By: Dr. Patrick Flaharty
November is officially designated National Healthy Skin Month. And the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) first implemented November as healthy skin month in order to raise awareness about the importance of keeping skin fresh, hydrated and healthy as we head into the winter months.
Routine skincare treatments by a medical esthetician are ideal, but not always practical with everyone’s busy lifestyle. A medical approach to treating your skin will give you the best opportunity to reverse those annoying skin conditions such as acne, brown spots, dryness or even wrinkles that may prematurely age your look. And using a medically proven skincare product range will improve both the underlying health of your skin tissue, at the deeper dermis level, as well as give you noticeably glowing skin in time for the holidays.
Skincare Basics — The 4 Pillars to Younger Looking Skin
Cleanse appropriately- Use the cleanser that is best for your skin type. Skincare has come a long way and bar soap or harsh liquid cleansers do not belong on our faces! The soaps of the past stripped our body of natural oils and protective barriers, and as we age, proper cleansing even more important. Gel-cleansers are best for those with oiler skin, whereas cream-based cleansers with soothing ingredients go a long way to retain skin’s natural lipids. Most cleansers do more than cleanse, with supportive botanical ingredients or active anti-aging targets you can get going on your renewed skin just by using the right cleaner.
Dr.’s Choice: Glycolic Cream cleanser gives the benefit of glycolic acid in a moisture intense cream cleanser- great for winter months.
Exfoliate- You already know your skin can look dull, uneven and discolored over time. Exfoliation is important to turn over old cells and keep new, healthy cells renewing. At-home peel products with glycolic or lactic acid mimic your skin’s natural exfoliating process and are an effective way to keep up with professional treatments.
Dr’s Choice: Azul’s Enzyme Polish combines a physical scrub with fruit acids to denature protein. This elegant polish gets rid of the old skin cells without drying.
Treat- This is where science and technology have exploded with really great options for all skin types. The basics are Vitamin C for brightening and reversal of sun damage, and Vitamin A for skin renewal. Higher tech options include growth factors and peptides to support cell renewal and increase collagen/elastin production. There are also many sophisticated products that can add to these cornerstones that target anti-aging, brightening, firming and anti-acne, depending on your skin diagnosis and needs.
Dr.’s Choice: Growth Factor Renewal Cream is one of our very favorites! It includes growth factors, peptides, antioxidants for renewal of the skin, reversal of sun damage and moisturizing components.
Protect- We cannot emphasize the value of sunscreen enough, especially for Florida residents (and visitors!). Year-round protection is vital, and while UVA and UVB coverage is well known, Infrared (IR) rays have recently been identified as a force to be reckoned with in terms of sun damage. IR deflectors are the cutting edge for newer, premium sunscreens. Seek out products that contain reparative qualities such as antioxidants and niacinamide to repair DNA damage from the sun and to reduce brown spots. Make sure to not forget the lips, as well. Protect and nourish those, too, in your daily outings.
Dr.’s Choice: Satin Eclipse, (SPF 34) has the ability to block UVA, UVB and Infrared light, providing the most comprehensive approach to sunblock, as well as Vitamins C and E to reverse the damaging effects of the sun.
Advanced Skincare — Getting an Edge on Aging While Protecting Your Health
Professional treatments monthly (or at least quarterly) help keep your skin health while combatting signs of age. Your medical esthetician can assess any suspicious lesions or spots and send you for an evaluation right away. While prevention is key, early detection is also paramount in the battle of skin cancers.
Here in Florida, it’s essential to keep an eye out and have a professional evaluation on a regular basis. When you think of your skin as the largest organ in your body, you come to realize how maintaining its health is key to longevity. We recommend the following treatments to help rejuvenate your skin while helping you feel pampered and refreshed:
HydraFacial- The HydraFacial MD treatment nourishes your skin by combining hydration with exfoliation and extraction to leave your face feeling refreshed without redness. Ideal for all skin types, this pampering facial can quickly diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and restore your radiant look.
Microdermabrasion- This popular treatment exfoliates and polishes the outer layer of the skin to reveal younger, firmer and more radiant skin beneath. Suggested as a monthly maintenance treatment, any sequence you can schedule with your medical esthetician is beneficial.
Peels- Chemical peels maximize and expedite the results that can be achieved through skincare. There are many different peel options from deeper peels to light lunch time treatments. While micropeels are the lightest of all chemical peels, they yield great results. This procedure can include dermaplaning (lifting off the light villus hair on the face along with the top layer of dead cells) followed by a peel customized for your type of skin. These are also recommended as a monthly maintenance treatment.
Intense Pulsed Light- For an advanced step to skincare, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) uses short blasts of a polychromatic, high-intensity light to penetrate just below the skin’s surface, damaging the melanin that makes up age spots or the blood vessels that create broken capillaries. Your skin naturally repairs the damage, leaving you with a more even skin tone. IPL also boosts the production collagen and elastin.
– Azul Cosmetic Surgery & Medical Spa is a skincare and cosmetic surgery office with locations in Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Naples, FL. For more information on their services or to make an appointment, call (239) 415-7576 or visit www.AzulBeauty.com.