An Ounce Of Prevention
According to Founding Father Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This axiom is as true today as it 1736. It is much easier to do something to prevent a problem than to deal with the aftermath. This also applies to skin health and delaying the body’s natural aging process.
Unfortunately, some clients assume years of skin damage can be corrected in just one session. This is an unrealistic expectation; one session will not drastically improve their appearance. One treatment is only the beginning of restoring the health and vitality of their skin with a personalized skin care therapy by a skilled aesthetician such as me.
An integral part of my therapy is incorporating specific skin care products to help prevent further damage and maintain skin health. I advise all my clients to include a broad spectrum sunblock, some form of exfoliant, a pigment regulator, vitamin C, and a skin nourishing supplement in their skin care regimen.
Most Americans know that sunscreen is essential to maintaining skin health, reducing extrinsic aging, and preventing skin cancer. Sun protection is our skin’s first line of defense, and using sunscreen should be as much a habit as brushing our teeth.
Despite all the scientific data supporting the importance of sun protection, some people still refuse to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. Why? The two most prevalent reasons involve tactile feel and sensitivity issues, often the result of the chemical filters—inexpensive and efficacious—contained in some sunscreens. These can cause acne, irritation, and dermatitis. But, not all chemical sunscreens are harmful.
Traditional physical sunscreen blockers are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and provide both Ultra Violet A (UVA) and Ultra Violet B (UVB) protection. Blockers prevent these light rays from penetrating the skin and also protect the skin from burning.
Thankfully, physical sunscreens have come a long way. I offer a mineral-based/physical sunscreen which eliminates sensitivity issues. Professional sun protection products today feel more like a moisturizer and also can provide a dewy or matte finish, depending on the client’s preference.
The next step after determining the client’s appropriate sunscreen product, is adding a daily antioxidant that also protects the skin from sun damage and prevents future signs of aging. Antioxidants are critical to skin health! These powerful man-made and/or natural substances restore damaged skin and prevent new damage.
I advise my clients to use an antioxidant that provides UVA, UVB, and infrared radiation (IRA) protection from the harmful effects of the sun. These “aging rays” (UVA) and “burning rays” (UVB) penetrate deeper through the epidermis into the lower layers of skin known as the dermis. IRA is a relatively new term in the skin care profession and relates to anything that induces heat within the skin. The role heat plays in the degradation of collagen and skin aging is currently being examined by scientists.
To achieve maximum benefits recommended antioxidants must be formulated with an acidic pH in an aqueous base, with at least 10-20% pure L-ascorbic acid. Better yet is the newest technology in the antioxidant market: tetrahexydecyl ascorbic acid. This vitamin C ester (oil-soluble) accelerates collagen synthesis up to 50% better than L-ascorbic acid. The real difference in skin health starts with these topical antioxidants which have been shown to reduce free radical damage and prevent collagen and elastin breakdown.
Vitamin C also inhibits melanin formation—lightening, brightening, and restoring skin tone, and making it more even over time. The best way to describe the use of a topical vitamin C antioxidant product is that it is insurance for the skin. It corrects and prevents at the same time!
As an experienced aesthetician I know that exfoliation is key to maintaining healthy skin. Throughout the aging process, skin renews itself less frequently, resulting in sallow and dull complexions. Dead skin buildup makes the appearance of age spots more apparent. A sluggish skin renewal cycle can also lead to clogged pores and acne flare-ups.
All skin types benefit from proper exfoliation. Exfoliation can be manual or chemical, and there are different compounds to choose from depending on your skin. As everyone’s skin is different and varies on levels of sensitivity, a one-size-fits-all exfoliation treatment isn’t possible.
Manual exfoliants consist of scrubs and cleansing brushes. Chemical exfoliants work to dissolve dead skin cells as well as thicken the underlying structure of skin over time. The most commonly used chemical exfoliants are retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), and enzymes; all get great results, depending on the sensitivity and needs of the skin being treated.
A topical product that prevents and corrects the production of melanin in the skin is a good preventive measure clients should include in their skin care routine. Often referred to as tyrosinase inhibitors, these products block the enzyme that causes pigment formation. Although you might have heard that hydroquinone, a chemical used in many whitening creams and dark mark fade treatments, is a great lightening agent, I advise against using it for long periods of time. Other popular options that are safe for daily use are kojic acid, licorice extract, synovia, tyrostat, azeliac acid, and tetrahexydecyl ascobic acid. These products, along with professional skin treatments, not only fade existing sun damage and melasma, but help prevent the formation of new spots. For best results, I recommend using these morning and night.
Skin Nourishing Supplement
The way we nourish our skin and body has a profound effect on our appearance—and how we age. Limiting sugar and caffeine, drinking 80-120 ounces of water a day, and increasing our consumption of fresh pressed juices, organic fruits, and leafy green vegetables can have a significant effect on slowing the aging process.
The topical skincare products discussed here are essential for correcting and preventing skin damage, and benefit only the areas where they are applied. Think how expensive it would be to apply these products over your entire body! This is the reason the prospect of rebuilding collagen from the inside the body is so compelling.
YANA™ Daily Collagen Shots, sold exclusively through IMAGE Skincare professionals like myself, is a revolutionary daily beauty liquid that you drink once per day. It contains a unique blend of hydrolyzed collagen peptides, as well as a wide range of other vitamins and antioxidants that together work to slow collagen loss while increasing the body’s ability to produce more. In essence, YANA™ helps to rebuild and strengthen skin by boosting the body’s collagen production.
Great news! Research has shown that after 30 days fine lines and wrinkles are reduced by 63%, skin texture is improved by 37%, and pore size is decreased by 42%. My skin’s impressive results prove that drinking just half an ounce every morning is all you need to rebuild and repair skin on the cellular level.
Investing in Your Skin
This article highlighted a few of my favorite skin care therapies, however, there are many other topical products and professional treatments available that help maintain skin health, and prevent and correct skin problems. I encourage you to establish a relationship with a skilled skin therapist to customize a treatment plan designed to meet your specific needs.
In-office procedures are an important tool to prevent and correct the signs of aging and maintain healthy skin. Chemical peels, facials, microneedling, LED therapy, dermaplaning, and other modalities help to restore your skin’s youthful appearance. But, using the proper home care products to maintain the results that you have invested in and worked so hard to achieve is essential. Those of my clients who use professional skin care products at home and come in for a skin care session every 4-6 weeks, look 5-10 years younger than their actual age.
Unfortunately, aging never stops—and we have yet to find the proverbial Fountain of Youth. So, even when my clients reach their desired results, I continue to educate them and modify their skin protocol to eliminate any chance of them returning to their original unhealthy skin condition.
Yes, an ounce of prevention is most certainly worth a pound of cure.