Saturday, March 13, 2010

Microdermabrasion: Giving nature a helping hand

Ok, here's the naked truth.

I'm terribly vain. Not in the sense that I can't show my face outside my door without make-up. In fact, I do that pretty often. But I've always been pretty meticulous when it comes to taking care of my body and my skin. So when the cancer brought with it hormonal imbalance, you can imagine I got pretty hysterical waking up one morning to find my face had changed virtually overnight to resemble one of my much beloved leopard spot patterned scarves. As if the illness in itself wasn't grave enough, I would have to be going around both bald and looking like I had some even worse skin disease? Yikes!

I was totally freaked out! A number of remedies from the local beauty salon was quickly put to use to get those brown spots off ASAP. Here's another revelation: No matter what brand, price or claim of effects:  they don't work. Not on such a horrible pigmentation problem I got anyway. Stronger stuff was needed for that job. My GP referred me to a skin specialist and I was given a prescription cream called Aberela (in Norway, in other countries it goes by other names, like A-retin and similar). It contains tretinoin, an acid form of Vitamin A, that works on acne, scars, small wrinkles and discoloration.

I've been told not to use it outside on sunny days. It's simply too strong. Strong, but works wonders:

It has bleached the spots pretty good! The above unmade-up face was what I presented to the beautician at the salon yesterday when I went to try microdermabrasion (peeling using crystals) for the very first time. Hopefully getting rid of old dead skin will remove more of the spots and make the Aberela cream work even faster. Time for yet another revelation. The treatment is nothing like the normal luxurious facials that are so nice one wishes they would go on forever. This thing hurts like H...! 30 minutes of pure torture! Afterwards, one looks the part too, with a lobster red mug ready to scare the pants off all the other clients in the waiting room:

Luckily, the redness is not of the kind that lasts for so long one has to hide from the world for several weeks. When I later went over to my friend Hege's place for some cheese and wine...

The hostess, with a very inviting table

...I had, with the help of a little powder (no foundation), gotten rid of my fluorescent red look:

Ready to dig in!

Still some spots left, but certainly much much better than what it was. They recommend having up to ten microdermabrasion treatments to get the full effect. I'm not sure I can take that many rounds of bashing. However,  I did book another appointment next Friday. My vanity won this battle. No pain, no gain. In this particular case, looks like there's more than a little truth to that.


  1. You look beautiful! You can ask your aesthetician to turn down the crystals if you want! I love microderm, and it was a regular habit when we had two salaries to live off of ;) I feel like it makes you glow, and you are!

  2. Thank you! Getting such positive feedback certainly helps calming my nerves before round number two. :)

  3. Å så bra resultatet ble. Men det høres ikke akkurat behagelig ut. Så du er tøff du:) Ha en fin søndag!

  4. Tusen takk for det! Som Kylie Minouge sa etter at hun ble behandlet for brystkreft: It's not the body it used to be, but it's the body I'm in. Så man får bare prøve å gjøre det beste ut av det, istedet for å gi opp og bare la forfallet gå sin gang.

    Håper du har hatt en finfin søndag, du også! :)

  5. I like your honesty in this post...its not always easy to say, when blogging, what the truth is and its great that you do! You look lovely with or without the procedure here by the way but thanks for sharing...its one thing I have considered but never done. Oh to have the skin of a 20 year old again hey?

  6. You can say that again! :)

    Thanks for your nice comment, and I'm glad you like this post. It was quite fun writing it. One reason is that I enjoy reading similar articles in magazines, like tests of cosmetical procedures, before and after pictures and such stuff. And I also thought some of my readers might wonder if there was any point to do such a procedure and what it was like.

    The other thing is that it's a way of dealing with the illness and the aftermath. People deal with difficult circumstances in their lives differently. I thought it best try and avoid the "Why me?" and the risk of wallowing in self-pity as it won't change whatever has happened anyway, and rather go about it by tackling it head on and doing the best I can about the obstacles. If fact it has become somewhat of a sport: How to beat the illness and then all it's ugly sideeffects. :)

  7. Life of the skin has been produced to provide a fabulous machine dermabrasion, LED light therapy and liquid oxygen concentration alone or in a unified face to create an amazing treatment.