Fall is finally here! The days are starting to get cooler and the sun is less powerful, it is time to start the transition to your fall skin care. Because the skin is less exposed to UV radiation, fall marks the start of the aesthetic peel season.
Before you decide to treat yourself to a chemical peel, it is important to know which peel treatment is best for you.
What is a chemical peel treatment?
A chemical peel session consists of applying an acidic solution to your face to remove the build-up of dead cells and promote the growth of new cells. The three types of skin peels are:
Which peel might be best for you?
Lactic Acid peels are the gentlest on the skin. They are surface peels so they can be applied with little to no discomfort and downtime. Lactic peels increase skin’s hydration, reduce hyperpigmentation, fine lines and milia, also known as whiteheads.
Glycolic Acid peels are surface to medium depth peels depending on concentration and acidity. They help increase cellular turnover, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and give your skin that coveted glow. You should experience 2 to 4 days downtime depending on the peel’s concentration and the number of layers applied by your esthetician.
Salicylic Acid peels are also surface to medium depth peels used to reduce active acne, unclog pores, eliminate blackheads and reduce surface pigmentation in combination with other lightening ingredients. Depending on the concentration used, you will experience immediate blanching of the skin followed by a 3 to 7 days period of exfoliation.
TCA Acid peels are medium to deep peels used to improve texture while treating wrinkles, acne scars, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation and melasma. The downtime for these peels varies between 0 to 7 days depending on the peel strength and the number of layers applied during the treatment.
Blended Peels such as Image’s Perfection Peel and the VI Peels are a combination of three or four acids and other ingredients such as Retinoic Acids, Benzoyl Peroxide and Hydroquinone to dramatically reduce wrinkles, acne, acne scars and sun damage. As single peels are limited to treating one or two skin conditions at the time, and not safe for all skin types, the Blended Peels are the way to go as they can be used on all types of skin color to treat every skin condition simultaneously.
As the summer sun that you enjoyed so much has left your skin with degraded collagen and weakened elastin, skin peels will allow you to have glowing and healthy-looking skin that won't leave you reaching for foundation every morning. We recommend having at least one chemical peel annually to contribute to great skin, and Fall is the best time for you to choose!
Sources: www.skincarephysicians.net, vitality institute
MELASMA TRIGERS AND SOLUTIONS
Summer is officially here and we are all looking forward to a long beach vacation but by October as your tan will be almost gone, a glance in the mirror may still show some darkened patches on your skin that seem to be sticking around. These brown or grayish-brown blotches, typically on the forehead, chin, cheeks, upper lip, or nose, may signal a condition called melasma.
Melasma is sometimes referred to as the mask of pregnancy, because it is sometimes triggered by an increase in hormones in pregnant women. But while the condition may be common among pregnant women, it isn't limited to them
Doctors do not fully understand why melasma occurs. It may be due to the malfunction of the melanocytes (the color-making cells) in the skin, causing them to produce too much color.
As a result, people with darker skin tones are more likely to develop melasma, as they have more melanocytes than people with lighter skin.
Potential triggers for melasma include:
Treatment is not always necessary for melasma.
If hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or while taking birth control pills, have caused melasma, it will fade after delivery or once a person stops taking the pills.
For other people, melasma can last for years or even for the rest of their lives. If melasma does not fade over time, a person can seek treatment to help remove or fade the patches.
However, not all treatments work for everyone, and melasma may come back even after successful treatment.
Treatment options for melasma include:
1. Hidroquinone is a prescription cream that will help lighten the patches. Apply directly on the dark areas at night and protect your skin during the day.
2. Microdermabrassion, Chemical Peels and light therapy will reduce the pigment discoloration on the skin.
3. Avoiding the known triggers such as
To Peel Or Not To Peel
The major purpose of the skin is to form a protective barrier to prevent the loss of body fluids. Yet the barrier must be permeable to certain fluids and gases and must constantly regenerate. The desquamation is the natural shedding of the top layer of the skin to allow for the skin renewal process to continue.
A little bit of skin anatomy
The basal layer is a fully active, multi-potential layer of cells, capable of almost endless replication to supply new cells to the outer surface.
The spiny layer is where the cells take the first step of cellular differentiation. The immature cells develop into a fully functional end cell, no longer able to divide or grow.
The granular layer is the second cellular differentiating step in which the cell nucleus is completely taken apart and degraded and new, tough keratin fibers start to form.
The corneum layer is the last differentiating step of the process in which the young keratocyte is formed into a hard, water resistant cell.
This process of migration from the basal layer to the corneum layer takes approximately 28 days, which is the renewal time for the skin.
