UV light can damage our skin, creating hyperpigmentation, wrinkling, abnormal cell development, and lead to skin cancer. Just about everyone has at some point been caught unprepared in the sun. Many of us don't begin to see the visible effects on our skin until one day we look in the mirror and suddenly see discoloration and a growing number of wrinkles. Excessive exposure to sun rays is the most common reason people age prematurely. Aging skin presents as: dehydration, fine lines, volume loss and the appearance of deep wrinkles, as well as skin discoloration. Age spots (solar lentigines) on the skin are directly caused by UV exposure.
Peels are one of the oldest modalities for rejuvenating the skin and they are still the go to solution today for improving the appearance of prematurely aging skin due to excessive sun exposure. Our skin has a natural built-in desquamation (shedding) process. Over a 24-hour period we naturally are going to lose over a million skin cells. One of the factors that disrupt this normal desquamation process is aging. As the tissue ages the desquamation process just slows down. As an individual ages, if they are not performing exfoliation procedures it can take anywhere from 45 to 60 days for that skin cell to fully renew itself.
Peels work with this already pre-programmed process that’s happening every day. New skin cells are given birth in what we call the stratum basale layer of the skin and then go through a process of differentiation, migrating through the dermis up to the epidermis and all the way from the basal layer of the epidermis to the granular layer. Through the peel process we can remove surface dead skin cells and send a signal that those cells need to be replaced. This process of continuous shedding and replacement actually helps to accelerate the rate of desquamation and prevents the metabolic rate of the skin from slowing down as we age. This is how we can have so much effect on undoing the effects of environmental stressors and delaying the signs of aging - just through exfoliation of the epidermis.
Best practice for exfoliation is to start with a superficial level of peel, such as the Institut' DERMed Fundamental Level 101 Brightening Peel, formulated with a combination of L-Lactic Acid and Pearl Powder to accelerate the exfoliation of dead skin cells. This 101 peel can be used in the treatment room and also at home to extend professional results between treatments. After this level of pre-conditioning you can gradually progress in follow up professional treatments to a Level 201 peel such as the Lactic+ Peel or the Glycolic+ Peel.
These peels are Alpha Hydroxy Acid peels that loosen and remove dead skin cell buildup and help to even out skin pigmentation as well as encourage collagen production. The benefit is a glowing firmness that lends a kind of ageless look to your skin.
To truly defend against the signs of too much sun exposure using the right topical ingredients daily to nourish and condition the skin in-between sessions is key. Apply a Vital C (L-Ascorbic Acid) Serum daily, the antioxidant and photo protective properties of ascorbic acid make vitamin C a vital component for skin health that helps to protect the skin while brightening uneven toned areas.
Beautiful skin is healthy skin, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, even when it is cloudy outside. Daily application of sunscreen is essential if you are trying to undo hyperpigmentation issues. All it takes is one sun exposure to re-pigment quickly.
Moisturizing Strategies for Fall and Winter
As we transition from Fall into Winter our skin can be difficult to deal with. Products that just yesterday were working great for your complexion just don't seem as effective today. Anyone with sensitive skin prone to irritation can find that their skin can erupt overnight. This is also true for oily/acne prone skin types. For some, the colder months can be helpful in that your skin will be less oily, but on the other hand a buildup of dead skin cells can create congestion leading to breakouts and a very dull complexion.
Exfoliation is necessary for both oily and dry skin types in winter. It removes the dead skin and allows serums and hydration to penetrate. Conditioning your skin once a month with a professional facial treatment using cosmeceutical organic acids such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic will work to break down oils (lipids) in the skin allowing for accelerated cell shedding. Adding a topically applied skin exfoliator to your home care regimen, such as the Institut' DERMed Enhancing Micro Crystal Polish that contains corundum crystals and jojoba beads will polish away dead skin cells and when used once a week will provide a mild exfoliation without risk of over exfoliating. After any exfoliation follow with a serum and moisturizer recommended for your skin type to restore the epidermal barrier for maximum hydration and protection.
Tips for avoiding dry and dull Winter skin
1. Wash with a creamy cleanser like the Institut’ DERMed Enhancing Creamy Cleanser with Milk Proteins to remove makeup, dirt and oil without stripping skin of precious oils that bond water to the cells. Always use tepid water and a soft wash cloth to remove cleansers.
2. Balance your skin’s pH after cleansing with a corrective toner to hydrate and prepare your skin for better penetration of your serum and moisturizer.
3. Cosmeceutical ingredients treat and hydrate skin. The Institut’ DERMed Anti-Oxidant Peptide Serum with Spin Trap Proteins bond nutrient rich water to the skin and provide the first layer of hydration and protection for dry skin types. For oily skin types the Institut' DERMed Totarol Serum formulated with Totarol Extract and Tea Tree Oil is a much gentler alternative to benzoyl peroxide in the winter months and will help you to maintain a clear, clean complexion.
4. The Institut’ DERMed Renewing Moisturizer will provide maximum skin protection for those with dry skin, protecting against environmental aggressions and softening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. For excessively oily skin types the Clarifying Moisturizer with plant derived Squalene Oil and Tea Tree Oil will restore the skin's ideal moisture balance while maintaining a clear complexion.
5. Keep some intensive moisturizing cream on hand such as the Enhancing Protective Cream for the face, and the Enhanching Lactic Hand and Body Lotion for the body to handle those problematic areas whenever necessary, especially if you live in a very harsh winter climate.