The Luxe Room & IPL-O-V-E.....a.k.a Why (and Where) I'm Loving Laser Treatments
I’m no spring-chicken anymore (to borrow a phrase from my mother-in-law). I hate to admit it, because while I do believe age is just a number and we are generally as young as we feel, my skin kinda says differently. To be completely honest, I’ve had skin concerns as long as I can remember, starting with breakouts at age 13 (that lasted well into my 30s) and now, in my 40s, I’m experiencing some gradual signs of aging skin, which includes a few brown spots (and we’re not talking just cute freckles), redness, blotchiness, fine lines etc. And while I’m not trying to look 20 anymore (haha probably wouldn’t be a possibility even if I was!), I definitely want to take the best care of my skin that I can and feel my most confident about it. So when I was given the opportunity to partner with Danielle Mathers of the luxe room on some laser treatments, you better believe I jumped at the chance!
I have actually really been wanting to do a skin-care series for awhile, especially focusing on non-invasive, results-driven treatments so I am truly excited about this collaboration!
To begin, I had an hour-long consult with Danielle to discuss my skin concerns and give her a chance to tell me about the medical-grade skincare services she offers. (And on a side note, her business is located within the gorgeous Cherry Creek office of Dr. Jack Zamora and the space itself is, in one word, luxe. You can see a photo of their waiting area below…. It’s a beautiful and relaxing spot to visit, aside from the awesome treatments that the luxe room offers.) But back to our consult…..Danielle addressed my concerns (listed above, ie redness, brown spots, as well as loss of volume and elasticity especially around my mouth and along my jawline) and suggested the Cutera IPL laser (intense pulse light for pigment and redness) as well as a bit of Laser Genesis (for collagen stimulation). She also performed a test patch on both my face and chest with the lasers in order to determine if I would have any negative reaction to either and what type of setting would get me the best results while still being safe. And I have to say, I was so impressed with Danielle’s concern with safety as well as getting the best outcome for me individually (and her focus on natural results), that she put me right at ease. Not to mention the fact that she’s just so kind, approachable and easy to be around, it really makes for a great experience overall!
Of course, I always think it’s super important to know someone’s background and training before trusting your face to her, so here’s a little more about Danielle, her education and training (in her words):
“I did my Bachelor of Nursing Degree (with Distinction) in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia at Queensland University of Technology (strange name, it's actually known for its nursing degree!). During that time, I was working as an esthetician at Australian Skin Clinics for 3 years before they started franchising, so it was great to see that business grow. After that, I started working as an Aesthetic RN at a prestigious cosmetic practice in Brisbane, QLD called Cozmedics MediSpa (I was here for nearly 4 years). Here I was further trained by Dr Alison Jamieson (she was also an Allergan National Aesthetics Trainer) and Dr Angela Richardson. During this time, I did part-time work at a Magnet-awarded Level 1 Trauma Hospital, Princess Alexandra Hospital. I did this to keep up with more critical nursing skills and be well-rounded. Now, I've moved to Denver and after a few months of searching for a great plastic surgeon to work under, I've scored a gig with Dr Jack Zamora who is leading the field in J-Plazty and Stem Cell technology. He only has the best treatments at his office and also believes that natural results are king! It's a beautiful office (as you know) with super lovely staff. I love being there.
I specialize in Botox, dermal filler, laser and IPL photofacials, as well as microneedling (I've done all of those treatments for years!). I also perform HydraFacials, radiofrequency treatments, EmSculpt bodysculpting, Kybella, chemical peels, and skin care plans.”
After my consult with Danielle, and after deciding on the treatment series we would do, we scheduled my first laser treatment for a week later. Danielle also followed up with me via email after our consult to check on how the test patch was doing, and I loved how thorough she was and that she really cares about her work and her patients. I was honestly so impressed with her follow up and love the fact that she checks in with all new patients to make sure their skin is responding well to their treatment and that they don’t have any concerns or negative skin reactions. It’s just very obvious that she cares about what she does and that always means a lot to me!
During the week leading up to my first treatment, I actually got pretty excited! For me personally, being in photos all the time makes me more self-critical (I wish I wasn’t, but have to be completely honest that I do struggle with insecurities especially relating to my skin and looking old in photos) and a couple things that I often notice are the blotchiness and broken capillaries on my chest area. I have always had redness there as long as I can remember and it tends to get worse during the summer as well as during and after workouts. I have actually had people ask me what was wrong and what happened to my chest! And it becomes especially noticeable in necklace photos so I’ve had to ask my photographer to edit out the blotchy redness on occasions where I feel it distracts from the jewelry. (On that note, here’s some more honesty: I do try to only edit photos minimally because I want to be authentic and I definitely don’t want to meet people in person and have them thinking that I don’t look like my pics….but if I feel something distracts from the piece I’m promoting, I do have it edited so as to be less noticeable.) So all that to say, Danielle told me these IPL treatments would make a big difference in the redness on my chest and I got pretty pumped about that!
