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Kicking Off My New Skin Care Routine with Carolina Facial Plastics

I announced one month ago that I’m partnering with Carolina Facial Plastics for one year to blog about my experience of “being the best me” in exchange for complimentary services. I’ll be writing a monthly post updating you on my skin care routine in addition to other (non-surgical!) products and services that I try. Many of you responded to my last post that anti-aging and adult acne skin care routines are something you are very interested in so I’m excited to share this yearlong journey with you.


Step one of this partnership was meeting with Dr. Kulbersh and his director of skin care, Dede Wick. We spent over an hour discussing my goals, what I like and dislike about my skin and face and what my goals are around aging and the appearance of my skin and face. To be honest, it was hard to sit on a table in a doctor’s office holding a mirror and pointing these things out but they were so kind and just listened to me without pushing anything on me. It definitely helped me get clear on a few things…the main thing being some self-love and recognizing that I’m happy with the way things are now but I’d love to enhance as I age.

I posted this in my intro post but I’ll state it again here. My two main goals for this partnership are…

  1. As much preventative care as possible to help with the aging process. Over the last couple of years I have definitely started to notice my skin changing in texture, tone, volume, fine lines, etc. I want to have glowing, radiant, youthful skin for as long as possible and I know there are so many things I can do to help with that.
  2. The ability to manage my hormonal acne without the use of birth control.


The final step of our consult was taking photos so that we could document where I was at the beginning of the yearlong project and so that Dr. Kulbersh and Dede could visually show me the possibilities via a computer program. It was really weird to see my face up close and personal like that. I noticed so many places that my face is asymmetric but it was actually beautiful and made me feel uniquely my own self.


A week later I had my first appointment with Dede for my first facial and to kick off my new skin care routine. Her first course of action was to strip my current routine down to bare bones. She wanted to give me a clean slate to build from so that we could slowly add to see what works and doesn’t work for my skin.


She totally listened to me when I told her that it’s all I can do to stumble out of bed and wash my face and brush my teeth before my early morning classes and clients and gave me a super simple morning routine. Cleanse with Image Ormedic Organic Balancing Facial Cleanser, Image The Max Eye Creme and Image Prevention Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 to kill two birds with one stone…sun protection and light coverage that’s perfect for the gym.


My night routine was equally as simple. Cleanse with Image Reconstructive Facial Cleanser, Image The Max Eye Creme and Image The Max Creme.

The Image line features medical grade skin care products that are paraben free and never tested on animals. Let’s talk about the benefits of using medical grade skin care products. I had to educate myself on this and wanted to share it with you as well.

– Medical grade skin care products can only be purchased through a physician and the FDA monitors what can be dispensed through a physician. Anything else is considered over the counter.
– The strength of the active ingredient is higher in medical grade products.
– Superior delivery systems that allow the active ingredients to penetrate into the dermis. Over the counter products sit on top of the dermis and provide more of a short-term moisturizing benefit.


After getting squared away with my new skincare routine, it was time for a treatment. The goal of the year is for me to have an at-home routine that is supplemented with monthly peels/facials. These peels can lighten and brighten the skin, firm and tighten improve the appearance of fine lines and even the skin tone.

We started with Carolina Facial Plastic’s “The Signature Facelift Peel.” It is a basic vitamin C and glycolic acid peel that is gentle but its enzymes speed up your cellular turnover and brighten, tighten and lighten your skin.


Brighten, lighten and tighten it did! I didn’t even have to wear makeup for the rest of the day. My skin was glowing. Again, this is a gentle peel so no burning during the treatment or redness after. Just radiant skin!


I was sent home with a post-treatment care kit to use for 2-3 days.


Check out this totally makeup and product free selfie that I took after my evening shower on the day of the peel. My skin has not looked this clear and healthy in a very long time.

It’s only been two months but I’m already thrilled about working with Carolina Facial Plastics and the results I’ve seen so far.

Do you use any medical grade skin care products? Have you ever had peel treatment? 

