I’ve always been very low key about my skin care regimen. I follow three simple rules to keep my skin looking its best:
- Never go to sleep with makeup on
- Don’t pick at blemishes
- Wear sunscreen (even on cloudy days)
Other than that, caring for my skin consists of cleansing, rinsing, and moisturizing day after day. We don’t realize just how much our skin goes through on a daily basis. From staring at our computer screen for too long (think of those wrinkles that show up from squinting) to spending way too much time in the sun. Our skin is our first line of defense in maintaining our health, so it only makes sense to properly care for it in return.
As you can see from my everyday makeup routine, I use a series of products that can lead to buildup in my pores over time. Visiting a skin specialist periodically is key to maintaining smooth, youthful skin so I hopped on a call with Claudia Sanchez from Dr. John Martin M.D. to discuss any treatments that my skin could possibly benefit from. Dr. Martin is a cosmetic surgeon specializing in eye, facial, and neck rejuvenation. He also has a skin clinic that offers laser and non-surgical treatments to keep your skin looking its best. Claudia is the practices’ skincare guru and so I definitely felt comfortable having my first facial procedure ever done with her. I know that certain treatments and procedures can do your skin lots of good but I’ve seen the extreme opposite end of the spectrum as well. I mean, I’ve never even had so much as a facial, so I was very cautious in explaining the outcome I ultimately wanted. She would have to take a look at my skin first, but she recommended a mild microdermabrasion and peel based on our conversation.
I usually run decisions like this through my mom. She’s had her fair share of good and bad experiences with skin care and generally knows what’s best. When I told her I was considering a microdermabrasion and peel she said to go for it. Her skin was also due for a little TLC, so I called and made an appointment for the both of us.
We walked into the office and were greeted by Claudia. We both took a skin assessment and discussed medical history to make sure the procedures were safe to move forward with. Claudia was so sweet and informative. She answered all of our questions and concerns so we were comfortable and totally at ease.
My mom has rosacea and also has some dark spots due to sun damage, so the IPL procedure was recommended to her in order to improve a variety of skin imperfections she is concerned with. IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light and it’s a technology that sends powerful flashes of light through the skin.
The light’s energy penetrates the skin and is absorbed by the dark and red colors (melanin) and destroys the structure that holds the color. When the structure is damaged, the body tries to repair it and the discoloration either leaves the skin in the form of a scab or is carried away by the body’s lymphatic system. The procedure has no down time – just make sure to stay out of the sun as much as possible. My mom said the procedure was painless and her eyes were protected with goggles.
IPL is best done in a series. Meaning – imperfections usually aren’t erased the first time around. Claudia recommended treatments every four to six weeks to see visible improvement, or once or twice a year as a maintenance to keep skin looking radiant. Two weeks later my mom’s spots are still there, but there has been a noticeable difference on her fine lines and rosacea. Her skin feels tighter and smoother than it did before the procedure, too.
When it was time for my procedures, I sat down and probably asked 20 questions before getting started on my microdermabrasion.
Microdermabrasion is one of the least invasive procedures that can improve fine lines, remove blackheads, and smooth out your skins overall texture. It’s basically a machine that uses lots of crystals to exfoliate your skin to remove impurities then vacuums them all up. People of all skin types can benefit from microdermabrasion since the depth of exfoliation is controlled by the esthetician. Claudia constantly checked up on how I was feeling throughout the procedure which totally put me at ease since this was the first time I ever had this type of procedure done.
My microdermabrasion session was followed by the Perfect Peel 10. Since my skin is very sensitive, I received the mildest of the three intensities. The peel took about ten minutes to apply. After carefully cleansing the skin, a series of ingredients are layered on the skin – first an acid / antioxidant blend, then a retinol.
The chemicals reduce signs of aging, help improve skin tone, shrink the size of your pores and fade dark spots. The chemicals are applied with gentle cloths and will give you a cool, tingling sensation when applied. There is some down time with the Perfect Peel 10 so be sure to stay out of the sun as much as possible, and steer clear of any important events for the next week or so. This treatment is perfect during the fall or winter seasons when you won’t be tempted to go out into the sun.
Microdermabrasion is a painless treatment, and can be adjusted to suit even the most sensitive of skin. It is best used in combination with chemical peels in order to best rejuvenate the skin.
Two days following my procedure, I wasn’t peeling yet and my skin looked more radiant than ever. I started wearing less makeup, the fine lines around my mouth were gone, and my skin looked and felt smoother. I especially noticed a difference when applying my sunscreen and moisturizer. It felt like my skin was actually absorbing the skincare products I spend so much money on. I began to peel about three days after the application and continued to shed my skin like a snake for 4 days after that. I was unable to wear makeup during this time which gave my skin a much needed rest. Although the peeling was annoying, it was totally worth it.
My experience at Dr. Martin’s office can best be described as a much needed day at a doctor’s spa. With it being Spa Month in Miami, I’ve been very tempted to receive skin treatments at a spa but have never gone through with it. My skin is sensitive so I’m very cautious with who gets their hands on it. Visiting Dr. Martin was like having the best of both worlds! I was relaxed, comfortable, and knew I was doing something good for my skin. I can’t wait to return and make these two procedures part of my regular skincare regimen.
As with any procedure, it’s very important that you wear SPF over 30.*
Dr. John Martin M.D.
2912 Douglas Road
Coral Gables, Florida 33134