How Not to Look Old This Summer

Brown spots are your penance for sun worshipping. But they needn’t last an eternity. More editor-in-chief Lesley Jane Seymour peeled away evidence of her Bain de Soleil days—and tells us how

by Lesley Jane Seymour • Editor-in-Chief
Photograph: Serge Bloch

That’s why, although I’ve come in only for a consultation, I soon hear myself saying, “Bring on the numbing cream!” A nurse snaps “before” photos, hands me four pills (two prednisone to prevent swelling, two Valtrex to combat latent herpes) and covers my face with anesthetic gel. An hour later, Anolik is zapping me with the Gemini to sizzle broken capillaries, the V-beam to incinerate my skin’s “pink background” (i.e., diffuse red pigment) and the Ruby to erase coffee drips. He finishes with the Fraxel Dual all over, which stings like I’m caught in a sandstorm. He warns me that I’ll be “a little pink” for two days.

 

As I head back to my office (how did I forget I was hosting the More holiday lunch?), my face tingles. Ducking into the bathroom, I notice my features are starting to pucker, and I look vaguely Muppetish. Though my assistant, Daniela, says my face is fine (liar!), I duck out of the party before dessert. That night my skin turns coppery-red. Anolik said I’d be “a little pink.” Is he color-blind? And I worry about how I’ll look the next day, when I’m scheduled to lunch with media mogul Arianna Huffington; we’d chased each other’s calendars for months, and it’s too late to cancel.

I awaken to what looks and feels like windburn on top of a sunburn. I pile on the foundation I save for TV appearances and play up my eye makeup to divert attention from my embarrassing skin. At lunch Arianna is kind enough to pretend that “you don’t look as bad as you think,” but when I meet a close friend for dinner, she blurts, “What have you done to your face?!” My skin has now turned into black pepper and is flaking off into my pasta. My friends and I wonder if I’ve gone one beauty adventure too far: After the pepper falls off, I see gray stripes—tracks the Dual left behind as it crossed my cheeks. I look as if I’ve been backed over by a truck.

Two days later, however, something wondrous happens. The gentle vibrations of my Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing brush ($119; clarisonic.com) loosen the last of the sandpapery remains, and I can’t believe what I see: skin as clear and luminous as a newborn’s butt. Though my goal was to look better, not younger, my husband says I’ve shaved 12 years from my face. And after a meeting with a new colleague, I hear through the grapevine that she remarked on my “gorgeous skin.” No one said that even when I was 25! If I’d paid thousands of dollars for my new clear complexion, I’d feel it was worth every penny—even if I do now have to slather on SPF 50 daily and avoid direct sun. My skin no longer needs to be buried under heavy foundation, and some might even call it my best feature.

Click here for Before You Buy Sunscreen, Read This 

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03.02.2013

Well, it cannot be denied that the natural home based remedies work much effectively without causing any side-effects. A detailed information regarding the various methods of dealing with the skin related problems can be read at Home Remedies Log

amily tong07.02.2012

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madmouse 06.25.2012

I too did Fraxel and looked less than attractive for about 5 days. However, the down time lessens with each additional treatment. It is well worth it in the long run. I will get another round of treatments in a year or so.

Mike06.23.2012

Thanks for this wonderful blog....

Lynda B05.19.2012

I am amazed that you were able to go out socially the day after your Fraxel Laser treatment. On May 16,I had exactly the same thing you did (on my face and neck). The next day my face was red and swollen, and my neck looked like I swallowed a rat. Then my facial skin became dry, rough,and looked like it had black pepper glued all over. Today, I have been able to gently rub some of the dry skin off, but it is obvious it will take several more days until I look good. I actually bought a series of four treatments, but after the first experience, not sure I want to do this again.

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