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When it comes to aging gracefully, I personally say to each her own. If a woman wants to do a little nip or a little tuck, then so be it! Different strokes for different folks! For me, I am not at all opposed to experimenting with different products and procedures. (Heck, I’d spread frog puke on my body if someone told me it would make me look younger!) That’s why I decided to try the Halo Hybrid Fractional Laser to help smooth out my neck skin, which has been a HUGE insecurity of mine for a while now.
Looking back on my teenage years makes me absolutely cringe now, but growing up in the 80’s, baby oil and tanning beds were a constant. Sadly, I’ve lost count of the number of times I ended up with a sunburn from too much time in the sun, be it fake or real. Needless to say, all that exposure has now started to catch up with me, and my neck (at least in my opinion) is one of the areas where it really shows.
I’d been contemplating the Halo laser treatment for a couple of years and finally decided to just go for it in January at the med spa where I get my facials. What the Halo laser does is combine deep dermal revitalization with epidermal restoration, so it’s working on both the surface of your skin as well as underneath your skin. The end result is a more youthful glow and a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. (Yes, please!)
To prepare for the procedure, I had to arrive an hour before my appointment so that numbing cream could be applied to my neck. Once it had taken effect, I was escorted to the treatment room and had to change into a strapless robe. Then I had to lie in a reclining chair (similar to one that you’d see at a dentist’s office) and was provided with protective eye glasses. I was also given stress balls to hold in each hand, which naturally made me a little uneasy about what kind of pain I was about to endure.
(This is what the Halo machine looks like.)
My clinician was very reassuring and explained everything she was doing along the way as she continuously rolled the laser over each section of my neck in a crisscross pattern. It felt like a really hot wand was being dragged along my skin, but, luckily, the pain wasn’t that terrible during the actual procedure itself. (I still squeezed the heck out of those stress balls though!) It wasn’t until after she was finished with the laser that the real effects kicked in.
My neck literally felt like it was on FIRE afterwards, and I was so relieved when she placed big ice packs on the treated areas. She also sent me home with smaller ice packs for the car ride, as well as medical barrier cream to place on my skin as needed. Let me tell ya that I’ve never been so happy to feel the bitter cold Chicago air than when I exited that building! That was about the only thing that was giving me any bit of relief.
(This is what I looked like immediately after the procedure.)
Thankfully, this extreme heat feeling only lasted about an hour in total and was similar to a really bad sunburn. As expected, the skin ended up flaking and looking like coffee grounds and then later even blistered in places. And yes, it itched like a son of a gun!!! Hydrocortisone cream became my nearest, dearest friend. Below, I’m posting a series of photos (in order) throughout the two weeks following the treatment so that you can see the progress. It definitely got worse before it got better.
Overall, I’m happy to say that I’m very pleased with the results! In full disclosure though, some people end up having to do two or more Halo treatments to achieve their desired outcome. I’ll reassess in June to determine whether I think I should do one more round, but for now, I’m pretty satisfied.
If you decide this is something you’d like to do, I highly recommend a consultation with the med spa you choose. Be sure that you feel 100 percent comfortable with the clinician, and ask to see testimonial photos. The cost will likely vary depending on where you live and how big of an area you’d like to have treated. (For reference, mine was $800 just for my neck.) If you have any questions or would like further information about my experience, please let me know in the comment section below.
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