Protocol for Aging Skin
If it’s not broke don’t fix it. It’s so easy to get sold on everything that looks or sounds good; however, I always warn my clients not to buy into everything you see and hear. Stick to products with activate ingredients and stay away from moisturizers. What should you be using and why?
I already know what your biggest question is, “will I stay hydrated without moisturizer?” The answer is yes, and actually your skin will become naturally hydrated. Your cells will start to work on a regular basis and when they do they will bring water and oxygen with them. The products that I recommend will help to activate your cells instead of putting them to sleep like moisturizer. We no longer want to do our cells job and that’s why we will leave the moisturizer behind.
I always recommend cleansing your skin once in the morning and twice at night. The first cleanse at night in considered a superficial cleanse, because it only gets rid of the daily grime and does not actually clean the skin. It’s the second cleanse at night that cleans the skin. For the aging skin I suggest a nice milky cleanser. This type of cleanser will leave the skin feeling clean without making it feel tight. I like Azulen Cleansing Milk as a make-up removing lotion and a gentle soapless cleanser for all skin types, but especially for sensitive skin. Camellia, Avocado, and Wheat Germ Oils, combined with Dimethicone, Glycerin, Glucose, Fructose, and Sucrose, protect and maintain the skin from moisture loss. Glycosaminoglycans, Azulene, Aloe Vera, and Allantoin help calm inflammation and refine pores. Azulen Cleansing Milk also helps improves skin‘s suppleness and elasticity. It’s light blue color comes from Azulene.
Wake up those cells with a nice stimulating exfoliation. The new science has proven that a nice gentle exfoliation everyday is healthy for the skin. I personally love this two in one exfoliant, the Pineapple Enzyme Scrub. This exfoliating, retexturizing, refining, and nourishing treatment scrub is efficient and non-abrasive. Exfoliation is achieved by combining Bromelain Enzymes (obtained from pineapple) and Jojoba Beads. These enzymes help remove excess surface cells, while the micro spherical Jojoba Beads dissolve and release their nourishing Jojoba Oil into the skin. This process produces improved skin texture and leaves the skin with a luminous glow. The ultimate result is refined and moisturized skin.
This is a nice way to add a little hydration while maintaining the skins natural pH and oil balance. After cleansing and exfoliating the skin, apply with cotton. I prefer Aloe-Cucumber Astringent (alcohol free) helps tightens pores, smooth the appearance of the skin, and gives the skin a finer, softer texture. Aloe Vera Gel, Cucumber Juice, Witch Hazel, and Horse Chestnut Extract help refine, tone, tighten, and protect the skin. Glycerin and Amino Acid Complex moisturize. Chlorophyll, Allantoin, and Ginseng possess soothing and healing properties. This product is very effective prior to make-up application to allow a matte, even, and long lasting finish. It also cools and soothes the skin. It is recommended for dry and sensitive skin types.
Now that the skin is awake and the cells are ready, it’s time to stimulate them even more. Correctors are daily and nightly treatments that produce results. Correctors should contain active ingredients and produce a certain action that the user wants to achieve. Correctors should be layered and not mixed together. Mixing products together weakens and makes them less powerful.
Order does matter when it comes to layering products. I recommend that everyone use a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C is an active ingredient and should be the first thing you layer either day or night. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which slows down the aging process by eliminating the free radicals. It also stimulates collagen and helps to repair the signs of aging due to sun and free radical damage. The results achieved with vitamin C is a brighter more even skin tone, fewer fine lines and wrinkles, firmer and more refined skin and extra protection against future damage.
After vitamin C I like to layer a Glycolic Gel or Serum. I prefer a 10-15% because it is most beneficial for non-sensitive, normal to oily, and blemished skin types. It helps fight bacteria and increase the rate of natural dead skin exfoliation, while helping promote hydration by renewing native skin collagens. Repeated use will reducing the appearance of fine lines.
I usually start my clients off with these two amazing correctors. This gives them time to see how well these two work together and if there’s any type of adverse reaction it’s easier to eliminate one or the other. After a couple of months I add in a third corrector. Retinoids, more active ingredients, is an umbrella term that describes a family of ingredients that includes retinol and retin-A.
