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Day 3 after laser treatment: Peeling and progress — and peeling

While getting to know Christine Tatum, chief executive officer of Denver-based communications company Media Salad, Inc., we quickly found a great person to explain the journey to healthy skin we at illuma Advanced Aesthetics are passionate about helping our clients navigate. Our deal was simple: we would introduce Christine to our services, and she would tell the unvarnished truth about her experiences. You can read her first , second, third, fourth and fifth posts. We all hope from the resulting series she periodically will maintain on this blog that you learn some interesting things to help you achieve your own skincare goals, laugh a little — and that you visit uat illuma to begin your journey.

I spent yesterday gingerly touching my face to apply a little makeup with hideous results. Today, I woke up with skin flaking off everywhere. 

Gross — and yet I was a bit relieved because I could finally see fresh, new facial skin emerging and sense a return to normalcy.I probably have never been so excited to wash my face — or more surprised by how many times I would need to wash my face on this third day after my first encounter with laser skin resurfacing. Thank goodness for cool water and illuma Advanced Aesthetic Skincare’s ultra-gentle and moisturizing Soothing Cleanser  and Spray Moisturizer. Throughout the day, my facial skin would tighten and start to flake, signaling it was all right for me to make another trip to the bathroom. Using gentle (key word), circular motions and only the very tips of my fingers, I removed dead skin from all over my face. I repeated this process several times — maybe eight times in 15 hours — and there was always more skin to remove. 

Until there wasn’t. 

And when there wasn’t, I figured Fran might get a Christmas card from me this year after all. There were so many obvious-to-me things to be excited about! 

For example, my facial skin was just brighter and less waxy. And for the first time since my teens, my forehead was as smooth as a baby’s bum. No more stubborn milia — those tiny, firm, white bumps that may look like whiteheads, but are actually cysts containing built-up keratin just beneath the skin’s surface. Milia cysts — much like the one you can see on my forehead in the upper left frame of my “before face” — are harmless and don’t have any redness or inflammation unless you pick at them. Picking at melia is unwise because these cysts are tough to extract. Leave them for the professionals — like Fran, whose laser zaps them away in fractions of seconds. 

And do you also see the changes in lines and skin toning under my eyes? I’ll get to that stuff next. 

Day 2 after laser treatment — and my face starts to peel

While getting to know Christine Tatum, chief executive officer of Denver-based communications company Media Salad, Inc., we quickly found a great person to explain the journey to healthy skin we at illuma Advanced Aesthetics are passionate about helping our clients navigate. Our deal was simple: we would introduce Christine to our services, and she would tell the unvarnished truth about her experiences. You can read her first , second, third and fourth posts. We all hope from the resulting series she periodically will maintain on this blog that you learn some interesting things to help you achieve your own skincare goals, laugh a little — and that you visit uat illuma to begin your journey.

There are so many things to plan for when scheduling laser facial skin treatments, and you, gentle reader, get to benefit from my lack of foresight.

I have two big recommendations.

One: If you’re using facial recognition technology to access your home, adjust your thermostat, or open apps on your mobile phone, you might want to put all of that on pause until you have recovered fully. I grossly underestimated just how much my face would peel and flake — to the point that it felt as if it were falling off. Let’s just say my devices didn’t recognize me, and I had to come up with some unexpected workarounds.

Two: You really, really want to hang out at home for a few days, so clear the calendar, and stock up the pantry. I did neither of these things. Sending teenagers to do the shopping was easy, so I didn’t screw up too badly there, but my maiden recovery from laser skin treatments conflicted with a high school graduation party I simply couldn’t miss.

Before heading out, I tried desperately to cover my face. Fearful that the scabby “coffee beans” under my eyes would flake off while talking with someone, I liberally applied the illuma Spray Moisturizer. And though this was an evening event, I was determined to use the Daily Defense SPF because I was so rattled at the mere thought of being hit by a ray of light at sunset.

Then it was time to apply some sort of makeup. Oh, what to do? Oh, what a mess. What a complete mess. See the photo for yourself. It’s worth a thousand words, all right. This was not my finest hour — but I knew I could show up looking like a trick-or-treater on this particular doorstep because these friends have known and loved me for decades.

