Over the last year or so, I've been noticing wrinkles on my forehead, new sunspots on my cheeks and temples, enlarged pores around my nose and acne scarring around my chin (which has been there since my early 20s, but has always bothered me). I've also been getting quite a few new breakouts around my chin and on my forehead over the past few months, but I'm pretty sure this is due to not taking the pill anymore.
And since I'm definitely not one for throwing my arms in the air and giving up, I've decided to get a Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser treatment in hopes of reversing some of this sun damage and scarring on my skin. I went in to the Fiore Skin Clinic in Vancouver for my consult a couple of weeks ago and we determined that I will be a great candidate for the procedure at a medium intensity. Fingers crossed that I'll get that 20 year old skin I'm dreaming of!
During the consult, Suzanne (the technician that will be administering my treatment) went over my medical history, my concerns and expectations on results. I also had a Visia image taken of my skin, which looks under the surface to analyse texture, pores, spots, wrinkles, redness, sunspots and discoloration in order to determine my "skin age". I am actually doing quite well in several of those categories and my skin age came out at 10 years younger than my actual age. I'm thinking that 20 year old skin isn't too unattainable after-all!
After going over my results, Suzanne put me on a skincare routine that I will be following for the 6 weeks leading up to the treatment. It consists of 7 different products that I alternate in using everyday for the full 6 weeks. The product line is called Zo Medical and it is pharmaceutical grade and therefore the real deal. This stuff is so strong that you can only purchase it from clinics that are supervised by a doctor. I'm to expect red flaky skin and a bit of a burning sensation when using the Retin A products (which I can attest to). Below are the products I've been using.
1. Zo Medical NormaCleanse: I use this product every morning and night, every single day. This is maybe my favorite product of the lot because it smells amazing, it's gentle on the eyes and it removes makeup like nothing else. I'm already a huge fan.
2. Zo Skin Health Offects Te-Pads Acne Pore Treatment: I use this product every other morning after cleansing. This product is actually thin individual pads that you pour a solution onto once you are ready to start using them. Is is quite strong and I can really feel it cleaning out my pores. I love to scrub it right around my nose where all the clogged pores are and along the jawline and chin where I tend to get the most breakouts.
3. Zo Skin Health Offects Exfoliating Polish: I use this exfoliator on the opposite mornings to the exfoliating polish. It has ultra fine magnesium crystals that are meant to provide at-home benefits of a microdermabrasion. This one gets quite hot on the skin as you are applying it due to the active ingredients and it really does give the skin an amazing scrub.
4. Zo Skin Health Olluminate Intense Eye Repair: I use this every morning and evening after cleansing and before my moisturizer. One of my main concerns to do with aging is dryness and crepiness around the eyes. I'm hoping this will do the trick in helping deal with that. It comes in a huge sized jar and has that beautiful tingly sensation when you put it on to let you know that it is working its magic. I'm really counting on this guy.
5. Zo Skin Health Ossential Daily Power Defense: I use this one every morning after cleansing and exfoliating, as well as every other night. I know this one has active ingredients and I was told to expecting red flaky skin, but I'm really craving a more intense moisturizer during all of this. I'm also a little afraid of running out of this one as I use it every day (sometimes twice) and the bottle isn't all that big, but I'll report back on that later. Hopefully it will last the full 6 weeks.
6. Zo Medical Retamax Active Vitamin A Micro Emulsion: I use this every other evening in place of the daily power defense moisturizer. This is the heavy hitter in this skincare routine and the main source of the red flaky skin. When I put it on at night, it feels like I have a sunburn for a few minutes afterwards. I had tried out a retinol product in the past and was scared off by the flaky skin it caused, but the trick is to keep it away from the eyes and just power through. I know this one will give amazing results, so I don't mind a bit of dry skin for a few weeks. Sounds like a pretty good trade off to me. I'm meant to stop using this product one week before the Halo treatment so that the skin has time to recover.
At this point I'm about 2 and a half weeks into the skincare routine and am really looking forward to the treatment. I think I'm currently in the depths of the bad side effects (peeling skin and lots of new breakouts), but Suzanne has encouraged me to keep it up and power through. I'll keep you guys updated with my results and I'll have some good before and after photos for you.
Let me know if you have any questions and I'll be more than happy to answer them! xoxo