Retinol is naturally produced in your body and is a specific form of vitamin A. It’s the enzymes in your skin that converts it from retinol to retinaldehyde when applied topically. Once it’s converted to retinaldehyde it then converts to retinoic acid making it accessible for the skin to use. Although this two step conversion may take some time it’s what makes retinol naturally more gentle than Retinol-A (Tretinoin a vitamin A derivative), and that’s why it’s found in most over the counter products.
Retinoids are definitely harder to use than most active ingredients and most people move way to quickly when it comes to retinoids and then never use them again. Retin-A (Tretinoin) comes in different strengths and requires a prescription from a doctor. Both Retinol and Retin-A should be used very slowly at first while building up to everyday use.
Signs of Aging Skin
When it comes to aging skin, applying a moisturizer or a corrector is no longer enough. As the skin ages it begins to thin, sag and wrinkle. It may become blotchy with uneven texture and have discoloration from both age and sun spots and the accumulation of cells. The size and visibility of pores increase, while the skin becomes dull and lifeless. The fat pads move and decrease in size making it less plump and smooth.
And if this is not bad enough, collagen and elastin production slows down with every year you age. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein found in the skin. It is what heals and makes the skin healthy and radiant. As collagen slows down so does everything else. When you’re young and your collagen is working at its best, the cells are turning over at a very fast rate. Cellular turnover is what keeps the skin bright and beautiful; however, once this process slows down the skin become dull and lifeless.
As skin regeneration slows, cells begin to accumulate and healing takes much longer. Cells are no longer sluffing off at a fast rate; skins surface begins to thicken becoming dull because the old cells are stacking on top of each other. Age and sun spots rise to the surface, skin begins to look rough, dull and dark due to the excess cells. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Doing a glycolic treatment every month will help increase both collagen and elastin.
First, what is a normal skin cycle and how does it work. A full skin cycle can take approximately six weeks. This is the time that a baby cell is born at the epidermis, which is the skins outer layer, and then matures as it rises to the surface of the skin (epidermis) and then sheds off.
It’s also beneficial to understand that a skin cycle can vary due to factors such as the health and condition of the skin, stress, hormones and of course, age. When we are young and between 19-21, the process can take 14-21 days. The skin is smooth and beautiful. Middle aged adults are looking at an estimated 28 days until the skin turns over. So now the skin is beginning to show signs of aging and its taking longer for the skin to repair itself. The older adult between the ages of 40’s-50’s is looking at a skin cycle of 45-60 days and adults between 50’s-60’s are slowed to approximately 60-90 days.
The Importance of Monthly Glycolic Treatments
So now that you understand how your skin cycle works, it’s important to know what to expect after doing a glycolic treatment and why it’s important to continue to do them once a month. Understand that skin restoration does not happen over night. You will need to be both patient and diligent. The process to strengthen and restore skins natural activity can take a while as explained with the skin cycle. Doing a glycolic treatment on a monthly basis will ultimately lead to the best possible health and results for your skin.
With each glycolic treatment you will begin to see your skin visibly improve and the results will become long term. Glycolic is structurally amazing due to its molecular size and ability to travel far down into the skin layers. After 12 years of performing these treatments, I can tell you that I see two types of situations. There are those people who see an immediate result and they come back every month. They love the way their skin looks and feels. This immediate reactions is because glycolic is a skin resurfacing treatment. That means that it eliminates the dead skin cells, making the skin appear brighter and less rough.
My second group of people are those who do not really notice this immediate result. Their skin is either healthy and shedding on a regular basis, so it is already bright and feels smooth or they do a good job with exfoliating at home. However, this is why I always tell people that the real result is not to be expected until the full 30 days is up, and some times it can take up to 3 treatments before a true result is achieved. It all depends on the individual and how well they have taken care of their skin. Also remember that other factors that come into play like stress and hormones.
The true result is achieved at the end of the 30 days because it take this long if not longer for the skin to regenerate. Because the glycolic stimulates your collagen production you will see some really great benefits that happen within the skin and not just on the surface. You will see that the skin is firmer and the fine lines and wrinkles are softening. Pores are more refined. Capillaries will strengthen cutting down on redness. The overall skin will look refreshed and renewed.
When you apply your next treatment all of the great benefits begin to build. The skin gets healthier, brighter and regeneration starts again. Collagen is stimulated and instantly starts to repair and at the end of the 30 days the new benefits are noticeably evident. By doing a glycolic treatment every month you will keep your collagen working every 30 days. You will remove those top layers of skin cells until you have new baby skin. You can turn back the clock and your skin cycle to its original 30 days.