The winter season is just beginning, and holiday cheer is drifting in through frosty windows. But something may not be feeling quite so festive this time of year – your skin. Almost everyone suffers from winter’s cruelty to the skin, and if you aren’t aware of proper skin care techniques, you may experience chapping, itchiness, and even bleeding. You don’t have to succumb to these awful side effects: there are countless methods to make your skin supple and dewy not only this winter but all year long. If you want to know how to cure sun-damaged, wrinkled, or acne-prone skin, this guide is just for you.

CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF SKIN AGING

SMOKING

Smoking cigarettes is incredibly damaging to your health as a whole, but it has particularly negative effects on your skin. Studies have shown that smokers have an decrease blood flow to the skin, leaving the skin dry and discolored. Smoking also depletes Vitamin C stores. Quitting cigarettes is essential to bring in good health, along with having great skin.

POOR DIET

If your diet mostly consists of sugary, fatty foods, your skin will not have the proper nutrition. Modifying an unhealthy diet will transform your skin and health as a whole. Make sure you take the following steps:

  • Eat foods containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids.Foods rich in omega-3s keep your skin hydrated, which reduces wrinkles and skin sagging. Eating fish such as salmon and tuna, as well as taking fish oil supplements, will ensure you receive the proper amount of omega-3s.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index (GI).Simple carbohydrates (like refined sugars) cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket, leading to inflammation and collagen breakdowns. Even some fruits and vegetables have a high GI. Consuming foods with a low GI such as apples, cucumbers, avocados, and berries will keep your skin smooth and elastic.

SUN DAMAGE

Too much sun exposure results in those aggravating brown sunspots most commonly visible along your arms, shoulders, and chest. As skin ages, sunspots increase and darken. While makeup concealers can be helpful for hiding sunspots, you can undergo treatment to permanently eradicate them. Hydroquinone (a medicinal cream used to bleach sunspots), laser procedures, microneedling and chemical peels are all great options for evening out skin tone.

SKIN TREATMENTS

GROWTH FACTORS

Growth factors are natural substances that combat cellular damage and aging. These factors also promote firmness and elasticity of the skin.  Cells experience damage and dysregulation due to environmental exposures like the sun and chemicals.  For this reason, the repair process is ongoing .  Growth factors assist in this repair.  Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies are less efficient at making growth factors, so supplementing with topical growth factors is key. They can be used in conjunction with one another to build healthier, younger-looking skin.

CYTOKINES

A cytokine is a protein that helps to regulate the immune system. Cytokines are responsible for stem cell proliferation, protein production, and cell survival — all of which are essential for healthy skin. Cellular communication and cellular proliferation depend on cytokines.  They tell the cells what they need to do in order to stay healthy.

RETINOLS

The best retinols contain regenerative ingredients such as vitamin A and vitamin B3 that stimulate cellular turnover, keeping the skin looking fresh. Retinol is also the ultimate adversary of wrinkles and other forms of skin aging. Some retinols or Retin-A’s can be drying but when used correctly, can improve color and texture of the skin while avoiding unnecessary dryness.

CHEMICAL PEELS

A Chemical peel is a cosmetic aid applied to the top layer of skin. A common ingredient in chemical peels is glycolic or Trichloracetic acid, depending on whether the peel is light or deep. When the top layer peels away, it reveals baby-smooth skin free of wrinkles and other age-related issues. Chemical peels can be effective in reducing facial lines and acne.

ANTEAGE SERUM

Another amazing product to revitalize your skin is the anteAGE serum and accelerator. Based on top-notch stem cell research, anteAGE serum and accelerator balances out your body’s cytokine levels, which results in completely natural, wrinkle-defying skin. Assorted ingredients such as peptides, antioxidants, and essential oils meld into a luxurious formula that will leave your skin looking vibrant and smooth.

SUN BLOCK

Applying sunblock is a crucial step in your skin care routine. While it is commonly believed that a high sun protection factor (SPF) will give you the most protection, this is not necessarily true. The higher the SPF, the longer you can go between applications. And regardless of how dark your native skin tone is,  you still need sunblock to prevent aging of the skin.  This includes wrinkles and uneven skin tone, both of which are caused by UVA rays.

While you need it on a regular basis, sun block also plays an important role in recovering from skin-lasering procedures. A combination of laser treatment and sunblock products is the most effective way to cultivate and maintain perfect skin.

STAYING HYDRATED

Dry skin is incredibly common due to parched frigid air and harsh indoor heating. Adequate hydration is key to reduce symptoms of winter dryness. Proper hydration involves drinking enough water (about eight 8 oz. glasses per day), applying moisturizing creams, and spending as little time as possible under a hot shower. When your skin is hydrated, it will be radiant and soft to the touch.

LASER TREATMENTS

Although winter can be rough on your complexion, it is – ironically enough – the perfect time to receive professional skin treatments. During winter, solar activity is at its lowest all year; you already know how dangerous sun exposure can be to skin normally, let alone in a fragile stage of healing. It is recommended to avoid sun exposure a few weeks prior to your procedure.

Because of their unparalleled precision, lasers are ideal for treating skin problems. Two procedures that transform skin from aged and damaged to flawless and gleaming involve IPL lasers and Fractional CO2 lasers.

Intense Pulsed Light

Intense pulsed light (IPL), or the photofacial, is used to treat various skin conditions. The most common applications for this technology involve, sun damage and redness. IPL procedures involve placing a laser apparatus on the skin, which flashes a bright laser light onto affected areas. The sensation this produces is normally described as a rubber band snap. aser wavelengths can also be adjusted to target specific areas of the skin such as sunspots or acne scarring.

A photofacial is an efficient and effective way to fade sun damage. Immediately following the procedure, you may experience a slight sunburn-like sensation in the affected area. This is completely normal and lasts only a few days. During 1 to 2 weeks post-op, the sunspots will rise to the surface and slough off, resulting in fresh and flawless skin. Depending on your level of sun exposure, multiple treatments may be required to completely fade sun damage.

FRACTIONAL CO2 LASERS

Fractional CO2 lasers are another option for treating damaged skin. Benefits of fractional CO2 laser treatment include tighter, younger-looking skin with diminished pores and an even tone. The main difference between photofacials and fraxel lasers is while photofacials utilize a variety of wavelengths, CO2 lasers use only one wavelength. Furthermore, these lasers are “fractionated”, meaning that sections of the skin is left intact, which makes recovery faster and easier.

While photofacials are used mostly to cure sun damage, fractional CO2 lasers improve aging defects. The thin dermal layers will thicken, reducing wrinkles and strengthening the skin’s immunity. Even though just one procedure can produce astonishing results, most practitioners recommend a series of treatments to achieve your skin care goals.

RECOVERY

The healing process after laser treatment might sound scary but following your doctor’s instructions will make the journey much more comfortable. Getting your skin lasered in the winter can drastically decrease sun damage when your skin is most susceptible. Staying out of the sun will be extremely important during this stage. A serum called neogenesis growth factor is specially designed to help the skin repair itself following laser treatment. The first week is generally the most difficult part of recovery since your skin will be sensitive and peeling. The most common side effects to deal with after fractional CO2 procedures is redness and swelling; however with good post care, these typically disappear within days.

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PERSONALIZED PLANS

Your skin is as unique as you are, and our personalized treatment plans ensure your skin will be at the top of its game. The wide range of available treatment options can be overwhelming, which is why we take the time to evaluate your needs and help you decide what solutions will most benefit you. No matter your age or the extent of your skin damage, we have options that will fit your needs. Let us help you attain your skin care goals and get your skin in great shape this winter!