Whether you need to fight back against aging or sun damage, or you just want to hit ‘refresh’ on the overall look of your complexion, there are treatments available to rejuvenate facial skin. T&S asked Carol Anderson, BCRN, BSN, CANS, owner of Nouveau MedSpa, which ones are best for achieving short-term objectives like looking good for the winter holidays and which should be done well in advance of springtime vacations and events.
light up your skin for the holidays
“As we move into fall, the first thing I advise clients to think about is the moisture healthy skin needs,” Anderson says. “As soon as you turn on the furnace at home, you need to combat dry skin by hydrating both internally and externally, so remember to drink more water and use a good moisturizer. Autumn also ushers in seasonal airborne allergens like mold. If you are taking antihistamines for an allergy, they will have a drying effect as well, so you need to compensate for that.”
Next, it’s a good idea to think about shorter-term skin therapies like broadband light (BBL), a noninvasive photorejuvenation technique that helps to correct summer sun damage. “It removes red and brown pigmentation from the skin, and it offers other benefits as well,” Anderson says. “The ‘red light’ component of BBL penetrates the layers of skin and goes into the supporting tissues to provide deep rejuvenation.”
BBL can be used in combination with other treatments as well, Anderson says. “About a week after you undergo BBL to get rid of damage, you can have microneedling done,” she notes. “This treatment uses very fine needle points to penetrate to the dermis layer of the skin, and platelet-rich plasma or a biostimulator like Sculptra can be applied to the surface to refine texture.” Anderson says microneedling works by causing tiny injuries to the skin so it is stimulated to repair itself, reducing fine lines, shrinking pores and helping skin to look fresher. The technique can be used on the face, neck, arms and other areas.
“After yet another week, we recommend returning for a hydrating facial with dermaplaning,” Anderson says. “All of these treatments add up to brighter, more even-looking skin that is ready to face winter holidays and social events.”
achieve your long-term skin goals
If you have an important event coming up in the spring, like a vacation or wedding, now is the time to talk with your skin care professional about long-range solutions for healthy skin, Anderson advises. There are a number of effective longer-term therapies, but they take some advance planning. “Start on your treatment plan about six months ahead of a trip or event,” she says.
Most people start to notice problems like sagging skin, deep lines and wrinkles as time goes by, Anderson notes. “For these, we might use a biostimulator treatment to get the body to repair itself. Examples include platelet-rich plasma, which is made from the body’s own material and is very safe, or a manufactured treatment like Sculptra. Their job is to stimulate the body to correct decreased collagen production and fill in areas where the treatments are administered.” In addition to a biostimulator, you also might opt for fractionated radiofrequency treatment, which tightens and refines skin and makes it more supple. It also can help break up scar tissue from old acne breakouts.
Anderson says a relatively new ‘threadlift’ technique known as Silhouette InstaLift also can be effective against lax, sagging skin. “The treatment inserts thin threads of the biostimulator Sculptra into the skin to provide lift,” she says. “It involves an initial consultation, administering of the threads via needle with a local anesthetic, a follow up visit one week later, and another appointment in a month to assess progress.” Full results usually are seen two to three months, and there is very little swelling or bruising associated with the technique, she says.
When you have these more involved treatments done well in advance of your spring plans, there is time for the skin to repair itself and achieve maximum results, according to Anderson. “Your skin care professional can help you decide which combination of therapies is best for the results you want and the plans you are making,” she says. “As you get closer to a big event, you can return for other services like injectable fillers, facials and topical skin care.”
Anderson says how your skin ages has a lot to do with heredity, environment and lifestyle, but effective treatments can enhance your chances of success against the effects of time. “People have fresher-looking skin because of how the light plays off of it,” she explains. “When you have problems like red or brown discoloration, lines, wrinkles and deep pores, light gets absorbed into the skin. But it reflects off of smooth, healthy skin, causing it to appear to glow. Get rid of factors that make the surface uneven, and you’ll have a much healthier look.”
Did you know?
Regular physical activity is an important part of keeping your skin healthy and radiant. Here’s why:
- Exercise helps nourish your cells by improving blood flow throughout the body, including your skin.
- Better circulation helps carry off waste products from your cells more effectively.
- Working out or practicing yoga can control stress and reduce the effects of skin conditions like eczema and acne. This may be because the sebaceous glands that produce skin oil are affected by stress hormones.