About 10 years ago, SELF magazine ranked Boca Raton as America’s vainest city based on the number of plastic surgeons per capita. If you’ve ventured to Town Center, Mizner Park or the Boca Raton Resort, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Perhaps “vain” wasn’t the best adjective, because according to the dictionary, vain means “having or showing an excessively high opinion of one’s appearance, abilities, or worth.” I don’t know about you, but I feel good when I look good, and this isn’t (technically) vanity at all.
So in my quest to enhance my complexion and undo the toll that 39 years of living has taken, I went to plastic surgeon Jason Pozner, MD at Boca’s Sanctuary Medical Center. (Full disclosure: This was not my first visit, as his sprawling practice has long been my go-to for Botox, filler, laser treatments and, um, my third nose.) I keep going back for good reason…I don’t want to put my face in anyone else’s hands. On the agenda for this visit was the Halo laser treatment which targets visible imperfections like discoloration, large pores, dullness, fine lines and rough texture, as well as the deeper levels of the skin to help rejuvenate from within.
Here’s the scoop on Halo laser treatment, and why it’s different from other skin-rejuvenating lasers…
First, it’s a hybrid laser that combines two modalities, a non-ablative wavelength for the top layers of skin and an ablative wavelength for the deeper levels. Combining these wavelengths allows the laser to target a bevy of concerns all at once. Halo is totally customizable to your skin’s needs, as well as your tolerance for downtime, so you can opt for multiple “light” treatments or one to two more intense treatments.
So above is my “before” picture, and let’s just say I actually thought this was pretty good—until I saw the “after.” A few days before my Halo laser treatment appointment, Dr. Pozner’s office called in prescriptions for antibiotics and Valtrex to prevent any cold sores from popping up after the treatment. When I arrived for my appointment, my face was slathered in numbing cream for about 30-40 minutes, and then the fun began…
I’d be lying if I said the treatment was painless or relaxing—rather it felt like continuous hot pinpricks. Some spots were a bit more intense than others, but it was tolerable enough that Dr. Pozner and I were able to chit-chat for the entire 25 minutes it took to do my entire face. Yup, only 25 minutes later I was slathered in Aquaphor and on my way.
Above is what I looked like right after the Halo laser treatment. The sunburn-like redness and burning subsided after about 4 or 5 hours. (And when I say burning, that means I had the A/C on full blast directly on my face on the way home.) I was able to cool things down with some Advil, La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water and frequent applications of Cetaphil Cream (which was the only product I used for a week afterwards).
This is what I looked like the next day (and the first few days after that). At this point I still looked a bit swollen, but there was no discomfort, and my sandpaper-like skin texture was as a bit disconcerting. I wasn’t really going anywhere that required makeup (you can use it the very next day) so I used some La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral SPF 50 and I looked relatively normal.
After the first few days, the pigment started to rise to the surface, and it looked like I had coffee grounds on my face. Then on day 4, the thick layer of dry, rough skin started to flake off. I washed my face in the shower for the first time and when I rinsed, a lot of little pieces started coming off—and the new skin beneath was fresh, pink and smooth! It took about 6 days for all of it to shed.
I am absolutely blown away by this makeup-free before-and-after (as is everyone else I show it to) courtesy of the Halo laser and Dr. Posner. MY SKIN LOOKS AMAZING! The pigment (that I never really noticed before) is gone, my skin is beyond radiant and the large pores on the sides of my nose are GONE! I have received too many compliments to count, and if being this happy with my complexion makes me vain, so be it.
From Modern Boca Mom Contributor: The brain behind the beauty blog InsiderBeautyBuzz.com and the innovative self-tan remover, Bronze Buffer, Paige Herman-Axel is a modern (and busy) Boca mom. When she’s not blogging, bronzing or buffing, Paige is a freelance beauty writer and consultant for skincare companies big and small, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and more. In the rare time spent away from her computer, Paige can be found shuttling her seven-year-old son to and from basketball practice and cuddling with her new pup Nugget.