What are some common misconceptions about skincare? It’s so important to not only treat your skin with home care products but it’s important to know why you’re doing it. Too often people are spending money and time on skincare and not really understanding why their skin needs it. Here are the W’s of Skincare, “What product do I use?”, “When and Why do I use it?” and “Where do I put it?”
Let’s start with the “What product do I use?”
My biggest pet peeve are exfoliating scrubs that have nut shells or scratchy particles, like sugar or salt crystals. They leave your skin soft but also leave behind microscopic cuts across your skin. Like an ice rink before the zamboni. Those products would be best be used from the neck down. Skin on your face is different, it’s delicate and sensitive. By using those harsh products you could be causing more damage to your skin. For example, if you suffer from redness like rosacea you could be exacerbating the symptoms, or if you have acne, you could spread the bacteria further. Use those scrubs for your feet for goodness sake! Look for products with jojoba beads or a digestive product that uses enzymes like Bromelain (extract derived from pineapple stems) and Papain (enzyme extracted from the raw fruit of the papaya) to dissolve and dislodge oil from the skin. A great one to try is Tri Active Exfoliating Masque by iS Clinical. This amazing exfoliant is a treatment in itself! Not only do you apply and work over skin to get the physical scrub, you can leave it on for another 5-10 mins to get a deeper exfoliation and BOOM…You have got yourself a mini home peel! Follow that up with the Hydra Intensive Cooling Masque and you are good to glow!!
Retinols are often my “When do I use this?”question.
Let’s start by saying that not all Retinols are created equal. Yes, there are some that are strong and can result in some downtime but unless you are on a program, it’s not necessary for all that peeling and flaking. Most medical grade Retinols will be designed with that in mind so you can transition your skin and level up when necessary without looking all snake skin. “Slow and steady wins the race”. By easing your skin into retinol you will get better results. Starting off with a low percentage will get your skin acclimated/adapted and allow your skin to adjust. Now I know I just said that peeling and flaking is not necessary but it is ok to look a little flush and have some dryness in some areas. That’s all part of the process. Retinol’s job is to stimulate collagen at the cellular level. We call it Collagen Thickening. It’s like filling up the air mattress if you will. Results from that will show a reduction in fine lines, skin refinement and a luminosity throughout. With first time users, patients can go through some redness and dryness which is called a Retinoid reaction. Stay in the game and just cut back the applications to every other day or every second or third day and slowly work your way back up to nightly use. A key point to remember is that our skin already produces Retinoic acid naturally. When you apply retinol topically it has to convert twice before it gets fully absorbed into the dermis to begin its function of collagen synthesis. This means that results will be slower but will be the gentlest way for your skin. Finding the right formula is the key to success. Many Pharmaceuticals will have a retinol in their collection, it’s their formulations that will make you a fan of the line. When and Why do I use this product, you ask? In your PM routine, unless the skincare line has a safe form of retinol to use during the day, and always wear Sunscreen in the am. This is a NON-NEGOTIABLE. You must protect your skinvestment! A favourite of mine is the Retinol range by Rejudicare Synergy. It’s easy to use with very little downtime, if any. You can shop that in our Treat section of our 5 Steps to Great Skin!
So “Where do I put it?”
Everywhere! Oh, the ever so often phrase of, “I only wear sunscreen in the summertime” If that isn’t sacrilege I don’t know what is! Tsk, tsk (with a waiving finger in your face!). UV exposure is everywhere until the sun goes down. It’s even more intense on overcast days. The light bounces off the clouds and can still reach us. The UVB rays may not be as strong but the UVA rays are. Ever see that comparison of the grape to the raisin? Which would you want to be? Skin aging is influenced by many factors. Intrinsic or chronological aging is a result of our genetics, this is one you cannot escape. Until there is a time machine skin product that can rewind our skin, we will continue to age. Photo-aging or environmental exposure to UV light will bring about premature aging. This process results in hyperpigmentation, dilated blood vessels, even enlarged pores. Wearing sunscreen should be looked at as a preventative product. These days Sunscreens are made so well, there’s no excuse to not wear it. It used to be that it was too thick or produced a white cast over the skin. Not anymore! With Science these days, micronized iron oxide has become the secret ingredient. Textures have been improved to glide nicely over the skin. When patients would ask me what are the must haves in Anti-aging? I would always recommend SPF. One of my all time favourites is UV Daily SPF 40 by EltaMD, it contains Hyaluronic Acid. If you are on a Retinol at night “you best be usin’ a sunscreen during the day!”
Getting on a regular routine for your skin could mean coming in for monthly facials or using a nightly retinol at home. Stay consistent with your skin schedule. Going in for that one off facial will not make a difference in your skin. Sure, you’ll have glowing skin for the next few days but that’s it. It’s keeping up with the maintenance that is the secret. Regular facials let Esties like me get in there to clean your skin while you get the easy part at home in maintaining it with your home care. Invest in your skin, commit and you will reap the benefits in the long run. If you book 6 months out to see your dentist, you should book a month out to see your Skin Therapist. The Esthetics culture has come a long way and treatments and products are a lot more attainable these days. With amazing products producing amazing results and science progressing everyday wrinkles and fine lines have no chance!
Finally, patience is a virtue. There are so many products that promise a facelift in a bottle. I love the one where they treat half the face with this magic serum and the other side is still saggy and drab. If it took this long for your skin to lose its tone and laxity, then don’t you think it’ll take some time to repair some of that? Yes, there are products that will give you an instant glow and lift but it’s the long term effects that make the difference. Patients would say to me, “it’s not working” or “I don’t see a difference”, keep in mind you see yourself everyday and look for your flaws everyday. We see you once a month and with the help of before and after pics, patients get to see first hand the side by side changes. With continued use of most products you can get results within 8-12 weeks. Immediately, you’ll see a change in texture and brightness in the skin but typically after the first bottle is complete results get even better. Pair that with some healthy eating and you’ve got a good thing going! So keep, keepin on!