You are now leaving a non-prescription product website and entering a prescription only product website.
You may have noticed that the first signs of aging are typically seen around the eye in the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and even puffiness.
Here are a few reasons:
Considering all of these factors, what can be done to reverse any damage and improve the appearance of the skin around the eyes?
One way is to use skincare products specifically designed for the delicate skin around the eyes. Most importantly, products that have been tested for skin sensitivity and ocular irritancy.
When choosing an eye cream, use products that contain potent antioxidants, such as topical Vitamin C and Vitamin E, which protect the skin from free radical damage and enhance collagen production for firmer skin.
Other important ingredients to look for in a topical eye cream:
In addition to using appropriate skincare products to take care of the fragile and delicate skin around the eyes, don't forget to ALWAYS use sunscreen and wear sunglasses whenever you go outdoors to prevent future damage.
Our skin - the largest organ in the body - performs many important physiological functions and is particularly susceptible to free radical damage. Skin acts as the primary barrier against fluid loss and environmental abuse, and is constantly exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light and other oxidative stressors. This free radical damage causes wrinkles, loss of skin tone and elasticity, hyperpigmentation and aging. The face, neck, décolleté and hands are the most exposed and vulnerable parts of the body. Therefore, they require additional, targeted antioxidant protection considerably more than the unexposed areas of the skin.
It is particularly important to apply topical antioxidants to the exposed areas to prevent and reverse sun damage, and to improve the overall health of the skin. Countless studies demonstrate that topical antioxidants protect the skin from UV damage, reduce inflammation and increase collagen production. The use of topical products that contain Vitamins C and E, the most well known and effective antioxidants, are essential for skin's health, and together they provide extraordinary antioxidant protection.
But using only a topical antioxidant may not be enough for optimum skin rejuvenation. Retinol, a biologically active form of Vitamin A, plays an important role in that the skin rejuvenation process. As a result of chronological and environmental aging, our skin's ability to renew itself slows down significantly. Retinols accelerate exfoliation and stimulate epidermal turnover by replacing the damaged cells with new cells, therefore, increasing epidermal thickness. Studies have shown that retinols and Vitamin C are equally important in the production of new collagen since they use different mechanisms to synthesize it. In addition, retinols and Vitamin C help to reduce hyperpigmentation and age spots, and improve overall skin tone and texture.
As you can see, both topical antioxidants and retinols have a specific role in an anti-aging regimen. When combined, they produce the most comprehensive and effective results.
Exfoliation. Skin exfoliation is a natural process associated with the constant regeneration of skin cells in the epidermis. Skin cells generate in the deepest layer of the epidermis, move toward the surface, shed invisibly, and the cycle continues. This natural process of skin exfoliation slows down with age. Babies renew their cells every 14 days, teenagers every 21-28 days, middle-aged adults every 28-42 days and it takes up to 50 days to renew cells by age 50 or older.
The best way to improve skin texture and smoothness is by accelerating this natural process of exfoliation. There are two ways do this and both are extremely beneficial:
Mechanical Exfoliation - This involves physically sloughing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. Examples of physical exfoliation include microdermabrasion, brush machines, or granular scrubs made with synthetic materials or natural materials like the jojoba spheres found in SkinMedica Skin Polisher.
Chemical Exfoliation - This involves chemical agents that are applied topically. Common examples of chemical exfoliants are alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids which can be found 15% AHA/BHA Cream, and chemical peels such as Vitalize Peel®. Chemical peels are a more advanced form of chemical exfoliation and must be performed by a trained aesthetician or medical professional. Both have acids that dissolve the intercellular glue that binds dead skin cells together. Retinols, like those found in Retinol Complex, work a bit differently. They essentially accelerate the skin cell turnover and renewal process.
Although exfoliation is imperative in maintaining healthy skin, it is important to avoid over-exfoliation, which can lead to skin irritation, increased sensitivity and damage to the protective skin barrier. Consult your skin care professional for the most appropriate exfoliating option for your skin's needs.
Hyperpigmentation is the medical term used to describe the condition in which certain areas of the skin become darker. Hyperpigmentation is often the result of sun exposure but other common causes are hormones, especially hormonal changes due to pregnancy or the pill. Genes are also factors in determining how likely you are to get brown spots. For example, olive complexions are more predisposed to pigmentation. There's also PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) which is caused by injury to the skin. Acne and eczema are common culprits for PIH.
