Exfoliation… How Often is Too Often?

Exfoliation… How Often is Too Often?

Exfoliation… How Often is Too Often?

Let’s face it, we all want beautiful glowing skin and it’s no military secret that exfoliating our skin is the way to get there. The question is,” How often is too often?” In this article, I will share a few tips that will help you determine what is the best exfoliating routine for your specific skin care needs.

First off, let me just say that there is no one miracle exfoliating treatment that works for all skin types. It just doesn’t work that way–we are all unique individuals made with different skin types, colors, textures and so on. There are many factors to keep in mind when choosing an exfoliant such as what time of year it is or what type of skin you have—even how old you are. How often you exfoliate depends on your skin type and condition, but as a general rule, one to three times a week is a safe frequency.

Basically it is a process of finding out what works best with your skin. As long as you don’t over-dry or over-sensitize the skin, you are on the right track. Remember DON’T OVERDO IT!

So how does exfoliating work?

There are two ways to exfoliate the skin–one method is mechanical, the other is a chemical, both are very affective to improve the skin.

Mechanical exfoliation is essentially a scrubbing action at the skin’s surface and includes physical scrubs, brushes, sponges, washcloths, and microdermabrasion. This is great for most skin types but should be avoided by those with active and inflamed acne or very sensitive skin. Always be careful when choosing a scrub. Many contain ground nutshells, coffee bean, apricot kernels, or something of the like. These sharp abrasives can cause microscopic tears in the skin, leaving you with a compromised barrier function of the skin. Look for the terms “spheres” or “beads” in the product name or description; these are rounded and gentler to the skin. Mechanical exfoliation is best for:

  • Normal skin
  • Combination skin
  • Dry skin
  • Oily skin
  • Aging skin

Chemical exfoliation loosens the glue that holds skin cells together, allowing them to be sloughed off the skin’s surface with ease. Examples are alpha hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids and retinoids. Chemical peels performed by a skin care professional fall under this category with a variety that covers pretty much every skin type. Mature skin types are often better off with chemical exfoliation, because the skin tends to be more dry and thin, and chemical exfoliation won’t cause any scratches in the skin’s surface.

Enzymes, a type of chemical exfoliation—I like to think of them as little pacman that break down the layer of dead cells. Papain (Papaya), Bromelain (Pineapple) and Bacillus Ferment all eat away at dead skin cells, revealing the healthier skin underneath. (Keep this in mind the next time you have irritated gums after eating pineapple…you have just exfoliated your mouth!)

The Benefits of Exfoliation:

* Improves skin texture (smoother & softer, helps maintain hydration level of the epidermis – definitely a huge help to makeup application, it’s always important to start with a clean canvas!)

* Reduces the look of dark spots on the skin and wrinkles.

* Eases deep pore cleansing, extractions, product penetration, and more effective delivery of ingredients into the skin. * Increases cell turnover rate – and brings new cells to the surface faster.

* Exfoliating the body can prevent ingrown hairs that happen during shaving or waxing *Exfoliating the side of the arms can improve Keratosis Pilaris(heat bumps).

Now for the real question, How often is too often?

Exfoliation delivers a tighter, firmer, smoother look and feel of skin. Because of this, many of us get a little carried away: an over-zealous approach that can actually reduce skin’s vitality and make it more vulnerable to damage from UV light (sunlight). Over-exfoliation triggers an inflammatory response, leading to a compromised barrier of the skin that won’t function properly, a sensitized skin condition, and premature aging.

Red flags when over exfoliating:

•    Noticeable dehydration

•    Patchy areas of dryness

•    Skin tautness

•    Redness and itchiness

•    Increased sensitivity

•    Inflammatory acne and irritation

If you’re showing the signs of over-exfoliation, speak with a professional skin therapist as myself, we can prescribe a calming cleanser, and a protective moisturizer to start the recovery process. Sun protection is a must: wear a sunblock with physical UV blockers Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide that won’t irritate skin.

After skin recovery, begin exfoliating with a gentle exfoliant. If you desire a more intense level of exfoliation, ask your skin therapist what fits you best. Pair a gentler regimen with professional exfoliation treatments from your skin care professional to enjoy smoother skin without the undesirable side effects.

Bottom line, whichever skin type you have, embrace it and know that you can be confident in your own skin.  These tips I shared with you will help you reveal its full potential and continually improve the look of it.

Iris

Xoxo

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

Is The Sun Really That Bad?

Is The Sun Really That Bad?

Is The Sun Really That Bad?

It’s that time of the year–the days are longer, the sun is brighter and it almost seems as though the beach calls you by name. But before you go and pile on the tanning oil, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Sun light can do a lot more than just give you some color, in fact, prolonged exposure to sunlight causes brown spots; red, scaly spots; drying and pre-mature aging; and, worst of all, skin cancer. This is caused by Ultra Violet (UV) radiation from the sun.

There are 3 types of UV radiation:

UVA Radiation was once thought to have a minor effect on skin damage, but now studies are showing that UVA is a major contributor to skin damage and pre-mature aging. UVA penetrates deeper and has stronger effect on the skin. The intensity of UVA radiation is more constant than UVB without the variations during the day and throughout the year. UVA is also not filtered by glass.

UVB Radiation affects the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, and is the primary agent responsible for sunburns. It is the most intense between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm when the sunlight is brightest. It is also more intense in the summer months accounting for 70% of a person’s yearly UVB dose. UVB does not penetrate glass.

UVC Radiation is almost completely absorbed by the ozone layer and does not affect the skin. UVC radiation can be found in artificial sources such as mercury arc lamps and germicidal lamps.
UV radiation is one of the major creators of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that attack our cells resulting in damaged skin.

