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Self-Care

Self-Care Saturday; Microneedling

August 29, 2020


Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel once said: ” A girl should be two things: Classy & Fabulous.”

One may ask, how do you become “classy & fabulous.” In my opinion, you are classy & fabulous, if & only if, you feel classy & fabulous. It’s up to no one else, but you to decide if that fits your vibe. We all have different paths, beliefs & plans, we don’t all fit under one umbrella. So, why should there be one ideal of what is “classy & fabulous.” All that being said, I would like to preface this post by saying that you do not need any type of cosmetic procedure to look or feel a certain way. You most definitely do not need any type of cosmetic procedure to be classy or fabulous. However, if you choose to improve something within yourself, that’s self-care & this is Self-Care Saturday!

I am very pleased to introduce Self-Care Saturday to DOP. One Saturday a month will be dedicated to Self-Care, where I will be posting different ways I practice self-care. Self-care differs from person to person so I am very excited to show you how I self-care. With everything going on in the world, & in our own lives it is important to take a step back & take care of yourself. We all have different needs that need to be met so its crucial to do what you love, or what makes you feel good. We are no good to anyone, if we aren’t good to ourselves.

The Self-Care topic for the month of August is Microneedling. Microneedling is an in-office cosmetic procedure with little to no down time. It consists of insertion of fine needles into the skin to create micro tears which promotes rejuvenation of the skin. It is minimally invasive & I promise it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It’s an amazing treatment for acne scars, wrinkles, pores, loss of volume, loss of elasticity, pigmentation, scarring, hair loss & so much more. If for nothing else it’s amazing for anti-aging.

I have been doing microneedling for several years now & its by far my favorite procedure that is performed by an aesthetician. Just to give you a little background information, I started breaking out towards the end of high school. It wasn’t as bad back then but as the years rolled on, the acne had become significantly worse. I had cystic acne, they were big, red, inflamed zits. They were horrible, & they pretty much covered majority of my face. I will dedicate a post to my acne story sometime in the future, I just want to give you an idea of how bad it was, so I can describe the magic of microneedling. Now, what any acne sufferer will tell you, just getting the acne under control is half the battle. The battle ground it leaves in its wake, is just as horrid, if not worse. It’s so bad that I am still not as smooth as I would like to be & its been 5 years since I was able to gain control of my skin. I had a lot of scarring & pigmentation, I wish I took a before picture back then so I can show you the difference in my skin. My skin still has ways to go, but that will come in due time. When it comes to skin rejuvenation, patience is key. There unfortunately is no magic pill, or treatment that can fix damaged skin right away, even resurfacing lasers take a decent amount of treatments for you to see a difference, & they cost significantly more. I would also like to interject that most cosmetic procedures cannot be done on skin that is actively breaking out, the procedure will make your acne worse because your skin is already super irritated & most of these procedures – like microneedling, will further aggravate your skin.

Just to walk you through a typical microneedling procedure. The prep starts two days before. This is when you stop using any harsh skincare products like retinols, because they make your skin more sensitive, & trust me, the whole procedure will be way more uncomfortable if your skin is sensitive. There is nothing else you really need to do to prepare, you should already be applying sunscreen daily whether or not you are getting cosmetic procedure done, so I won’t delve much into that. Once you have arrived & you are comfortable, your aesthetician or doctor will cleanse your face & then use a topical numbing agent, so you are more comfortable during the procedure. Typically, aestheticians do these types of procedures, but I have worked in places where doctors do them as well (I am a medical assistant that works in dermatology). There really is no difference between an aesthetician doing it, compared to a doctor doing it. Both perform the procedure safely, with amazing results. I personally have my procedures done by an aesthetician, I have been going to the same person for 5 years & my skin is fabulous because of her magic hands. Now back to the procedure, once you’re numb, your face will be cleansed of the numbing agent, cleansed again to make sure its clean, then they’ll turn on the pen they use. Every microneedling pen is different, some have 10 needles, others have 20. The picture I have used for the post shows the pen that was used on me yesterday, & that pen has 38 tiny needles in it. The more needles the better. Now this pen has a little motor so the needles oscillate so they can effectively introduce micro tears into your skin. The person doing your procedure will hold your skin taut & glide the pen across your skin allowing it to work its magic. The amount of passes on your skin, the speed of the oscillation, etc is determined by whoever is doing your procedure, it is tailored to your skin & what results you are seeking. Once the procedure is done, your face is cleansed of the blood, (yes, you will bleed a bit) & then a cream will be applied to your skin to soothe it because it will be irritated. I personally like to wear a hat, so I can shield my face from sun, especially when it’s irritated. Post procedure care consists of using sunscreen, & moisturizing. It is also advised that you apply vitamin c serum, but that’s a skincare item you should be using daily anyway. The procedure is a bit pricy, & prices vary upon location. A lot of the times the clinics & spa’s offer packages to make it a little more cost effective, but it is an investment. I am not going to write any price points because they really do vary, especially state to state. I am from NYC & everything is usually more pricier here.

