Botox, hyaluronic fillers, chemical peels, laser procedures: they promise to make you appear years younger, but are they really the modern elixir of youth? You can determine for yourself..
Patricia O’Brian, 58, lives in Biggin Hill, Kent, manages a bio product shop. She is married to Vincent, who owns a construction company. They have 3 grown children and 7 grandchildren. Patricia says:
Before the procedure
“I reached an age, in which I always think that I don’t look my best.”
“I dress up youthfully and I’m a fun person, but as many women, I reached an age in which I always felt that I don’t look my best. What disturbed me most were the dark pigmentations around the eyes and on the cheeks.
My skin wasn’t so tight anymore, and it appeared cracked under the eyes. All of this was due to the sunrays’ harmful influence – I had never gone sunbathing, but as most light skinned Britons, I burned very easily, and now I’m paying the price for that.
Desperate to find a solution to the problem, I was often reading articles about laser procedures and their effects. I read an article about laser fraxel peeling written in 2005, which described using the light from laser systems to make microscopical holes in the skin. This stimulates collagen synthesis, which makes the skin tighter and more even. I determined that this technology is way less invasive compared to the others. I got a laser fraxel peeling done, which impacts both the deep and surface layer of the skin in order to remove the pigmentations.”
After one day
“It was a relatively painful procedure, and when I looked at myself in the mirror I looked as if I had a sunburn.”
“Firstly, an anaesthetic cream was applied on my skin for around 45 minutes, until my skin went numb. The laser peeling itself took around 20 minutes.
It was a relatively painful procedure, I’d compare it to many hot injections. There was an additional machine, which created a very cold stream of air making the procedure less painful.
When I looked at myself in the mirror after the procedure, I was all red – I looked like I had experienced a heavy sunburn. Going home on the train was awful – I was so embarassed.
My doctor told me to sleep in sitting position with 3 pillows to minimize swelling, but as a whole, during the first night, I almost couldn’t sleep.
My entire face was inflamed and swollen, and my eyes looked like they were cut into it. On the next day, my face felt like sandpaper.
When I applied a thick layer of moisturizer, it almost sank in my dried out face. I didn’t feel good at all and I just wanted to hide. I couldn’t imagine going to my granddaughter’s birthday in three days.”
After a week
“Появи ми се херпес в следствие на травмирането на кожата от лазерния пилинг, но вече изглеждах доста по-добре.”
“I got a herpes outbreak due to my skin being traumatized from the laser peeling, but I already looked way better.”
“A small herpes outbreak appeared on the top of my bottom lip, but except that, I already looked way better.
The bigger part of the redness had disappeared until the birthday party, so I managed to go.
I still felt my skin was rough and very dry, but I was informed in advance that that is a normal temporary reaction after the fraxel.
My skin started peeling in very small pieces, extremely finely, not too obvious.”
After 1 month
“My face looked tighter and smoother, and both my husband and my daughter agreed that I look way better.”
“I was already convinced that the procedure has a very good effect and is worth it, when 3 weeks after it, one of the regular customers of my shop, who hadn’t come for some time said: “There’s some change in you. You look great!”
My husband and my daughter said that I look way better. Pictures from before the procedure show me that my pigmentations have improved, especially in the zone of the cheeks.
I still hadn’t realized how horrible the brown spots on my face had been, and how old they had made me appear. They had even aged me more than the wrinkles.
My face looked way tighter and smoother, pores had closed – and these were only the first days after the procedures. They told me that my appearance would continue improving in the next 2 to 5 months.
This procedure wasn’t the cheapest, but I definitely intend on repeating it. It made me believe that I can take the aging process into my own hands and influence it. I believe I look 4-5 years younger!”