My (and Jennifer Aniston's) Skin Saver

Posted 02/24/12 at 01:37PM by Audrey Fine

Jennifer Aniston and I have something in common (aside from our astoundingly bad taste in men). As she copped to Conan O'Brien during an intimate conversation before a studio audience last night, little Ms. Wanderlust has turned to laser and skin peel treatments to help rid her skin of sun damage and brown spots. Ditto.

"It's extremely intense," our favorite friend told O'Brien of the treatments she lovingly refers to as "laser porn." "You don't realize that you look like a battered burn victim for a week," she explained of the fact that sheets of your skin shed following the procedures. "It just like falls off for eight days," she said. True 'nuff.

And, while no one ever suggested that I hawk my bits of skin on EBay as cheeky Coco did to Jen, I, too, get a certain sense of satisfaction -- and much younger/fresher looking skin -- from enduring chemical peels every now and again.

Of course, without syndication checks rolling in, it's a lot harder for me to afford my preferred peel, but, I do scrape up enough to get them two to three times a year and, since having my skin fall off my face scares the bejesus out of my kids, that's probably often enough.

While there are oodles of chemical peels and laser treatments to choose from, the one I do is called the VI Peel and I get it administered at my dermatologist's office (though I know that certain med spas do them too). It is a blend of five acids, including retin-A, salicylic acid, and vitamin C and works to reverse/eliminate hyperpigmentation and sun damage and improve both skin tone and texture. I've also noticed that it reduces the appearance of enlarged pores.

Procedurally, it's a snap. They apply the product, wipe it off, and then you go home. My face usually gets a little red within an hour or so of the application. Then, for a day or so, I don't notice any change until, wham -- my skin tightens and before I know it, I look like a molting snake.

The hardest part? Resisting the urge to peel off the sheets of skin. It's incredibly tempting to try and accelerate the process by "helping" your skin to shed -- but, as my doctor warned, it's also a super bad idea. The last thing you want to do is "rip" fresh skin. Patience is rewarded by the fifth or sixth day when you're treated to an amazingly smooth, radiant, fresh complexion. Seriously. My skin feels and looks so ... I guess the word is "new" ... that it's hard to believe.

Is it a drag to have to shed? Yes. Is it expensive? Yes. (About $295 a pop.) Is it worth it? To me, yes. Ever had a peel? Want to?
And the survey says...
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