The cells are hooked together by cell adhesion proteins called desmosomes. As the living cells move to the top of the skin, these desmosomes should become weaker so certain enzymes could effectively break their bonds and free the cells to flake off. Changes in lipid composition, water content, PH imbalance, and the action of certain enzymes are known to affect the desquamation process and imbalance the natural cell turnover process.
With advancing age, the enzymes that allow the skin cells to slough off became less efficient so old, scale, skin remains in place longer. This gives the face a dull, yellow appearance.
While daily cleansing, hydration and moisturizing of the skin is very important to maintain good hygiene and the fragile balance of the protective barrier, superficial peels can remove the scale skin, improving radiance, increase smoothness and create a more even appearance.
So, how did we get here? A short history of peels.
Chemical peeling or skin resurfacing is an ancient practice probably dating back to the early Egyptians. While only Fruit Acids and Lactic Acid from milk were available to the Egyptians, physicians began using Salicylic Acid, Resoscinol, Phenols and TCA in 1882.
Antoinette La Gasse introduced chemical peels to the United States in 1930. This was the first time phenol based chemical peels were used to remove wrinkles. Throughout the years, deep surface chemical peeling became more popular with dermatologists and plastic surgeons but during the 1930s, the superficial peel was developed in Europe and brought to the United States by European trained estheticians.
While the Resoscinol based peel known as Jesner has changed very little since its discovery, newer hydroxyl based peels and cocktailed combinations have entered the market to safely remove the scale cell layer of the skin.
The newest in the skin resurfacing is the Korean based Fractional Cellular Regeneration or FCR Peel which uses Coral Calcium spicules combined with botanicals and alpha hydroxy acids to activate the desquamation process and remove acne scars, fine line and wrinkles and sun damage.
So, what is the peeling process?
Chemical resurfacing involves the use of acidic agents to remove layers of the skin in a controlled fashion. The key is to remove skin only in the desired layers and not deeper. Superficial peels should only remove desquamating cells on the surface to allow the skin to glow and absorb more nutrients.
Deeper peels intend to induce skin damage and allow healing to occur such that the damaged skin is replaced by newly healed more aesthetically pleasing skin. The goal is to leave the skin looking and feeling better.
The five stages of wound healing after a chemical peel are:
Coagulation and Inflammation - superficial peel
Re-epithelialization – superficial and mild peels
Granular tissue formation - mild and deep peels
Angiogenessis (development of new blood vessels) - mild and deep peels
Collagen remodeling – deep peels
These stages could take from a few hours to two weeks depending of the peel and peel strength.
When should you choose a peel?
You should choose a chemical peel if your skin is sun damaged, comedonal (blackheads and whiteheads and acne) minor pigmentation abnormalities and aging skin (fine lines and wrinkles)
Severely sun damaged ski, collagen remodeling and granular tissue formation (scars) responds best to mild and deep chemical peels performed in a dermatologist office while fine lines, Re-epithelialization and minor abnormal pigmentation can safely be treated in an esthetician office.
Best ways to care for your skin after a chemical peel
Once the old, unattractive skin has been peeled off, now you have a new canvas to work with. Continue using antioxidants, bioflavonoids which reduce enzymatic destruction of collagen and elastin and vitamin C. Do not use aggressive antiaging products as the skin needs time to adjust to the recent trauma instead use moisturizers that are simple, without active ingredients such as retinol, retinA or glycolic acids.
As cold weather is the best time to peel, call your dermatologist or your esthetician and schedule your perfect day to peel away.
source: “Physiology of the skin” Zoe Diana Draelos MD and Peter T. Pugliese MD
If you are like me, you’ve been wondering for the past year what is all the hype about cannabis skin care? After intensive research, I found an interesting article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that answers a lot of questions and makes some interesting promises.
Cannabis is in Vogue and as regulations on the substance gradually lighten, more research on the product’s benefit for skin care is coming to light. Along with skin-soothing properties, research is being actively conducted on how cannabinoids can effectively treat psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
Inflammation relief is the most promising avenue for cannabinoids in skin care, along with the treatment of itch and burns, according to the Robert Dellavalle, M.D., Ph.D in his study, “The role of cannaboids in dermatology,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
"Topically-applied cannabinoids do not cross the stratum corneum, so people who use them topically don't run the risk of getting high."
The interesting thing about the skin is that it expresses the endocannabinoid system (eCS). Virtually all skin cell populations (epidermal keratinocytes, cutaneous nerve fibers, dermal cells, etc.) express both CB1 and CB2 receptors as well as the enzymes of the eCS.
