As we age, our skin’s cellular turnover slows…this means we have older skin cells hanging around longer. The older the skin, the less capacity it has to retain moisture and therefore, it begins to appear dull and wrinkles easier! In general, once we hit 25 years old, the skin needs to be “woken up” from time to time, to kick-start a more active cellular turn over cycle. The faster the cells are turning over, the more often we can get those plump, healthy, glowing cells on the skin surface and the less we depend on makeup or anything else to get that lustrous skin we all desire.
As we enter winter, this task of bright, glowing skin gets more daunting, since the dry and cold weather dehydrates our skin and pushes it into a hibernation mode. This is not a good thing, especially since we have holiday parties coming up and want to roll into the new year fresh and vibrant, matching our desires for 2013.
To address this, I want to present a 3 step plan to brighter and happier skin:
STEP 1 : Exfoliate and Reinvigorate
This is the first and most vital step. We need to remove those dead skin cells and get new skin to the skin surface. New skin not only looks better, but also absorbs topical creams and serums better and reacts more quickly to any rejuvenation treatments. Here are a few ideas of how to get your skin alive and ready for the holidays!
@Home– Get yourself using a night treatment that lists retinol or alpha hydroxy acids as an ingredient: these ingredients help break up dead skin cells and make way for the new ones. Here are a few I love: Skin Medica Tri Retinol Complex , Green Cream Level 6 by Green Cream, Intensive Resurfacing Peel by Murad, or Paula’s choice RESIST weekly resurfacing treatment.
Since these products all have potentially irritating ingredients I suggest you start slow, every other day, and increase to daily use if you are certain you have no tolerance issues. I also recommend you use a day cream/sunscreen to protect the new, sensitive skin we are generating. My favorites include Anthelios 50 Daily Anti-Aging Primer with sunscreen, for those with sun-damaged or mature or dehydrated skin, Uredin Fusion SPF 30 by ISDIN for those with normal or combination skin (I use this with a few dabs of matte foundation mixed in it) and my choice for sensitive/oily skin is Sheer Physical Defense SPF 50 by Skin Ceuticals, it’s light and mattifying.
@Expert- Don’t pass up an opportunity for a light chemical peel , microdermabrasion, or a jet peel. These are ways to remove dead skin quite nicely and rapidly. Not only are these procedures a great and efficient prep for step 2, but they can also, if repeated regularly, help even out pigmentation, reduce the appearance of fine lines and hydrate/nurture skin. I will definitely revisit these individually in future posts. I suggest you discuss these treatments with your medical provider and find out which is more appropriate for you. As far as peels go, there are few brands in which I not only have recommended for my own patients but have seen consistent and safe results. Ask about Resurfacing Gel 70% Peel by Jan Marini, or Esthetique Peel or Ultra Peel by PCA skin. These peels use low concentrations of certain acids to remove the damaged and lifeless outer skin layers. They contain ingredients to activate quicker healing, stabilize pigment and soothe skin simultaneously.
STEP 2 : Stimulate and Renew
This step includes a new and fascinating 1440nm fractionated laser treatment called Clear and Brilliant. This laser is changing the aesthetic world as we know it. It allows us to slowly and safely remodel the deeper layers of the skin. It is a remarkable anti-ageing tool which in a perfect world should be a part of everyone’s skin care regimen. Previously. lasers and even fractionated lasers were reserved only for those who wanted complete skin makeovers (scars, wrinkles, sun damage), but now with lasers like Clear and Brilliant, we are able to use fractionated laser technology on anyone who wants a gentle treatment to prevent skin aging and restore skin health. Thanks to these lasers, we are now able to treat everyone (every skin color) early on, without downtime and prevent essentially all skin attributes related to aging skin…..I’m in love, can you tell? I will definitely talk more about this in the future… but don’t wait to go ahead and try one. You most commonly are prescribed 4-6 treatments every 2 weeks, but can see and feel the difference even after the first treatment.
STEP 3 : Nurture and Infuse
This step occurs once we have our fresh skin base, which is more receptive to absorbing topical products. You now can make those expensive creams finally work for you! Once the skin tissue is healthier, it is able to use more efficiently the nutrients we feed it.
Although it depends somewhat on your specific skin needs, which topicals are most appropriate for you, we can assume that everyone can benefit from some form of vitamin and antioxidant skin cocktail. Vitamins and antioxidants give your skin the defenses it needs from environmental stressors that lead to premature aging. Below, I have listed some of my favorites. I suggest that as you run out of one, try another!! They all have different compositions and therefore may benefit you in different ways. What they DO have in common is that they are absolutely yummy for your skin and are to be worn UNDER your sunscreen!!
Some of the best include: Prevage AntiAging Daily Serum, CE Ferrulic by Skin Ceuticals, Vespera Bionic Serum by Exuviance or Summun Serum by Cumlaude Lab.
I know some of the above may require a bit of an investment and therefore, do not seem practical for some of you. I do, however, highly suggest to at least start with some good products and as for the treatments…… maybe ask for some as a holiday gift?! These steps can assure you both beautiful and brighter skin for the holiday and long-term investment into a younger appearing, future you!