Written by: Emily Plushnick, Patient Care Consultant

In the aesthetic industry the word “sun” might be just as devilish as the word “gluten” is to the health world. It’s hard to live without either of them- some of us may like to bathe in both of them, or at least overindulge. Yesterday, I saw this skinny bikini-clad girl eating a loafy-looking sub sandwich while laying out by the pool. I didn’t know whether to inquire if “she really wanted to eat that?” or ask if she had remembered to put on her sunscreen? Since I was brought up with social graces, I did neither. Instead, I sucked in my stomach, reminded myself I don’t like bread (I lied), and re-applied my sunscreen.

Most patients we see are primarily concerned with the aesthetic damage of the sun. It’s hard to resist trying to get that sun kissed glow— I mean, we all feel like we look better with a little (shhhh) tan! But can we actually have it all? A glow with young looking and less damaged skin? Go ahead, pop the champagne and do a little hand clap because we think you can!

Let’s talk about what we are up against with exposure from the sun:

  • Discoloration of the skin: age spots, uneven pigmentation, freckling.
  • Breakdown of collagen and elastin in our skin. The result: fine lines, sagging skin and wrinkling.
  • Oh, and leathery skin, of course!

Ok, we have some of the above. Now what? Let’s do some correction!

Treatments that Correct:

1) AFT Laser Treatment (Advanced Fluorescence Technology)

I have patients and friends tell me all the time that they need to get an IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatment and I tell them what they really need is to come in for AFT. The AFT laser is the upgraded and next generation of IPL. With each pulse of the laser, the energy targets uneven tone, age spots, sun spots, redness and pigmentation. Over the next 5-7 days those problematic areas are brought to the surface of your skin and begin to slough off. At 7 days post laser, it is beneficial to get a dermaplaning treatment to have the dead skin professionally exfoliated with a surgical scalpel. Your new, luminous skin will be revealed.

AFT targets: sun spots, redness, brown spots, freckles, and tone!

Downtime: None, however, it is important that patients avoid sun exposure for a week after as well as use sunscreen and vitamin c! (for product information, see below).

2) MicroNeedling with PRP 

Also known as collagen induction therapy or in the tabloids as the “vampire facial.” MicroNeedling used to be a celebrity secret performed by using a professional tool with small needles to create “mico” injuries to the top layer of the skin. These controlled injuries stimulate your body’s natural production of collagen and elastin as well as cell turnover. Many patients opt to do MicroNeedling with PRP (Platlet Rich Plasma) for enhanced benefits. So what is this? One of our highly trained providers draws your blood and then spins it down to separate the rich plasma from the poor plasma. The rich plasma contains your body’s natural growth factors (super star in wound healing and in mimicking younger skin) which are then massaged into your skin at the time of MicroNeedling. Done together and in a series of treatments, MicroNeedling with PRP has shown exemplary anti-aging results. Patients have seen improvement in the appearance of deep wrinkles, fine lines, tone, texture and complexion.

MicroNeedling with PRP helps to: reduce the appearance of deep wrinkling, fine lines, crows feet. It also rejuvenates the skin to improve tone, texture and an overall radiance.

Downtime: None! But, no makeup for 24 hours—I promise, it’s worth it!

3) Chemical Peel

A chemical peel is a wonderful treatment offered in office that uses a combination of acids to lift away dead cells and unclog pores. Once the dead skin cells are gone, the peel works to bring pigmentation to the surface to slough off. As an added bonus, doing a peel allows your quality skincare to better penetrate the layers of your skin! I recommend doing the MicroPeel that is offered in our office. It’s a 3-step procedure that involves the peel, dermaplaning (removing the top layer of dead skin and vellus hair with a special surgical blade) and cryogenic therapy (our estheticians build a “snow ball” and massage onto skin for anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial way to close your newly cleaned pores!)

Chemical Peels Help to: smooth and soften skin, boost collagen production, treats pigmentation and fine lines, speeds up cell turnover.

Downtime: For a Micropeel, none! However, my skin feels so good after, I like to go home and lounge on the couch with a glass of wine and no make-up until the next morning!

 

Products that we love: (Protect and Correct) 

Lytera 2.0– ($154) Is a product by SkinMedica that targets skin discoloration. It works on even the most stubborn pigmentation. This product was made exclusively for all skin types and tones. I have found this product to work tremendously on the freckling on my forehead and I have boosted my results with using the SkinMedica Retinol after applying the Lytera 2.0.

CE Ferulic- ($165) This product is what we like to call “liquid gold” it is a workhorse in prevention and correction. This vitamin C serum is chock full of antioxidants that protect against harmful UV rays as well as free radials. Patients also love this product because of how it brightens the skin complexion and improves the look of fine lines. This product is highly recommended to most patients post-AFT procedure, but keep in mind that it is strongly advised to consult with your provider on post-procedure instructions and guidelines as everyone’s needs and skin conditions vary.

MicroEyes– ($108-$115) Let’s not forget one of the areas that shows aging the most— our eyes— the gateway to our soul, the giveaway of our age. MicroEyes and MicroEye Riche by Neocutis targets the sensitive eye area with powerful moisturizers to reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles under the eye. This hydrating cream targets the unwanted signs of age surrounding the orbital area.

EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Sunscreen– ($33) Sunscreen is perhaps the #1 anti-aging product and being a patient care consultant assisting our plastic surgeon on facelift consultations, it is easy to tell the difference between long-time religious sunscreen users and those who are not. Patients who neglect to make sunscreen part of their daily skin care regime have much deeper wrinkling and a courser texture to their skin especially on their face. Think of your skin like being a grape in the sun. Unprotected exposure will make you look like a raisin. My motto is: be the grape that turns into wine not the one that gets added to bran cereal. Joking aside, the sunscreen is a patient favorite because it provides broad-based protection with mineral-based UV filters to protect against aging and damaging exposure to the sun. An added bonus is this sunscreen feels like a light, non-greasy moisturizer and comes in a universal tint to add just enough of a sun kissed glow to your protected face.

If you are considering any of the above this is how we advise spacing the treatment:

Day 1: AFT + MicroNeedling with PRP

Day 7-10: Dermaplaning

Day 30-45: Either a second MicroNeedling with PRP treatment or a chemical peel!

 

For questions or concerns, call our office at 512-327-5337 or email emily.plushnick@hallplasticsurgery.com

 

Image Credit: Found on Favim.com via: im-in-p-a-r-a-d-i-s-e.tumbler.com