In short, this is "skin rejuvenation season." It's the best time of year for you to do something about your skin aging issues. It runs from the end of summer until mid-spring, so plan your strategy now!What is the treatment strategy that I use in my dermatology practice for treating uneven pigment and skin weathered from the summer sun? Obagi Nu Derm Treatment I love to start with a prescribed three to four month course of Obagi Nu Derm. This skin care routine treatment system really turns off pigment production to even out pigment problems. It’s a great stand-alone treatment or the perfect prep for our cosmetic skin rejuvenation procedures like laser treatments and chemical peels. The Obagi Nu Derm treatment system includes tretinoin (Retin A), prescription strength hydroquinone, and an alpha hydroxy acid type of product. You can click here to read more about why Obagi Nu Derm is so effective at rejuvenating your skin. For local readers, we have created an Obagi Skin Transformation Program where our aestheticians teach and counsel you to use the Obagi Kit in just the right fashion for your skin type. They also provide supportive calming facials and the Obagi Radiance Blue Peel to help ensure your success with this powerful treatment regimen. To schedule a consultation call our office at (707) 829-5780. Professional Glycolic Acid Skin Care Products The most effective non-prescription skin care regimen for rejuvenation and evening out skin pigment problems is a glycolic acid skin care regimen. Glycolic acid products should be selected to suit your skin type. Sunscreen is still necessary because the UVA rays do not lessen in intensity after summer and they will continue to darken hyperpigmentation problem areas on your skin. You can read more about how to get rid of brown spots on your skin using glycolic acid products. To read more about why glycolic acid is the best over-the-counter wrinkle cream click here.
I have glycolic acid skin care kits for different skin types. Click here to see them and learn more.
You can also add glycolic acid treatment to a complete antioxidant rejuvenation regimen for the most state-of-the-art rejuvenation skin care routine. Click here to see my AHA Antioxidant Skin Care Kits.Cosmetic Procedures Cosmetic procedures can work with your anti-aging skin care routine, or can be used in place of it, to yield faster results. The procedures used in my office that work best to treat uneven pigment problems, wrinkles, and skin texture include: IPL (intense pulsed light or broad band light-BBL) is used for the treatment of brown spots and broken capillaries. IPL treatment typically involves an initial treatment series of five treatments done at monthly intervals and one to three maintenance treatments done yearly (usually during "rejuvenation season"). A new study just released shows that people who have an initial treatment series and subsequent annual maintenance treatments actually look younger eight years later than before they started the treatment process! Yes, they are eight years older and yet they look nine years younger. Needless to say, we love IPL in my office. Ablative laser (erbium laser like the Sciton ProFractional or MicroLaserPeel or CO2 laser like Fraxel) treats wrinkles and acne scars, can refine pore texture, and refreshes the skin's complexion. We use the Sciton erbium laser in my office. Treatments range from the skin refreshing "weekend down-time treatments" to more extensive procedures with a week or more of down time. These lasers create a "controlled" injury by literally vaporizing portions of the skin to stimulate the skin’s healing response, and this generates collagen to treat wrinkles. The laser treatments also use laser light to remove part of the top layer of the skin (similar to dermabrasion but without the abrasion) to freshen the skin texture. Chemical Peels and microdermabrasion treatments are usually done as a series to brighten skin tone and texture, to treat uneven hyperpigmentation, and to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The end result is an overall improvement in your complexion. These cosmetic treatments can be done to greater or lesser degrees of depth depending on your goals and your ability to accommodate "down time" into your schedule. The Bottom Line Right now is the time of year to plan your strategy for skin rejuvenation because you're out of the sun. The best skin rejuvenation treatments available to you include a combination of:
- Exfoliation to smooth skin texture and brighten your complexion;
- Targeted lightening of irregular skin color issues; and
- Controlled skin "injuries" or skin care products that stimulate your skin’s collagen production mechanisms to reverse wrinkles (because you can’t get collagen into the skin any other way).