Winter is an excellent time to consider how you are caring for your skin; many of us get dry skin this time of year. But to properly care for your skin, you first need to understand your specific skin type. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and the decision to treat your skin with various lotions, soaps, creams, and treatments shouldn’t be taken lightly.
There are a couple of ways to determine your skin type. It’s important to know if you have dry, normal, mixed, or oily skin, so you can treat it correctly — otherwise you may cause more issues. For instance, if you apply a moisturizer that is too thick or heavy, your skin may react by decreasing its natural oil production, which will result in even drier skin. Conversely, if you use a cleanser that is too harsh, even if it’s recommended for excessive oiliness, it may signal to your skin that more oil is needed. It’s best to recognize which skin type you have, so your efforts are not counterproductive. Learning about your skin’s specific needs will help you choose the right options and result in a balanced skin complexion.
Determining your skin type with the bare-faced method does not require any special equipment, just time. Wash your face thoroughly with a mild cleanser and pat it dry with a towel. Leave your skin bare, don’t apply any moisturizers or serums. Allow 30 minutes to pass and then examine your chin, cheeks, nose, and forehead for any shine. Then, after another 30 minutes, check your skin for shine again. Evaluate whether your skin feels tight or parched. If so, it’s likely dry. However, if you notice a shine on your nose, cheeks, and forehead, you most likely have oily skin. If your skin falls somewhere in the middle, a little shine on your nose and forehead, then your skin falls in the middle range and is probably what we call “normal.”
The blotting sheet method is much quicker and easier than the bare-faced method, but you’ll need to source some blotting papers. Gently pat a piece of blotting paper on the different areas of your face. Examine the sheet and determine how much oil is visible. If the blotting paper has little to no oil, you probably have dry skin. If the blotting sheet is saturated with oil, you most likely have oily skin. If the blotting sheet shows some oil from your forehead and nose, your skin is probably normal or a combination of dry and oily.
You can also visit our spa to learn more about your skin type and find the right products to manage your skin.
Once you know which type of skin you have, you will be better able to treat common skin issues. Dealing with dry, flaky skin or overly oily skin is just the beginning of your treatment plan. Let’s look at other issues that may occur and how to properly deal with them.
As you age, fine lines and wrinkles will appear. Of course, this is a normal part of aging. Applying sunscreen can help to halt fine lines and being mindful of relaxing your facial muscles will help as well. However, there are other options if you start to see deep wrinkles, severe frown lines, forehead creases, crow’s feet, and other unwanted lines.
Neurotoxins like Dysport and BOTOX are designed to improve fine lines and deep wrinkles temporarily. BOTOX is injected directly into the muscles to stop the signal from the nerve to the muscles. This ultimately results in less muscle activity. When the muscles are prevented from contracting, the tension in your face decreases, which allows the wrinkles to flatten. Dysport is used to relax the underlying muscles, which reduces wrinkles, without changing the look or movement of the rest of your face. Dysport treats moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows by reducing specific muscle activity. Results from Dysport and BOTOX are realized within a week and usually last 2-4 months. Skilled providers have extensive experience and knowledge of neurotoxins and how each one will affect facial anatomy, which means they are easily able to avoid any unwanted side effects.
Exposed skin, especially on the face and hands, experiences a lot of wear and tear over the years. Exposure to wind, weather, sun, dirt, and cosmetics contribute to skin damage, including sun and age spots. Repeated facial expressions, furrowed brows, big smiles, and squinting also becomes apparent. The result is a dull, unhealthy appearance in need of skin rejuvenation.
Chemical peels can help rejuvenate skin and allow it to appear years younger. A chemical peel treatment typically involves applying a solution to the surface that will remove dead skin cells, which allows the next layer of skin to develop and replace the old layer. Once the dry, damaged layer of skin is sloughed off, fresh, smooth, and radiant skin reveals itself. Based upon the level of peel and the condition of your skin, healing may vary from overnight to one week.
If you are pleased with the overall appearance of your skin but have particular sun spots or benign pigmented lesions that bother you, they can easily be removed with a special tool called the M22 aesthetic system. Treating sun spots individually is quite simple and can be achieved in one to three treatments. After the treatment, your lesions will appear darker for about a week, but then they’ll slough off and leave you with an even skin tone.
As you get older, your skin may start to droop or sag. Your features become less defined. Or maybe you simply desire fuller lips or more defined cheekbones than the ones you were born with. Restylane Refyne and Restylane Defyne, two hyaluronic acid fillers, provide the perfect solution for someone looking to address common lines and wrinkles. These products have the ability to fill lines and wrinkles while keeping the overall look natural instead of overdone.
Skin imperfections like skin tags, warts, age spots, and sun spots are common throughout a skin’s lifetime. A tool called a CryoPen is a fast, safe, and effective solution that takes anywhere from 5-25 seconds to perform, with lasting results. The CryoPen emits a fine jet of nitrous oxide under high pressure, which allows the clinician to work with incredible precision. This nitrous oxide destroys the tissue by freezing the inter-cellular fluid, forming ice shards and crystals which rupture the membrane, thereby destroying the cell. With such a precise method, there is no collateral damage to healthy tissue. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed by skin imperfections as they’re completely normal, but thankfully they’re also really easy to remove.
As we age, skin issues arise, whether they’re cosmetic or caused by exposure to the elements. Luckily, there is a wide variety of treatments available to help repair damaged skin, eliminate fine lines and wrinkles, and remove any unwanted imperfections. If you would like to improve your skin’s appearance, stop in to discuss treatment options with one of our skilled clinicians at Generations Family Practice Wellness Center.