Resurfacing and Rebuilding Your Skin

Now on to — The Prob­lems To Be Solved:

There are 15–30 lay­ers of dead skin cells on the sur­face of our faces.  

It’s these dead cells which pre­vent our skin from look­ing plump, healthy and youth­ful.

When your skin is cov­ered with these dead cells, mois­ture can’t reach the liv­ing cells.  This caus­es your skin to get dehy­drat­ed, it feels rough to the touch, is tired-look­ing and dull and some­times, it’s even shiny and that’s not from oil.  

Have you ever noticed tiny white bumps on your skin, usu­al­ly near your eyes?  Those are called mil­i­um cysts.  They are caused by very dry and dehy­drat­ed skin which has trapped par­ti­cles of the skin cell pro­tein under the sur­face.

Dehy­drat­ed skin can’t func­tion prop­er­ly.  Not only that — it can’t absorb your serums and mois­tur­iz­ers.

A good anal­o­gy is to think about how you clean your kitchen counters…..Do you use a dry sponge?  No! Because the sponge is hard and not pli­able.  And like a dry sponge, your skin won’t absorb mois­ture if it’s dry.

Sun dam­age is anoth­er con­cern.  Many of us have spent way too much time in the sun and now we have lines, wrin­kles and dark spots.  By the way…most of these signs of aging are from sun expo­sure and NOT from the pas­sage of time.  It’s called Pho­toag­ing and Extrin­sic Aging which refers to the aging of our skin caused by lifestyle choic­es.

Some of you have a his­to­ry of acne — or know teens or young adults with active acne.  Acne is a frus­trat­ing and dis­tress­ing con­di­tion and even when there is no active acne, it often results in a bumpy tex­ture, pit­ting and col­or scar­ring.

There are 2 ways to cor­rect and improve these issues of dehy­dra­tion, scar­ring, rough tex­ture, lines and wrin­kles:  One is to resur­face and the oth­er is to rebuild.

Resur­fac­ing is done with chem­i­cal peels and micro­der­mabra­sion, often at the same appoint­ment.  

Resur­fac­ing tech­niques help with the appear­ance of lines and wrin­kles by mak­ing the “hills meet the val­leys.”

This means that as the upper lay­ers are removed, the dis­tance between them and the depres­sion of the lines and wrin­kles is less­ened.  This is what is meant when you hear the phrase “vis­i­ble improve­ment of lines and wrin­kles.”

Chem­i­cal peels work by dis­solv­ing dead skin cells which helps to remove them from the sur­face of your face which — in turn — allows your prod­ucts to do their job of hydrat­ing live skin cells.

All peels will soft­en the look of wrin­kles and even-out skin tone & scar­ring by remov­ing stained skin cells at the sur­face.

This time of year is a good time for a chem­i­cal peel series because of the short­er, cool­er days.  A series is 6 short appoint­ments, done a week apart, to force your skin to exfo­li­ate and improve quick­ly and to reach a new base­line from which fur­ther improve­ment can be made.  You may have a series 2x/year.

Peel solu­tions include Jess­ner, Sal­i­cylic, Gly­col­ic, TCA or Lac­tic acids.  Each one has it’s pur­pose and I choose the best one for your skin type and con­di­tion.

For exam­ple, Sal­i­cylic acid is best known as an acne treat­ment but it is also an excel­lent choice for hyper­pig­men­ta­tion and sun dam­age.

Lac­tic Acid is a humec­tant and is great for dry and dehy­drat­ed skin.  HUMECTANTS are ingre­di­ents which draw and bind mois­ture into the skin, “a sub­stance that pro­motes reten­tion of mois­ture” (from

Micro­der­mabra­sion is use­ful for con­trol­ling oil, exfo­li­at­ing stained, sun dam­aged cells and improv­ing acne scars.  I call it a pow­er scrub and it works espe­cial­ly well as a way to clean out clogged pores.

Micro­der­mabra­sion is also help­ful for dehy­drat­ed and scarred skin because it improves the skin’s sur­face and makes your skin look and feel smoother.

Again…. with­out the dead cells act­ing as a bar­ri­er, the active ingre­di­ents and mois­ture in your prod­ucts can find their way down to the low­er lay­ers of skin. This real­ly helps to cor­rect dehy­dra­tion.

But some­times, resur­fac­ing isn’t enough. Some­times, the skin needs rebuild­ing and a dif­fer­ent tech­nique is required.

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