My Skincare Journey, Continued: All The Treatments ++ Q+A With My Esthetician, Tara Leggero [Part 4]

Longest series ever! For those of you who are just catching up, here’s part 1 + 2 + 3!

I want to talk about TREATMENTS + officially introduce you to Tara Leggero, + get some words from wisdom from her, too!

Obviously, everyone is so different — BUT, I wanted to share my exact journey, so that you know that this is a process… it takes patience!

Chemical Peel Series

  • September 13
  • October 11
  • November 1

Microneedling Series

  • November 25 — after this treatment is when I FINALLY STOPPED PICKING!
  • January 6 — had to get a chemical peel instead, because I had active acne*
  • February 11
  • April 1 — FINALLY SAW RESULTS IN APRIL! 8 months after treatments, 6 months after I finally stopped picking my face

Maintenance — I have had a treatment every 1-2 months since, mostly microneedling + a couple hydrafacials.

My Experience — The chemical peel itself doesn’t hurt, it just has a really toxic smell… lol. After the peel, my skin feels very very tight for a couple days, + then I tend to start peeling on day 3… + am fully done peeling between days 5–7… with the most aggressive day being day 4 for me. It comes with a post-procedure solution that lasts about a week. I don’t wear makeup for a week either! It’s very obvious after a week that your skin is much more bright + clear.

From Tara, Esthetician Advice — You Should Try Chemical Peels If… You have oily/acne prone skin, pigmentation/sun damage, melasma, sensitive skin, dry skin, normal skin, dull skin, fine lines…the list goes on. There are many options available for chemical peels, + they can be customized for you. The amount + frequency of treatments completely depends on your skin + goals.

One Week Post Chemical Peels, January 2019

My Experience —Microneedling is not pleasant + I know that it hurts for a lot of people… however, your face will be numb so you don’t feel as much. I don’t mind the pain, oddly enough… probably because I love picking/tweezing my face, lolol. You also will probably BLEED during your treatment. Don’t freak out about that ; ). Right after microneedling, my face always looks like a lobster, extremely red + swollen… ++ it also feels like a sunburn! My face tends to stay red + swollen for 3 days. I start PEELING LIKE CRAZY on day 3. This is one of those “looks worse before it gets better” treatments. My troubled spots will become scabs + then flake off [similar to a chemical peel]. Also, my last microneedling, I had a weird purging reaction or “granulomas” [google it!] … + got tons of little bumps over my cheeks/chin after having completely clear skin [see the middle photo from the very first photo of this post!]. It cleared up in a couple days, but that’s something to keep in mind — your skin may react slightly differently to every treatment. I don’t wear makeup for at least a week after this treatment. At SpaDerma, microneedling comes with a solution that reminds me of aloe that you apply to your face as needed. The results of microneedling tend to truly reveal itself a few weeks later.

From Tara, Esthetician Advice: You Should Try Microneedling If…You are looking to improve the texture of the skin. Anyone who would like to improve the appearance of fine lines, large pores, + acne scars. It will not completely remove acne scars, but can definitely help to soften. Recommended treatments are between 4–6 [depending on your skin] scheduled every 4 weeks. This is not a one + done, so if you don’t plan on being consistent with the treatment plan, it’s not the treatment for you. Best results are about a month after the last treatment in a series.

One Month Post Microneedling, April 2019

My Experience — I freaking love hydrafacials, especially the facial massage element. If they weren’t as expensive [~$250], I’d do them more often — particularly before large events. It truly makes your face GLOW. ++ it doesn’t hurt at all. I’d like to try dermaplaning before a hydrafacial some time, too!

From Tara, Esthetician Advice: You Should Try Hydrafacials If… You are looking for something that has no downtime, preparing for a special event, + want to do something more involved than your average facial. Also great as maintenance! Amount + frequency of treatments depends on your skin, but unlike many other treatments it isn’t necessary to be as consistent, however consistency leads to more impactful + long lasting results.

Directly After Hydrafacials, November 2019

.     .     .