Now I know what you’re thinking, I don’t want to pay for that, I can just buy a derma-roller, one & done. Derma-rollers do follow the same principle, but they’re not going to help you achieve what an in-office procedure can help you achieve. First & foremost, you can truly hurt yourself, & possible cause infection. Secondly, its painful & you are less likely to do it as much as you should. Additionally, you should be applying an appropriate amount of pressure (remember the pen has a motor), etc. I am all for saving money, trust me, its better not to do it at all than to potentially hurt yourself at home.

So, how does this tie into Self-Care? I’m glad you asked. Self-care is anything that makes you relax & feel good. What makes you feel classy & fabulous, – if you will. For me, for years one of my biggest insecurities was my skin. I did not take many pictures, If I did take pics, I would wear make up & use filters. I couldn’t go outside without any foundation on, I wasn’t comfortable in my skin. I didn’t feel beautiful because I didn’t like how my skin felt or looked. Working on my skin makes me feel good, it makes me more confident. I love that I don’t have to apply make up to run to the drug store anymore. I can be bare faced. So having healthy skin, is how I feel classy & fabulous. I achieve healthy skin with the help of microneedling. So, I strongly recommend anyone who has dull, scarred, porous skin to try it, give it time, & to remember to relish in the beauty of your skin no matter in what state it is in right now. We are blessed with this skin, that does so much for us, it is our largest organ. It took me time to learn to appreciate it & what it does for me, & I am glad I finally do. Go on that journey with your skin, the journey of self-love. You don’t need microneedling to love your skin, but if you want to show it more loving, microneedling is the way to go. Remember that even if you already have healthy skin, there are so many anti-aging benefits, it adds plumpness, promotes collagen & gives you an amazing glow.

I know this has been a long post, but if you made it here, I have added here a few pictures of how much my skin has changed – from having active breakouts till now. Now, I don’t have pictures with full blown acne, because I didn’t like taking pictures back then, but here is what I do have. The last picture is of me yesterday before the treatment.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope it has opened your eyes to the wonders of microneedling. I will be continuing these treatments because I love them! During my appointment yesterday, we took up-close pictures of my skin to document the rejuvenation in between treatments that I will gladly post in a future post. In that post I will be interviewing my aesthetician & where she will show a step-by-step process of microneedling on yours truly, hopefully in video format, we’ll see.

I did not receive any compensation for this post. It is my god honest opinion. If you have any questions please feel free to ask below! If you have have tried or will try microneedling, please let me know!

P.S. If you are wondering about my mom. We are currently waiting to hear about our next steps in this cancer treatment journey. We appreciate your prayers & support.

x0x Grace

Self-Care

Relapse

July 17, 2020

Carroll Bryant once said: ” The shattering of a heart when being broken is the loudest quiet ever. “

I always start my blogs with a quotation that speaks to my soul. In this moment, this quotation is on point. I know it may sound melodramatic, but I promise you, it’s not. Let me explain.

I know I have been missing in action, but there is a reason for that. It all started in June, when we found out that my mom’s lymphoma had relapsed. You would think I would be used to her having Cancer. Hearing that word. But, I am not. It was gut wrenching. I cried all day & pretty much haven’t left her side ever since we found out. It has been a very stressful past few weeks.

Let me give you a little background information. In 2016 my mom was officially diagnosed with primary pulmonary non hodgkins lymphoma. We did not have to actually treat it with chemotherapy until 2019. In that time period, my mother had two biopsies done at the same hospital, both came back inconclusively. This time around we had the biopsy done in a different hospital, which finally told us which subtype of NHL she had so we could treat it more effectively. My mother was officially diagnosed with Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) in July of this year. Thankfully, my mothers oncologist is super smart & on top of everything, he treated her with the appropriate first line of treatment for said subtype last year. Currently we are trying the second line of treatment for that lymphoma & there is a chance she can be cured of it. Whether or not it is curable is dependent on its response to the current chemotherapy regimen. She completed one cycle already & let me tell you, this regimen is brutal. Its only going to get more difficult. But, she is strong! I know in my heart that she will get through this & beat it!

Nevertheless, even though we have been through this before, we have actually been through worse together, it really isn’t any easier or any less scary. However, I have been deep in prayer & am trying to be as positive as possible. I’m only uttering positive thoughts & prayers so they can manifest & come true. Life has many ups & downs, having a strong will, positive mentality & a great support network will get you through anything, even when it seems impossible.

This was a very private thing for me to share, but I wanted to share it so I am able to work through my thoughts & feelings. Always being in your thoughts is not healthy & everyone should have a way to get their feelings out. Having an outlet to share this helps me cope in many ways. It promotes healing because this is my safe space. So, thank you for reading this, it means a lot.

I also want DOP to be a safe space for all of you. If you have personally dealt with cancer or watched a family member or friend go through it & would like to talk about it, I am here to listen. My safe space is your safe space. Comment away & we can deal through this together.

Be Well,

x0x Grace

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