It is not just great DNA that is responsible for great skin. It takes work, care, and commitment to maintain a healthy and vibrant skin tone and texture. Stress, hormonal influences, poor diet, a lack of water and sleep, unprotected sun exposure, and pollution all play a negative role in how the skin functions and how it looks and feels. The daily routine adopted and the quality and the application of the chosen skin care regimen will heavily influence the health of skin and its general appearance.
The skin care industry is an overwhelming arena. A sound understanding of active ingredients and their benefits and the difference between a cosmetic and cosmeceutical-grade product is imperative when choosing the right product for the right skin concern.
CHOOSING A REGIMEN
Understanding the skin type is the most important element in adopting the most appropriate and effective skin care. However, skin can change over time and with the seasons, so paying attention to signs the skin displays really helps. A minimalist wash-and-go regimen comprising of cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting is all a client needs for healthy, radiant skin.
Using products with inappropriate ingredients compromises the skin’s natural balance, triggering irritation, inflammation, breakouts, and even premature aging. Sebum is the skin’s natural defense against bacterial invasion, so constantly removing sebum disrupts the skin barrier, allowing invasion of bacteria and microorganisms. Constant stripping increases sebum production as the skin’s natural mechanism for moisturizing. Choosing the right cleanser helps to increase the health of the skin and is not merely for removing makeup.
The daily use of a quality moisturizer is key. The most basic function of a moisturizer is to hydrate and soften the skin, reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and maintain the integrity of the barrier function. Choosing lightweight moisturizers in the morning with active antioxidants such as vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide (vitamin B3) will protect and support locking moisture into the skin. A rich textured cream with active ingredients, such as vitamin A, in the evening will ensure 24-hour support and protection. Additional support in the shape of peptides, ceramides, and alpha hydroxy acids will complete a skin care regimen.
While daily skin care is important in maintaining skin integrity and health, a very cost effective, safe, and minimally invasive way to get the most out of a skin care regimen is to incorporate the use of light emitting diode (LED) therapy into a weekly skin pamper. Using LED has clinically proven benefits for skin rejuvenation, managing acne breakouts, controlling sebum production, and reducing inflammatory processes due to pollution or a damaged barrier. It has also proven to have a degree of photo-protection prior to sun exposure.
This is a perfect opportunity to recharge the skin, as well as recharge the body. Luxuriate with a gentle but effective exfoliating cleanser to remove all makeup and pollution buildup on the skin. If desired, the use of a toner packed with active ingredients to deliver an extra shot of nutrients to the skin will be beneficial. The exfoliating properties, removing dead skin cells, will support the even penetration of the wavelengths. Once the skin is clean, dry, and free from invisible barriers, the use of an LED device for at least 30 minutes will give the skin an extra boost and provide a perfect base for the application of moisturizers packed with active ingredients.
The use of red LED is highly effective in increasing collagen production by stimulating fibroblast growth factors and decreasing matrix metallo-proteinase –(MMP-1). The increase in intracellular adenosine triphosphate, pro collagen and collagen synthesis, and blood flow dramatically reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Post-LED, applying a quality moisturizer containing high and low molecular weight hyaluronic acid can dramatically increase hydration at a cellular level. Use of LED 24 hours prior to sun exposure generates a strong cellular defense against solar toxicity.
For acne-prone skin, the use of blue LED or combined red and blue is effective for not only killing p.acnes bacteria, but also helping to decrease androgenic hormones in the sebaceous glands, thus regulating and normalizing sebum production. The deeper penetration of red light helps to reduce inflammation and subsequent scarring.
It is vital that skin product choices actually look after the health of the skin. A minimalist, simple regimen incorporating the use of LED into a weekly program will super charge skin cells. This dramatically reduces the signs of aging, increases the health and vitality of the skin, and is a low cost, effective way to increase the benefits of your preferred skin care products.
Pam Cushing is a registered nurse with over 35 years of experience in emergency medicine. She has worked in the field of aesthetics for over 15 years, full-time for the last five years. Cushing holds a degree at the master’s level, with commendation, as well as a post-graduate diploma in aesthetic medicine, with merit. She is an independent nurse prescriber in the United Kingdom. Cushing is a consultant educator for a couple of companies educating in injectables, skin resurfacing and chemical peel, microneedling, and LED. She thrives on being able to educate, motivate, and encourage others to grow and develop professionally. She is passionate about skin and the benefits of aesthetics in improving the confidence and quality of lives. Cushing believes our key role is to educate the client on appropriate treatment modalities with the focus on maintaining skin health.