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Seeking Summer Skin: My mybody™ Experience

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Skincare--it's just the sexiest possible topic, right? Who doesn't love thinking about clogged pores, wrinkles, and sloughing dead skin cells from their face and body? And then--being located in Houston--we need to consider the ravaging effects of the relentless sun. At least the humidity is a friend to our skin (if not our hair)--summer's consolation prize.

When summer months approach we show more skin, which means two things: we need to do more to protect the exposed skin, and we need to do more to make the exposed skin look its best. As a fairly rabid skincare junkie, when the mybody™ folks invited me to try out their line of treatments and products, I simply could not resist temptation.

Why does skincare count as "style"? Because healthy skin is pretty much the best accessory, in my opinion. I am lucky to inherited good Irish genes (and an SPF habit) from my mother, but good skin is more than just looking good. Your skin is one huge, living, breathing organ. It lets stuff in, and out, and that means you really need to make sure you're keeping the flow of traffic moving.

The mybody™ line describes itself as "effective, medical-grade skincare" which is "sold only by physicians, and incorporated into pre- and post-clinical procedure protocols." My antennae immediately went up at the phrase "clinical procedure." On the flip side of my love of trying new skin products is the unfortunate fact that my skin is sensitive. The "Probiotic Youthboost" treatment is a chemical peel, and even though the literature promised that we were talking about a "different" kind of peel, I was nervous. With assurances that the system is adjusted for three skin types--aging, sensitive, and acne--I decided to take the plunge and have my very first chemical peel at the Town & Country Medical Spa.

Before my appointment I met with one of the creators of the mybody™ line, Therese. She told me about how her own medical issues led to the development of the line, and went over some of the products. In addition to the peel treatment, there are post-treatment skin care regimes, as well as products for cellulite reduction and bath and body (wash/lotion). There is a lot of science-y stuff--"biomimetic" ingredients, probiotic bacteria that stimulate skin immunity, anhydrous delivery--which is all interesting, but the bottom line is always the answer to this question: "Did it work?"

My next step was the chemical peel--the Probiotic Youthboost--itself. My esthetician, Erika, took me into a treatment room where I was to lie down to have the treatment applied. The entire process only lasted about 15 minutes, and in addition to applying the peel to my face, Erika also applied it to the backs of my hands. At its most intense point, the sensation of the chemicals on my skin was like an intense, prickly sunburn; not nearly as painful as I feared. After rinsing the solution from my face and hands, I was given samples from the "Calm It Down" line for sensitive skin--cleanser, serum, lotion, and a tinted sunscreen--to use for five days after the peel. As I went about the rest of my afternoon it took about an hour for all of the prickling sensations to fade away.

For the next five days my skin peeled lightly, particularly around my nose and cheeks. The peeling was not insane, just about what you would expect after a mild sunburn. I did notice a visible reduction in some fine lines around my eyes and mouth, as well as tighter pores and a lot of missing blackheads. The follow-up products are extremely mild and soothing; while I'm not normally a fan of total system regimes for skin, all of these products worked well together and (more importantly) did not further irritate my skin. Therese also sent me home with some bath and body products to test out, and these--the Energizing Bergamot & Lime body wash/lotion combo--have quickly become favorites. I love "green" scents, and these have layered nicely under my Jo Malone Wild Bluebell cologne.

Ultimately, I am happy with the results of the Probiotic Youthboost peel. I didn't love the subsequent redness/peeling, but we aren't talking Sex & the City Samantha-level redness--NOT EVEN CLOSE, I promise. I've had sunburns that have had far, far, far more hideous results; the peel's redness and peeling were mild in comparison. I think that those with sensitive skin should proceed with caution, but if your skin can stand up to trying new things I'd go for it in a heartbeat. As my skin has healed it has been smoother (visibly, and to the touch) and some hyper-pigmentation (from sun damage) is also visibly reduced. The results on the backs of my hands were pretty impressive, too--perhaps even more noticeably than my face.

This experience does have me curious about other chemical peels, though. Have you ever had one? Were you pleased with the results? Got a horror story to tell? I'm dying to know.

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