As the summer sun sets and the trees show off their beautiful colors your skin is also changing. You may be noticing that your regular routine of wash, tone, moisturize, isn’t quite cutting it and you find yourself reaching for extra eye cream or facial moisturizer for a little midday touch up.
Your skin is your largest organ and your only barrier between your internal and external world. The Fall changes quite often bring unpredictable weather patterns. One day you might have a beautiful blue sky, not a cloud in sight, the sun shining brightly and you’re outside raking leaves in a t-shirt and reaching for your sunglasses. The next day you may open the door to grey sky, turbulent wind and a chill in the air. The reality is that the hot days of summer-lovin are coming to an end and it’s time to prepare for darker skies, cooler days and bundling up. The weather is changing and that means your skincare routine needs to adapt to fit the current climate.
Your skin has been soaking up the sun all summer long and perhaps there were a few days, maybe just a few, where a little more SPF was required? Maybe you spent just a little too long in the lake, lounging on the boat, or sinking your toes into the sand? Your skin is going to let you know by leaving you looking a little sun colored. Perhaps the tan that you thought would fade is now looking a little patchy? While animal print might be the latest fashion trend, when it comes to your skin, you probably want to have a little more of an even complexion rather than spots. I have news for you, these lasting spots are signs of sun damage and if you don’t address it now, the next time your skin is exposed to the sun, they are only going to get darker.
The Fall is the perfect time of year to focus on cleaning up your skin from the summer sun and preparing it for colder, drier winter months. Treating sun damage and skin pigmentation often requires a multistep approach. The sun is powerful and that damage is deep. This often means that we have to address it through targeted facial services and ongoing use of quality skincare products.
The first step I recommend is a chemical peel. The Perfect Derma Peel from Bella Medical is the most advanced and effective medical grade peel available on the market today. What I love about this peel is that it can be used on all skin types and ethnicities. The Perfect Derma Peel’s exclusive formulation provides outstanding results for aging skin and acne, as a hyper pigmentation treatment and for many common skin concerns. The Perfect Derma Peel contains Glutathione which is an antioxidant that is naturally produced in the body and known for its powerful anti aging benefits. The Perfect Derma Peel is the only peel that features Glutathione as a key ingredient. As we get older and repetitively expose our bodies to environmental stress, our natural production of Glutathione slows down which leaves our body and our skin compromised against fighting free radical damage, maintaining cellular health and controlling the production of melanin (pigment). This peel will improve skin tone and clarity while reducing the appearance of pores, pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. The Perfect Derma Peel also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin for firmer, brighter and more youthful skin. Using this peel as the first step in our Fall Skin Cleanup is a great start to getting rid of summer sun damage and revealing a brighter, clearer complexion. Starting with a peel also allows us to better target the deeper layers of your skin.
The second step, once we know what we’re dealing with beneath the surface, is to target your skin with specific facial treatments. My favorite way to target both brown and red pigmentation caused by the sun, hormones and the natural aging process, is with our Lumecca IPL treatment from InMode. Lumecca is the most powerful intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment available to treat both pigmented (brown) and vascular (red) skin lesions. Lumecca uses photothermolysis to clear the skin of pigmentation. Your body’s melanin carrying cells called melanocytes absorb the light and transfer it to heat energy which disrupts the cell membrane and releases the pigment from the cell. This release of pigment stimulates the body’s inflammatory system to send specialized cells to the areas to essentially ‘clean up’ the spilled pigment. This is a treatment where I am going to make your pigment look worse before it looks better. You will leave your appointments looking darker than when you arrived which is a GOOD thing! I need to pulse enough light into your skin for the cells to release the pigment and initiate the clean up cascade. In the days after your treatment, you may notice the pigment on the surface of your skin start to flake off. By 7-10 days after your treatment, you will start to notice that your hyperpigmented skin is starting to fade and your complexion is looking brighter and more even. This is a treatment that gets better with time and with repeated sessions. We recommend a series of three treatments spaced at 3-4 week intervals. Your treatment schedule will also depend on the severity of your skin damage, your skin type, your desired result and whether you have more sun damage or vascular pigmentation.
I will also provide you with customized recommendations from our medical grade SkinCeuticals skincare line to use between your Lumecca sessions. The SkinCeuticals line of skin discoloration products improve the appearance of discoloration by exfoliating dead skin cells and protecting skin from environmental aggressors. Using key ingredients like Niacinamide, Glycolic Acid, Phloretin and Kojic Acid, the regular use of these products can begin to show results in as little as 2 weeks. Of course the most important skincare product that you can use to prevent sun damage is sunscreen! We recommend using a minimum SPF of 50 on a daily basis (yes, even in the winter) and reapplying it throughout the day as needed. It’s also important to consider that when our days become cooler, that often means our air becomes dryer. All my clients who have moved to Alberta from another province cry about how much dryer their skin has become. Maintaining a healthy skin barrier is the secret to maintaining skin hydration, dry winter air or not. When you have a healthy skin barrier, the good stuff (hydration and moisture) can’t escape as easily and the bad stuff (dry air, pollutants and irritants) can’t gain access to your skin as easily. Hydrated skin naturally looks brighter and more even in tone and complexion.
If you follow this Fall Skincare Clean-up routine this year, continue with regular use of your custom SkinCeuticals skincare routine, perhaps all you need to do next year is a Perfect Derma Peel or a Lumecca ‘touch up’ treatment to keep the summer sun damage at bay. Taking care of your skin now is going to make it much easier to maintain in the years to come.
Melanie Pinet, RN, Nurse Aesthetician