Valentine’s Day is a time our minds migrate to “Romance”….so that could mean some up close and personal time – the perfect motivation to prepare your skin for closer observation. Lisa and Noelle are talking about safe and effective options for exfoliation and lifting without any down time. Enjoy reading on.

The solution I would offer is 2 prong – attend to the overall health and integrity of your skin with laser treatments (photofacials, brown spot removal), chemical peels, and of course really great quality products.

This month I am addressing my top 3 product choices which are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Mineral Sunscreen.
Vitamin A comes in various forms that are effective:
Tretinoic acid which is commonly known as Retin A (or by other brand names) is a very large molecule, therefore it causes irritation to the skin as it attempts to penetrate the surface of the skin. It agitates or “scrubs” the skin as it penetrates and causes redness, dryness, and in some cases sore tender skin. A gradually increasing schedule of use can sometimes alleviate symptoms. Available by prescription only.

Benefits:
1)     Collagen production in the presence of vitamin C has been well documented (strengthens and increases elasticity of skin)
2)     Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles especially with injection of a neurotoxin such as Botox or Dysport
3)     Reduction of brown spots and evens skin tone
4)     Once the irritation has subsided, restores a healthy glow to the skin
5)     Thickens the dermis
6)     Enhances action of all other products and ingredients

Retinaldehyde (such as Avene RetriAL) is the direct precursor of the vitamin A molecule which is converted to vitamin A in the skin and causes no irritation or flakiness to the skin – a lovely feature.

Benefits:
1)     No irritation, converted to vitamin A after it penetrates the skin
2)     Reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, smoothes skin
3)     Reduction of brown spots and evens skin tone
4)     Restores healthy glow
5)     Thickens the dermis
6)     Enhances action of all other products and ingredients
7)     Works with vitamin C to stimulate collagen production increasing elasticity and strength

Retinol is also a precursor of the vitamin A molecule and is converted to vitamin A in the skin as well. However, there may be some skin irritation which occurs, especially with a prescription strength Retinol such as Skinceuticals Retinol 1%. Therefore it is advisable to begin your regime with Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5% and then advance to the Retinol 1% (Skinceuticals Retinol $70).

Benefits – the same as Retinaldehyde

Vitamin C – is a broad spectrum treatment that protects against free radicals as well as a range of other reactive molecules known to cause damage and DNA mutations in cells. In addition, it corrects existing damage by stimulating the synthesis of essential proteins and fibers and accelerates cellular turnover (regrowth). Result – a strengthened support structure on the inside and a more youthful, firm radiant appearance on the outside.

Benefits
1)     Prevents premature signs of aging and corrects existing sun damage
2)     Prevents cell mutation by shielding the skin’s DNA
3)     Accelerates cell turnover for a more radiant appearance and uniform skin tone
4)     Strengthens skin and builds collagen with vitamin A
5)     Inhibits and corrects hyper pigmentation (sun damage, age spots)
6)     Ideal for normal, oily, and combination skin

We offer 3 formulas of vitamin C – Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, Phloritin CF and Glow Theraputic Vitamin C 15% ($153). Mention this article and receive 20% off your next purchase of any Vitamin C serum.

Let me address some misconceptions here – yes, Vitamin C is unstable, but both Skinceuticals and Glow Theraputic have conquered the issue without compromising the delicate C molecule and have also figured out how to ensure maximum absorption and utilization. And I have seen some results with straight lemon juice, however, that option does not seem feasible for long term or consistent use. To stop photo aging and sun damage consistent daily use is a must.

Mineral Sunscreen
And the last key of the fabulous 3 is your mineral sunscreen. Why mineral? Minerals do not evaporate or metabolize off the skin like chemical sunscreens and are not carcinogens. And hold on to your seat – Zinc oxide stimulates collagen production!!! Who knew?? Well, I did, that’s one reason why I am always preaching mineral sun protection.

I am not sure why we receive so much resistance when we recommend good quality mineral sun protection, especially with all these benefits.

Benefits:
1)     100% mineral filters broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
2)     Repairs and improves skin’s barrier function
3)     Increases gene expression of key proteins responsible for barrier integrity
4)     Stimulates collagen production
5)     Now available in pleasing formulas for all skin types, even oily skin types
6)     Zinc Oxide heals acne and prevents acne breakouts by providing an environment unfriendly to p-acne bacteria
7)     Ideal for post procedure use, sensitive skin
8)     Paraben free
9)     Now available in both moisturizing and non-moisturizing formulas and tinted as well as non-tinted

Comment – and NO, the sunscreen listed IN your moisturizer is NOT enough protection from the damaging rays of our lovely southern sun. Clinical studies have shown the sun induced aging is reduced 24% with daily proper use of a mineral sunscreen. Let’s do the math, if you start using mineral sunscreen at age 45, by age 49, you have reduced your photo-aging by one whole year, by age 60 you will have reduced photo-aging by 3.6 years! Plus, with the added benefit of collagen production, the effects of aging should be greatly reduced. I don’t know about you, but I am not taking the chance, I put on Skinceuticals Vitamin C and Zinc Oxide Sunscreen every morning and Skinceuticals Retinol 1% every night for collagen production and sun protection on Face, Neck, and Decollete.

(These days, there are so many wonderful bronzers, do you really care if your face is a lighter shade than your body?)

(Elta MD Clear $31 and Elta MD Physical Tinted $29)

All of the My Top 3 Choices are 20% Off

Give us a call and schedule Your pampering time – 706-265-6467.
Until next time,
Sharon