Now that I tried Fraxel everyone's asking me if it was worth it... truth is, I'm not sure yet as I'm not completely healed. Here's a diary of the recovery so far with some really embarrassing pics, but I wanted to give you the full experience minus the discomfort. Would I do it again? Since I had fairly good skin with some hyperpigmentation and was just being anal, probably not.
Day 1: Check out my blog post. My eyes and cheeks were swollen, face was beat red and hot. Picture the worst sun burn you've ever gotten, only it's only on your face and neck. I iced and moisturized like there was no tomorrow. Before Joe got home from work I wrapped my face in a scarf leaving out only my eyes and lips. Once he made me de-robe from my masking job, he described my new look as "a raw burn victim." Go to product: Cerave Facial Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 30.
Day 2: I touched my face as soon as I opened my eyes and it felt like sand paper. OMG. I actually skeeved my skin. I ran to the mirror and saw a brown, crusty face. Attractive. At least it didn't hurt, wasn't swollen or raw. Ok, I'm healing. Hiding behind sunglasses and a scarf I only left the apartment once to take a train home to NJ where I can hibernate. I looked bad enough to cancel appointments for the rest of the week. Moisturizing every half hour. Go to products: Cerave and Skinceuticals Epidermal Repair and Aquaphor at night.
Day 3: Sandpaper. That's what my face feels like. It still looks pretty much the same as it did yesterday. I noticed that all of my brown spots are brought to the surface including those I didn't even know I had. It's all brown. Daytime routine: Skinceuticals then Cerave with SPF 30. Nighttime routine: Skinceuticals then Aquaphor.
Day 4: My face is falling off. I thought the peeling I would experience would be like peeling form a sunburn and my skin would come off in strips. Nope. Everything that turned brown and feels like sand paper is literally crumbling off like sand. It looks better today, I guess because it's half fallen off. At this point I'm just hiding my identity behind my sunglasses. It's impossible to hide my face. Still laying low.
Day 5: Fresh skin! Most of my skin has crumbled crumbled off and my fresh skin looks brown spot free. I'm beyond excited. However, I still have rough brown patches around my hair line and on my nose that need to flake off. It's frustrating. The fresh skin is pink. Nothing hurts, but it looks raw-ish. I can't moisturize enough and have been applying SPF 30 like it's my job. It's like starting over. A new chance with new skin. I'm not going to mess it up.
Day 6: My skin looks awesome. It's all done peeling except for a few rough spots around my neck. I have a party to go to tonight and I was nervous all week about how I was going to manage my face. Well, I've never felt more confident. Truth is, my skin never made me feel insecure, because it wasn't bad to begin with, but seeing how clear it looks now is definitely an added confidence boost. My parents said I look like a porcelain doll. The only brown spot that didn't fade is a stubborn one on my nose, which got significantly lighter and I plan on attacking it with a hydroquinone cream. Over time, I'll get that one too.
*Note: I took all of the photos myself with my iPhone and lighting wasn't controlled.