This was my first experience with both the Photofacial and Laser Hair Removal. I have to admit I was a little nervous for both, but very happy my esthetician was Kirsten again. If you recall I dubbed her my new BFF in my Microdermabrasion post because of the great results from that treatment. After experiencing these however, I am now re-thinking that! Let me put it this way…being zapped with intense light and a laser gun are not the most relaxing OR stress relieving things on the planet and definitely not something your BFF would inflict on you. In fact, I cannot lie. It was painful! I don’t know about you, but when I enter a “spa”, my mind-set is on being pampered, not tortured! This time around, there were no peaceful relaxing moments to bask in while all my worries and cares faded away into oblivion. Nope. It was more like me laying there all tensed up, kind of like I am in the dentists chair, anticipating the next zap from the big guns! Okay, I admit, I’ve been spoiled by all the other amazing tranquil induced treatments Sego Lily has showered (literally) on me! So, I guess in order for me to keep it all in perspective I will try to remember that there IS a cost to beauty and that cost isn’t always pleasant. And the important thing is to focus on the results, not the process. Right? Um… right!
To start off Kirsten put some protective glasses on me and gooped up my face with gel in preparation for the Photofacial. I have a picture of me in this mode, but my husband told me it was very unflattering of me and to re-think posting it! Gee thanks hon! Obviously I listened. So you will just have to picture in your mind my hair all wrapped up in a towel, zero make-up, tons of goop smothering my entire face, and white goggles sucking my eyes into my head. Actually maybe the real picture would be less scary than the one I just put in your mind!
The Photofacial procedure is fairly simple actually. Kirsten just aimed her gun at me and pulled the trigger as she went around my face and neck. As she pulled the trigger, a fairly powerful zap of light was ejected into my skin. Did I feel it? Yep. I wouldn’t say it was horribly painful, but it wasn’t pleasant either. It felt like someone was snapping my face with a rubber-band over and over each time she zapped me. It was a different sensation when she zapped around my mouth however. She said dental fillings tends to make it a little more intense. Umm…yep, intense would be the correct word! Nothing unbearable but definitely not the same experience as a relaxing massage. I should have scheduled one of those for immediately after!
For those of you like me, that are unfamiliar with exactly what a Photofacial is, let me explain. Photofacial is a new advanced non-laser Intense Pulse Light (IPL) technology that delivers precise amounts of light energy through the skin’s surface to stimulate the production of collagen. And as we all know, collagen is a good thing. As new collagen forms, fine lines and wrinkles are softened and redness is reduced. Photofacial treatments help restore a more youthful appearance, improve skin texture and increase moisture to the skin. It is also effective for rosacea – reducing overall redness and dilated capillaries. The best part of it is there is no downtime, unlike some other facial treatments. You can leave the spa with really no evidence you had anything done. Kirsten did tell me in a few days that some parts of my skin may have some dark flecks on it that resemble coffee grounds. I did experience that, but it was so minute no one could tell but me. And the good thing is, after only one treatment (three or four are recommended for best results) I noticed a difference. It was worth every unpleasant little zap after all. I predict Photofacials are going to become even more popular than they are right now because results are quickly evident with a minimal amount of time involved and of course having no downtime is a real bonus! This is something I definitely want to do again.
After Kirsten finished the Photofacial it was time for me to experience hair removal, laser style. My underarms were the lucky winner. When she pointed that gun at me, I immediately put my hands up (er… arms), yet she still pulled the trigger! Ouch! Now what kind of a BFF would do that? I had talked to several people that had laser hair removal done and so I thought I knew what to expect. Most of them said my arm would feel like I hit my funny bone over and over during the procedure (they were very right about that!), but as far as pain, most claimed it wasn’t too bad. I would agree with that for the most part, but there was about a five second time span right at the end, that really hurt! The whole process was very quick with each arm taking only about a minute or two. Kirsten knew what she as doing and saved the worst zaps for last thankfully. To describe the sensation for this I would say it felt like 100 tiny needles were being injected into my skin with each zap. I felt like I had no control over the nerves in my arm, kind of like when a doctor hits your patella to test your reflexes and your leg just does its thing without asking you first if it’s okay. Overall the laser was definitely more painful than the Photofacial. In fact, while laying there having it done, I began wondering why so many people choose to do this on their own free will! In order to see results, one treatment isn’t enough. Most people need at least three of four to really see results with laser hair removal depending on their own hair and skin type. When Kirsten said I would need to have it repeated a few more times, I remember thinking to myself, “No way am I willingly doing that again!” But now that some time has passed, I can see that the minimal amount of discomfort is definitely worth the end result of never having to shave!
As far as after pain, I didn’t really experience any. I was concerned because I was running a 10K race the next morning and was afraid the friction of rubbing my arms back and forth as I ran would cause some real discomfort, but it didn’t. The time involved for both the Photofacial and Laser Hair Removal is very short, but the results are long lasting. And anything that is long lasting is worth any discomfort that may be involved to get there. Uh huh. Yep. Of course. I am glad I was able to experience both of these treatments and hope to be able to again. If you are thinking about either one of these treatments, go for it! You’ll be glad you did. Maybe not DURING the procedure, but most definitely AFTER! But… if I were you, I’d schedule a long and relaxing massage immediately after!
I’ve even decided that Kirsten will remain my new BFF because after all, a real friend would help you do what you need to do in order to look your best even if there is a little pain involved!!! Thanks Kirsten and Sego Lily for making the world a more beautiful place just one zap at a time!