File this under “Things I’m not proud of but sharing in the interest of my fellow (wo)man”. I think of it as me taking one for the team, the I-want-to-look-younger team. You might think 2020 is a cluster of a year, but 2019 was my year of the personal crisis. I always felt pretty good about myself. I ate well, exercised (sometimes), took care of my skin (sometimes), and did not feel my ripe old age of 56. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My face looked tired. My body sagged. And pooched. So I spend my year on a quest to try all the newest anti-aging treatments. Do I look and feel any better? Read on…
In my quest to look and feel younger, I squandered away a year’s vacation budget on feel-good-quick, er…look-young-quick, schemes. And I’m not proud about it.
It started with a visit to a health coach, which left me with dozens of bottles of supplements and essential oils, and morphed into bigger ticket items and quest to experience the newest anti-aging treatments. Like visits to the dermatologist that got me sucked into a very expensive skin line (my husband would just laugh at how long it took me to get ready for bed every night as I carefully performed by regimen). Floating in a salty, sensory deprivation tank, and then trying to freeze away the fat on my belly (which truth be told had been there since high school), and needles and injections and creams. What was my payoff? No vacation, which could have refreshed and revitalized me more than any of these treatments. But my travel savings were sucked away with dead skin cells, water weight, and expensive products and potions.
So what are the newest anti-aging treatments, what did I try and what did I like?
This was something I tried more for my mental health than physical. I had read about float therapy and sensory deprivation tanks so I was more curious. I found a Groupon for the Be Still Float Studio and booked a session for me and my BFF. Essentially, you’re in a small private pool(ish) tank and there’s massive amounts of epsom salts that make the water so alkaline, you’re body floats (much like I did at The Dead Sea in Jordan). The lights are off, there’s complete silence, and it’s probably the post serene, tranquil feeling I’ve ever had. My appointment was for one hour. I got a wee bit bored after about 30 minutes so I started doing some twisting and turning and crunches in the water. But if you’re curious, it’s definitely worth trying! I plan to do it again. (And yes, there is a very rigorous filtration system after each float so it’s completely safe and sanitary.)
Micro-needling is something my dermatologist recommended to help brighten and tone the skin on my face. I was complaining; it wasn’t suggestive selling. So I scheduled an appointment with the esthetician for my first treatment; you do it three times, roughly four weeks apart, to get the best results. Essentially, it’s a machine that injects teeny tiny needles in rapid succession all over your face. To say it was uncomfortable is putting it mildly. My teeth were gritted and my toes flexed for the entire one-hour treatment. They do put a cream on that deadens the surface area of your face but it certainly doesn’t make it a pain-free procedure. Areas that are less-fleshy, your forehead and chinline are pretty painful. But all in the name of looking younger, right? Actually, the treatment isn’t the most uncomfortable part. It’s the healing process. Micro-needling essentially creates tiny injuries to your skin so that collagen forms to induce healing (just like lifting weights creates tiny tears in muscles so that they strengthen when they rebuild). Immediately after the procedure into the evening, my skin was red, raw and tight, as if I’d had a terrible sunburn. I was given a special cream to cover my face with to help it heal. Honestly, it was the tightness as it began to heal that was the most uncomfortable. The next day I was fine and within 24 hours, my skin looked like a baby’s butt. Much like birthing a baby, I would forget the pain and do it again. And again. So did it work? In theory, I’m sure it did. I just didn’t notice that young, dewy look I was seeking but when you look at yourself in the mirror every day, it’s hard to see changes. Would I try it again. Perhaps.
Voluma injections in my cheeks – Gravity sucks. I’ve developed jowls. The skin is sliding down my face. So I asked my esthetician for help. She suggested voluma injections in my cheeks. It’s basically a filler that puffs up the area beneath your skin. Now I’ve had Botox before and wasn’t bothered by the tiny needles. But this filler has to go deeper and I felt like the needle hit my actually cheekbone. It was very painful. I almost couldn’t finish the procedure. I almost passed out from holding my breath. Crap! Then I had to do the other side. One of my cheeks was slightly bruised for couple of weeks. Did it work. No. Would I do it again? No.
I’m sure you’ve seen the ads for this. And it’s (sadly) not the first time I’ve done. Ye old muffin top cometh again. This is, by far, the least painful of my year of experimental anti-aging treatments. You lay back on a table and they put these suction cups over the fat you want to freeze away and just relax while the fat melts away. Just like that. But not really. Now I do see a difference when I do this procedure but I do not for one minute believe it creates long-term fat loss. I’m sure it just shrinks it or moves it somewhere else on my body until it decides to return my love handles. I stopped short of having it done on my neck. Will I do it again? Probably not.
In addition to these newest anti-aging treatments, I invested in a ton of anti-aging products, serums, masks, and promises. The reality is that you can’t change gravity (although the new Space Force may attempt it) but you can just take better care of yourself inside and out. I kept waiting for my friends to say, “OMG! Your skin looks SO good. You look younger.” Nope. Nopity nope. No one said a word so obvi it wasn’t a startling change. Honestly, for me, the best thing I can do for my body is yoga. It makes me feel good inside and out. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper, except for all the cute yoga outfits I want now.
So I think I’ll start saving my money again and just learn to age gracefully and most of all, gratefully.