Day 2 after Christine’s first facial laser skincare treatment.

“Welcome!” my longtime buddy said, squinting to take a closer look at my face as I tried to hurry past him to hang out with the dog in the laundry room. “Wait. What did you do to yourself?”

There was no avoiding this so I headed into the brightly lit kitchen. Eyes widened. There were just a couple of winces. I looked better than I thought.

A smart lawyer friend with absolutely flawless skin beckoned me to sit beside her. She was grinning as widely as the Cheshire Cat — but not quite as widely as Certified Laser Specialist and illuma Advanced Aesthetics Co-owner Fran Valdiris, who sold me on all of this skin rejuvenation stuff.

“I know what you’ve been doing,” I could swear she purred.

“Oh, really? What is that?” I asked — all of a sudden gobsmacked by the realization that she was into this torture.

“Be glad because you’re looking like the crypt-keeper’s wife, so you’re turning a corner and should see new skin tomorrow maybe,” she said matter-of-factly. “I do this to myself, too, and it’s totally worth it — but I don’t go out in public.”

I was instantly fascinated and shifted into interview mode. My friend’s legal specialty includes the evaluation of medical devices. If there’s anyone who is going to ferret out effective and safe practitioners and skin lasers, it’s her. She was pleased to hear I had taken the time to ensure illuma uses only machines that have received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration and are made in the U.S., too.

“I look at it like this,” she said. “I’ll spend lots of money on clothes, shoes, makeup and on and on, so why wouldn’t I spend it on my face? I wear that 100 percent of the time. I’m just strategic about how I go about all of this. I think of it as preventative maintenance, like changing the oil or rotating the tires, but for my face. These treatments are also pretty well tried and tested — and, like all things, skill matters. When you find a good person, keep ‘em.”

It was a lovely party. As I bid everyone goodnight, my lawyer friend mouthed five words from across the room: “Do not forget to moisturize.”

illuma adds Secret RF to services

illuma adds Secret RF to services

illuma Advanced Aesthetics is pleased to announce the addition of Secret RF Microneedling to our collection of services. 

This radio-frequency device is manufactured and used worldwide by California-based Cutera, a pioneering developer for more than two decades of devices and other solutions for the medical aesthetic industry. 

Secret RF is a novel approach to stimulate and remodel collagen to aid skin tightening and rejuvenation, scar revision and the diminishing of stretch marks. It is great for all skin types, year ’round — and clients experience minimal downtime after a procedure. We especially like this multi-layered treatment because it also can be so easily tailored to address a client’s unique skin concern during each customized treatment. 

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Secret RF Microneedling. We invite you to contact us for more information. 

WHAT SKIN CONDITIONS DOES SECRET RF MICRONEEDLING TREAT?

The Secret RF treatment is ideal for improving aging skin, photodamage, fine lines and wrinkles on the face and neck, scars, acnes scars, skin quality and striae. The treatment is safe and effective, and suitable for all skin types and patients seeking skin revitalization.

WHAT IS THE SECRET RF PROCEDURE LIKE?

Secret RF is a easy, safe and effective procedure that can be performed in a quick, 15-minute treatment session. During the treatment, you will feel a slight heating and some pressure on the treatment area. For most patients, the treatment is tolerable, but your provider will work with you to maximize your comfort level. Before the procedure, your provider will apply a numbing cream to the treatment area to increase comfort during the treatment.

HOW MANY SECRET RF TREATMENTS WILL I NEED?

Patients typically need 3-4 treatments spaced 4-6 weeks apart, to achieve optimal results. Most patients report seeing improvement after the second treatment. However, results are optimized three months after the last treatment.

HOW LONG DOES A TREATMENT LAST?

Results vary based on the individual. To maintain results, maintenance treatments are recommended every 12-18 months.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER MY PROCEDURE?

After the treatment, an ointment will be applied to the skin and you will be asked to refrain from wearing make up for several hours. Any minor redness or swelling resulting from treatment will subside within 12-24 hours. After the treatment, you can expect to return to normal activities.