The first thing we need to understand when dealing with sun damage is that there should be a lifestyle shift. While treatments can do a magnificent job at treating signs of sun damage, it is never one and done. Just as we continue our exposure to UV and environmental damages every day, we need to take daily action for our skin as well. A proper skin care routine cannot be overrated. I, myself, used to justify less potent products from the drugstore because they listed the right active ingredients on the label; it’s easy to assume they are the same thing. Now it’s time to bust that myth! The efficacy of an active ingredient is all in the correct dosage, correct carrier, and correct application. Vitamin C, for example, loses potency quite easily and is not effective in a cream base unless it is properly encapsulated.
Skin care is not one size fits all – unless we’re talking sunscreen (and there are NO exceptions to that requirement). Everybody has different levels of sensitivity, barrier function, genetic conditions, medication, and history written in their skin. So please, take advantage of a complimentary consultation and let us set you up with an effective skincare routine. I am offering email consultations at this time, or you can call the clinic and speak to our knowledgeable staff. (FYI: Starting on a good skin care routine six weeks before any treatment will also enhance the results of your treatment and set you up for significantly greater results. It truly is a beautiful thing!)
Skin care routines should change with the seasons, and summertime is when we can focus on topical antioxidants, moisturizers, and sunscreens. In Calgary’s climate, our skin can feel such a relief from the harsh winter months that we forget to moisturize at all. I advise against this. Even if you apply a very light moisturizer in the daytime and a heavier moisturizer at night, barrier function is important for skin health. Moisturizers work on the integrity of that barrier while softening skin cells so active ingredients can work deeper into the skin and the cells can smoothly perpetuate their natural cycle. Calgary is always dry and the environment literally pulls moisture from our skin; if you think about how oil and water don’t mix, it makes sense that a healthy level of oil on the skin’s surface can help to preserve moisture where we need it most in our skin.
As mentioned in the sun awareness article, antioxidants are a vital aspect of everyday skin care to prevent aesthetic sun damage and to keep cells healthy. At Papillon Medical, we carry two dermatology-grade skin care lines which have customizable active ingredients. This is a dream come true for me, as we can choose which of the two brands works best for a client and continue tailoring the specific active ingredients each time the product runs out. The first of the two is Universe Skin. This line focuses on anti-inflammation and high-potency actives. The line comes complete with only the “P” serum used for active application.
Our other customizable line is Dermaviduals. This line is based on the concept of corneotherapy, a remedial skin treatment methodology with its core principle being the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defense systems. The skin cells are softened so the actives can penetrate deeper into the skin. Each line is appropriate for different skin types, and they each come with a wide range of powerful active ingredients.
Papillon also carries the well-known brands ZO, Alyria, and Skin Medica. While these products are already mixed with their actives, they allow us to work with a wider range of options for clients with different budgets and needs.
While the prices of active and effective products may initially seem daunting, studies show that it’s almost equivalent to what you might spend on products at the drug store. This is because it takes much less effective product to make a greater impact on the skin. You should never have to use more than a pea-sized amount of each product.
By Nicole Whiteside, Medical Aesthetician / Laser Technician
Papillon Medical & Dermatology