I tend to talk a lot about anti aging. While some patients suffer from acne, rosacea or a variety of different dermatitis conditions, everyone, at some point starts to deal with the effects of aging skin. Like the aforementioned skin conditions, aging skin can affect us physically, but also mentally, socially and emotionally.
In the ongoing pursuit of ageless beauty, patients often seek the veritable next best thing: effectual treatments that offer real results with the added convenience of minimal downtime. Today’s cosmetic procedures aim to achieve nuance and subtlety over a decidedly “done” look, in line with the patient-driven trend for a more radiant and refreshed overall appearance. And while we’ve yet to see the perfect no-downtime procedure, science continues to evolve, developing advanced treatments for the face, skin and body.
The way we evaluate facial aging has changed in recent years, prompting a shift in blame away from skin laxity as the primary cause of facial aging. We now recognize that the deep fat compartments in certain areas of the face atrophy, lessening support in the lower face and causing a gaunt, aged appearance.
By supplementing the facelifts of yesteryear with modern volume restoration, physicians are better able to maintain the patient’s innate facial characteristics without altering their features past the point of recognition. The trick is to avoid overfilling—which often yields an unnatural, “chipmunk-like” result—and to include mid-cheek and temple filling, thereby creating an overall volume correction versus treating one area in isolation from the rest of the face.
It’s important to remember that fillers are not one-size-fits-all, and there is no one foolproof filler designed for every face. Patients should undergo a thorough consultation with their dermatologist to receive a customized injectable treatment plan.
When it comes to treating laxity, wrinkles and dyspigmentation, topical skin care products provide an important addition to in-office procedures, as they prime and prepare the skin to achieve optimal results, as well as prolong the effects of in- office procedures.
I’m a big advocate of growth factors for their ability to reverse the effects of sun damage and chronologic aging—two factors known to contribute to the degeneration of skin cells over time. SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum contains fibroblast growth factors, which promote collagen production within the dermis, along with l-ergothioneine, an amino acid recognized for its ability to repair breaks in DNA in skin cells as caused by UV exposure. ZO’s Growth Factor Serum is also a favorite of mine, providing both growth factors and pure, stable retinol on a nightly basis.
Retinol, too, offers powerful—and proven—photorejuvenation benefits. While it is an undisputed leader for its ability to transform skin texture and tone, retinol has also earned a reputation for inducing irritation in many individuals. That’s why new breakthroughs in topical delivery mechanisms show such promise; they not only improve the penetration of topical ingredients like retinol into the dermal layers, but they also improve tolerance in those patients prone to irritation from ingredients such as tretinoin, a form of retinol found in many prescription products.
For example, the technology found in SkinMedica’s new Retinol Complex series allows the formulas to penetrate and be transformed into tretinoin within the dermis, minimizing side effects like flaking, redness and irritation. Without the aforementioned pitfalls so common in many retinol products, this gentle-yet-effective formula offers a solution for patients prone to sensitivity, and encourages routine use. Adding antioxidants and hyaloronic acid in such products like ZO’s Renewal Creme, not only buffers the harsher effects of retinol, but adds protection and hydration to our hydration-deprived North American skin.
While no skin care breakthrough can delete the need for a healthy lifestyle, topical skin care and smart lifestyle choices act as partners in achieving beautiful skin. When patients sleep well, stay hydrated, consume healthy, antioxidant-rich foods, minimize stressors and most importantly, avoid smoking and sun exposure, they make an important investment in the skin’s health and appearance.
If you are a parent, encourage your children early in life to protect their skin. Discuss with them the dangers of tanning salon use and to avoid them at all costs. If you are at the stage where you are beginning to think about the future of your skin, then Toronto Dermatology Centre’s professionals can help you along the way.
~ Sheri Roselle, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre