IPL is a light-based treatment (even though it’s often grouped into the laser category) that is used to erase discoloration — think freckles, sun damage and brown spots—as well as rosacea, acne, broken capillaries and unwanted hair. Current IPL systems are very versatile, allowing us to cover a lot of the skin's surface while treating a variety of skin conditions.
It's often the modility of choice when dealing with pigmentation issues because it targets melanin in the skin. Melanin increases from chronic sun exposure, as do the freckles that result from it. With just a few treatments of IPL, dark spots can improve dramatically. The treatment is able to cover a large area and there is little downtime associated with it. Each session, feels like a warm bright light on the surface of the skin, similar to a bright flash being fired. A few days post treatment, the treated areas become darker (like a coffee grind) before they naturally fall off and fade. After about two to three treatments, the results will be noticeable, but many client notice a difference after the first treatment.
Because IPL relies on the power of a broadband light source plus filters, different molecules in the skin can be focused on to selectively treat a specific target with minimal impact on other skin structures. That’s why it works best on benign pigmented skin lesions.
In addition to all the benefits that IPL offers—did we mention it also stimulates collagen production—it can be used to rejuvenate the skin from a textural standpoint, too. We’ve seen that IPL clients skin look younger and tighter after treatment.
IPL is also suitable for treatment for Hair Removal, Skin Rejuvenation and to treat facial veins on the face. A consultaion is a required before any IPL service and be performed - just to ensure that it is the right treatment option for you.
To view more information about IPL, click here.
With so many treatment options available, it can be quite confusing.
Micro-needling and chemical peels are two different treatment used for different purposes. It's like comparing apples to bread. Not everyone needs micro needling, and not everyone is a suitable candidate for chemical peels.
Micro needling (or dermal rolling) was initially used as a clinical treatment for improving and reducing post-acne scarring. It works by breaking down existing scarred tissues with fine needles which stimulate skin healing and rejuvenating process. Over the past few years, it has become a popular modality for reducing the appearance of aging, lines, wrinkles and tightening the skin. The process is called Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). Micro needling stimulates collagen synthesis, firming skin, minimizing lines, wrinkles, and scarring. Micro needling works at a dermal (deeper) level.
Chemical peels, on the other hand, are superficial resurfacing treatments and work by chemically exfoliating the skin. Chemical peels improve the appearance of the skin by enhanced exfoliation. Chemical peels work more on the surface at the epidermal level, to minimise and improve signs of clogging, congestion, acne, open pores, brown spots, pigmentation and fine lines.
So when would you choose micro needling vs chemical peels? If you have post acne scarring or are showing signs of premature ageing with sagging of the skin and deeper wrinkles, then I would choose micro needling. If you are showing signs of fine lines, pigmentation, uneven tone, or clogging, congestion, open pores or blackheads, then chemical peels would be more suited to you.
Can these treatments be used together? Not in the same sitting, but certainly if we wish to improve the skin appearance at the surface level, we would recommend a course of peels. Following that, if the skin needs further rejuvenation treatments, tightening and reducing the appearance of deeper wrinkles, than a course of micro needling will certainly be beneficial.
Peel and micro needling are excellent treatments we use to improve skin where it needs it. But just because a person with damaged skin gains excellent results does not mean a young, healthy skin needs it as a preventative. It's like taking antibiotics when you are not sick.
Instead, healthy skin should focus on "preventative" treatments such as facial treatments infusing vitamins, minerals, peptides, anti-oxidants, cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and an excellent home skin care routine. Wearing sunscreen every day is perhaps one of the best "preventative" things you can do for a healthy and beautiful skin. And if you have acne, stop picking and squeezing, these are sure ways to scar your skin and then you have a major problem to treat.
Thanks to Jana Elston for the insperation behind this post.
There’s no doubt about it, the number of compromised, problematic skins we are seeing is on the increase. Our clients’ lifestyle, diet, work/home environments and stress levels are damaging many skins, making skin disorders more common than ever before.
The secret is that tackling problem skins begins from the inside. The skin is created, supported and nourished from within so if it is showing signs of dysfunction, you need to look to the internal cause not just treat the symptoms topically.
Cystic acne is an example of a condition created entirely from within and therefore only able to be healed from the inside. Absolutely nothing can be done topically to treat this distressing condition.
These photos demonstrate the dramatic results you can achieve with cystic acne if you address the cause not just the symptoms.
So what sort of internal factors can be contributing to your skin's problem? Firstly, nutritional deficiencies play a major part and unfortunately, if your dry skin or acne is the result of a lack of certain vitamins or minerals, you will not be able to address this without first correcting the deficit. No amount of topical application of skin care products alone will be able to heal the problem.
A good example of that is acne. Studies have shown that acne sufferers are much more likely than non-acne sufferers to be deficient in the following vitamins and minerals:
So it is easy to see why we are doomed to failure if we do not address these nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately it is becoming more and more likely you will be suffering from a lack of one or more of the important skin nutrients.