When phytocannabinoids are applied to the skin they interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, among others, to reduce pain and inflammation following irritation, they contribute to epidermal cellular differentiation (help skin cells become the type of cells that are needed for optimal skin health), they mitigate psoriasis, dermatitis, acne (phytocannabinoids are antibacterial, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory) and have been found to reduce growth of melanomas and carcinomas. In addition to the eCS receptors in skin cells mentioned above and their associated effects, cannabinoids also absorb UV radiation offering some protection against the sun's damaging UV rays. There is still a lot to discover regarding phytocannabinoids and skin but the pre-clinical data is very promising.
Several skin care brands have showed up in dispensaries. Notably, Whoopi Goldberg entered the budding industry with her Whoopi & Maya line in early 2017. Per the brand’s website, its offerings are formulated to provide relief to women suffering from menstrual discomfort, and its body balm and bath soak formulations soothe the skin.
The future of cannabis is skin care seems bright assuming regulations don't completely eliminate the use of cannabis in skin products and overall skin care.
Suncare you can eat? Sign me up!
You already know that good nutrition can lead to healthy, glowing skin but did you know that what you eat can actually protect you from the sun? According to Karin Hermani, Ph D. at Lycored, here are the basics of ingestible sunscreen.
Sun exposure is the number one preventable cause of skin cancer or ageing skin. On top of protective clothing and a good SPF, a lot of your sun care could start from inside out.
Taste the Rainbow
Although Skittles won’t help you prevent skin damage from sun exposure a huge array of fruits vegetables and spices contain Carotenoids, Polyphenols and Phytonutrients to help you stay and look healthy.
Carotenoids are found mainly in orange or red colored fruits and vegetables such Yams, Mangoes, Carrots, Ripe Tomatoes, Oranges, Cantaloupe but also in Kale and Spinach. They act as anti-oxidants in the body and are known to protect against cellular damage that leads to ageing, eye disease and a certain cancers.
Polyphenols are powerful chemical compounds found in Berries. They’ve been well known in the beauty industry to offer anti-ageing benefits for the skin but the Polyphenols found in Cranberries may help slow down skin ageing from sun exposure.
Phytonutrients are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs and other threats. Although not as essentials as the vitamins and minerals, the phytonutrients found in Whole Grains, Nuts, Beans or Tea are helping prevent disease by providing strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and according to Hermoni, can boost the protection mechanism of the skin as well.
Take your supplements
The latest hot trend in the beauty industry is taking supplements that boost your skin’s health. Omega Oils, Collagen, Vitamins (A, C and E) CoQ10, Fern Extracts, Zinc, Calcium and Biotin are just a few supplements known to improve your skin but you can also get Phytonutrients such as Resveratrol in a supplement form to help boost your skin’s protection.
Don’t forget your topical SPF
These nutritional methods are not meant to replace your topical sun protection but to provide you with an extra layer of defense against damage from sun or free radicals.
Every day a new magic ingredient makes its appearance in the news and on every shelf of every spa, salon and supermarket, which leaves us, the consumer, a little bit more confused on what to buy and what will work best for our skin.
The answer is simple; the skin is a leaving breathing organism just like we are. If you give it the right food and hydration it will be happy, if you don’t it will be thirsty, hungry and angry (pretty much just like us).
Our skin however goes through many changes throughout the decades so you have to consider the age factors as well. What drive the changes in our skin as we age are our hormones—from puberty, pregnancy, menopause and even stress. Our skin glows when estrogen becomes the dominant hormone in your body. It keeps our skin plump, firm and smooth by increasing collagen and elastin, the building blocks of healthy skin.
But when estrogen declines—during the week of your period, as you age and as menopause approaches—you can still take steps to help skin smooth out, firm up, and glow on. Here's how:
In your 20’s
What happens: Estrogen peaks during your 20s, giving most women their best-ever complexion: luminous, taut, and even-toned. Throughout the month, estrogen masks the sebum-producing effects of testosterone, but when estrogen dips the week leading up to your period, newly dominant testosterone makes its presence known in the form of breakouts and blemishes
What to do: Use a gel cleanser to get rid of the excess oil. Spend a minute to properly cleanse your skin and to give time for the product to emulsify all that oil. Rinse well and apply a toner to keep your PH balanced. Always moisturize with a water based moisturizer. Never skip the moisturizer as the skin will compensate the dryness on the surface by producing more oil.
In your 30’s
What happens: This is when estrogen levels start to dip, causing the decrease of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. Cell turnover slows, too, and skin bounces back less easily from inflammation.
How it looks: Dryer, thinner skin, more obvious traces of expression lines on the forehead and around the eyes. This is the beginning of age spots, and an increased flaring of inflammatory conditions like rosacea and occasional acne.
