Dark Spots Progress + My First IPL Photofacial

Hello friends!

It’s been nearly a year since I provided an update on my dark spots. And I know you all have been on the edge of your seats waiting for this. I am sorry. I have failed you. Despite my abysmal progress reporting, I have continued to stay true to my skin care in an effort to rid myself of the damn things.

The current lineup as of late includes:

You may or may not notice that I have stopped using the Ambi Fade Cream. But let me make something clear, this is NOT because this product does not work. I think this $5 cream actually made a huge dent in the severity of my dark spots. Click here to see those before and after photos.

The reason I stopped using it – well, constitutes a quick story. About a month ago, I had a virtual consultation with a med spa. I wanted to learn about all the “procedures” (read: botox, injectables, laser treatments) and get a doctor’s take on options for me. The appointment went fine, albeit a tad awkward over FaceTime. We discussed a small amount of botox on my forehead as well as laser treatments for my dark spots and collagen treatments for the “loss of volume” in my cheeks. They were keen on getting me scheduled for a couple of these procedures but I explained I am simply not ready.

Mostly, I am not ready to fork over the thousands of dollars this would all cost.

After some thought, I decided to tackle what has made me the most self-conscious all these years: my dark spots. And I want to tackle it head-on! The next day I purchased 6 sessions of IPL photo facials from a salon near my house with great reviews. A couple weeks later, I had my first appointment.

All in all, it is a relatively quick, moderately painful treatment. Google it for the details, but essentially a gel-like cream is rubbed on the face and the laser moves across your skin, zapping as it goes. It is not pleasant. But honey, pain is beauty.

After the appointment, the esthetician warned me that small, coffee ground like flakes might appear on the skin and that this is totally normal. After a couple of days I did notice this happening.

As reference once again, here are my before photos from May of last year, after using Ambi for a couple of months.

Here are a couple of photos documenting my skin 3-4 days after getting IPL. These photos were taken in February and also document my general state after not showering for 4 days.

The spots look much worse but I am told this is normal. I will continue to provide updates during my “IPL journey” (haha) and plan to take photos after each session.

Anyone out there gotten IPL? If so, tell me your experience!

Rodan + Fields Skincare/Self-Tanner Follow Up!

I’d like to give a warm shout-out to Kelly for sending me a few of my FAVE product samples from Rodan + Fields!

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With Bryan and his brother out skiing Mt. Baker last weekend, I was left with a whole lotta time on my hands to really get m’pamps on. And I did it up BIG. Freshly washed sheets. Netflix, wine and OF COURSE Milk Duds because who do you take me for? I knew an at-home facial and sunless tanning sesh was also looong overdue and I was SO pumped to use these products again!

Enter: The Rodan + Fields Microdermabrasion, Night Renewing Serum and Lip Renewing Serum

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I have said it before and I will say it again. These products are AMAZING and they work. Rodan and Fields are two smart gals because everyone knows how well Proactiv works, but not everyone needs acne products. Some of us want to look like we are 22 (I already feel it) and need an anti-ageing regiment sent from the Gods. Welp. This is it.

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Pre-wash face!

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Applying the microdermabrasion

Never before have I actually looked forward to using a microdermabrasion until I found this stuff. I love using it and feeling the dead skin, grime and build-up from the week melt away beneath tiny grains of this gloriousness. My skin is left feeling softer and more like a baby’s butt than ever before.

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Then I applied the serum. Oh, the serum. Somebody once told me that a moisturizer is like brushing your teeth but a serum is like the floss. It really gets in there, it fine tunes and delivers the powerful effects we all want. What is better than knowing your face is fully exfoliated and thirsty for replenishment, and then feeding it a luxurious and nutrient-rich product? NOTHING.

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Feels SO soft!

The lip treatment is also a great one. I would recommend starting with the microdermabrasion and the face serum if I had to pick my faves, but if you have super dry, chapped lips this would be an amazing option for you. I also applied the lip shield, which is ultra nourishing and hydrating. It would be perfect for the beach bag.

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After my face was all scrubbed and clean and cherubic, I applied the Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan.

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For me, the Rodan & Fields Sunless Tanner is like a good friend. Someone I can rely on when I’m feeling crappy, sure to brighten my day with a pleasant smell, easy application (no mitt required!) and great results. Because come on, all great friends have to smell pleasant. This one in particular is nice for the gal who just wants a “touch of sun”, who wants to be all, “oh, me? I was just out on my yacht all weekend.” If a super orangey fake tan is a double D, this humble self tanner is like a full B-cup.

I love how quick the process goes:

Step One: Exfoliate in the shower

Step Two: Dry off thoroughly and apply self tanning foam to body, working in sections.

Step Three: Wait for tanner to dry (or if you’re me, walk around your bedroom naked rapping Gangster’s Paradise).

Freshly applied

Freshly applied

Here is a pic of the color, from 2 days later using only one coat!

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Yes I was on the bus. I’m just SO urban.

And that’s it! Have YOU tried Rodan + Fields??