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • Pamela March 14, 2014, 11:01 pm

    I am definitely going to look into doing facials. My skin has a lot of sun damage. I am doing retinol now from my dr. But it makes my skin peel:(

    • Jen March 17, 2014, 12:36 pm

      pamela – i think you would really like them. the word “peel” can be scary but there are so many gentle peels that do not cause your entire face to peel but really help even out skin tone and enhance your skin.

  • Pamela March 14, 2014, 11:04 pm

    Ps your skin looks beautiful!!

  • elizabeth March 14, 2014, 11:11 pm

    I don’t see any pores, wrinkles or sun damage. You have flawless skin and perfectly shaped eyebrows.

    • Jen March 15, 2014, 7:20 am

      thank you. i have been getting my brows waxed since i was 17. i think it makes such a difference in your face, especially when you have hair as dark as mine!

  • A. March 15, 2014, 9:02 am

    I try to go as natural as possible. Gentle cleanser without paraben, sulfate etc.,organic jojoba oil and mineral fps. I find peeling and facial, etc. to be very aggressive for my skin. I try to avoid sun exposure, it is the key, after you can try to correct, but the damage is done.

    • Jen March 17, 2014, 12:39 pm

      the image products and peels are actually plant-based and seem to treat my skin very well. i love the gentle enzyme peel. it doesn’t cause any redness or tingling and leaves me with really clear and bright skin for days.

      and yes, sun protection is key. i wear spf 30+ every day!

  • Laura March 15, 2014, 2:27 pm

    I’m still struggling to find a facial cleanser that isn’t aggressive on my face. I have found that most of the cleansers cause my skin to dry out. I use a face lotion with some SPF in it but it only causes my face to break out. Do they have any recommendations for over the counter cleansers, night creams, etc?

    • kat March 16, 2014, 10:48 am

      Laura, I have sensitive skin also and I have had amazing luck with the Dermalogica skin care line. Have been using it since 1999. You can find it at high end spas and at Ulta. Once you figure out which products work for you, you can then get them on Ebay for MUCH less. Also, I recently (through my monthly Birchbox subscription) was turned on to Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, which is the only other cleanser I have found that doesn’t irritate or dry my skin. After using up all of the sample, I purchased the full size. Love, love, love it. Left my skin so soft and gently exfoliated w/ the muslin cleansing cloth that came with sample.

      • Jen March 17, 2014, 12:40 pm

        thanks for the suggestions to laura kat!

  • Rajul March 15, 2014, 10:53 pm

    I was wondering where you get your eyebrows done and Charlotte and also what the active sunscreen ingredient is? Some of the common active ingredients can have hormone mimicking effects. I’m glad that the products are paraben free and organic.

    • Jen March 17, 2014, 12:42 pm

      hey there – my brow girl i’ve been seeing for over four years just moved away and is only in town intermittently. she’ll be back again in april. let me know if you want her contact info. i’ll email you. i have seen rhonda at just glo on selwyn in between visits and she’s been awesome.

      the active ingredients are zinc and titanium oxide…both of which are safe! 😉

      • Rajul March 17, 2014, 3:18 pm

        Thank you Jen! I keep hearing about Rhonda so I think I will just try her next time!

  • Amanda Bee March 16, 2014, 9:41 am

    I’ve had medical-grade skincare products before for acne, but they were really harsh on my skin. It’s hard to find a derm that treats acne but also listens when I say a product is drying my face out. I actually think that some of the products caused more aging in my face, which I’m now trying to reverse 🙁

    Very interested in hearing about your experience as you keep using these products and peels. Your skin already looks really great!

    • Jen March 17, 2014, 12:43 pm

      hey amanda – this is why i feel so grateful to be working with Dede as opposed to a derm who just automatically wants to put me on the strongest product possible. dede actually stripped down my routine so that we can slowly add and see what does and doesn’t work for me. it’s been awesome!

  • Andrea March 18, 2014, 5:43 am


    I am a total spa junkie and I think you are so smart to be proactive with your skin. The best places I have received treatment are medspas. They have a wide variety of treatment options and access to better lines for skin care. I am 54 and let me say that diligent use of a good sunscreen is essential. I love your blog and so I am looking forward to your year long coverage of skin care.


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