Despite the well-known dangers of sun exposure, many of us, on occasion, get lazy when it comes to protecting our skin or maybe we haven’t come to the reality that the temporary look it gives, truly isn’t worth the consequences it may bring.

Here are the American Cancer Society’s estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2014:

* About 76,100 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 43,890 in men and 32,210 in women).
* About 9,710 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 6,470 men and 3,240 women).

The rates of melanoma have been rising for at least 30 years.

Melanoma is more than 20 times more common in whites than in African Americans. Overall, the lifetime risk of getting melanoma is about 2% (1 in 50) for whites, 0.1% (1 in 1,000) for blacks, and 0.5% (1 in 200) for Hispanics.

Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.
For example, people often forget to protect sensitive spots like the tops of the ears, the hairline, the “V” of the chest, the nose and the hands. The Skin Cancer Foundation says 80 percent of skin cancers occur on the head, scalp, neck and hands.

Although sunbathing is bad for everyone, it’s an especially bad idea for fair-skinned people (sorry guys, I don’t make the rules). Many of you are not even able to tan and just end up with a painful burn. If you must, take it slowly and let your skin gradually build up a tan to provide some protection. And don’t use tanning oils, which enhance the effects of ultraviolet rays and worsen a burn. You may as well be coating yourself with cooking oil.

Here are a few tips to help protect yourself this summer:

1. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

2. Whenever possible, seek shade.

3. Use a broad spectrum sunblock with an SPF of at least 30.

4. Reapply sunblock at least every two hours. You should apply it more frequently if you have been swimming or sweating.

5. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and if possible, tightly woven, full-length clothing.

6. Wear UV-protective sunglasses.

7. Wear lip balm with sunblock with an SPF 15 or higher.

8. Avoid sunlamps and tanning salons.

9. Be aware that the sun’s UV rays can reflect off water, sand and concrete, and can reach below the water’s surface. Certain types of UV light penetrate fog and clouds, so it is possible to get sunburns even on overcast days.

10. If you are taking antibiotics or other medications, ask your health care professional if it may increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

So before you visit the beach or leave the house at that, I hope the message of this article stays in mind. Together we can work to lower the rate of skin cancer and of course reduce premature aging! Stay tuned for some great tips on how to pick the right sunblock.

Iris

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist.

Dark Spots AKA Hyperpigmentation

Dark Spots AKA Hyperpigmentation

Dark Spots AKA Hyperpigmentation

Summer is right around the corner and in the society we live in, tan is considered to be beautiful. “Bronze Beauty” some say, and we have to admit it’s awesome! As a Floridian, I know firsthand how wonderful it feels to lay out and sunbathe in our perfect beach weather.

Unfortunately if you do the crime, honey you will do the time and boy do we pay! The most common cause of these “sun spots” is, well, the sun. Sun is not the only problem though; here are the three most common causes I would like to go over.

1. Overexposure to the sun light is at the top of my list due to the fact that hyperpigmentation caused by other factors can worsen with sun exposure.

When we get a tan, it’s actually a defense mechanism our body uses to protect us from the sun’s harmful rays. Melanocytes are cells that are important for the production of the pigment of our skin called melanin, in other words, it’s what provides the color of our skin. Black, Asian and Hispanic individuals have more melanin; therefore, are inclined to tan rather than burn, while Caucasian skin has less melanin, making it prone to a sun burn.Melanin protects us from the ultraviolet rays of the sun that damage our cells, inducing aging, discoloration of the skin and even skin cancer.

Let me just emphasize on that last part. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, continues to increase at a rate of three percent a year. This research highlights the necessity of limiting UVA radiation by avoiding excessive sunlight, tanning and sunbeds.

So please play it safe and protect that skin! Fortunately, the answer is very simple, just wear sunblock. I recommend using an SPF of at least 40 and broad-spectrum, which it protects from both UVA and UVB rays.

2. Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is discoloration on the skin caused by inflammation. Any trauma your skin might go through such as waxing, shaving, tweezing, picking at blemishes and even harsh treatments can all cause PIH. It is important to really baby your skin after it has undergone any trauma. Use soothing/calming cleansers for sensitive skin to help minimize the chances of any discoloration to appear. Avoid any exfoliates for a few days to allow the skin to heal properly and of course, use sunblock.

Oh and another thing, STOP PICKING YOUR BLEMISHES! PIH is very common among acne sufferers. It can occur in all skin types, although it is more common in darker skin tones. It affects both men and women equally. Luckily, PIH is not a true scar, so it is easier to treat.

3. Melasma or the “pregnancy mask” is a form of hyperpigmentation that is thought to be the stimulation of melanocytes by the female sex hormone estrogen and progesterone to produce more melanin pigments when the skin is exposed to sun. Melasma is usually diagnosed visually by a skin care professional or with assistance of a Wood’s lamp.

Treating this is an ongoing process that will require a lifetime of treatment…I know it sounds harsh huh… It’s ok though; there are very effective treatments out there that are great for keeping it to a minimal. For example, here at The Aesthetic & Wellness Center we offer a variety of treatments from the Intense Pulse Light/IPL, Chemical Peels, MDA and skin brighteners to treat this issue.

Below is an image of one of our clients who has been treated for Melasma and began to see results in just 8 weeks.

Julia Garcia before & after
Did I mention sunblock plays a huge role in keeping this under control?

If you haven’t noticed already, I mentioned using sunblock quite a bit of times in this short article. Why? Because it’s extremely important! This is your number one anti-aging, anti-spotting, anti-acne product.

So take action and start protecting and preventing your skin from future damage. If you would like to set up a consultation to treat any hyperpigmentation you may be dealing with, please give us a call at 941-749-0741. We look forward to hearing from you.

Iris

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The Aesthetic & Wellness Center is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider or skin care specialist

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