For the next two weeks, I wanted to share my skin journey. It has always been something that I have always struggled with and now being 22, I finally feel like I have some sort of a hold on things. Growing up, I never had perfect skin. I would always compare myself to friends and felt so insecure without makeup but at the same time, I could never figure out how to cover it so it didn’t look like a face full of lumps. I would have good and bad skin days and seemed to continue like this until last fall. The first time I really noticed how bad it was getting was at our wedding. My skin was becoming painful to sleep on and the acne was so itchy! I was sick of feeling self conscious. I decided as a treat for myself on my birthday about a month after that I was going to go to Well & Co, a newer med spa that had just opened in Alexandria.
This is when things changed for me. It felt like someone was finally listening instead of saying “That sucks” because there was nothing they could do about it. They looked at my skin and gave me recommendations on services they offered. I had always considered trying Accutane but have been very apprehensive because of the major side effects and how harsh it is. I decided to do one of their lighter skin care services to start out with. I wasn’t sure if this was really going to work and it was definitely an investment so I figured I would start small and go from there. I booked an appointment for two weeks later.
My appointment day came and I walked in ready for something to help me already! I was tired of hiding behind my hair or a mask all of the time and my skin only seemed to worsen since my consultation. I got into the room and patiently waited. Kia came in and looked at my face and immediately an “uh oh” came out. She went and got Sandy, the owner of Well & Co and Emily, another esthetician. They looked at my skin and decided that I not only had horrible acne, I had a fungal infection on top of it. Likely caused by wearing masks frequently. It turns out the hot breath trapped inside of a mask was the perfect breeding grounds for a fungal infection. They completed extractions and Sandy prescribed me with an antifungal cream as well as some medication to take for the next few weeks for the infection. They also suggested a VI Peel. I believe this is the deepest peel they offer and it was important to get to the root of this. I agreed, desperate and disgusted. They assured me that it was nothing that I had done to cause it but if it was left any longer it could’ve led to a staph infection. Here are some pictures of my skin at its worst:
I left my appointment and called my mom and bawled. I was grossed out by the fact that I had a fungal infection on my face, upset that now I would have to deal with peeling skin on top of my acne and go to work and see people everyday, and I had just spent a ton of money for not only the peel but medical grade skincare that I wasn’t even sure was going to make a difference. However, because of the infection they couldn’t push the peel as deep into my skin at this first appointment. I didn’t end up peeling for the first one and my skin was more flaky. Here are the results from my first peel:
Peels are done 4 weeks apart and they recommended I do 3 of them for the best results. After seeing the results from my first one, I was no longer skeptical about the treatments and products they were recommending. I went in about 2 weeks after my first peel for more extractions and microdermabrasion which help to hold me over until my next peel in 2 weeks. For my second peel, they were able to work the products into my skin more since my infection was gone. This time I peeled a little bit more. The hardest part of these peels is that you can’t pick at the skin that’s coming off which was so hard for me because I’m a big time picker! I also felt a little itchy from them but it was nothing compared to the itchiness that I was experiencing while I had a fungal infection. I went back two weeks after my second peel for more extractions and microdermabrasion and then 2 weeks after that I got my 3rd peel. Same thing with the third, a little more peeling but this time I felt like my skin was 100x better. My cystic and painful acne was cleared and I was left with some blackheads, smaller breakouts, and scarring.
Here are my peel #2 results:
Here are my peel #3 results:
After we felt like we finally had a good handle on my acne, I was ready to tackle the scarring that was left on my cheeks.
Next week, I will talk about my micro needling experience and results for scarring! I wanted to share a blog post about this because I think some of you out there can really relate to feeling like you need to hide all of the time because of your skin. This was definitely a huge investment and I know it’s not doable for everyone. I just felt that for my physical and mental health that it was something that was important for me to do. I also want to mention that even though this is a review of a small business in Alexandria and the services that they offer, there are places all over that have these or similar services. I got a free consultation and trusted them to recommend services to me and I love going to my appointments and can not speak highly enough of the staff and how they have treated me or the results that I have had so far!