After you cleanse your face, this is the time you want to use targeted skin care products to treat different skin issues you want to focus on improving. Many of these products are lighter creams or serums, which should be applied before your moisturizer or sun care products in order to get the optimal absorption and penetration of the product for the best results.
As we age it is important to consider changing your routine to focus on different things to prevent the signs of aging or other skin issues that can arise over time. There are many different products that can be incorporated into your routine based on your age, skin type and issues you want to address such as fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, redness and acne. Let’s discuss some of the targeted skin care treatments we offer.
Retinol is a derivative of vitamin-A that is used for targeted skincare to treat many skin issues, including wrinkles, fine lines, sun spots, crepiness, dullness and sagging skin. Retinol gets rid of dead cells on the top layers of your skin that cause dullness. It also promotes cell turnover along with boosting collagen and elastin by stimulating cellular repair. Retinol increases blood-vessel formation, which increases circulation and makes your skin look healthier. Retinols work to exfoliate dead and problematic layers of the skin and promote the production of younger cells. They also increase the amount of hyaluronic acid and collagen we produce, helping to make the skin more supple and smooth. Retinol is often referred to as a skincare miracle because of its ability to treat acne, firm the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and dark circles. There are different retinol strengths, and it can be best to begin with a lower strength and work your way up to a stronger one.
Alpha-hydroxy acids are derived from fruit and milk and include lactic acid (milk), glycolic acid (sugar cane) and malic acid (apples and pears), among others. AHAs work to exfoliate the skin and make it more radiant. They also smooth lines, help fade blotches and allow other anti-aging ingredients to penetrate faster and work more effectively. In this way, exfoliating cleansers that contain AHA’s help to scrub away dead skin cells to improve the tone and texture of your skin, while helping your other products to be more effective.
Glycolic Acid is one of the most popular AHAs due to its ability to exfoliate and penetrate the skin deeply to help with acne, blackheads, fine lines, dullness, oiliness and more. Some products can help to improve the appearance of your skin while protecting it from free radicals that further age the skin. When it is used at low strengths, glycolic acid can also be a great moisturizer, as it can transfer water molecules from the air to the tissue of the skin.
Peptides are active proteins that can instruct cells on how to behave in particular ways. Peptides can initiate elastin production in the skin, which helps it to “bounce back.” They can also tell the skin to heal itself after being wounded. Anti-aging products use peptides to penetrate skin cells and instruct them to do things like alleviate redness, produce collagen or signal muscles to relax, minimizing wrinkles.
Hydroquinone is an effective ingredient for reducing sun spots and blotches on the skin. It is one of the most effective ingredients for lightening the skin and works to fade hyperpigmentation by directly blocking the enzyme in the skin that triggers melanin production. Unfortunately, when used over time or by people with certain skin types, hydroquinone can have some negative effects. Initially, it suppresses hyperpigmentation, but if used for a while it can actually damage your pigment cells, causing the skin to turn a bluish or blackish color. It also causes your skin to be more sensitive to the sun and prone to damage. Because of this, hydroquinone should be used with caution.
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that plays a role in combating dark spots. It helps to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase that is involved with melanin production. Vitamin C also promotes healthy, glowing skin and significantly lightens pigmentation, but does not lighten normal skin color.
Rosacea is a chronic condition that is usually associated with redness of the skin. There are different subtypes of Rosacea that can also have other symptoms including flushing, acne-like breakouts, swelling, visible blood vessels, thickening of skin and red, irritated eyes. There is no cure for Rosacea, but using gentle products and protecting your skin can help to avoid flare-ups, and also know what your triggers are, which can be environmental or diet-related.
Many over-the-counter and prescription skincare products that are used to treat acne contain Salicylic Acid. Salicylic is a beta-hydroxy acid that penetrates into pores to reduce blackheads and whiteheads with less irritation than alpha-hydroxy acids. It accomplishes many of the same goals as alpha-hydroxy acids that are commonly used in targeted skincare, such as lactic acid and glycolic acid, but it is used in a much weaker concentration. Acne products can contain as much as 30% alpha-hydroxy acids, but the same results can be achieved with just 0.5% to 2% salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid works by loosening and breaking apart attachments between cells in the outer layers of the skin called desmosomes. This encourages exfoliation of the skin and unclogging of pores. This gentle removal of dead skin does more than just open pores, salicylic acid also increases cell turnover, makes the skin grow faster, increases collagen production and helps to fill in indentations in the skin. Salicylic acid is also lipophilic, which means it can penetrate clogged pores and oily skin, providing deep cleaning. Another way salicylic acid can help reduce acne is by reducing sebum secretion. This makes it best for use on oily skin, as too much salicylic acid can dry out the skin. Lastly, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help calm inflamed acne.
Salicylic acid will yield the best results if it is applied continually, even after any acne has cleared. Without the exfoliating and cleansing effects of salicylic acid, the pores can become clogged again, resulting in acne returning. This is why it is important for those with acne-prone skin to keep up with a regular skin regimen consisting of products that contain salicylic acid.
A lot of what is done with targeted skincare products is a type of chemical exfoliation, which helps to rid your skin of dead skin cells and reveal new ones. Regular physical exfoliation at home with facial scrubs can help your facial products penetrate deeper and leave your skin smoother and fresher.
While an at-home targeted skincare regimen can help to greatly improve the condition of your skin, sometimes you need to do more to get the results you are looking for. Visiting a professional to receive a proper assessment and treatment recommendations for treatments such as laser, RF or other asking resurfacing pocedures can help you more rapidly achieve greater results, which can then be maintained with your at-home regimen and maintenance treatments.