February: The time of year where the excitement and warmth of the holidays is but a distant memory. Ahead stretches an endless wasteland of cold, dry, months with the only promise of excitement being Valentines Day, which can cause more depression than joy for most of us. The writer Martha Beck describes her first visit to a psychologist in the winter months like this:

The first time I ever sought professional counseling was during my freshman year in college in the Northwestern Hemisphere. I told the psychiatrist at the student health services that I was weepy, despairing, and unwilling to get out of bed. He glanced at his watch and said, in a casual tone, “it’s February.”

Oh February! Our bodies are pasty and ashen from lack of sun and moisture, our waistlines feel pudgy, and our face… Oh don’t even get me started on our face! Before the first rains of spring wash away that layer of grey dirt that seems to cover everything from vehicles to signposts to our psyche, there is February to deal with. I was recently immersed in exactly such a state of despair, sitting on the couch sipping tea with a girlfriend. “I feel like I am falling apart! I look and feel gross and my skin is freaking out.” To my surprise, she responded much in the same way that the psychologist in the story above did: “It’s winter” she replied matter-of-fact, “Everyone feels like that.”

No matter how much Glycolic acid-laden products I used, my skin had a texture to it that full coverage foundation only seemed to highlight. My pores looked huge, and despite almost daily at-home extractions, I couldn’t get rid of my congestion. The dry winter months left my skin looking dull, and nothing I tried was helping. I am not interested in spending more than half the year fighting with the state of my skin. I have better things to do, damn it! So, I decided to get a light Laser Peel done…what we are calling a Mini Pearl.

The original Pearl treatment is an ablative treatment, which is to say that it vaporizes some of the epidermis; kind of like a chemical peel. Unlike a chemical peel though, lasers can be precisely controlled and customized to remove an exact amount of skin down to a few microns. We can go lighter around the eyes, or zap a brown spot with higher settings, while completely protecting the surrounding skin.  The new Mini Pearl only ablates 50% of the epidermis and results in quicker healing and a nice light peel. The treatment wasn’t the least bit uncomfortable thanks to the use of a prescription strength numbing cream. I got my treatment on Thursday, and by Sunday, I was done peeling.

Midway through winter there is nothing better for congested, dull, and lackluster skin. My only regret is not getting it sooner, and instead spending my money at Sephora buying new foundations and concoctions to try and cover up and brighten my sad skin. One treatment was all I needed to refresh my appearance and get me through the rest of these dark, dry months. I have been getting tons of compliments on the glow of my skin.