Daily cleansing has a huge influence on the health of your skin. So what is the best way to cleanse the skin on your face? A good soapy lathering, a scrub with an old washcloth and a quick towel dry are cleaning steps more suited to your car than to the delicate skin on your face. Here are a few things to consider:
First of all, it is important to clean your face every day. Dirt, makeup and excess oil should be removed before bedtime in order to keep your skin healthy.
When washing your face, grabbing whatever soap is close at hand is not a good idea. Soaps may contain perfumes or antibacterial agents that are too harsh for facial skin. The best choice is a soap free cleanser that is ph-balanced.
Your skin type, whether oily, dry, normal or combination, should guide the choice of your cleanser.
Other issues to consider include the sensitivity of your skin and/or how prone you are to breakouts.
You do not necessarily need a washcloth or abrasive applicator when washing your face. In fact, if you have sensitive skin, a washcloth can cause irritation or make you more prone to breakout. Applying the cleanser with clean fingertips in a gentle circular motion may be a better option.
Water temperature also makes a difference. Use warm, not hot water, when cleansing.
Always dry your face with a clean towel to avoid transferring dirt or bacteria to your cleaned skin.
There are hundreds of facial cleansers on the market. It is important to recognize the key ingredients of facial cleansers in order to determine which is best for your skin. Products that contain salicylic acid encourage skin cells to slough quickly in attempt to keep pores from becoming clogged with dirt and oil. These cleansers are typically used for acneic or oily skin. Other cleansers contain alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic and/or lactic acid) which target the bond that holds dead skin cells together, encouraging cell turnover. Most skin types can tolerate these ingredients. Finally, there are cleansers that have a more creamy consistency and are typically created for dry or sensitive skin. These products may contain glycerin or hyaluronic acid and usually do not contain any perfumes which could irritate the skin.
Everyone’s skin is unique due to the combination of skin type, lifestyle choices and environmental influences. It is best to discuss your skin care with a dermatologist or skin care professional that can evaluate your skin and help you choose products that are right for you.
For a free skin care consultation with one of our aestheticians, call Carolina Aesthetics at 864-233-8088.
Exfoliation is an important part of a good skin care regimen. It involves the removal of dead skin cells from the outermost layer of the skin. When done right, exfoliation improves the skin’s appearance, makes it smoother and increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It can be useful for people with different skin types and skin conditions including dry or oily skin, aging skin and acne-prone skin.
The two major forms of exfoliation are physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation. Physical exfoliants use abrasive agents to manually remove dead skin cells. Some physical exfoliants include scrubs, washcloths, pumice, loofahs or fancier methods performed professionally such as diamond or crystal microdermabrasion. Chemical exfoliants, on the other hand, involve the use of acids or enzymes to loosen the bonds that hold dead skin cells together on the top layer of the skin, making it easier for them to slough off without the need for scrubbing. Some common examples of chemical exfoliants are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acid, lactic acid and tartaric acid. Beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) such as salicylic acid are chemical exfoliants too. These agents can be used in the form of chemical peels administered by a trained professional or can be incorporated at lower concentrations into over the counter lotions, creams, masks, cleansers and many others. When using alpha and beta hydroxy acids, having the right concentration in a specific pH is important for optimal results. However, this information is not always readily available on many over the counter products.
Excessive exfoliation can cause dryness, irritation, redness and even scarring. It is important to consider one’s skin type in determining the right exfoliant that would result in the least amount of irritation. It is important to let your aesthetician/dermatologist know your current medications prior to starting any exfoliation regimen as some of them such as topical or oral retinoids can increase the risk of unwanted side effects.
Exfoliation improves skin function and increases the turnover of skin cells leading to a clearer and smoother, well-toned skin. Exfoliation can also help increase the absorption of other skin treatments making them more effective. While many over the counter exfoliants are gentle enough for regular use, your skilled skin care professional can help you pick the best exfoliating agents to get you the results you desire.
Facial treatments can play a key role in promoting and maintaining healthy skin. Most facials are performed in a salon spa setting by an aesthetician and are considered a relaxing treatment, similar to a massage. These facials usually include cleansing, exfoliating and massaging the skin and applying a mask and moisturizer.
