If you’re all about the seasonal skin health approach as we are, you have most likely been on a different summer regimen that focused on less aggressive ways to rejuvenate your skin. So, when the weather begins to change, it’s easy to want to jump into a corrective regimen NOW. But before you do, check out our suggestions for getting the most of your fall skin makeover:
- Start a corrective treatment regimen without preparing. Switch gears slowly into stronger topicals at home like retinoic acids and lighteners as well as resurfacing treatments in the office. You can avoid “rebound” issues like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), hypersensitivity and other adverse reactions by making sure your skin is prepped well first. (see below). A good professional will most likely have you prepping for 2 -4 weeks at home before your first treatment.
- Be too aggressive– History and experience have led the clinical skin care profession to this ultimate truth: More is not necessarily better. In fact, the opposite is almost always true – less is more. Jumping into a big treatment or strong product without
the proper prep is almost always counterproductive. Who can forget the Sex and the City episode when Samantha got a TCA peel on an impulse, was in pain and had to wear a hat and veil for days. It was so funny because it’s true. It happens. Have your skincare professional adjust your fall corrective home care regimen so that you are gradually working your way into full strength application of product without reactions. Likewise, professional treatments should be started with less aggressive procedures and worked into with a well-thought-out treatment intervals, to get the best possible result for you.
- Over-exfoliate– You may have heard professional skincare products and treatments referred to as “summer-friendly”. What is meant by this? Simply that products and treatments that cause more exfoliation and trauma to the skin will not be tolerated well, and can even cause more trauma in the summer months when heat and UV exposure are high. Yes, we’re switching gears now, but do it gradually. You might have used a milder scrub during the summer, and can now tolerate a deeper exfoliating mask or home peel like our Filthy Genius, but do it slowly. Make sure you’re taking into consideration ALL products and treatments that will be increasing exfoliation and cell turnover as well.
- Prep your skin for treatment– The gold standard in skin rejuvenation and a major component of skin is Vitamin A. Retinols (in various forms) are converted by the skin to retinoic acid and help with cell turnover/exfoliation, lightening of pigment and increase production of collagen.
This amazing ingredient should be added gradually – perhaps only a few times weekly, and increased in frequency and strength to your tolerance. Brightening ingredientslike kojic acid, azelaic acid, L-arbutin, phytic acid, Niacinamide, and even low-dose hydroquinone (for short periods) can also be added to lift existing pigment and prevent PIH. Lighteners and brighteners should also be incorporated – slowly at first, and increased as you tolerate them without reaction. Whether they are plant, insect or human-based, growth factorscan also be woven into your treatment plan to stimulate collagen production and encourage skin repair. But unlike retinoids and lighteners, and unless you are prone to allergies and sensitivity, growth factors can usually be added in at full strength/dosage levels right away.
- Plan around your schedule and lifestyle– If you’ve decided to do something about those signs of aging, discolorations or acne scars that have been bothering you and you’re ready to do the work, you’ll get the most from your investment of time and money by planning well. Make sure you take into consideration your lifestyle with any downtime or post-treatment follow up and precautions that need to be followed. If you have important events like weddings, business trips, vacations or holidays, try to time your professional treatments around those events.
Next time, we’ll talk about how to support your fall skin health and treatment form the Skinside Out!