NO EXCUSES, JUST TRAVEL

How I learned to stop holding myself back, and started traveling the world.

Beauty, Health & Wellness

Cosmetic Procedures & Dermatology in Korea Part III: The Results

ATTENTION: 
This post contains before and after images of the procedures I had done.  They are not graphic, but are cropped, close-up, and high-definition images of skin and hair, including some near the bikini area.


So was it worth it?!  For those of you who have been following my skin care and cosmetic journey, you’re likely already aware of the procedures I had done two months ago.  For those who aren’t you can catch up on my first post detailing my search for a clinic, and my second post detailing what the actual procedures and process were like.

So let’s get into it!  At the end of November, I scheduled a variety of appointments at Dr. Han & Woo’s Skin Clinic with Dr. Geun-soo Lee.  He performed the following:

  • Broken red blood vessel removal with the Starlux laser
  • Botox injections in the forehead
  • Laser hair removal on my underarms and bikini with the Candela laser

And down in the aesthetics center I had a facial for the removal of milia.  Dr. Lee only works in the laser center, so even though he did my consultation and I booked my facial through him, I was directed to a professional in that area for the actual service.  Anyway!  My results were as follows:

Red Blood Vessel Removal
Area: Face
Equipment used: Starlux laser
Happy?: Yes, very!

Before and after, from left to right.


This was really effective for me!  I initially wanted to spot treat some really obvious areas (two of which you can see just below my curve of my nostril, and then off to the left on my cheek), but Dr. Lee treated the inner area of my nose as well.  I didn’t even realize this was all from blood vessels, but the treatment with the Starlux laser was definitely effective!  I hardly even need my green tinted primer anymore.  My cheeks still have a bit of general red, but that’s something to be treated with a mini-Fraxel session or IPL on another day.  My only complaint about this is that this area on the bridge of my nose is still red and there’s one tiny spot near my eye that we missed, but my nose might not be broken blood vessels and may therefore need a different kind of treatment, like my cheek.

Forehead Wrinkles
Area: Face (forehead)
Equipment: Botox injected with a hypodermic needle
Happy?: Yes, very!

Before and after, from top to bottom.
(Also lol at me letting my eyebrows fill in–a little influence from the Korean beauty industry!)


You guys.  Botox.  Is.  Magical.  Seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am with the results of this.  Dr. Lee did a fantastic job with the placement of the Botox, because I was still easily able to frown and move my eyebrows up and down a little.  I just couldn’t raise them. (Which was rather annoying to try and use some of the facial-mapped Snapchat filters with, haha!) I do think that at this point (two months later) they’ve gotten a bit of their wiggle back, but my forehead in general is still completely smooth where I used to have the wrinkle.

I’ll admit, it was actually a little weird at first.  For the first two weeks, my forehead felt sort of heavy, or as if there was constant pressure being applied to it–as if someone was using their hand to hold my brows in place.  I felt weird anytime I was speaking really expressively, since I normally raise my eyebrows a lot when talking (…hence the wrinkle).  Even when teaching, for some reason I had this idea that my kids would be able to tell or that my expressions would look weird (They couldn’t, and they didn’t.) However, this soon wore off and now I don’t notice a thing.  Except for the fact that my forehead is flawlessly smooth every time I look in the mirror!

Now you may be looking at those before and after photos above and think there’s hardly a difference, but in the “before” photo my forehead was as relaxed as possible and in direct lighting.  So, I went and flipped through my phone to find photos where it was more obvious and tried recreating the same angle and expression.  This wrinkle became super obvious the second I was in normal daily light or worse, put on makeup.  Before, when I had told my mom over Skype that I had wanted to remove it, she reassured me and told me she could even see anything.  However, when she came to visit in August, one of the first things she said, while furrowing her brow, was, “Oh, I think you have a makeup streak across your forehead…”

The middle and right photos are when my forehead was completely relaxed, even looking downward!
It was constantly showing up looking like a shadow (left) or like little hairs streaked across, even in low-quality photos.

NO.  THAT’S THE WRINKLE.  (And then I cried a little inside.)  I’m not even wearing makeup in that right photo and it was still that obvious!  Looking at those “before” pictures and comparing them with the “after” photo, you can really get a good idea of what a big difference the Botox makes.  Overall, I’m really pleased with the results and will most likely have a second session right before leaving Korea.

Laser Hair Removal
Area: Underarms and bikini
Equipment used: Candela laser
Happy: Yes, very!

