Royal Fern $295
CoolPeel is everything our writer hoped for in a post-sun skin refresh.
Written ByJAMIE ROSEN
Photography ByGUY AROCH
I used to like my freckles. Over the years, they’ve turned on me, and so has the terminology used to describe them. What was once a smattering of playful dots easily spotted in childhood photos has become blurrier over time, thanks to a hazy mix of sun, heat, pregnancy, and time. When I first heard a dermatologist reference them, they were no longer freckles but hyperpigmentation with a side of melasma. I was a little offended.
But after a summer that left me with blotchy clusters of pigment, acne scars that appeared after I deigned to touch even the tiniest clogged pores, and just general blah about my skin (is that extra indentation around my mouth the first sign of sagging?), I was ready for a tuneup.
Of the three settings available (mild, moderate, high), we settled on moderate to shorten the brief period of redness and roughness afterward. Christina DeMartino, the physician assistant who performed my procedure, moved the applicator from my forehead to my cheeks, chin and, eventually, the nose and above the lip. With each movement, it felt like getting zapped with a hot, prickly stamp. (It was not pleasant, but it was tolerable and done in a relatively quick 20 minutes.) I sat with ice packs for a few minutes and left with a coating of Aquaphor and after-care instructions. I was told to sleep on a clean pillowcase (good advice anytime, really) and to avoid sun exposure, intense workouts, and sweating for the next day or two. I laid off my regular routine at first but began using the Pigment program on my ZIIP device as well as Royal Fern Phytoactive Anti-Aging Serum after about a week.
My skin felt warm and flushed in the hours immediately following treatment, but any tenderness was gone the next morning. Instead, there were tiny light-brown dots (aka scabs) all over my face and a rough, sandpaper-like texture. I avoided foundation over the weekend but found that my mineral makeup looked just fine in time for work on Monday. On Wednesday, I woke to find every last scab gone. The most obvious difference was a new evenness, especially across my cheeks and around my nose. I did notice an overall tightness, especially around the mouth, but the biggest takeaway and reason to do it would be for a seasonal refresh and skin boost without dramatic downtime. My freckles did not disappear entirely, but they did lighten up. My skin is much brighter, with what looks like better circulation. And the best part is I can see my freckles again.
POST-SUMMER SKIN BOOSTERS