Well, it happened. I turned 50 in April, and it was a fabulous day. How can one not have a marvelous time on a peaceful beach in Mexico for their birthday? It was everything I had hoped it would be, relaxing, restorative, and enriching. I returned to Dallas feeling ready to tackle life again… that is until we got our tax bill that same day. ARGH. What a reality wakeup call!
The “Little Bits” Create Big Benefits
A phrase has been playing in my head lately: “a little bit goes a long way.” As I have written on this blog, for the last 3-1/2 years I’ve been doing small things like reducing alcohol, increasing movement, and cleaning up my diet. I’m not perfect in any of these things; however, I am learning I don’t need to be. Small efforts create a ripple effect. You don’t just reap benefits in the moment. The benefits compound, like interest, continuing to show up weeks and months from now! In a nutshell, the changes I’ve made are helping me feel better, more rested, balanced, and peaceful. At age 50, that’s the best I can ask for, to feel as good as I can.
This leads me to the other “little bit” I’ve recently done. Confession: I’ve done a little bit of face work. Based on a recommendation from a friend, I did a consultation before my birthday with Dr. Lisa Pruett of Revival Dermatology (Dr. Pruett is not paying me for this shout out). After my birthday, I decided to take the plunge with three Sculptra treatments and three BBL Photofacials, each spaced about a month apart.
What is Sculptra?
Before my consultation with Dr. Pruett, I had never heard of Sculptra, and maybe you haven’t either. Sculptra is a dermal filler unlike any others. It is a Poly-L lactic acid that stimulates the skin’s collagen production. By age 35, we have lost about 20% of our collagen, and we continue to lose about 1% each year thereafter. Collagen is what gives our skin its fullness, bounce and recovery. Therefore, as we lose collagen, we begin to see deeper lines around our mouth and other areas of our face and body. By stimulating collagen production, the areas where Sculptra is injected begin to fill out and the deep lines begin to fade.
Sculptra is much more subtle and natural looking than traditional dermal fillers, and the results are gradual. The before and after shown above is after two treatments (one month post-second treatment). Now that I’ve had three treatments, I will continue to see improvement in the coming months. The lines around my mouth are even more reduced since I took the second photo on the right. Note: Dr. Pruett has mainly injected Sculptra around the sides of my face, not into the lines. Filling out where I am narrow causes the skin to pull back around my mouth. Genius.
The benefits of Sculptra last at least two years, making it a more cost-effective approach than other dermal fillers whose benefits can fade in six months. I don’t want to get caught in a trap of high-dollar face fixes every six months. This seems to be a good solution for me. I’m very happy with the results. I feel as though I look rested and healthy, not “fixed.”
What are BBL Photofacials?
Now, let’s talk BBL Photofacials. BBL stands for broadband light therapy. It is FDA-cleared, and it is used to treat sun damage, uneven skin texture, redness, as well as skin tone, tackling fine lines and wrinkles. What I’ve done with Sculptra and BBL is a one-two punch of goodness for my skin. My skin feels smooth, strong and healthy. On my third BBL treatment, my aesthetician turned up the “volume” to tackle the redness on my chin. I’ve had it for years, and I’ve obsessively covered it with foundation. I’ll wait and see if her more aggressive settings do the trick.
As shown above, after my first BBL Photofacial, I saw a lot of little brown spots and broken capillaries come to the surface. Then, they faded. Wow! The skin on my face is super spotty despite faithfully applying sunscreen for decades, so it’s nice to see improvement, even if it’s subtle.
An Unexpected Bonus Benefit
One little extra benefit I’ve noticed recently is the saggy skin around my eyes is looking less droopy. I had not expected this, but I’m definitely enjoying it. Me, only a little bit better!
Not into Anti-aging
I don’t like the word “anti-aging,” because it doesn’t exist. Anti-aging is a lie. We age every day. However, to look one’s best is achievable. I don’t want to look 35 again. I like my face at 50. These treatments allow me to look like me slightly tweaked. I’m happy about that.
If you want to make a change, but you feel intimidated by it, know that the resistance to start is natural. Our brains do stop us from getting off the couch to go for a walk. However, once we are doing the beneficial thing like a walk, the brain begins to seek the benefits of the walk, and it gets easier. Whether it’s a walk, less sugar, or some other small shift to feel better, know that a little bit is better than nothing. Reach out if you need encouragement. You can do it. Thank you for spending a little time with me.