“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….”
Well, this Spring marks 20 years since I graduated from High School. Those lyrics may ring a bell of familiarity to you, as they are taken from the essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich published in 1997, and turned into a song performed by Baz Luhrmann in 1999 called: Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).
I had not thought about that song until last week, when a close friend (turning 40 in a hot second) and I discussed what we would have done differently in our youth. Not surprising, my answer was, ” I would have stayed out of the sun, or at least, wore sunscreen.”
Then it rang a bell; 20 years and a great big hello to sun damage.
Why don’t we listen when we are young?
The following day, I decided it was time to get myself to a doctor and get something lasered! Remember, I’m a long time licensed esthetician, so it seemed that what I needed was a trip to a dermatologist for some IPL.
This was my first time receiving the treatment and true to form: let’s get beautiful!
WHAT IS IPL?
IPL stands for Intense Pulsed Light. You may also hear the terms “photorejuvenation” or “photofacial.”
Treatments are performed at a doctor’s office and can be the solution for “erasing” sun damage, freckles, and brown spots on the face, neck and chest. Some people even use it to remove facial hair.
Please note: spas also offer this service, but I recommend visiting a dermatologist. It’s all “fun and games” until the laser burns the skin. Stick with a doctor whom you trust.
At your visit, your dermatologist will take a look at your skin and determine if IPL is right for you.
It was not only right for me but really “encouraged”, in a way that made me feel a little sad…but I digress.
How does IPL work?
The dermatologist explained that the light will break up melanin in the skin (melanin is the reason for the dark spots,) and turn into scabs that the body will eliminate or shed over a week or so.
This sounded very simple and wonderful, so we got the show on the road….
IPL Treatment Session
I was escorted to a lovely room and given a pair of goggles. Some gel was applied to my face.
The next twenty minutes were kind of blurry.
I’m not sure why I didn’t think about that or ask, but the pain was Intense and I began to sweat.
It was not pretty.
After the treatment ended, the gel was removed, sunscreen applied; and yours truly, discovered herself with a face of patches that looked like really dry skin.
Bring foundation, you will need it.
A Week Later
My skin has healed and I’m pleased with the results.
Some sun damage is noticeably absent, while other areas are lighter.
I’m a touch ‘scarred’ by the pain and afraid to go back to do my chest…but that’s just me.
Try it, if you have a higher pain threshold than me (which everyone I know has).
This may work for you. It works for men and women.
Make sure to see a dermatologist.
My treatment cost was $650 but it varies depending on your skin condition and doctor’s fees.
And you…Younger people reading this: No joke, wear sunscreen. For real.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Editor with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. She has worked with PRADA USA Corp., Jurlique, Amore Pacific and the New York Daily News in management capacities including Marketing, Client Relations, Employee Relations and Training Management. She has authored and published the column, “Ask Angela,” featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. Her beauty advice has been featured in Shape and Fitness Magazines and CBS News.
She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Writing. Angela also has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Angela is currently creator of Circuit Cosmetics, a Brand Ambassador for luxury beauty line, Patchology, an On Air Guest for QVC and blogger for www.thelaughinmommy.blogspot.com.
In her spare time you can find Angela running, spinning, practicing yoga or getting beautified. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her Husband, Son, and Chihuahuas.