Clinical facial treatments can be quite different from the treatments described above and are typically offered only in medical spas. First and foremost, the purpose of a clinical facial is to treat the skin from a medical/ health perspective. Although relaxing and pleasing to the senses, the goal of a clinical facial is to promote and then maintain healthy skin.
At Carolina Aesthetics, our clinical facials begin with a complete skin analysis performed by an aesthetician that has had additional training from our dermatologists. This analysis determines your skin type, any skin conditions that may affect the care of your skin and what medical grade skin care products should be used to treat your skin. The aesthetician then cleanses the skin, performs the appropriate exfoliation method for your needs (enzyme, scrub, microdermabrasion, mild chemical peel) and then steams the skin to open the pores. The combination of exfoliation and steaming prepares the skin for the next step which is extractions, or the cleaning out of the pores (blackheads, milia, excess oil, etc). After extractions, we gently massage the face using a product chosen for your skin type. This facial massage begins to calm the skin and relaxes the client at the same time. A treatment mask that is chosen for your skin condition (rosacea, acne, etc.) or skin type is then applied. Finally, a hydrating product (for oily skin) or a moisturizing product (for other skin types) is used before a final application of SPF to protect your skin as you leave our office. As part of your skin analysis, your aesthetician will recommend a morning and evening regimen for your home skin care, incorporating existing products you may have and/ or medical grade skin care products from our office. By following the suggested home regimen and scheduling regular clinical facial treatments (every 6 – 8 weeks), your skin will respond with a healthy, younger looking glow.
Other benefits of skin care performed at a medical spa include the added expertise of our aestheticians, the efficacy of the products used and offered for sale as well as access to our dermatologists who are the skin care experts. Our aestheticians have received training by the doctors to detect certain skin conditions and abnormalities and also to understand common drug interactions between a client’s prescribed medications and the skin care products and treatments we offer. If suspect skin issues are identified, they can be addressed by a physician. All skin care products offered at our medical spa have been researched and tested by the dermatologists, and only those that have been clinically proven to work are even considered.
The primary concern of our medical spa is the long term health of your skin. The fact that our treatments and products produce aesthetically pleasing results is an added benefit which proves that healthy skin is beautiful skin. Call Carolina Aesthetics and ask about our November clinical facial special……. The Pumpkin & Spice Facial.
In the mid 1990’s lasers and Intense Pulse Light (IPL) machines became commercially available, and rapidly became accepted as the treatment of choice to decrease or permanently remove hair. These machines were approved by the FDA in 1997.
Lasers and IPL’s obtain the maximum effect by using a specific wavelength of light and a specific pulse duration to target the color that is in the hair follicle growth center. Longer pulse duration and repetition gives a more effective heating in the area, which kills the growing follicle. Light is absorbed by the dark material that naturally occurs in the skin, so the darker the hair the better the results. Accordingly, the best results are found in light skinned persons with dark hair.
IPL treatments are not the same as laser treatments; lasers have one nanometer wavelength of light, whereas an IPL has a spectrum of different wavelengths. Both laser and IPL treatments are known as laser hair removal.
A treatment regimen requires at least three and up to eight treatments. The hair grows in three phases: (1) Anagen, the growing phase, (2) Telogen, the falling out phase, and (3) Catagen, the resting phase. The only phase that is affected by the laser or the IPL is the growing or Anagen phase of hair growth. Therefore, multiple treatments are necessary to treat all the hairs during their growth phase. Treatments should be spaced four to six weeks apart in order to allow the skin to rest. In addition, you must avoid sun exposure immediately before and after treatment. Therefore, fall and winter months are the ideal times of year for IPL services.
At the time of treatment, topical anesthetic is applied about thirty minutes prior to the procedure. Side effects after treatment are minimal, and may include mild itching, a little redness and some swelling which may last up to three days. More serious side effects, such as blistering and scarring, a flare of acne, bruising or secondary infection, are rare in occurrence. Some people are allergic to the gels or topical anesthetics used in the treatment. Darker skin has to be treated very carefully to avoid changes in the skin’s pigmentation. A consultation with an IPL specialist is required prior to treatment to determine whether or not the patient is a good candidate for hair removal.
Even in the best of circumstances there may be some regrowth, and a touch up treatment in a year or so may be desirable. Carolina Aesthetics uses IPL machines, and has been treating both light and dark skin successfully for many years.
