In an ideal world, we’d all have had a top notch skin care routine and regular visits to the med spa since our mid 20’s but to be honest, most 40 somethings weren’t taking selfies all day as our face morphed into our mothers so we didn’t notice the need for such things until one day, we saw ourself in someone else’s picture and thought “DAMN!” I need…….something??? The question though is, what?
There are so many factors that determine how our skin ages from genetics and lifestyle to air pollutants and climate. The way we’ve protected it in our youth plays a factor and for the most part, if you’re an 80’s child, you didn’t use protection at all you used baby oil and fried yourself. We all wanted the glow but unfortunately that abuse shows up later on our skin along with any other abuse we’re now in therapy for.
So to answer the question, where to start?
My answer will always be botox (or dysport or jeuveau or xeomin) If you want the quick fix, the biggest bang for your buck, then a neurotoxin placed correctly in the forehead and eye area, will relax and soften those lines or prevent new ones forming. It’s the best place to start. Botox is charged by the unit and ranges from $9-12 per unit. Patients are getting between 20-60 units and occasionally more but I would plan for around 40 starting out. It lasts around 12 weeks for most people but your lines don’t just reappear on day 90 so some can stretch out visits. There are also coupons and incentives from the manufacturers so ask about those but don’t settle for the closest groupon, still look for someone recommended and experienced, they might even price match if you ask.
This should really be number one but I say skip straight to botox then ask questions. Don’t be afraid to consult with an experienced Aesthetician. Most of us are fluffy, feel good people, it’s why we do what we do. I know it’s scary to walk into a med spa,
“my first time was hilarious. I had some questions about laser hair removal and before I knew it, I was in the back room with a couple of disposable razors trying to get rid of my 70’s situation. Feeling fresh and clean, she started my treatment and it wasn’t until she flipped me over on my face did I realize I even had hair back there. Like a pro, she grabbed a razor, finished the job and voila, I was a believer.”
Most of us already know we want and need all the things but it’s usually our budget that determines what is actually possible. Most great spas offer complimentary consults and you can ask all the questions you like. Be straight and tell them you’re just getting started, you’re overwhelmed and you have a limited budget. Take notes if you like so you can plan for future treatments. The larger spas often have more equipment and treatments available so they’ll give you more comprehensive information on your options where as a small place with only one laser is going to tell you there’s is the best and while that may be true, start with all the info at least, then shop around for the particular service you need.
Some place’s specialize in just one thing like hair removal or injectables while others have a wide range and can take care of it all. Most places offer package deals or memberships with reduced pricing or incentives to bring friends and shop more. Some get you in and out at the speed of light and others take their time to make sure you’re comfortable. There are many options so get a feel for what would work for you.
If you don’t want to go the consult route, most places will offer a signature facial on there menu. It usually includes a thorough cleaning, some exfoliation, hydration and protection. If it’s a great facial it will also include a skin consult under a lamp where they can advise you on home care and treatments for your concerns. This is generally less like a sales pitch but don’t be afraid to as questions, you’ll get great info that you can take away and while you may be offered products, you can say you’ll have a think about it because you will after all. The best facial includes massage and something extra like a foot scrub or hand treatment and you should feel generally relaxed at the end.
Armed with the information from your consult or facial, you can build your homecare routine. This will have a huge impact in the long term and will also increase the positive effects of any treatments you’re getting. Don’t waste your money on a treatment if you’re not going to take care of things at home. It’s like going to the dentist twice a year but not brushing in between visits. Whatever is sitting on your skin at bedtime is absorbing in whether it’s dirt and makeup or a delicious serum. Even half ass home care is better than none but ideally, skin needs to regularly be:
all of which can happen at home and then the spa trips become about the repair and prevention with an occasional pamper, fluffy thing thrown in.
I’m going to do a series of what treatments work for what skin concerns but for a quick glossary of services you’ll hear about and to consider:
- Basic Facials or Targeted facials- $50-150 (all skin types)
- Hydrofacials, microdermabrasion, dermaplaining- $80-200 (all skin types)
- Chemical peels $75-200 (various skin concerns, mild to aggressive)
- Lasers $200- $2,000 + (various skin concerns)
So take a selfie right now and file it away as a “before” picture then ask your best looking friends where they go for things because the chances are they’ll get a referral perk and you’ll be close on their hotness heels before you know it. A year from now your selfie game could be so much stronger or at least your trauma caused by others taking pictures of you will diminish.
The youngsters call it a “glow up”
Feel free to ask questions.