I do not like pain on any occasion — even with pregnancy, I asked for morphine a week after I found out I was expecting. Obviously, I didn’t put a check in the box for natural childbirth. I did not want to be conscious until the ordeal was over, wanting to avoid the experience of passing a watermelon. Some women feel that the agony of 57 hours of labour brings them closer to their baby. To me, it’s like saying to my dentist during a root canal, ‘Hold the novocaine, I want to bond with my teeth.’
But when it comes to looking younger, I will gladly climb on to any crucifix and shout, ‘Start the hammering.’ I will take any amount of pain to ward off unsightly age. I often have to suppress giggles of joy while having Botox, knowing that even though someone is intentionally sticking syringes into my face, I will soon look 12. I don’t believe in facials — that’s paying someone to rub a little moisturiser on your face. If I have a treatment, it must hurt.
I have had Fraxel laser, in which they put goggles on your eyes and then burn stripes on your chest like you’re some primitive tribesperson partaking in a ritual to prove his manhood. A description I found of the treatment is, ‘When you get a Fraxel treatment, you can feel confident you’re receiving a safe, effective procedure. Fraxel is a treatment you can trust… Potential side effects include prolonged redness, swelling, oozing, petichiae, delayed wound healing, scarring, crusting or scabbing, infection from bacterial, viral or fungal agents, pigmentary changes, herpes reactivation and acne flare-up.’ My feeling is: so what, you’re striped with scabs for a few days, but when they drop off you are as smooth and creaseless as a baby’s bottom.
So when I was told about derma-roller and how much it would hurt, I practically skipped to the dermatologist. Derma-roller is described as ‘a simple skin roller with 192 surgical steel micro-needles which are able to part the pores of the top layer of the skin without damaging it. The pores of the skin close again after about an hour, but during that period your skin is able to absorb skin creams and lotions much more efficiently … it will also naturally stimulate collagen and elastin production in the skin without damaging it.’ In real speak, it puts holes in your face like golf shoes on a putting green to trick the face into thinking that it’s been wounded; your face then produces collagen, which helps the healing process.
So there I was, lying on a trolley being facially harpooned for a good cause: me. Judging by how much it hurt, I would say it works, because in my experience, the more pain, the bigger the chances of success. The more medieval the instruments used, the younger you’ll look, and it can’t get more medieval than a roller covered in spikes, which is similar to what they once used on sinners to make them confess they were witches. I was just scared that, leaving the surgery with all those face holes, I would blow out my insides if I sneezed.
Just to say: having a child also makes you look younger and your skin glow with hormones, and is less painful than piercing your face. It’s now two weeks later. I’ve recovered from the trauma of the pain and I’d like to report I am wrinkle-free and glowing. I will continue the regime until I am well and truly lacerated.