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Which Exfoliator & Treatments are right for you?

Are you confused by all the skincare products out there? I’ve owned a medical skincare spa for over 15 years and have a background in clinical trial work in skincare. I love the science of skin and how ingredients work at a cellular level to get you results.

I want to keep it simple because I could write about this topic endlessly but then you might be more overwhelmed and confused. So, I will focus on the biggest skin challenges that come up everyday at my business. Find your skincare concerns below and see what ingredients and treatments will get you results.

  1. Photoaging/Pigmentation Concerns: Hyperpigmentation is the deposition of melanin (pigment) due to the stimulation of melanogenisis. Melanogenisis is the process by which pigment is produced and duplicated in the skin. It is the end result of the immune system triggering an inflammatory response, which then triggers melanocyte activity to protect the skin’s DNA from damage and mutation. This process is instigated by any hormonal trigger or cutaneous inflammation such as heat, trauma and sun.
  • Gently exfoliate with AHA cleanser such as glycolic or lactic
  • Increase cell turnover AHA mask (glycolic or lactic) or Retinoids
  • Inhibit Melanogenisis: arbutin, kojic acid, renoids, lactic acid, azelaic acid, licorice, rumex are most popular ingredients you can find
  • Protect from UV and inflammatory stimulants: Broad Spectrum SPF, Vitamin A, C, E, resveratrol, glutathione,
  • In Office Treatments should be done every 3 weeks ideally and include light peels such as lactic, glycolic, Vitamin C and microdermabrasion.

2. Acne: 4 main causes of acne:

  • increased cell buildup
  • increased oil production
  • proliferation of p.acne bacteria
  • inflammation

To combat acne you must :

  • gently exfoliate and increase cell turnover
    • Over the Counter AHA, BHA (Salicylic Acid), TCA, retinoids, azelaic acid, sulfur, resorcinol
  • control sebum production
    • Salicylic Acid, Licorice, Cinnamon, Alcohol free toner
  • decrease p. acne proliferation
    • Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Lactic Acid, Kojic Acid, Tea Tree Oil
  • protect from UV Rays and other inflammatory stimulants
    • Broad Spectrum SPF, Aloe, Bisabolol, panthenol, licorice, resveratrol,
  • In Office Treatments – Every 2 weeks until acne is under control. Ask for medium depth Chemical Peels such as Salicylic, Jessners, Glycolic or Lactic Acids.

It’s important to wear the correct makeup and clean brushes regularly, avoid over drying the skin because it will increase oil production, always use a hydrating serum, wash hands regularly, wash phones and pillowcases regularly. Do not pick and avoid high percentages of aggressive topicals that can induce inflammation.

3. Aging Skin: Visible aging is characterized by changes in the skin due to degradation of its structure and elasticity over time. These changes are due to a combination of multiple physiological & environmental factors. Intrinsic aging refers to the physiological breakdown that occurs naturally due to genetics and passage of time.  As skin ages, there is a natural loss of fat and shrinking of bones.  Skin thins and cell turnover slows down leading to a buildup of dead surface cells and therefore a dull appearance. Extrinsic Aging accounts for up to 85% of visible damage but is said to be preventable. Sun exposure, an unhealthy lifestyle, gravity, environmental pollutants and chronic inflammation contribute to the breakdown of the skin’s extracellular matrix, including collagen, elastin and GAG. Overexposure to any of these increase the production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP), the enzymes responsible for the breakdown of the skin’s support system resulting in sagging/lax skin, loss of elasticity, fine lines, thinning skin, dehydration, deep wrinkling, hyperpigmentation, dilation of capillaries, enlarged pores and coarse skin. To help combat aging skin:

  • Gently exfoliate and increase cell turnover
    • AHA, BHA, TCA and Retinoids
  • Increase Matrix Proteins
    • palmitoyl pentapeptide 4, palmitoyl tripeptide 38, palmitoyl tetrapeptide 7, acetyl hexapeptide, Vitamin C, Retinoids
  • Inhibit Melanogenisis: retinoids, lactic acid, vitamin c, licorice, kojic and azelaic acids, arbutin
  • Increase hydration: hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, urea, glycerin, lactic acid, ceramids, retinoids
  • Protect from UV rays & inflammatory stimulants: Broad Spectrum SPF, resveratrol, glutathione, rosehip seed oil, Vitamin A, C, E, aloe
  • In Office Treatment – Every 4 weeks. Chemical peels such as Glycolic, Jessners and TCA with or without Microdermbrasion.

4. Sensitive Skin is a heightened intolerance of topical products or external factors. To control sensitive skin

  • Gently exfoliate with creamy cleanser alternating with creamy chemical based exfoliator such as lactic acid cleanser. Lactic Acid is a hydrating acid.  Low dose retinoids are important.
  • Decrease redness and inflammation with brown or red algae, hydrocortisone, aloe, panthenol, evening primrose oil, bisabol
  • Increase hydration with:
    • humectants:glycerin, hylauronic acid, sodium pca, urea, honey, sorbitol, AHA
    • occlusives: silicones (dimethicone & cyclomethicone), plant oils, squalene, shea butter, titanium dioxide, petrolatum
  • Decrease possible bacterial factors: azelaic acid, lactic acid, kojic acid, tea tree oil
  • Protect from UV exposure: Broad Spectrum SPF
  • In Office Treatments – Every 4 weeks. Light peels such as TCA or lactic acid, light microdermabrasion or hydradermabrasion. Treatments should focus on hydration. Ultrasound treatments can help hydrators penetrate more deeply.

Just remember consistency is key. Just like anything the more consistent you are the more results you will see. Be patient. Pigmentation especially takes time to fade and may never fade completely. Remember your treatments are just as important as your home care! You see your skin care specialist about once a month and there are 30 days in a month so that is 30 days you need to be treating your skin!