Ann Kaplan Sunday, July 08, 2012
Even with my wallet open and begging for an aggressive treatment to lighten my brown spots, my friendly cosmetic aesthetician – working under the direction of a cosmetic medical doctor – refused to even suggest touching my skin until I agreed to “do my part”. (I thought “my part” was paying for it?)
Not so…she demanded two months of home skin-lightening, with consecutive in-office Silkpeel™ Dermalinfusion Treatments, to help lighten and brighten (and remove dead tissue), before a laser touched my epidermis. I counted the days to spring and reluctantly agreed.
Surprisingly, a topical treatment called SpotPeel not only rejuvenated and removed the brown spots that I had suffered from for years, but left my skin looking younger. This is basically a Dermaceutic depigmentation peel. The first treatment was in her office, the balance is a daily home treatment.
The good news: I didn’t need a laser. The bad news: Even if I had had a laser treatment, I was advised that I needed to continue treatments and to protect my skin for life. “Treat it like a disease,” I was told. Probably one of the best pieces of advice I had ever had, and it put it into perspective: “You can get rid of the spots, but they will come back.” (Time + sun damage = evil.)
So….enter summer…what do I do? Sit under umbrellas, wear big floppy hats, or slather myself in green-toned zinc? Although these things work, it is tough enough looking like an aging woman concerned about my skin (because I am an aging woman concerned about my skin), but I am not comfortable walking around with a parasol that draws attention.
Pressured by not wanting to welcome or encourage the recurrence of the brown spots that Ipainstakingly spent months removing, I began to research my aesthetic summer options:
1 Sunforgettable (available at doctors’ offices): A mineral-based skin protector that is virtually invisible, but sits like a bodyguard on your skin, protecting it from the sun’s rays.
2 Brill-i-ant! – SPF and makeup combo – not only hides or camouflages irregularities, but enables you to nix that extra layer of sunscreen. Lots of different places to find this, including doctors’ offices and over-the-counter at department stores: even name brands like Georgio Armani and Clinique offer this simple summer solution.
3 Not satisfied with the pastie skin encouraged by cosmetic medical doctors to discourage sun damage? Seek this simple solution: spray tan. This will not prevent sun damage, but it will certainly keep you from feeling you need to tone your envelope (and invite the evil rays).
I felt like I had been handed a ball and chain when the realization hit me that I would need to protect my skin forever. Granted, I had crossed the middle-aged line (some long time ago) but, I still wanted the freedom that being young offers. Admittedly, it took a while for the realization to set in.
If, like me, you prefer a quick fixerupper to combat the sun damage, the saving grace is that there are readily available treatments to remove the signs of sun damage. Better still, there are products that can be used to discourage recurrence.