I know we’ve already talked about it, but I’m noticing all of those little unpleasant things you start to notice as you reach another birthday. Don’t get me wrong — I’m totally okay with aging, I just want to age gracefully. Some people age gracefully more naturally than others, and I think I’m in the category that I may need a little more help when it comes to my genetic jackpot — and the hereditary aging I’ve seen in my family over the years.
I’m not out to give myself a new face or lifestyle when I try these cosmetic procedures, I’m really just doing what will make me feel the most confident about my appearance. So I understand that when I talk about some of these procedures, they might not be for everyone — but my hopes are that you can learn through my experiences and make those important, educated decisions for yourself. And with that — I want to tell you about one of the newest professional laser treatments available today, Halo Laser Treatment.
Sitting for an hour with numbing cream on my face!
What it is…
Halo Laser Treatment uses hybrid technology of a non-ablative laser, combined with an ablative laser to create controlled zones of coagulation to chosen depths into the dermis that stimulate new collagen, and fractionally vaporize (ablate) micro laser channels into the epidermis; addressing tone and texture of the skin. This type of laser treatment offers less downtime than others. However, Halo’s technology is currently one-of-a-kind.
Why I did it…
For me, this was like the best of both worlds — because the aging process naturally breaks down your collagen production, and it’s hard as heck to get it back — hence one of the reasons I chose Halo. Another reason I chose Halo, was to address the texture and tone of my skin. As my skin ages and slackens, I’m noticing my pore size becoming more exaggerated than it was before, and all of the little “freckles” I’ve had all these years are morphing into larger areas of hyper-pigmentation. When you’re trying to put your best face forward in the world, I understand this can be a daunting task.
How the treatment is performed…
I visited Marina Plastic Surgery in Marina Del Rey, Calif. to have my procedure done by a Registered Nurse who is also an Aesthetic Specialist (Carla Crespo — so professional!) under the direct supervision of world-renowned plastic surgeon, Dr. Grant Stevens.
I arrived for my consultation and felt confident enough to go forward. I took a series of clinical “before” photos, and then I went into a special waiting area where I had a topical anesthetic applied. I had to sit for an hour for the numbness to take full effect, but it wasn’t uncomfortable in any way. It just felt kinda funny! After I was numb, it was time to get started.
Without getting too technical, before we got into the actual treatment, Carla used the laser to take measurements of the depth of my skin so that the laser would intelligently know how far down to go to get the job done. Did it hurt? Honestly — the worst parts of it were when she went around my nose and lips, as those are typically more sensitive areas anyway. During the procedure, I felt a mild discomfort and warmth to my skin — but I have a low pain tolerance. Even I was surprised with how well I did! I did take some Motrin while the numbing cream was taking effect, so that helped as well. After about 45 minutes, it was complete, and I sat up and said, “Wow! That was it?” It was pretty simple. All I had to do was lay there with my eyes closed, and I only had to ask Carla to give me a break for a second, once. (Did I mention I’m a wimp?)
Everyone will respond differently to this laser treatment because it’s geared specifically for each individual’s skin needs. Some patients may have more swelling than others. I’ve read some patients say they wore makeup the next day and had minimal redness. I, on the other hand, had a little bit tougher of a recovery time.
Because a main focus of mine was under both of my eyes, Carla got really detailed under them which led to some pretty intense swelling that lasted about two days. The worst of it was on the first night. Once my skin realized what was going on, I felt like I had a terrible sunburn. (This is a completely normal reaction, according to every review I’ve read on Real Self, and per the medical professionals at Marina Plastic Surgery.)
My skin was swollen and red. I needed to take Advil to get by that night and sleep with a fan on my face, but it did help lessen some of the heat I was feeling. The next day, I was more swollen, and I blame that on not propping my head up high enough on my pillow the night before. My skin felt very warm, and I developed what looked like little “coffee grounds” around my eyes. This meant it was working! That spotting was working on that hyper-pigmentation around my eyes. After a few days, the brown spots disappeared, and I noticed a lightening of the spots around my eyes. (I should mention I stayed home for two days because I didn’t want ANY sun exposure while I was healing, and I was a little too swollen to be in public.) On day two, I was allowed to apply Aquaphor to my entire face to keep a safe barrier on it, and it also alleviated some of the sting.
Halo also helped on some of the hollows under my eyes. They are less dark, more plump (thanks, collagen!), and as time goes on — the results are only getting better. It took about two weeks to see my first results, but now that the collagen is stimulated, things are getting better.
What changes I’m noticing…
I am now approximately three months post first treatment, and I’m noticing little changes week by week. I know I mentioned some successes under and around my eyes, but I am also really impressed with the diminishing of the feathery lines all around my lip line. I can now apply lipstick in my magnified mirror, and not be horrified with all the little puckering. Of course, it’s not 100% removed, but it’s definitely improving.
I’m also impressed with the added plumpness I’m seeing, and even though my pore size is still enlarged, I can tell they are a little smaller. Carla told me I would probably do better in this area with a second treatment — which some patients require for full results.
These are obviously not my results, but when researching this laser treatment, I found these photos to speak volumes about what this type of laser treatment can do for your skin…
When it comes to my personal before/after photos, I truly have to apologize. When I went back for my second set of clinical photos, I felt the lighting levels were misleading — meaning my “before” photos came out much darker than my “after” photos. I’ve selected the two photos that I felt were most color accurate below. I hope you can see the improvement in the tone of my skin, and also the hollows/darkness under my eyes. The clinic also sent photos that were much too small. I would never intentionally alter photos like this because that would be misleading — so these are the photos as they really are — two weeks post-treatment.
Before / After
It goes without saying — if you’re considering this treatment, or any cosmetic enhancement procedure — you’ve got to do some heavy research. Bargains may be great, but this is your face and life. Your consultation and provider should make you feel confident, safe, and never pressured. With that being said, this treatment isn’t exactly inexpensive. It runs in line with most other laser treatments, around $1500 a session, depending on location/provider. I encourage you to check out some reviews on Real Self, and heavily research a medical provider before having Halo, or any cosmetic procedure performed.
I hope this helps you in some way!
I was provided a gratis service so that I may share my 100% honest, unfiltered thoughts and results with you. All opinions and verbiage are solely my own, and do not reflect those of Halo by Sciton, or Marina Plastic Surgery.