Listen, folks. I’m not really a skin care girl. Years of sun exposure have made my chest look like this:
I’m 41 years old and I’m doing fairly well as far as wrinkles and decent looking skin goes. This is especially true considering that when I do use face wash it comes from Dollar General or a bar of soap. Honestly, it’s just not something I put much thought or effort into everyday. But, I started to become a little bothered over the last couple years that my chest area was making me look older than 41! All those years of outdoor swim team and lifeguarding, beach vacations, running outside, and just being in the sun from day to day without enough sunblock are responsible for my now visible signs of skin aging, including bumps and discoloration. I also started developing those deep wrinkles – I call them “eye crinkles” – between my eyebrows. Too many years of making the “are you stupid” face at people, I guess! (Just ask my husband. He hates that face.) Bottom line — I couldn’t hide from years of abusing my skin any longer. That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to try out a HALO Laser Treatment and a Botox injection at the Skin and Allery Center in Middle Tennessee. If there was a way to make myself look a little younger, I was ready and willing to give it a shot.
I met with Jeana at the Skin and Allergy Center in Murfreesboro for my initial consultation. The office was clean and bright, and I was greeted warmly by the staff and Jeana. She took me back to a private room to look over and discuss my skin issues and various treatment options. During our consultation, one of the lead doctors, Dr. Robb, came in and also looked at my skin and offered his recommendation. Both Jeana and Dr. Robb felt that I would benefit greatly by having a HALO treatment on my neck and chest, and roughly 15 units of Botox to take care of those “crinkles.”
Jeana explained the benefits of Halo are that you can custom tailor the strength of the laser, the coverage, and the density depending on your needs. She also said I would see results in 1-2 treatments as opposed to 3-5 traditional resurfacing treatments. She assured me that the treatment would not cause much pain other than a little discomfort similar to light needle pricks and a little heat. She said after the treatment my skin would become very red and hot like I had a sunburn from being on the beach too long. This would only last a few hours and the pain could be alleviated with a cold water spray and frozen washcloth. The days following the treatment my skin would be red and blotchy, but I would eventually start peeling. After that, new, refreshed skin would start to appear! I felt very assured by Jeana’s thorough consultation so I decided to set an appointment for the HALO treatment.
My treatment took place in the Spring Hill Skin and Allergy Center location and my laser nurse was named Sara. Like Jeana, Sara was very warm and welcoming and made me feel comfortable right away. Sara explained everything that the treatment would entail and then applied numbing cream to my chest and neck. She also took Visia photos to show the true aging of my skin. If you truly want to be freaked out, I recommend you do these photos. Check this out:
The photo above shows the pigmentation of my skin and the darker areas are where it’s the most heavily pigmented. That makes me want to go running to the nearer bottle of sunscreen! My “TruSkin age” ended up being 44, so I wasn’t TOO far from my actual age. Those photos struck a nerve though, for sure.
After the photos, I had to let the numbing cream take effect for another 40 minutes. During this time I of course managed to get it on my forehead and the side of my mouth and couldn’t feel half my face. Never a dull moment! Sara then took me to the treatment room and gave me big, silly protective glasses before she began the treatment. It didn’t really hurt at all other than just feeling a little heat. In fact, the crackling sound of the laser was more unsettling than the actual application. After the HALO treatment was completed, Sara gave me three shots of Botox (15 units) in the deep lines between my eyebrows. She also gave me a ton of samples for Epionce products including a great tinted sunscreen as well as a water spray to help relieve the burning from the treatment. And, burn it did! My chest and neck was on fire on the way home! I sprayed nearly the whole can of water on my chest and neck. Like Jeana had warned me, it was very similar to having a bad sunburn but only lasted a couple hours.
The next day my chest and neck were quite a sight. Look here:
All of those red dots on my skin are called MENDs, or Microscopic Epithelial Necrotic Debris. This is a normal response to the HALO treatment and means that the laser is moving deep sun damage to the surface. I was advised to moisturize several times a day and eventually my skin would start peeling. It took several days, but this did happen and my skin looked a little better each day. I went back for a follow-up visit with Jeana about two and half weeks later, and she decided to do one more Broadband Light treatment on my skin just to help tone down the pigmentation that still remained. By the time a month past my initial treatment rolled around, my skin was glowing and beautiful. Here are the results:
I am amazed at the glow. I still have freckles, but my skin is much brighter and healthier looking. It also got rid of nearly all the bumps that covered the center of my chest and the half circle around my outer neck (outside the shadow of my chin). Sara said that I will continue to see the tightening effects with the collagen remodeling over the next several month. Full collagen remodeling can take 3-6 months to peak and can stretch to even a year after treatment. It’s great to hear that I will just continue seeing more glow to my skin as time goes on!
And, how about that botox?
I’m totally pleased with the botox injections! I didn’t think 15 units was going to be enough, but Sara did a wonderful job injecting and the amount of units used still allowed some movement in that area. It’s a very natural effect and I love it! I had a photo shoot about a week and a half after the injection and I didn’t have to have my face retouched in the photos at all. That was something to smile about!
Besides the HALO and Botox, I also fell in love with the Epionce products, especially that tinted moisturizer! Take a look at this before and after (done while my chest was still healing) where I only used the moisturizer and a little powder:
I made a video of the experience with an intro from Sara:
If you are interested in rejuvenating your skin, Sara and Jeana at the Skin and Allergy Center are just a phone call away! If you are interested in trying the Halo laser treatment or you wish to learn a little more about the process, schedule your initial consultation with the team at the Skin & Allergy Center in Tennessee. You can also follow them on Instagram: Jeana @jeanaelhart and Sara @lasernursesara You have my recommendation that you are in good hands with this team and it will be an investment well worth it!