You guys asked. Tara answered. She’s been in the skincare industry for 16 years, AND she has the most flawless skin… so I trust her with my life. If you haven’t listened to her on The CHAARG Podcast, that’s a must as well. Listen to her full story here!

#1] What products do you swear by?

Retinol, antioxidants, + zinc based sunscreen. I don’t believe in using only one brand of skincare, but I am partial of medical grade skincare products. They contain a higher percentage of active + stabilized ingredients, + go through rigorous clinical research before they are available for use.

#2] Antioxidants… is this vitamin c serum only? Or are there other antioxidants we should know about?

There are many different antioxidants. Vitamin C is one of the most researched antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that attack healthy cells + ultimately cause visible signs of aging. Antioxidants protect our skin from the inside out.

#3] What are your favorite benefits of retinol, antioxidants, zinc based sunscreen?

 — Retinol: increases cell turnover, stimulates collagen production, improves appearance of fine lines, hyper pigmentation, + large pores

 — Antioxidants: fights free radicals that cause visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, + pigmentation

 — Zinc based sunscreen: zinc offers the best UVA protection. It is a physical sunscreen, which means that it sits on top of the skin physically blocking UVA + UVB rays. If you are doing resurfacing treatments or using any products that have chemical exfoliants [including retinol], it is crucial you are incorporating a sunscreen with zinc daily.

#4] What are your thoughts on taking oral medications for skincare after exhausting all other options?

I think for some people, it is necessary + can really help. It is not a substitute for a skincare routine, so don’t think that you can just take a pill + not wash your makeup off before bed! Sometimes what is going on internally is beyond our control + medications can be used to kill bacteria or stabilize hormones.

#5] What causes acne?

Excess sebum (oil), dead skin, + bacteria that clogs the pores. There are numerous things that can contribute to excessive oil production, including hormones, medications, diet, genetics, products, + skincare habits.

#5] The best way to get rid of acne scars?

Acne scars [textural indents in the skin caused by acne] can’t be completely removed, but microneedling, laser treatments, + chemical peels can all help in softening them. Pigmented lesions left after a breakout is gone is called Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation [pih]. It will eventually fade but a combination of chemical peels + products used at home will expedite the healing process.

#6] Generally, how long does it take to notice results from microneedling

About 7 days after the treatment + skin has healed, you’ll notice smoother texture + a more radiant complexion. About 30 days after the last treatment in a series of 4–6, you’ll see improvement in the appearance of fine lines, large pores, and acne scars. Microneedling can stimulate collagen production for up to a year after completing a series of consistent treatments.

#7] How do you determine when to do microneedling vs peels?

Microneedling is not performed on active acne, so typically I make sure acne is completely under control by completing a series of chemical peels first, + then improving the texture with microneedling.

#8] What should a maintenance skincare routine look like once you get the results you want?

This completely depends on the treatment + the person! After desired results are achieved, treatments will still be required, but less frequently.

#9] Why esthetician vs dermatologist?

Both! Estheticians will do your treatments, + will help you with selecting products to use at home. Typically the appointment times are longer, + don’t involve prescriptions. Dermatologists can check your moles, give you a prescriptions, but likely won’t spend a lot of time discussing the importance of different products. Visits with a dermatologist will likely be very quick + less frequent that visits with an esthetician.

#10] What about our neck + hands?! Best ways to prevent aging on other than sunscreen? 

All products can be brought down to the neck and hands!

#11] Lastly! What resources or skincare leaders should we know about? 

To be honest, the resources I have come from the professional education I receive. I’m very selective on where I’m absorbing information, + I do not use Instagram as a credible resource for skincare. We are bombarded with skincare advice by people who have no education or background in it, + it makes it overwhelming + confusing. My goal is to simplify skincare by focusing on information that is backed by science.

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Alright guys! I hope that was helpful!

I’m going to do a FINAL FINAL FINAL Q+A with questions that you have next week. DM me questions at @etavierne. Lots of love to you + happy new year! May your soul + skin glow! ; )

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