This year I had my 39th birthday, and I was feeling the ravages of time in ways such as superficial lines and sun damage. I have been mindful of sun exposure, yet am physically active and enjoy an outdoor desert activity. The early sun exposure, when I was younger and less aware, is also now showing more visibly on my skin.
To take care of my cosmetic concerns I rely on spa products, particularly for lightening, tightening, smoothing and softening my skin. This summer, I decided to give myself an added boost in facial rejuvenation to battle the harsh effects of our desert climate. My treatment of choice was the Erbium Laser at the Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Palm Desert.
Through research, I discovered that Erbium Laser has been approved by the FDA since 1997 and is the forerunner in skin resurfacing, surpassing CO2 laser. This is due to the Erbium Laser’s ability to control heat dispersion resulting in shorter healing time. Delicate areas like lips and under eyes can be addressed, and skin is protected from pigment loss.
Once my appointment was scheduled, I planned time off work to avoid the scorching sun and recuperate at home. The morning of treatment, I received pain medication and a numbing agent to reduce any discomfort. An hour of “cool” light Erbium worked across my skin to heat, vaporize and ablate layers of the skin, removing sun damage and lines. After 4 days of treating my skin gently due to redness, peeling and swelling, something profound started to happen. My skin started to renew itself. Old skin shed, and new skin appeared free of sun spots and irregularity. Each day produced better results of taut, fresh skin. I spent the time reading and resting. Working to care for my external image and my internal need for respite provided a summer solace. The healing was deep from the inside out.
In taking this journey, I realized that my years of teaching sun protection had not made me the best student. The sun is a great source of energy and Vitamin D, yet the lesson in emerging with “new skin” is how much we need to protect the largest organ of our body in an effort to stay as youthful as possible. Erbium Laser has given me a new awareness to care for my skin with more mindfulness and a fresh facial start.
Jennifer is a Desert native with 20 years of experience in the spa industry. She is the Spa and Sports Club Director at Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells.