My idea of daily self-care is huffing the cupcake-like scent of my night cream.
It felt — no joke — exactly like being licked by a cat, if cats' tongues were cold.
I am a woman of a certain age (that age being 42). I look 42. I’m mostly OK with that.
I’m not about to go out and do anything drastic to retain or recapture some essence of youthfulness. I’ve let my body go squishy around the middle because the other choices are so time- and energy- and money-consuming that they’re not worth it to me. I’ll just buy jeans with a higher rise, thank you very much.
And while I’m diligent about sunscreen, I don’t get too worked up about the freckles and fine lines that a lifetime of being outdoors has left on my face. I do take some steps to look the way I want to look: I color my rapidly-graying hair, I wear make-up, and if a bra doesn’t push my tits into the top third of my chest, I don’t buy it.
However, I do have one kind-of expensive beauty weakness: cosmetic dermatology. I’m a Botox devotee, because it opens my eyes up and keeps them from looking unevenly droopy. And if something promises to excavate down a few layers and leave me with “refreshed-looking” skin? I’m in! Microdermabrasion? Mild chemical peels? Yes, please! I love me some exfoliation, and if I can pay someone else to exfoliate me with extra-fancy products, I am so in!
So when my skin place sent out a newsletter advertising a special on something called SilkPeel, you can bet my interest was piqued. Here’s the description:
SilkPeel represents the newest technology in controlled skin exfoliation, utilizing controlled vacuum pressure to evenly and accurately abrade the desired depth of skin. Not stopping there, the SilkPeel device simultaneously infuses a therapeutic topical solution deep into the skin during the treatment, known as dermalifusion, creating a rejuvenating environment within your skin surface, further enhancing healing and improving the results of each treatment.
So no only will the top of my skin be whisked away, but a magic potion will be infused into my fresh, new skin?
SIGN ME UP!
Now, listen, I know that anything that happens in 45 minutes with an aesthetician isn't going to be magical — it might not even be noticeable. But I also know that I am not very good at treating myself to nice things that involve sitting down and letting other people take care of me. My idea of daily self-care is huffing the cupcake-like scent of my night cream. So, I headed into my SilkPeel mainly looking forward to lying still for a while.
The nice lady with the Eastern European accent led me to a dimly-lit room with the gentle, bland mood music playing softly. She had me lie down on a table and examined my skin. She remarked that my skin looked dry (no surprise, after months of winter) and that it needed vitamins. (Wait, what? Vitamins for skin?) She asked about my moisturizer and seemed unimpressed when I didn’t know which brand I use.
After the questions, she cleaned my face and neck more carefully than I ever would do myself and aimed a steam-shooter-outer thing at my face. It felt awesome, like a sauna for your face.
After all that, she told me she’d be doing one pass over my neck and two over my face with the dermabrasion wand to simultaneously apply and remove serum, as well as sucking away dead skin, dirt. and other gunk. She said some of the serum would stay in my skin and work its way down, leaving me looking more moisturized for about 72 hours after.
I didn’t ask what was in the serum, but I wish I had. I bet it was vitamins.
The reward from that treatment — or any skin treatment, really — comes from the pampering, the music, the warm steam, the lavender scent, the hour spent away from usual responsibilities doing something just for YOU.
The wand felt like what I imaged that sucker-thing the dentist uses would feel like if it was running over your skin. It didn’t hurt; it was just weird and slightly cold, because of the serum. After doing my neck and face, she changed out the tip on the wand and used a much smaller one on my eyelids and lips. It felt — no joke — exactly like being licked by a cat, if cats' tongues were cold.
So, like being licked by a cat that’s been eating snow. The whole process took about 15 minutes.
At that point, she cleaned my face and applied a damp fabric mask that she said was super-hydrating and calming. She didn’t mention if it had vitamins. (I hope it did.) I stopped asking questions at that point, because she started massaging my neck and shoulders with a cream that smelled like lavender. Truthfully, it was the most relaxed I’d felt in weeks. I no longer cared what happened or what it was supposed to do — it was quiet, I was comfortable, and no one was asking me to do things every five seconds.
As for the million dollar question? Did my skin look amazing afterward? The answer is, “Of course not.” It was a bit softer to the touch, and it looked really moisturized from all the different creams the lady massaged into my skin, but I was still me. The reward from that treatment — or any skin treatment, really — comes from the pampering, the music, the warm steam, the lavender scent, the hour spent away from usual responsibilities doing something just for you.
That’s what it was really all about for me. I might never get another SilkPeel, but I’ll still indulge my skin treatment habit because it makes me happy. That’s what really counts.
That and, apparently, vitamins. I’ll have to look into skin vitamins further.
Epilogue: Three hours after my SilkPeel, I got carded while buying beer. Nicely done, SilkPeel. Nicely done.