For those with light colored hair, such as blonde, red and white, the FDA has approved electrolysis as the only “permanent hair removal” for these hair types. Electrolysis, which has been available for over 135 years, is also a hair removal treatment offered by our trained aestheticians at Carolina Aesthetics.
We offer a free consultation prior to beginning treatment to explain the procedure thoroughly, to determine your candidacy and to answer any questions you may have. The aestheticians at Carolina Aesthetics are overseen by the dermatologists at Carolina Dermatology of Greenville/UMG, and are certified IPL and electrolysis specialists. Call us for a free consultation to see which hair removal treatment is right for you.
Cosmetics fall into one of two categories: mineral makeup and non-mineral makeup. Dermatologists usually prefer mineral makeup for the following reason. Mineral makeup is finely pulverized rock. When applied to the skin, it sits on the surface and does not penetrate the skin. If a wet cloth is pressed into a pile of sand, the sand would adhere to the cloth but not be absorbed by the cloth. Similarly, mineral makeup will adhere to the skin but it will not penetrate the skin.
Some manufacturers of mineral makeup claim that their makeup is good for your skin because it contains vitamins or peptides or moisturizers. This is misleading because as explained above, mineral makeup sits on top of the skin and therefore cannot absorb such additives.
Other ingredients can be found in traditional cosmetics that can actually be harmful to your skin. Additives such as oils (especially mineral oil), perfumes, talc, alcohols, dyes, preservatives and emulsifiers can dry out the skin, cause irritation or inflammation, cause allergic reactions or clog the pores of the skin. Pure mineral makeup will not contain any of these additives.
Of course one of the best things anyone can do to protect their skin is to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen every day of the year. Many different types of sunscreens are available on the market, some that are chemically based and others that do not include chemicals. Some individuals with certain skin conditions or with very sensitive skin cannot use the sunscreen products that contain chemicals. The non-chemical formulations typically contain titanium and zinc oxide as the UVA and UVB ray blocking agents.
Carolina Aesthetics offers a mineral makeup line called Colorescience Pro. The dermatologists chose this line because of the purity of the mineral blend and because of the sun protection it offers. Colorescience Pro products do not have any of the damaging additives described above and can be used by all skin types (oily, mature, sensitive, teen, children, etc.). Additionally, Colorescience Pro primers and foundations contain both micronized titanium dioxide and micronized zinc oxide, providing excellent sun protection. In fact, Colorescience has been awarded the seal of approval from the Skin Cancer Foundation for its effective UV sunscreen.
There are other reasons that Colorescience Pro was chosen by Carolina Aesthetics. In addition to having such high quality ingredients, Colorescience remains animal friendly and has designed most of its products to be re-fillable, helping our environment while saving their customers money.
For more information on Colorescience Pro cosmetics or for a free skin care consultation, call Carolina Aesthetics at 233-8088.
Acne vulgaris or “acne” is a common and frustrating condition of the skin recognized by most people as the development of so called “blackheads,” “whiteheads,” or “pimples” which frequently affect the face, chest, and back and, like many diseases, has a range of severity. Acne most often starts in the adolescent years, however, earlier or later onset is possible. Fortunately, a range of helpful treatments and topical products are available to assist in the treatment of this disease.
Proper cleansing of the skin and regular exfoliation is important for everyone but most especially for those managing acne. A regular regimen of either microdermabrasion treatments or chemical exfoliation combined with extractions and a hydrating treatment can dramatically improve the skin and minimize future breakouts.
Certain topical products formulated to be used at home also help keep acne under control. Carolina Aesthetics recently came out with its own line of reasonably priced acne products that were researched and approved by the dermatologists at Carolina Dermatology. The “Clear Choice” line of products includes specially formulated cleansers, toners and moisturizers which can be used to gently cleanse the face and improve the texture, feel, and appearance of the skin. These products work by incorporating antibacterial medications to kill Propionibacterium acnes, the bacteria most commonly associated with acne development. They also utilize alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids to assist in gentle removal of dead skin cells that frequently block pores in the face and contribute to acne breakouts.
