This blog post is part one of a series in partnership with Elamar Skin Science. All services and products were complementary but all opinions are my own.
A few weeks ago, I was invited to visit Elamar Skin in Decatur, AL. This invitation was extremely timely because I have been thinking about and researching skin care for my age. I’m not getting any younger and I want to take care of the body/skin that I have now, so that I’m not trying to reverse tons of bad behaviors in a few years. I jumped at the invitation and immediately scheduled a consultation with Mrs. Elaine Gill.
At my consultation, Mrs. Gill used the Vectra 3-D imaging system to analyze different components of my facial skin. The Vectra system uses this 3-D imaging to determine skin’s volume and irregularities, as well as any sun damage or changes below the skin’s surface. The whole process was amazing. Mrs. Gill used the 3-D camera to take forward and side facing shots of my face. She then connected the camera into the computer and immediately, my 3-D self was on the screen. I have a bad habit of only applying sun screen in places where I tend to burn (typically my nose and upper cheeks) and this was evident from the 3-D image. My chin and mouth area, where I rarely apply sunscreen, had much more sun damage than the rest of my face.
From this information, we were able to make a plan. Dr. Gill came in and we talked about my concerns. I had three:
- Aging gracefully. I want to take the best possible care of my skin now so that it looks its best as I get older.
- I have one large wrinkle that runs across the middle of my forehead and two lines between my eyebrows (my “elevens”) that I have disliked for a while. They have gotten deeper as I’ve gotten older and I would like to fix that.
- Above my lips, I have a dark line that appeared during pregnancy. It’s like a mustache, without the hair. I’m always trying to cover this up with makeup, and it’s nearly impossible. I want that baby gone.
Dr. Gill combined my concerns and my Vectra analyzation to create a plan for my skin. The first part of this journey was two-fold: Botox for my forehead and “elevens” and Retin-A cream for the dark spots above my lips.
Botox has been used in the cosmetic world since early 2002. It relaxes the nerves and muscles to not only remove wrinkles, but to ease migraine headaches, sweating, and eyelid twitching. Botox temporarily paralyzes the muscles, which also prevents new wrinkles from forming.
Dr. Gill cleansed my face and then decided on an injection plan: four injections in my forehead and three between the eyes. Each injection felt like a small pinprick. (Don’t worry about scheduling your appointment in the middle of the day. I had no swelling or bleeding. Before I left the office, the friendly staff had reapplied my makeup and had me looking as good as, if not better than, new.)
The second part of my treatment plan is ridding myself of these dark spots above my lips. Dr. Gill prescribed a version of Retin-A cream, called Tretinoin. Versions of Retin-A cream are used to promote cell renewal and reduce wrinkles. Dr. Gill suggested that I apply the cream every other day, in the evening.
It has now been two weeks since my Botox injections. During the first week, I noticed that my eyebrows raised funny. I felt like they shot up higher and ‘pointier’ than usual. My forehead felt puffy, but didn’t appear any fuller. Within two weeks, this had all returned to normal and my wrinkles are g-o-n-e.
I would definitely recommend Botox injections if you are concerned about wrinkles: current or future. I also fervently recommend Dr. Gill and his staff at Elamar Skin Science. They are both knowledgeable and personable.
The Tretinoin cream took a while to adjust to. Mrs. Gill had cautioned me that my skin may get worse before it got better. The cream dried my skin out and made it extremely sensitive for the first several days. I even felt like my acne increased for the first few weeks. Two weeks in and I am slowly started to see a reduction in the sensitivity, acne, and the dark spots above my lip. It is also reducing the acne scars I have from years’ past.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Elamar Skin Science and I can’t wait to try out some of their other services! Questions? Let me know in the comment section!