Do you ever leave the spa after a facial and think, “That was great! My skin feels so clean and I’m really relaxed but…” Facials are excellent for a lot of things but addressing underlying issues or fixing things long term? Not so much. That’s why medical facials, performed by or under a doctor’s supervision with cutting-edge technology, are becoming an important part of the well-groomed woman’s skin care routine. Imagine that clean, spa feeling with the added benefit of knowing that you’re actually treating long-term issues.
Last week, Dr. Leonard Miller invited me to his state-of-the-art practice, The Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation in Brookline to experience a medical facial and talk modern plastic surgery. Dr. Miller is all about natural-looking results and avoiding invasive surgery whenever possible with the newest technology. I know the phrase “plastic surgeon” can be intimidating (I told some friends about the meeting and heard a lot of, “But you look 23!”…not so big secret, I’m actually 30) but Dr. Miller specializes in skin care and has been actively involved in developing new cosmetic products and skincare procedures for over twenty years. Long story short, I knew I was in good hands.
|Dr. Leonard Miller|
After discussing his approach to skincare (hint: it includes being diligent about applying sunscreen and having a consistent cleansing routine), Dr. Miller introduced me to one of his medical estheticians, Cheryl, who has 15 years of experience working in plastic surgery and specializes in laser treatment.
Everyone has a different medical facial experience at the Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation because they know that there isn’t a one size fits all solution when it comes to skincare. So, maybe your facial will incorporate using a laser like Clear & Brilliant to even skin tone or maybe you just need an application of a vitamin mask, perfect for sensitive skin that can’t tolerate deeper exfoliation. Dr. Miller and his team really take the time to evaluate your skin’s needs and recommend the best course of action for you.
|I was pretty nervous at first…especially when I saw the surgical cap!|
I have to admit that I was more nervous than I would be going into a traditional facial at a spa. After all, it is a doctor’s office and there isn’t any lit candles or irritating flute music being piped into the room. Still, the chair leans back comfortably, and Cheryl tucked a blanket around me so the experience isn’t all that different. After taking a deeper look at my skin, listening to my past experiences, and doing a mild cleaning, she decided that I was a good candidate for both a lactic acid peel and dermaplaning.
What is dermaplaning? Only the best thing to ever happen to my skin but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. My first question, as always, was, “Will they hurt?” Turns out, lactic acid peels are fairly mild so I didn’t experience any burning, just a bit of tingling. Next, she dried my skin and the dermaplaning began! Think of it as next level exfoliation! Using a tool similar to a surgical blade or scalpel, Cheryl gently scraped my skin. The only comparison I can make is if you gently scanned your face with your fingernails. It’s actually kind of pleasant! All those built up layers of dead skin (and even with a regular exfoliation routine, I’ve still had patches of really dry skin from this past winter) are gently scraped away and, in doing so, it removes superficial acne scars and fine lines. Ever feel like your skin tone is uneven and bumpy? Dermplaning really helps to eliminate that by creating a smooth surface of new, healthy skin. (A great bonus is that it temporarily removes all that peach fuzz painlessly if you hate waxing!) It also helps products penetrate deeper into the epidermis because rather than applying them onto layers of dead skin, you’re applying them directly onto a layer of healthy skin allowing them to really be absorbed and work their magic!
|Doesn’t this remind you of Nicole Richie’s mugshot? But I was ready to vogue after my dermaplaning experience!|
I truly couldn’t believe how even and my soft was afterward but Cheryl wasn’t finished with me yet! After some light extractions, she applied a vitamin mask full of vitamins A and C, let it sit for a few minutes (it was very relaxing plus I kept picturing all those vitamins actually reaching in and nourishing my skin) and then massaged it in deeper using an ultrasound wand. Finally, we finished up with a cooling sheet mask that felt like jelly. I can’t remember it’s specific job but it felt great and really calmed my skin down.
I had pictured myself leaving with a burned, sensitive face (a la Samantha Jones in that Season 5 episode of Sex and the City) but when I looked in the mirror I actually glowed. There wasn’t a trace of red anywhere on my skin. I felt like I’d never need makeup again but then Cheryl told me that using makeup after dermaplaning is a whole new level of amazingness. It’s true; The next day I needed less foundation than normal because it glided so smoothly onto my newly even skin! A week later, I’m still doing minimal makeup and I’ve been obsessively following my skincare routine (I have to admit that, in the past, sometimes the morning wash or nightly steps would get neglected but we’re all guilty of that every once in a while right?) and applying sunscreen religiously. As a result, no dry patches have reemerged. I can’t wait to book another dermaplaning session again although I think a good rule of thumb is to do it every time the seasons change (winter into spring/fall into winter) but Cheryl said many patients do it as often as every six weeks. I can understand how it could become addicting!
|Four days post-facial and I’m still glowing. My skin is so even that I’m just wearing a tiny bit of BB Cream and lip balm!|
I can’t say that I picture myself visiting Dr. Miller for more traditional types of cosmetic surgery in the next five years but his extensive knowledge and use of lasers is something that I’m extremely interested in. Not to mention, I’m definitely saving up for CoolSculpt because Dr. Miller assures me that it really does reduce pockets of fat by twenty percent. I love that it’s non-invasive and doesn’t involve needles or surgery.