As discussed in our February 2011 newsletter, Retinol medications are Vitamin A derivatives specially formulated for the treatment of acne. These creams have the added benefit of not only fighting acne but also softening and preventing fine lines and wrinkles. The Retinols offered at Carolina Aesthetics are available in varying strengths and have natural anti-inflammatory ingredients which minimize redness and irritation so often associated with retinol medications.
“Retinoids” are a class of Vitamin A derivatives that are essential for the growth and development of normal skin, hair and nails. In the 1970’s, the first retinoid, tretinoin, or Retin A, was formulated to treat acne. As acne improved with this product, other changes in the skin treated with Retin A became apparent, including an overall improvement in skin texture, tone and gradual lessening of fine lines and wrinkles. Years of research demonstrated that these changes were due in part to increased dermal collagen production. Retinoids were also shown to speed up epidermal turnover rate, repair damaged DNA in skin cells, improve and normalize blood vessel growth, and shrink the size of oil glands. In the 1980’s therefore, retinoids began to be used for cosmetic purposes, and since then have come to play a major role in skin anti-aging, rejuvenation and sun protection. According to Dr. John Voorhees, Chairman of the University of Michigan School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology, “To my knowledge, this is the only drug for which there has been crystal clear demonstration that it works on the molecular level.”
Retinoids are highly recommended by our physicians and aestheticians at Carolina Dermatology and Carolina Aesthetics. Both Retin A (tretinoin) and retinol, a less potent form of Retin A, can cause mild skin exfoliation and irritation which can limit their initial use. Gradually adding them to a skin care regimen is often helpful as are other techniques recommended by our physicians such as beginning with lower strength compounds. At Carolina Aesthetics, we offer these different strengths of the nonprescription retinol cream in order to accommodate all skin types and levels of skin sensitivity. Also, the retinol products we offer are formulated with green tea extracts and caffeine which are known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that help to counteract irritation. We not only recommend these products for facial rejuvenation, but encourage their use on skin of the neck, chest and hands where sun exposure and skin damage are likely to be greatest. Daily use of a topical sunscreen to these ares is also a requirement to obtain maximal benefit from these amazing, healthy and powerful compounds.
Fortunately, science now offers us a chance to improve this volume loss and lighten or erase the age spots. IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) like LASER uses specific wavelengths of light to target and destroy tiny blood vessels and excess pigment below the surface of the skin. It can also stimulate collagen production. By combining this treatment with specially formulated topical medications maximum results can be achieved.
Contact Carolina Aesthetics (864) 233-8088 for a personal consultation to determine a treatment plan designed just for you.
The most important thing you can do to protect your skin is to protect it DAILY from the sun. Continuous sun exposure is what causes wrinkles, freckles, age spots and dry skin in addition to increasing the chance of developing skin cancers.
Obviously, staying out of the sun during the middle of the day is a wise choice. However, you should wear a broad spectrum sunscreen every day. The best sunscreen products contain avobenzene and/ or zinc oxide to protect from both UVA and UVB light bands. Sunscreen should be applied thirty minutes before you go out of doors and should be re-applied frequently, especially if you are sweating or are in the water. The SPF, or sun protection factor, indicates the length of time you can be in the sun so the higher the number, the longer you can go without re-applying. The SPF after 15 does not indicate the strength of the product.
Smoking directly affects the health of your skin. It damages the small blood vessels, collagen and elastin and it also reduces the amount of vitamin A and other nutrients in the skin. Smoking contributes to wrinkles because of this and because of the repetitive facial expressions that happen while smoking.
Strong cleansers and shaving are two daily activities that may damage your skin. You should pick a mild cleanser, especially for the skin on the face, to limit the oil that is stripped from the skin. When shaving, make sure to apply a shaving lotion or gel before shaving and always shave in the same direction that the hair grows and not against it.
After bathing or showering, pat your skin dry with a clean towel and apply a moisturizer while the skin is still slightly wet.
Like the rest of your body, the skin is a reflection of the foods that you eat. A diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat proteins promote healthy skin. A diet that is low in fat, rich in vitamin C and limits carbohydrates tends to reduce the aging process in the skin.
Get Rid of Stress
High stress levels have shown to increase the skins vulnerability to acne breakouts and other skin conditions. Reducing stress is a healthy decision for your entire mind and body.
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920 Woodruff Rd,
Greenville, SC 29607
(864) 233-8088Mon & Wed 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.