When I arrived for my first laser treatment the following week, she went over what to expect again and then we got down to it. She put eye covers over my eyes in order to protect them from the laser and then marked the areas to be treated on my face and decolletage. She began with the Cutera IPL laser on my chest and then moved up to my face, going over each in sections. While she did the IPL she also blew cool air (with a Zimmer machine) on the areas in order to make it slightly less hot and more comfortable. As far as how the IPL feels, it feels like a rubber band quickly snapping….can’t say it is super comfortable, but to me it was manageable. After doing the majority of the IPL, Danielle then used the Laser Genesis on the fine lines around my mouth as well as along my jawline and on my forehead. This laser just feels very warm but is honestly much more comfortable than the IPL. Laser Genesis helps with skin-tightening and collagen-building over time. (As far as suggested number of treatments for best results, you’d normally want 2-3 IPL sessions and/or 4-6 Laser Genesis treatments to see maximum results, depending on your concern and skin.) You can scroll down to the bottom of this post to see a video of both treatments and exactly how the IPL and Laser Genesis are used.
When the treatment was over, my face felt pretty normal, but I will admit that my chest was very red and felt quite hot and stung a bit. However, I went home and iced it and the hot, stingy feeling subsided within the hour.
Danielle was very good at telling me what I could expect over the coming days so nothing came as a surprise. Basically, the IPL brings pigment to the surface so over the next 3-7 days I would likely see the pigment (such as brown spots) get darker to the point of looking like coffee grounds scattered across my face and chest, before they sloughed off on their own. She did suggest not using an exfoliant in order to allow them to come to the surface and slough off naturally. She also mentioned that my chest could be a little red and I might notice minor swelling (possibly in the shape of the IPL). And that’s exactly what happened. You can see the unfiltered, unretouched iPhone photos below of my progress.
Here’s what I noticed:
Day Zero (immediately after): Chest was very red and face had a slightly pink hue. I did notice swelling by the end of the day and it was in bar shapes on my face and decolletage.
Day Two (48 hours after treatment): Chest was still red and blotchy, but also noticed darker pigment starting to rise and definitely noticed more dark brown spots on my face, especially along my jaw and the side of my face, plus a couple of areas were still very slightly raised (tiny bit of swelling left over).
Day Six: Chest still blotchy, face pigment starting to slough off and skin looking a little smoother and more even toned.
By three weeks after my first treatment, I noticed my skin was more even toned and the blotchiness and redness was almost fully gone. Then at four weeks, when my skin was looking back to normal (but better than prior to my first session), it was time for my second treatment.
The second session went similarly to the first, although was a little quicker and I knew exactly what to expect. Again, Danielle was very careful to program the lasers on settings that would get me the best results but would still be safe for my skin. Immediately after my second treatment, my chest was red, but slightly less so than after the first session, and we actually noticed brown pigment starting to rise on my face (especially on my forehead) right away. That pigment looked like coffee grounds by the next day but was completely sloughed off by 5-7 days later. The photos I sent Danielle a week after my second treatment were of noticeably clearer, smoother and more even-toned skin. Not only that, but I had at least a few friends who noticed the difference as well and commented on how good my skin looked! Even my husband noticed a big difference in the redness on my chest (I think that may even be the reason I was able to convince him to get me more laser treatments for Christmas…..I told him when this is all over, I’m gonna look 30 so watch out!)
You can see pics below of my progress after both my first and second sessions. I just had my third treatment about a week ago and my progress has been very similar. Because Danielle turned up the IPL settings a bit, I actually had more swelling after my third session for about 48 hours but it’s all gone now and my skin is looking so much clearer and even than before. Typically, like I mentioned above, the best IPL results are seen after three treatments and then you can always do a maintenance treatment once a year (plus, wearing sunscreen will also help protect your results and keep any additional sun damage at bay).
So all this to say, I am thrilled with my current results, can absolutely tell a difference in my skin and have been so impressed with Danielle, what she offers and, most importantly, how she cares about her patients! I honestly can’t say enough wonderful things about her or the luxe room and I feel really privileged to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her and share my experience with you. And like I said, I trust her completely now and have even booked another round of laser treatments with her (using a different laser combo) for skin-tightening and resurfacing and I can’t wait to see the results of that!
So if you’re in Denver and have been thinking you want to do something to refresh your skin and have been considering laser treatments or other aesthetic skincare services, I absolutely recommend meeting with Danielle at the luxe room to see if the treatments she offers would be a good fit for you. (If you can’t tell, I think she’s awesome and I know you will love her!). Plus if you schedule with her and mention this post and the code PP15, you can get 15% off your treatment or series! And stay tuned on my IG because we have something coming up soon that you really don’t want to miss (no, seriously its gonna be good!)!
And finally, if you have any questions about IPL or Laser Genesis treatments or want to know anything more about my personal experience, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment and ask!
PS. This post is sponsored by the luxe room but my experience and all opinions expressed are 100% honest and my own.