ARTisan Insider Guest Blog: Health's Halo Experience
“Here comes the sun, doot-n-doo-doo-doo…”
For my entire life, I have been a lake kid. Lake Madison holds my fondest summer memories of jet skis, boating, working outside, potlucks, and as I grew older, a few beers and lots of laughs and lazy mornings. We love our neighbors like family and our lake family has enjoyed generations of love.
One of those loves (besides Twizzlers on the dock and a cold beer) is the SUN! As a toe head, I tanned to a golden brown every summer. As I got older, my skin showed some wear and tear from those years of worshipping the sun. I always had a healthy glow, but as time marched on, the healthy glow, started to sag a little!
Enter Artisan Skin and Laser Center…A quick little BBL and HALO laser treatment a few weeks ago started the journey of reclaiming my skin from the ravages of Mr. Sun!
Truth be told, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the treatments. Dr. Tendler and I go way back, and she kept asking…. “are you ready? Nervous? Excited?” Well, I was all of those things…But the real question remained, was I excited and nervous about the same things they were thinking I should be excited and nervous about?
“Well, I suppose I should be a little nervous, I mean, it IS a laser…”
Was it a “pew pew pew” kind of laser? Was it a Death Star kind of laser? Was it a laser pointer laser….the kind that annoys every teacher in the world? Just what was I jumping into?
Huh. Not sure, but I’m about to find out.
Procedure day was a pretty normal day, I went to work, then checked in to the clinic to numb my face. “Pretty simple.” I thought. The ladies in black and pink put me in a lovely little room with a killer view. After an hour or so, my face was pretty numb, which was an odd sensation, but no biggie.
Dr. Tendler came in, and in her classic bedside manner, explained exactly what was going to happen and how I would feel, what would happen after and how to deal with the results of the procedure. “You will feel some discomfort” she said, “just let me know and we can take it easy.”
Not being one to back away from a challenge….
“Ok! Let’s GO!” At this point I’m pretty excited to zap some of this sun damage out of my world! I put on my goggles and I felt like we jettisoned into hyperspace.
For a moment, I thought I was Luke Skywalker in an EPIC light saber battle with Darth Vader. Flashes of light everywhere, and at one point, the machine even sounds like Darth Vader. The BBL was pretty chill, some flashes, a couple little zaps that felt a little like a rubber band snapping on your face. The numbing was winning! Dr. Tendler was my Princess Lea, battling the Empire that had become the sun damage on my face. BBL for the win! Easy-peasey!
Now comes the good stuff….
Don’t let the term HALO fool you…There is not one thing angelic about this laser. It is there to get a job done, and it’s going to do it! And it ios going to do it with some spice. The procedure is definitely spicy. Spicy in the “my-lips-are-sweating” spicy. Spicy in the “Give-me-a-glass-of-milk-and-some-bread” spicy. Spicy in “The-Death-Star-really-is-one-big-planet-sized-laser-and-this-thing-feels-like-the-death-star” spicy.
To be totally fair and brutally honest….During the procedure, the cheeks were the worst part, and honestly, the jawline made me a bit uncofortable. Once we got past those two large swatches of skin, my discomfort was pretty manageable. Did I squirm? Yup. Did I sweat a bit? Yup. Did I legit feel like I was in a fight with the Empire, DESPERATELY trying to hold onto my skin and the damage underneath all those summer days on the dock? Yup.
Would I do it again? Yup. One thousand times Yup.
I got my BBL/Halo about the time Vaccines were beginning to be pretty readily available, so when I stopped to grab a prescription for some steroid to reduce the swelling, my scrip got lost in the shuffle of administering vaccines and the pharmacist helping a sweet octogenarian locate her scrip refill. While I would not recommend sitting for 30 minutes in a Walgreens with your Mask on, I WOULD recommend putting some cold compresses on about as quickly as you can! That really helped me! I switched out cold compresses every hour for three or four hours.
Ultimately, the post procedure felt a lot like a bad sunburn, except I knew it was the very best thing to do for my skin. The MENDS they talk about are pretty cool, as you literally feel and watch your face heal itself, pushing out all that yucky stuff, and start to make new skin! Dr. Tendler was spot on… fine grit sandpaper the first day, and as the days progress, the sandpaper is just a bit more rough each day.
A gentle washing and a quality slathering of the cleanser and moisturizer the Artisans provide you with make each morning and evening feel like you hit the skin jackpot. I worked out the da after my procedure, teaching a spin class at my gym where I sweat A LOT. That also felt great. I followed protocol, washed and moisturized a couple times a day (somedays three, because of my workouts) and each day my skin responded just as they said it would. The MENDS appeared, my skin got pretty rough, took on a bronze cast, then I was able to brush off some of the “loose” MENDS on my face.
Dr. Tendler tells me men’s faces turn over a bit faster than women. My MENDS had pretty much flaked off by Sunday. The worst part for me was not shaving for 6 days. Uffda. There is more grey in my beard than I would care to admit. It was clear that I was truly living out the Skywalker thing…. He and I were both young toe-heads, and together we are both old grey bearded guys, but my skin will not look as leathery as his.
In the weeks post procedure, I can see my skin get a bit better each day. It’s really cool. I am pretty religious about my skin care regimen and use sunscreen daily. I love the Revision Skincare line and would certainly recommend those products to anyone.
Are you in an epic battle with sun damaged skin? Do you need to jump into hyperspace and finally take the plunge with a HALO and BBL? YES.
The discomfort I felt was tiny compared to the results I am now seeing. No epic battle ever is easily won, and when I think about the years and years of tans and a few burns, I KNOW the process will take some time. Shoot, it took 9 movies and nearly 40 years to fix Star Wars, a couple of treatments to fix your skin? The force is definitely with you!