Our skin is our defense against the world. The body’s largest organ keeps diseases at bay, shields delicate tissue from UV rays and withstands a lot of abuse over the years. And despite all this, we also want our skin to look flawless.
If you haven’t been wearing sunscreen every day and living off of an antioxidant-rich diet the last few decades there’s still hope. Time and technology have revealed there are ways to preserve the health and youthfulness of your skin, even if it’s already damaged.
The Foolproof 3-Step Prep: Clean, Tone, Moisturize
Healthy skin is skin that is cleaned and nurtured on a daily basis. For the delicate skin on your face and neck there’s a foolproof 3-step regimen that has been used for years:
Clean – A soap-free cleanser will clear out the pores so they don’t become clogged. When pores can’t breathe acne can become a problem.
Tone – A toner helps to restore pH balance to the skin after cleaning.
Moisturize – Moisturizer helps to keep the skin elastic and corrects dehydration issues. This step alone can soften some fine lines.
Follow these three steps each day and you’ll have skin that’s fresh and prepped for a myriad of beauty products.
One of the fastest growing segments of the skincare industry is injectables. The group includes nerve blockers like Botox and fillers like Juvederm and Restylane that smooth out wrinkles. Both are now standard tools for turning back the hands of time without the need for surgery or downtime.
The Botox® Orange County specialists at OC Dermatology have seen the growth firsthand. Dr. Lorrie Klein and her team have administered over 1 million units of Botox – and that’s just since 2013. It’s by far one of the most requested treatments their dermatology office gets week after week.
To put things in perspective, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons noted that in 2015 alone 6.7 million Botulinum Toxin Type A (Botox/Dysport) procedures were done. That’s a 759% increase since 2000.
The one downside is fillers and nerve blockers aren’t a long-term fix. Botox lasts for 3-4 months on average (sometimes longer after you’ve had several treatments), and fillers last anywhere from six months to two years. However, both can provide the additional benefit of slowing down the aging process since you aren’t deepening wrinkles and are replacing lost volume.
At-Home Dermatological Devices
Now you don’t have to schedule an appointment with a specialist to get your skin analyzed. This year a number of skin analysis devices have hit shelves and beauty junkies are snapping them up. Bonus: you can also use them to inventory your beauty products and get skincare recommendations.
These are just the latest tools in a long line of dermatological devices that have been developed recently. It started with the Clarisonic electric cleansing brushes, but has grown to include at-home laser devices and even DIY microneedlers. More invasive treatments are always best left to the professionals, but at-home dermatological devices help you keep your skin healthy and glowing in between appointments.
Lasers, Lasers and More Lasers
The serious lasers are reserved for the dermatologist’s office. Laser technology for skin issues has been around since the 1960s, but the technology was limited. There are lasers for tattoo removal, hair removal and cellulite reduction; however, today laser resurfacing technologies have taken center stage.
The possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to laser skin technology. Lasers like Fraxel and IPL can improve skin issues like:
- · Fine lines
- · Wrinkles
- · Acne scars
- · Chickenpox scars
- · Scars from injuries
- · Birthmarks
- · Warts
- · Sunspots
- · Improve complexion
- · Improve clarity
- · Improve tone
- · Reduce pore size
- · Reduce stretch marks
There are dozens of laser options that are designed for different purposes. One of the biggest decisions is choosing between ablative and non-ablative lasers. Ablative lasers target the top layers of skin (epidermis) whereas non-ablative lasers target the deeper layers (dermis) and leave the epidermis unaffected.
No skincare article is complete without mentioning sunscreen. If there’s one thing that you do to protect your skin it should be wearing sunscreen on a daily basis. No matter what complexion you have it’s possible to suffer skin damage from the sun’s rays.
The good news is today’s sunscreen is nothing like the cakey, chalky cream from decades ago. Makers are also infusing sunscreen with other ingredients that provide skin benefits. It’s not uncommon to see Vitamin C and other antioxidants make an appearance on the ingredients list of best-selling sunscreens.