Skin health can be tricky, but seeing transformative results is well worth the effort it takes to get there.
Today I want to take some time to discuss skin health, specifically the role skincare takes in improving skin quality and the benefits to proper at home skincare.
When assessing the skin, some of the considerations we make are the patients age, skin condition, skin type, current skincare regime and skin history among others. I like to get a full picture of the current and historic condition of the patient's skin to make a full assessment. I often find that most patients have tried many different products or treatments before coming into the office and I like to understand what has been used, so that we can look at how your skin functions and provide some additional insight.
After performing a skin assessment we look at developing skin care protocols, these protocols serve as a foundation to improve overall health of the skin and take a holistic approach to treating skin conditions. This means getting to the root cause such as a weak skin barrier, overproduction of oil or chronic inflammation. Let's look more closely at the principals of skin health restoration and the role each area plays in improving skin quality.
Skin Barrier Function
A weak barrier function can lead to multiple skin issues such as dry skin, over production of sebum and poor exfoliation. One of the first things I like to discuss is strengthening the skin and the skin's barrier function, because poor barrier function can lead to weak skin and poor improvement in skin conditions. We want to correct epidermal weakness by restoring the water, lipid, and protein balance in the skin. This restoration will prevent transepidermal water-loss, while regulating the skin's natural exfoliation process
The next thing we need to consider is Simulation. Over the years the skins process slow down, the production of collagen and elastin slows, as does cellular turnover and skin repair. The addition of Retinol or Retinoid Acid is a crucial step in stimulating skin to correct skin issues and improve both the epidermis and and dermis through continued use.
Dr.Obagi likes to say that there is no such thing at sensitive skin, just weak skin. This is why he packs all of his products with skin strengthening ingredients to normalize cellular function in the skin and enable skin to renew and strengthen itself. These strengthening ingredients in turn improve the function of skin creating more resilient skin leading back to healthier skin.
Second to the sun, sebum is the most harmful skin degrader. Not only does excess sebum lend a hand to a multitude of skin diseases such as acne, melasma, and chronic inflammation it also reduces the efficacy of any of the other treatment products used on skin. Often when I go through a skin consultation people get very excited for all the treatment products that are applied after cleansing that will help to improve skin conditions, but what most people don’t realize is that these products are much less effective if sebum isn’t properly controlled during the cleansing process. The most effective way to control excess sebum is using a proper GSR (getting skin ready) cleansing protocol. This means appropriate cleanser, exfoliator and active toner to reduce oil production, hydrate and balance the skin.
Chronic Inflammation in skin can lead to poor cellular function, irregular skin texture, true skin sensitivity, discolouration, accelerated aging and poor healing after in office treatments. Using skincare packed with anti inflammatory ingredients to reduce longterm chronic inflammation is essential for skin management. With that said I’d like to point out that there’s a difference between acute inflammation (short term increase in inflammation) and chronic inflammation and that often a cycle of acute inflammation is necessary to break the cycle of chronic inflammation.
Skin resistance can occur with the overuse or longterm use of medical topical ingredients. Ingredients such as Retinoic acid or Hydroquinone should be pulsed over a short period of time for best results. Long term use can lead to a reduction on efficacy, complications or even treatment failure. Ingredients like retinol are meant to be used longterm and play an important role in continuing to improve and preventing recurrence of skin concerns.
Moisturizers are probably the most overused and overrated skincare products on the market. The overuse of moisturizers can actually lead skin into poor condition as it can disrupt and weaken the skin barrier, slow cellular turnover and drive up oil production. However, when starting a new skincare protocol, especially one with active ingredients there may be a need for short term hydration and calming as the skin moves through a period of acute inflammation, cellular and barrier repair. The use of a function hydrator with the appropriate balance of healthy lipids, antioxidants, and proteins can increase the skin tolerance to a new skin program with compromising treatment results.
Finally the last and one of the most important principles of skin restorations SUN PROTECTION. Using sun protection the protects against UVA, UVB, HEV (Blue light from computers or cellphones) and IR-A (infrared light felt as heat) while providing antioxidants, hydration and anti-inflammatory benefits. Many chronic skin conditions such as melasma and acne can be exacerbated by heat absorption. That why I recommend a sunscreen that can provide triple spectrum protection as well as preventative maintenance with antioxidants.
I can’t stress enough how important skincare is on overall skin health. It’s more than just moisturizing and making skin “feel” good. Skincare can be used to actually change the function of skin at the cellular level to extend treatment results from in office treatment, prepare skin prior to treatments for better results and better healing and as an actual treatment to control skin conditions.
At Skin Worthy, we value educating our patients on their skin concerns, if you are looking to strengthen your skin barrier or would like to learn more, we encourage you to come in for a complimentary consultation. We will discuss your goals, assess your skin and decide the best plan of action for your specific needs.
call Skin Worthy 647-350-7546 to book your consultation today!
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