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Skin Care 2.0

Welcome back! Not only is school back in session, but also, September is staring us in the face. Before we can say “boo,” Halloween will pave the way for holiday decor and seasonal songs on repeat. 

With any luck, you’ve fully committed to and have experienced the benefits of Dr.  Cliff Clark’s skincare favorites highlighted in last month’s blog post. Wondering what’s next? Pull out your calendar and reserve a few spots for phase two. Avoiding last-minute decisions to schedule a procedure on the fly or just days before a special event—no doubt a challenge for everyone in the era of instant gratification, is a great way to begin skin care 2.0.

Aging and years of sun exposure wreak havoc with the dewy complexion you’ve worked hard to maintain. According to Dr. Clark, the top three treatments to restore aging, sun damaged skin include facials, microneedling, and laser therapy. However, the key to achieving optimum results with targeted therapy is a tailored program that meets your needs.

 Orlando Aesthetic Institutes’s (OAI) qualified staff takes a personal interest in your lifestyle and skin changes. The benefits of a curated experience and a thoughtful approach will come in the form of compliments and questions begging for the secret to your holiday sparkle.

Regularly scheduled facials as part of a long-term plan are worth every penny, and here’s why: individual attention from an expert. Consulting with a qualified person familiar with your skin’s needs addresses concerns like skin tone and texture irregularities.

A good facial includes a deep cleansing with extractions to unclog pores. Following deep cleansing comes facial massage. The combination of acupressure and lymphatic drainage relieves tension in the jaw and the upper face, improving circulation and headaches caused by sinus pressure.

Once the skin is clean and facial muscles relaxed, mechanical exfoliation with microdermabrasion or microplaning removes the layers of dry, dead skin. Removing the top layer prepares the skin to receive the full benefits of an enzymatic peel or mask which restores the complexion’s natural glow.

Hydration is the last step. And, yes, oily skin needs hydration too! Products that retain moisture without clogging pores soften and plump the skin. Think of this final phase like a leave-in hair conditioner. 

Microneedling also called collagen induction therapy (CIT) is the second modality recommended by Dr. Clark. The Bellus Medical Skinpen II used at OAI stimulates the body’s ability to repair itself by creating more than 1000 microchannels per second. The body reacts to these tiny skin pricks by releasing growth factors that rush to restore and improve skin elasticity, tone, and texture. Little to no downtime makes this treatment an excellent alternative for people with busy lifestyles.  

For some, baby steps are better than a deep dive into skin care procedures that leave your skin irritated and flaky. Microneedling is a baby step. Added on to the end of a facial or as a stand-alone treatment, this fast and safe procedure for all skin types is appropriate any time of the year. 

Dr. Clark’s third pick is laser therapy. Today’s lasers treat pigment and texture issues, and spider veins and broken capillaries. Treatments are fast and effective. But, the biggest bang for the laser beam requires two to three treatments spaced three to six weeks apart. Recovery from redness, mild discomfort in the form of heat like a sunburn, and sloughing and peeling takes four to ten days before skin looks rejuvenated.  

Common laser modalities include the fractionated laser often called Halo, Fraxel, or Microlaser, and intense pulsed light (IPL) or broadband light (BBL), also known as the Cutera laser.

The Halo or fractionated laser is a dual mode skin resurfacing treatment. Besides removing the top layer of dead skin, the laser penetrates below the dermis where collagen lives, stimulating production. OAI’s nurse practitioner Holly Rosvik explains it this way, “It’s like aerating the lawn. Perforating the skin with small holes stimulates collagen activity, improving elasticity, texture, and pore size.”

When skin-lightening agents aren’t enough to eliminate the pesky brown and red spots that increase with age and sun exposure, IPL and  BBL will. Heat absorbed by the pigmented areas on the face stimulate skin cells and reduce unwanted melanin that produces brown spots. The heat also eliminates tiny blood vessels and spider veins that become more noticeable with age, especially around the nose and cheeks. Recovery is minimal. The treated spots become darker and look like specks of dirt or coffee grinds that eventually fade within a week. Expect to complete two to four series of treatments four to six weeks apart to achieve the desired result.

Why choose laser therapy over a less aggressive approach? The answer to this question depends on lifestyle and the degree of skin damage. Busy work and social schedules are an issue for many patients. Recovery time means visible signs of repair that might take you out of circulation for a day or two.

A less aggressive approach takes longer to achieve the same results a laser accomplishes, but no time is lost waiting for redness and irritation to subside. On the flip side, laser therapy may be the best and only option to treat the problem. Consulting with skincare professionals proficient in laser technology will help you discern the best treatment option.

As your trusted beauty confidant, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’ve done all of the treatments outlined in this blog. I’ve been relaxed and hydrated after facials.  I’ve been red, itchy, and in full-blown exfoliating mode after laser treatments. The team of experts at OAI adjusts my daily skincare routine and remains mindful of my only request: keep things simple. 

Don’t let the confusing jargon filling up the social media bandwidth slow down your quest to reveal the best version of you. Skin care, like manicures, pedicures, and hair appointments, requires attention. The results of a thoughtful approach will speak for themselves. 

Love, Libby


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