[Chelsae Anne | Photography]

In last month’s blog post “Why I love Balayage,” I mentioned doing a three-part series highlighting my favorite treatments (and pro’s) at Anushka Spa, Salon & Cosmedical Centre in West Palm Beach. Last month, I talked about hair color. This month, I’m talking about skincare!

I first learned about skincare when I started working at Anushka in my early twenties. Aestheticians would tell me, “wash, tone, moisturize and apply sunscreen every day.” Which I did – kind of. At minimum, I would wash and moisturize. Occasionally, I would apply sunscreen.

I realized I needed to pay better attention to my skin around my mid-twenties. For the first time, I started to notice small brown spots and freckles. Dry patches whenever the weather would change. And breakouts. Breakouts!

In high school, I had perfect skin. In my early twenties, I had perfect skin. I never experienced a “breakout” until my mid-twenties. “Why is this happening to me,” I would say to my doctor. “You’re experiencing adult acne,” he would say. Turns out acne isn’t just for teens. As an adult, things like stress or changes in your hormone levels can cause acne.

Which made sense. Around this time, I left my PR job. Broke up with a boyfriend. I started freelancing for the first time. My blog was growing… and I was becoming increasingly self-conscious about my skin. At times, hiding my face from the camera because I was so embarrassed. It completely hurt my self-esteem.

I’ll never forget this one woman who came to Anushka with tears in her eyes. She had the worst case of acne I had ever seen, in my life. “Please. Please. I’m begging you. I need someone to help me with my skin. I’m getting married soon,” she said as I suggested she make an appointment with, Uslin, one of the top aestheticians at Anushka. Eight weeks later, her skin completely changed. I couldn’t believe it.

My skin is better… Breakouts flare up every now and then. But for the most part, it’s improved thanks to regular facials (every six to eight weeks), stronger products and stress management. However, those pesky marks left behind from pimples, sunspots and freckles – not so much.

I recently saw Dr. Bonnie Marting, an expert in cosmetic dermatology at Anushka, to fix this problem. She suggested an IPL, also known as an Intense Pulsed Light treatment (laser) to remove my brown spots, sun damage (thanks Florida), acne scars and to help tighten and refine my pores. “It’s one of the best treatments you can do to have a radiant complexion,” according to her.

Let me preface this next part by saying: an IPL is no massage. It’s a little scary. No, it doesn’t hurt. It’s just shocking because intense pulses of light hit your face. But it’s quick. So no biggie.

What it does: causes collagen and blood vessels below the skin to constrict, reducing redness and age lines. Here’s a picture of me (with no makeup) right after the treatment. As you can see, there’s a little bit of redness and swelling.

Following the treatment, brown spots get darker, scab and eventually flake off. This was taken right after the gym.

A couple days later… (right after ballet class!). As you can see, my complexion is getting smoother.

Dr. Bonnie suggests using a good sunscreen product after the treatment. For those of you wondering, there’s no downtown.

For the next part of my treatment, I did a SilkPeel with Uslin. A silkpeel is a lot like a microdermabrasion treatment except it doesn’t use crystals to exfoliate the skin. And it infuses the skin with hydrating products. The result? Immediate improvement in volume, hydration and tone. Revitalized skin.

Ideal candidates have mild to moderate acne. Dark spots and sun damage. Dry and dehydrated skin or a rough skin texture. And little fine lines and wrinkles. I.E. anyone in their 20-30s!

As soon as you walk out, you feel great. However if you have a wedding to attend, Uslin suggests getting the treatment two weeks before the big day.

Here’s a selfie taken two weeks after my IPL + one week after my silkpeel.

I’ve also introduced a retinol into my night regime and – wow. WOW. It’s helped normalize my skin, and encourage it to shed and rebuild in healthier ways. It was a little irritating at first but after two weeks of use, my skin got used to it. Dr. Bonnie says retinols are a “miracle product.”

Do these treatments + products work? Absolutely. I feel like I’m in high school again. My skin feels amazing. Every day it gets better, brighter and tighter.

First timer to Anushka? Mention my blog, The Style Bungalow, to receive $25 off your next service of $75 or more! For online book, use code: 25OFFNCBL

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Xo, Stephanie