What to feed it: Now is the time to start your anti-ageing regimen especially at night when the skin rests and repairs. A mild glycolic or salicylic chemical exfoliator will help get rid of the dull, dry cells on the surface and increase product penetration. Look into serums and moisturizers with vitamins, especially A and C which are powerful antioxidants that prevent environmental damage to your skin.
In your 50’s and beyond
What happens: Estrogen comes to a halt during menopause and testosterone takes center stage. You'll lose a third of your collagen within the first five years of menopause, and with it your skin's bounce-back, moisture and glow. Inflammation also peaks, making skin more vulnerable to damage from sun, smoke, and pollution.
How it looks: Skin thins, dries, deflates and gets looser. Lines become deeper, pores stretch, lids may sag and become hooded, eye sockets hollow, spider veins may become more visible, age spots show up, and small-yet-benign bumps, patches, or skin tags may grow. Expect peach fuzz, if you didn't already have it, on the cheeks, chin, and upper lip.
What to feed it: It's time to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, because without the natural hyaluronic acid that comes with estrogen, skin doesn't hold onto moisture. Serums with peptides will help force your body produce collagen and elastin without the presence of estrogen. Niacinamide will reduce redness and sun spots and ceramides will help keep your protective barrier intact.
In addition, there are several available procedures that help increase collagen production such as LED light, proven to stimulate fibroblasts to increase collagen and elastin, Microneedling will activate the injury response of your skin producing more collagen to counteract the injuries created by the needles, RF lift which helps remodel the existing collagen fibers, Injectables such as Botox will help paralyze the muscles and temporarily reduce the lines and wrinkles around your eyes and on your forehead, Juvederm to help plump areas on the lower side of your face.No matter your age, remember one ounce of prevention equals five pounds of care.
Eliana has over 20 years experience in skin care. She has trained and managed estheticians at MAC Day spa, formerly Sanda Ganè European day spa. She is now the owner of Refinery21 studio and she is always available for free consultations. Email her with any skin care related questions at Eliana@refinery21studio.com
How Valentine's Day benefits your skin
Valentine’s Day is all about Love, Chocolate, Strawberries and Champagne. We all know LOVE benefits your heart but here are some benefits the other three ingredients that make this day so special.
Rich in flavonols, 70% cocoa dark chocolate helps combat beauty’s public enemy number one: STRESS Cocoa helps reduce stress hormones that break down your skin’s collagen. Eating two to three ounces a week of dark chocolate will keep the stress away and your skin wrinkles free. Flavonols are antioxidants that help your skin protect itself from UV damage (good-bye wrinkles) fight free radicals (so long, sun spots) and increase blood flow (hello dewy glow!).
In one study, flavonols in dark chocolate even improved skin hydration and thickness—both super important for young-looking skin.
Strawberries are super fruits, bursting with powerful anti-oxidants and loads of vitamin C that will provide your skin with nourishing nutrients for healthy happy skin. Research shows that people who eat foods rich in vitamin C have fewer wrinkles and age-related skin problems than those who don’t.
Strawberries contain the anti-oxidant Ellagic acid, which prevents collagen destruction—one of the major causes of wrinkle formation. Ellagic acid has a photo-protective effect that works against UV damage by stifling the production of MMP, which are enzymes that contribute in destruction of collagen. This prevents wrinkles from forming on the skin, thereby providing a healthy supple look to your face.
Rich in vitamin C, these fruits can be used to make excellent face masks to fight oily skin, as well as nourish and revitalize your skin. Strawberries are acidic in nature and this is effective to remove the excess sebum on skin.
The juice is very efficient in lightening blemishes and acne scars. Strawberry juice contains Vitamin C and salicylic acid, both proven to reduce dark spots on skin. Simply apply the juice to the dark spots on your skin using a cotton ball and rinse thoroughly afterward.
My favorite of the three Valentine’s Day favorites, Champagne is rich in Resveratrol, an antioxidant that is 20 to 40 times more powerful that Vitamin C or Vitamin E
Resveratrol may be responsible for the “French Paradox,” the concept that French people have a low incidence of heart problems and cancer despite greater consumption of saturated fats and a higher incidence of smoking. SO have lots of Love and Champagne today.
Each sip of champagne is packed with polyphenols to reduce redness and inflammation. Sip on!
Champagne contains tartaric acid, which helps balance out discoloration and can brighten your skin. Whether you sip it or dab it directly on your skin, you'll notice a difference.
SO have lots of Love, Chocolate, Strawberries and Champagne today.
I spent my life in this industry and I've seen a lot of myths and pure misinformation. My goal is to bring you the truth about skin care and the latest beauty procedures