Whether you are in St. Tropez or St. Simons, Martinique or Marietta, sunny days should be a reminder to be kind to your skin. There are some skin basics that all of us need to keep in mind. The first and most important is daily sun protection with a broad spectrum sun screen that is rated at least SPF 30 or greater. Add to that topical Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps skin cells better protect themselves from UV damage and peptides, which aid the skin’s natural collagen creation and cellular metabolism resulting in a reduction of lines, wrinkles and skin discoloration. To further address sun-induced skin damage, almost everyone should be using
Tretinoin, marketed as Retin A or Renova and available only by prescription or the non-prescription creams containing retinols which are effective wrinkle reducers. They are absorbed through the skin and increase the rate of skin cell turnover resulting in an increase in collagen. Add to this alpha hydroxyl acid in the proper concentration, which exfoliates dead skin and triggers the formation of new collagen and elastic fibers, and the result will be skin that appears smoother, healthier, and younger.
For skin to look its best, it must also be kept hydrated. It is not enough to drink water; there must a reason for water to leave your blood stream and seek refuge within the skin. Remember that the movement of water is dictated by concentration gradients. To create a gradient for water movement into the skin, add hyaluronic acid which binds free water molecules and holds them in our skin, resulting in skin that appears plump and healthy. There are some terrific new hyaluronic acid products available such as HA5, which is a combination of 5 different hyaluronic acid molecules that work together to keep your skin feeling supple and smooth. For blotchy, brown skin discoloration, a combination of topical lighteners will help control excess pigment production, leading to more even toned skin. Specific skin lighteners are chosen for different skin types and at different times of the year, depending on the strength of the sun, since some of these products can actually make you more sun-sensitive. Lastly, if you want that tropical tan look but really don’t want to damage your skin by tanning, we offer some effective self-tanners that give you a healthy glow without being unhealthy.
If you are committed to better skin health and want to use scientifically based skin care products that really work when used properly and regularly, I strongly recommend that you consult with one of our highly trained medical aestheticians to learn which products and services are most appropriate. Be honest with them so that they can best serve you. If you are willing to do whatever it takes to look great and optimize the health of your skin, fantastic. However, if you are only willing to dedicate two minutes a day caring for your skin and want just a few products to get started, let us know. Be open about your goals, expectations, budget and commitment to healthier skin, and our team will customize a plan that is just right for you. Lastly, my commitment as Director of the Aesthetics Center is to continually update our products and services to give our patients the most cutting edge, effective, scientifically proven skin care available. Keep your skin healthy and your body fit. Enjoy the outdoors this spring!
Seth A. Yellin, MD, FACS