular shape of the tool used to administer the IPL, I ended up with stripes. It has faded over time but still uneven. I was told by my dermatologist in Miami, that this is common and can be fixed by using the tool in the opposite direction. I was so traumatized by this treatment I don't think I could do it again. The IPL makes your skin raw and this lasts days until you start to peel. Not a good look in Miami, since I would look a bit absurd wearing a turtleneck in 85 degrees. I would never risk this on my face although I've been told the skin on your face reacts differently. Sorry, for me that does not work. Not a chance I am willing to take. I'm not going to completely "poo poo" this treatment since there have been great results recorded by many. I just cannot endorse a treatment that did not work for me.

Since the micro-needling worked wonders on my face with NO DOWNTIME, I will be including my chest, when I schedule my next treatment.

Below links contain the details on two Medspas I went to have a prp micro facial.

5. Non Surgical Face Lift Facial

I experienced the non surgical #facelift #facial at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. The esthetician utilized a computer-aided cosmetology instrument to lift the skin . In addition the treatment utilizes a crystal-free ultrasound technology to power-cleanse the skin; firming micro-current; and led light therapy. I’m not saying this can take the place of a face lift but I will tell you my face felt much firmer after one treatment. I would definitely go back for another one !

6. Facial Acupuncture

This is going to sound cray to a lot of you . Especially those who have never had Acupuncture. For those who have never had or know nothing about it, Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine which treats to a variety of ailments by triggering specific points on the skin with needles.

Acupuncture is a minimally invasive way to stimulate nerve-rich regions of the skin surface in order to cause a response of tissues, glands, organs, and various functions of the body. When you think about it, its effectiveness is based on similar principals as Micro needling. The “trauma” caused by the needles , although minor, encourages the body’s immune system to act by promoting healing and increasing circulation. When the needles are inserted into the skin in the face, they promote collagen production and therefore help soften wrinkles on the skin.

Not as scary as it looks!

Although everyone responds differently to Acupuncture, there is solid science behind it . So much so that many insurance companies now cover visits for certain treatments. I doubt skin rejuvenation would fall under that category, but based on my experience with Acupuncture in the past, I am confident that the claims that facial acupuncture increases collagen, tightens and lifts skin, softens wrinkles and improves overall appearance of the skin have validity. The effects are cumulative so you need to have several treatments to see results . After two treatments I have seen some improvement. I really, once again found a fabulous practitioner on #groupon. Elana Omari. She is Israeli, and all the Israelis I have encountered in my lifetime thrive to be the best at whatever they do. We immediately bonded and I learned she has successful practices in New York and Miami! How perfect!!! She sat me down for about 30 minutes prior to treatment, questioning me about any and all concerns and ailments I may be encountering. THIS is a true sign of a good acupuncturist. She was very skilled in her application of the needles so there was little discomfort. Since she had become aware of my history, and that I had sinus issues, Elana offered to treat my sinuses while working on my face and I felt them open up right away. She also ran a Gua Sha Stone under my eyes to reduce puffiness. Facial Gua Sha is a massage technique designed to relieve tension in the muscles of the face, boost blood circulation and encourage lymphatic drainage to banish bloat. It worked!!!!

If you think I am blowing smoke with my "facial 411", the proof is in what my skin looks like now, compared to how it looked a little over 5 years ago. I recently celebrated my 52nd birthday in NYC and had brunch with my girls when I was there. They had been following me on IG and noticed how good my skin looked. They thought is was a case of me using filters to make my skin look so soft and youthful. That was before they witnessed the results up close and personal! If you would like to see the results and live in Miami, lets grab a drink or cup of coffee!

Left is 2013, I had no idea my skin looked so bad! Leathery and wrinkly, Right is Dec 25,2018!

Please feel free to share and contact me with any questions or comments!

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