My sweet husband gave me a microdermabrasion facial gift certificate from Merle Norman Cosmetics in Morganton for my birthday, but businesses were shut down due to the coronavirus before I could use it.
I texted Melissa Fulbright, the licensed aesthetician at Merle Norman, to please text me as soon as they knew when they would open so I could make an appointment.
I had a facial once at Message Envy in Gulfport, Mississippi, and liked how it exfoliated my skin, made it soft and decreased the size of my pores, but I have never had a microdermabrasion facial or chemical peel.
On May 21, I received a text from Fulbright that services would start Monday, May 25. I made an appointment for Monday at 2:30 p.m.
She greeted me at the door, wearing a face mask. The lights were off and the sign read “Closed.”
“When I made the appointments for today, I didn’t realize it was Memorial Day,” Fulbright said. “I didn’t want to disappoint everyone by rescheduling them and closing on the first day we were allowed to open.”
I certainly appreciated it after months of seeing my face without any makeup. I wasn’t motivated to put makeup on since we didn’t see anyone when we left the house, or maybe because I had grown a little numb due to the state of society. Still, I had grown weary of seeing all the age spots on my face and hoped that the microdermabrasion facial might help.
After filling out paperwork about allergies and skin sensitivities, I changed into a towel wrap. The facial included the face, neck and décolletage (upper chest) area.
“Microdermabrasion is an exfoliation of the skin using a crushed diamond tip attached to a vacuum,” Fulbright said. “It lightens hyperpigmentation, smooths lines and helps with acne. It includes a double cleanse, microdermabrasion, face massage, mask, serums, moisturizer and sunscreen.”
I felt the crushed diamond tip scraping across my forehead and slight suction of my skin. My forehead was more sensitive than the rest of my face, neck and chest. The massage cream was thick and cool. The light peel, an added service, stung slightly, but a hand-held fan helped to calm the sting, and was completely gone after the moisturizer and other skin treatments were applied.
“(The combined treatments) produce amazing results by removing dead skin, lightening sun damage, evening out skin tone, and smooths fine lines,” Fulbright said.
I asked Fulbright why she chose to become an aesthetician.
“I love working with the skin, and my passion is to make everyone love the skin they have,” she said. “I strive to do my best at each service I (provide). I love seeing the look on clients’ faces when they see an improvement in their appearance. You only have one skin, and I want to help make it be one that you love.”
To become an aesthetician in North Carolina, a student must complete 600 hours of state-approved courses and practice services on individuals in a school setting. Then graduates must pass the state board exam to become licensed.
After she completed both treatments, Fulbright explained what will happen to my skin.
“You will barely notice your skin shedding over the next two weeks, but the treatment continues to do its job,” she said. “After two weeks, you should notice your age spots are lighter and your face brighter. The more (treatments) you have, the better your skin will look.”
After the treatment, I noticed my skin was soft, hydrated and felt youthful. I also noticed that my age spots were lighter, my face was still hydrated and the dead skin had sloughed off after two weeks. My makeup went on smoother and looked better on my face.
I scheduled my next appointment a month after my first one, which is the least amount of time Fulbright said was safe and beneficial for my skin issues. I can’t wait to see if my age spots lighten more, maybe even disappear.
I enjoyed being pampered and having face time with another face other than mine, even if it was covered with a mask.
Barbara Jolly-Deakle is a News Herald correspondent and a member of the Morganton Writers Group. She can be reached at BabbyWrites@CompasCable.net.
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