My bikini, from left to right:
Before, immediately after the laser treatment, and two full months later without ANY shaving!
I forgot to take a before picture of my underarms, but I had even less hair grow back than my bikini.  Crazy!

So, in the photo above, I have not shaved since I had the lasering.  Seriously.  How crazy is that?  This has been so effective with just the one session that I’m absolutely floored and am considering getting the back of my neck and legs also done (see updated prices in my first post listing clinics).  As I mentioned in my second post, Dr. Woo & Hann’s uses a numbing cream before lasering.  It was still pretty uncomfortable, and my skin was a predictably a little irritated after, but I’m certainly not going to argue with results like these.

I did shave the second day, just to eliminate the ickies that were zapped by the laser.  One thing that is a bit odd is that they request that you don’t shave for two weeks, and then don’t shave you themselves before treatment.  Online sources say not shaving right before can decrease the effectiveness, but that certainly didn’t seem to be an issue with my treatments!

I had previously had six sessions in the USA on my underarms, but they didn’t seem to do much.  All six sessions back home didn’t even come close to having the effect of this one treatment.  My skin wasn’t really irritated much at all after

Facial
Area: Face (specifically chin and cheeks)
Equipment: None; done by hand by a licensed aesthetician
Happy?: Yes, fairly.

Before and after, from left to right.
Note the new spot that popped up just under the end of my eyebrow in the “after’ image. Boo.

Overall, I felt the facial was effective and the aesthetician removed the majority of my milia.  I did find one or two that were missed outside of my primarily effected area. I’ve also had a few more pop up since my visit, though this isn’t in any way the fault of the clinic.  Unfortunately something is still making my skin a bit wonky, though with it looking clearer and more even, I think I’ll be wearing considerably less makeup nowadays.  Believe it or not, here’s what my face looked like in 2012 when I first started having major problems with milia:

Before my appointment at Dr. Woo & Hann’s, my skin was a bit clearer than the final results of this,
but still had maybe 50-100 little milia hiding around.
(Click for a larger view!)

I’ll most likely check out a second clinic for my next facial, but purely just to compare.  I was still happy with the facial I received at Dr. Woo & Hann’s and would go back again if I don’t find another place that exceeds my expectations even further.  I’d also like to actually resolve my milia issue, possibly through IPL or a mini-Fraxel, so I’ll look into that as well after my vacation in February.

My final before (left) and after (right)!

So what do you think?  Do you see a big difference between the photos, or do you think I look pretty much the same?  I think since we all look at our own faces every day, we’re more acutely aware of our flaws.  I’m personally really happy with the services I received and, to me, the results are very noticeable.  I’ve also been using CosRX skincare products, which I think have helped with my overall skin tone, evenness, and brightness that you can see between the two photos.  Thanks again for following along with my skincare journey, and feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!  Also, if you have any stories of your own regarding clinics, procedures you’ve had, or results, feel free to share as I’d like to continue to update these three posts.

Re-read Part I: The Consultations!
Re-read Part II: The Procedures!

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for the informative posts!
    I’m planning on getting skin treatments during my stay in Seoul next year. Of the clinics you’ve visited, which would be your recommendations?

    • nomadicmadda

      Hi Anon,

      For facials and skin treatments, I actually still see Dr. Lee Geun-soo at Dr. Woo & Hann’s Skin Clinic (aka Wooskin). I wrote about them back in 2015 when I first started going there for Botox, laser hair removal, and facials. I actually still go see him 2-3 times a year because I haven’t found anyone comparable. They are’t the “cheapest” clinic in Seoul, but they also aren’t overpriced. Dr. Lee has never, ever tried to up-sell me on serviced I didn’t need, and he’s actually talked me out of some skin resurfacing stuff like Fraxel because he said I didn’t need it yet. You definitely get what you pay for, and they’re extremely honest.

      However, they’re really popular with Koreans as well as foreigners, so try to book an appointment for a weekday during the work day if possible. If you can only do a weekend, then make sure you book for 9AM or 9:30 on Saturday because they get really busy and it’s easy for appointments to get backed up later in the day. Their aesthetics center will take walk-ins and they have an entire list of facial services you can get for various things. I just received their most recent services list today, actually, but it’s all in Korean. I’m going to update my old post since it’s a bit old now and will include the facial options, so I’ll link it to you once I’m done writing it ^^

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