Some key skin nutrients, like beta-carotene and vitamin C, can easily be obtained through the diet by increasing your client’s intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. Other nutrients like zinc, B complex and EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) are best supplemented to ensure there is an adequate intake for healing skin.
There are also many things in our modern diets that can contribute to the problems our clients’ experience. Being aware of these problem foods can go a long way to helping correct the issues. Some of these problem foods are obvious like alcohol. You just need observe what happens to someone with fine, fair, sensitive skin who drinks alcohol to know that it is one of the most inflammatory things they can do and it definitely makes skin redder.
There are lots of other ‘hidden’ foods that could be ‘stoking the fire’ and contributing to the problems you may be experiencing. Heating and congesting foods and drinks become an issue for those of our clients who are genetically sensitive to them.
On the positive side, more and more of our commonly eaten foods are managing to find their way onto the growing list of foods that contain phyto-chemicals that heal and rebalance the skin.
It is also important to take a holistic view of the skin. What other influencing factors could be contributing to the problem?
Examples of irritants are chlorinated pools, hot spa pools, air conditioning, certain chemicals, soaps and shampoos to name just a few. Rosacea is an example of a condition that is greatly affected by external factors and these need to be considered in the treatment of this disorder.
In the Beauty Industry it has become common for us to look at the skin as an isolated part of the body rather than considering the big picture. The best way it was ever explained to me, is the skin is the best refection of your internal health.
This is so true of skin conditions as they are seldom due to only one factor. For example, the development of dermatitis can be a combination of a skin weakened by nutritional deficiencies being exposed to irritating chemicals and fuelled by inflammatory foods.
We also need to consider all the factors that could be undermining the health of the skin. The work/home environment, exercise, sleep, stress, diet, product application, overheating, and the list goes on.
Thanks to Janine Tait, for the inspiration for this post.
What is the difference between department store/supermarket products & the products carefully selected for our clinics?
Cosmetics: smooths, boosts radiance, clarifies, evens skin tone, improves skin texture, moisturises, hydrates, protects, conceals, highlights, softens, conditions, lubricates, cleanses, tones, refreshes, clarifies, deodorises, absorb excess skin oil, removes impurities
Cosmeceuticals: strengthens skin, strengthens/improves barrier, reduce redness, reduce appearance of rosacea, anti-irritant, minimise blotchiness, unclogs pores, removes congestion, controls breakouts, purifying, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, increases skins elasticity, firming & lifting, prevents signs of ageing, anti-ageing, reduces the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles, regenerates damaged skin, stimulates skin repair, heal, penetrates into the skin to act, fades or reduces the appearance of hyper-pigmentation.
What makes the difference is the quality of the raw ingredients & the quality of the end product. Professional only products rarely advertise to the mass market, they rely on RESULTS & word-of-mouth, not on marketing. So they HAVE TO PERFORM & deliver DRAMATIC results FAST.
Professional-only products usually have an extensive range that can be tailored to individual skin types, conditions or concerns. They are professional-only for a very good reason. It takes a thoroughly trained, qualified skin therapist to understand the skin in detail, the complex biological mechanisms & how these are affected by the environment & lifestyle. Only a qualified & trained therapist can confidently develop an effective treatment plan using professional-only products that will deliver results.
Cosmeceutical products can now be purchased just about everywhere. I have seen some impressive formulas in pharmacies, not surprisingly, since cosmeceuticals ARE a marriage of cosmetics & pharmaceuticals. These days, cosmeceuticals are not restricted to professional products only. Many department store, supermarket & pharmacy products contain ingredients that fall under the classification of cosmeceuticals such as retinol, B3, vitamin C, hydroxyl acids, peptides, growth factors, etc. High percentages are no longer a differentiating factor, nor is the delivery system. Encapsulation technology has been around for decades. Some pharmaceutical products do have high percentages of active ingredients & department store products have been using active ingredients & advanced delivery systems for some time.
Whenever you hear people talking about cosmetics, they generally refer to make up. The FDA defines cosmetics as make-up & as products designed "for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance without affecting the body's structure or functions". So soaps, shampoo, deodorant, fragrances, make up, etc are classed as cosmetics.
However antiperspirants that stop you from sweating, toothpaste that whitens teeth, or anti-bacterial soaps as well as SPF 30 or 50+ sunscreens are classed (by definition) as cosmeceuticals.
Dr Albert Klingman who first used the term cosmeceutical, however researching it, Raymond Reed, founder of the U.S. Society of cosmetic chemists, who created the concept of "cosmeceutical" in 1961. The American dermatologist Albert Kligman popularised term “cosmeceutical” in the late 1970s. In the 1980, he went on to research Vitamin A & its effects on acne, sun damage and premature ageing. This is when Retinol & its use in skin care was born, which has revolutionised how we treat skin today.
Dr Alber Klingman defined Cosmeceuticals as skin care products combining cosmetics and pharmaceuticals ingredients. They are more active than basic skin care products that cleanse & cover up imperfections, but not as active as prescription skin medications. Cosmeceuticals are regarded as skin care products with active ingredients claiming to have medical benefits.
Thanks to Jana Elston for inspiration for this post!