Laser Lockdown


Posted on February 23rd, by Helen in Blog, Treatments. 10 comments

Laser Lockdown

In the February issue of Allure magazine, Linda Wells writes in her editor’s letter about the scary state of her face after getting laser resurfacing. I almost choked on my tea whilst reading this! It’s such a hilarious and honest account of what we skin-savvy women go through during our “downtime.” Linda doesn’t share a photo of her face, so for now, here’s one of mine, taken last summer right after I got ProFractional laser done on a few acne scars. The pic was taken by my younger sister who could not stop both staring in shock and laughing…

Behind the Mask

[gn_quote style="1"] Just to give him a good scare, I emailed a photo of myself to my dermatologist. He’d blasted my face the day before with a Fraxel laser to make it smoother and less mottled and was curious about my recovery. So I put on one of those clear old-man Halloween mask that look nearly like a real face and took a picture with my iPhone. It worked! “I almost had a heart attack,” he wrote back.

I sent the picture to about 20 other people, amusing myself to no end while I was confined to my apartment on a laser lockdown to heal. The truth is, my face was slightly freaking me out. On day one, it looked like the time I was 15 nd parked myself in front of a friend’s sunlamp when I was babysitting her little brother: flaming red, hot, and swollen. My nose was a bulb. The whole thing wasn’t that far off from the Halloween mask. I texted a real picture to a friend with the message “Delete!” and she replied, “I didn’t look that bad when I had Fraxel.” Ouch.

Every morning I woke up expecting some radiant transformation, and every morning I was greeted in the mirror with another dose of crazy. The redness confined itself to two stripes from the corners of my mouth to chin, as if I’d ripped off a Flu Manchu mustache. The texture was strange, like fine-grade sandpaper. When it started to peel, the old skin didn’t come off in sheets but flaked constantly, dandruff-y. I’d scrub it with a Clarisonic brush, coat it with half a jar of cream, and the flakes would reappear within minutes.

My doctor told me I’d be presentable on day four, but maybe he and I have a different definition of “presentable.” To me, it isn’t wearing Jackie O. sunglasses and a Bazooka Joe turtleneck. It isn’t people saying “You look fine” with a pitying tone. By day five, I looked fine.

My faceless long weekend was an experimentation in avoiding people and mirrors. In the end, I actually had a nice time. I did a radio interview from my home phone and conducted meetings by speaker like Charlie in Charlie’s Angels. I cleaned my closets and filed a whole stack of papers dating back to 2003. On day seven, I emailed pictures of my skin, which was nearly as soft and clear as a baby’s, to my dermatologist, the prince. And mercifully, people have stopped saying I look fine.

Linda Wells, Editor in Chief [/gn_quote]

These are my two favourite face creams I use when I’m on laser lockdown to calm and soothe my skin.

Left: Revaleskin’s Intense Recovery Treatment (it’s light and smells like coffee!), $130 at skin clinics or online here. Right: Avene Tolerance Extreme Cream, $30 at Shoppers Drug Mart. Both creams are also Allure Editor’s Choice winners.