There are a couple of options that I recommend for the treatment of hyperpigmentation:
Hydroquinone - This skin lightening agent prevents the overproduction of melanin from occurring, while lightening the brown spots on the skin. EpiQuin® Micro is an excellent prescription cream for the treatment of hyperpigmentation, containing 4% hydroquinone, as well as retinol and antioxidants.
TNS Hyperpigmentation System® - This system includes EpiQuin® Micro mentioned above as part of a complete daily regimen with products that work collectively to improve and prevent hyperpigmentation, melasma, photodamage, fine lines and wrinkles.
Chemical Peels - Chemical peels such as Vitalize Peel® use a mild acid solution to remove dead and damaged upper skin layers with minimal irritation. The result is a smoother and more even complexion and a reduction in pigment changes. You should also notice a more youthful appearance. Chemical peels can also be combined with EpiQuin® Micro and TNS Hyperpigmentation System to optimize results.
Whichever of the above you and your medical professional decide, your skin will be more sensitive to the sun while undergoing any of these treatments so make sure to use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure.
EpiQuin Micro should be tested for skin sensitivity prior to use. Excessive inflammatory responses are contraindications to further use, while minor redness is not. Hydroquinone may produce unwanted effects if not used as directed. The safety of topical hydroquinone use during pregnancy has not been established.
Aestheticians can play an essential role in maintaining and improving the health of the skin. Since each patient is unique, I often stress the importance of cultivating a long term relationship in order to maximize the effectiveness of treatments. The first step is finding one you love. Here are five qualities everyone should look for:
Word of mouth is a great first step in finding a great aesthetician, or if you're starting your search from scratch, visit our Physician Finder which can connect you with authorized SkinMedica medical practices or medical spas near you.
I'm still troubled by the number of my patients that don't use an adequate amount of sun protection. Even if it's cloudy and you are running one quick errand, you still need sunscreen. Consider these lesser-known facts:
Skin cancer is serious but can be prevented with adequate protection. So be sure to speak with your dermatologist if you have any questions related to sunscreen and skin cancer prevention.
1. Henry W. Lim, Zoe Diana Draelos. Clinical Guide to Sunscreens and Photoprotection. Informa HealthCare, 2008.
Pores cannot be shrunken permanently, but there are certain steps you can take to temporarily reduce their size and appearance. Here's a list of options I often give my patients. While most of these treatments are traditionally used to treat acne, they're applicable to just about anyone with oily skin and concerns about pore size.
Comedone extraction - Sterile instruments are used by a skin care professional to open and clean out comedones, commonly referred to as blackheads and whiteheads. This process of deep pore cleaning reduces the chance of developing acne scaring and minimizes the appearance of larger and more pronounced pores often seen on the forehead and chin.
SkinMedica Acne System - The salicylic acid found in the Acne Treatment Foaming Wash and Acne Treatment Toner promotes gentle exfoliation and therefore prevents pores from clogging up. Acne Treatment lotion, a benzoyl peroxide-based therapeutic treatment lotion, has the ability to absorb oil from the surface of the skin.
Smoothbeam - This FDA-approved laser treatment is primarily used to treat acne, but I have found it to be beneficial to my patients with oily skin and enlarged pores.
And let's not forget my favorite pore solution ... loose the magnifying mirror! If that doesn't work, talk to your skin care professional about which of the options listed above might work best for you and your unique skin care needs.
There are two categories of skin care issues, those affected by genetics and those affected by the environment. Patients often don't understand the difference between these two categories which leads to incorrect product choices which only further exacerbate whatever issue it is they're dealing with.
Take for example dry skin vs. dehydrated skin. Dry skin is genetically predetermined and is characterized by insufficient oil gland activity. Dehydrated skin is characterized by lack of moisture due to such factors as climate and over cleansing. So even oily skin types can suffer from dehydrated skin.
If your skin is dehydrated due to environmental causes, look for moisturizing products that contain humectants to seal the moisture in, and hydrating agents to increase the water content in the epidermis. Some examples of ingredients to look for include hyaluronic acid, panthenol, glycerin, aloe, and glycolopids.
If your skin is dry due to genetic causes, look for moisturizing products that contain emollients in addition to the humectants described above. Examples of emollients include shea butter, squalane, vitamin E, allantoin, and ceramides.
If you're not sure if you're skin issues are a result of the environment or your genes, your aesthetician or dermatologist will be sure to provide a proper diagnosis and help you to choose the most effective regimen for your skin's needs.