^this is my face pre- microneedling (there is a filter applied here but no soften skin or makeup)
As you may have read in previous posts, for most of my late teens and early 20’s, I suffered from a pretty tough case of acne.
I was graced with the gift of recovering from daily breakouts over a year ago (which btw – felt like a lifetime of picking at pimples and scabs) and I’ve been mostly acne free for most of 2018. Unfortunately, way back yonder when I did suffer from the weekly zit life – *cringing calling it that, sry* – I didn’t treat my skin too nicely (sigh), as I poked and pried at every breakout on every cheek corner. And if you’ve had acne yourself, you know what all the picking and popping does – yep, the deep breakouts create deep scarring which [in my eyes] has plagued these cheeks since (Read how I got acne free here.) This has been a completely personal issue, as I know my scars aren’t the worst, but they are something that I was self conscious about when talking to the camera for my job, etc. My goal with this post is to be super transparent, honest and open about my journey with skin in my 20’s – let’s dive in…!
Enter Viva Day Spa, a spa I’ve been loyally visiting since 2013 for facials and massages alike. I popped into the woman-owned, locally founded and Austin-based spa this Spring and sat down with an esthetician to talk skin and the healing process post acne. Barbara – seriously an incredible esthetician at Viva (who shared a lot of the same holistic ideas and practices about taking care of your body, mind, lifestyle, and skin) and I sat down and talked procedures, leading me to microneedling, their best recommended process for taking care of acne scars.
Here’s what I learned: Microneedling is a 30-minute procedure designed to synthesize collagen in your skin and help reduce appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, stretch marks and … *acne scarring* through skin resurfacing. Collagen is the good stuff — the main building block in skin that help keeps skin smooth and plump (think baby bottom skin) so you want it synthesized … you just do!
After the consult I was sold and easily convinced. So the procedures began…!
In the microneedling procedure, little needles puncture your skin hundreds of times per second – creating perforations within the skin – which creates a controlled injury. Totally safe, your body’s self-repair process is stimulated and heals by producing new collagen, elastin fibers and your skin looks and feels so much healthier. Aka, adios to harsh sun damage, age and brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scarring, uneven skin tone, large pore size and more.
I underwent 3 treatments of microneedling this summer (Viva recommends you undergo the treatment 3x every 4 weeks for best results) and I’ll be very honest right here, right now:
The results? **Incredible.** The acne scars? Significantly lessened. The procedure? Quick! And I’ll be honest – depending on your tolerance of pain – it is painful. So here’s the breakdown of my experience:
The skin pen and microneedling procedure dramatically changed the surface of my skin, clearing away uneven skin tone, discoloration, redness, smoothing over the on-the-surface indents from acne, and definitely healing and repairing the deepest scars. My esthetician said it does take awhile (multiple treatments, potentially over 3) to reach and heal the deepest of acne scars, but the changes (for me) – including the deeper of my scars – were instant. However, personally, I was somewhat shocked by how painful the very quick procedure was, but the tolerable short-term pain during the procedure (seemed like 10 minutes) was worth it – and beauty is pain, right my dears? Also I’d like to mention again, everyone’s tolerance of pain is different! For me, my acne scars were something I was very self conscious about for a very long time, so every single bit of this microneedling journey was worth it for me – which is why I wanted to fill you girls in.
The most fulfilling part about this procedure was the instant reaction I received from friends and family. “Your skin looks incredible!” was the line I would hear within just one treatment, and girls were amazed at the instant results (smoother, “fluffier,” healthier skin showed up about 1 week after the first treatment for me). I also learned that a lot of my friends were already undergoing this treatment or looking to try it – so it seemed like such a success and summer win in my book.
I have added in a photo of my scars on my cheeks before and after 3 treatments. As you will notice; my left cheek had deeper scars than my right cheek and thus, the treatment looks a bit different depending on depth of scar or which issue you’re trying to heal. The craziest part is a lot of the redness and discoloration and sun spots are gone from my face as well, which I didn’t even anticipate! I wanted to post these photos to be extremely honest, open, authentic and clear for you girls – so that there are no surprises. Especially that the procedure is painful, but I personally saw incredible results and foresee myself repeating it in the next 5 years – just to continuously take care of and stimulate that healthy skin!
The best part? Viva has a special running now through 9/13 – giving you gals 20% off all treatments and products on Monday-Thursday, including Med Spa. And LBH, I would do this procedure again in a heartbeat, the pictures above say enough!
Maybe you don’t have acne scars, but you live in Austin? Established over 13 years ago, Viva Day Spa is one of my personal one-stop-shops for all things health-lifestyle-and-spa related. Viva has been named “Best Spa” by the Austin Chronicle and Austin Monthly Magazine (multiple times over the last several years) and I highly recommend stopping into one their three locations for their Viva signature massage, a deep tissue massage, or signature facial or a hydrafacial. Plus, their Back To School special is running now (20% off all treatments and products, Monday-Thursday, including Med Spa) and ends 9/13. Meaning if you’re interested in also getting rid of your acne scars or treating yourself to a massage, now’s a discounted time (on Mon-Thurs).
I wanted to be as clear and honest about this procedure as I could, so I hope my testimony is helpful if you struggle with the same skin issues, my friends! XOXO