In the world of medically based beauty, much of today’s innovation centers on non-surgical procedures. In the past we didn’t have very many options besides surgery, but in today’s day and age we can slow and even reverse signs of aging with minimally invasive procedures that require little to no downtime. These non-surgical procedures may not be able to accomplish the dramatic results that surgery can, but starting these less invasive procedures in one’s 30s or 40s can delay the need for actual surgery, and can even help make surgery less extensive when the time comes. In addition, using non-surgical treatments as an adjunct to surgery can help results last longer.
While facial cosmetic surgery lifts and removes excess skin, it doesn’t actually improve its health or integrity. The fundamental difference between non-surgical procedures such as peels, resurfacing lasers and energy-based skin-tightening technologies is that these treatments can stimulate the skin to produce more collagen and elastin, in turn prompting skin to get thicker, healthier and more youthful-looking. This is a relatively new approach to slowing and reversing the aging process, and skin care plays a major role.
I see medical-grade skin care as the perfect complement to non-surgical procedures since the right products can prepare the skin, help it heal better, and ultimately help achieve optimal results. Along with retinol, vitamin C, and vitamin E, the growth factors found in SkinMedica’s TNS Recovery Complex® and TNS Essential Serum® are among the most powerful ingredients available today. These skin care ingredients stimulate the skin to produce more collagen, make it smoother, and prompt cells to actually behave in a more youthful manner. When used in conjunction with non-surgical procedures, you get better healing and a higher degree of skin repair that yield the best results possible.
Very superficial to superficial depth chemical peels, including the SkinMedica Illuminize Peel™, Vitalize Peel® and Rejuvenize Peel™ in-office treatments, take good skin and make it look great. Designed to be performed as a series for incremental improvement, these peels make skin smoother, brighter, and healthier. Ideal for those with the first signs of aging, these treatments eliminate the outer layer of dead skin build-up that causes skin to look dull, and allows skin care ingredients to better penetrate the skin so they can get down to where they need to be to work. A proper skin care regimen before, during and after chemical peels and other non-surgical procedures makes these treatments more effective and enhances ultimate results.
Lasers offer control and the ability to target specific skin issues, such as redness, age spots and hyperpigmentation. Some lasers improve the skin’s condition as a whole through both collagen stimulation and ablating or removing the skin’s outer layer, resulting in improvement in skin laxity, fine lines and texture. Skin care plays an especially important role with any laser treatment, as proper pre- and post-treatment care reduces the risk of complications during the healing process and assures maximum improvement.
Injectables such as fillers and wrinkle-relaxing toxins are among the most popular non-surgical treatments today. Although injectables and skin care work on different levels of the skin, the two complement each other. Injectables are an essential tool in facial rejuvenation since they target and treat the deeper creases and muscles that cause expression-related wrinkles. But if you don’t treat the surface of the skin with medical-grade skin care products, you’re only correcting part of the problem.
SkinMedica recognizes the relationship between non-surgical procedures and skin care, which is why the line offers the Post-Procedure System for ablative procedures such as CO2, Fractionated CO2 and deep chemical peels. This four-piece kit includes everything the skin needs after in-office treatments to ensure optimal healing and maximum results. Although many doctors customize post-procedure skin care regimens for their patients—myself included—the following steps are essential.
- Sensitive Skin Cleanser: A gentle, non-irritating cleanser is key, as many traditional cleansers contain acids and other active ingredients that are too harsh for post-procedure use.
- TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream™: Ceramides are molecules that bind to the skin’s surface and hold moisture in. Since many non-surgical treatments strip the skin of ceramides, it’s important to replenish them in order to prevent dehydration and reestablish the skin’s barrier. This cream also contains SkinMedica’s TNS complex to stimulate collagen production and restore the skin to a more youthful state.
- Restorative Ointment: Rich in emollients, this ointment acts as a sealant that protects the skin when its barrier is compromised. This type of product is standard after resurfacing procedures.
Environmental Defense Sunscreen SPF 30+: After the skin barrier is disrupted, UV exposure makes the skin more at risk for discoloration and free radical damage. In order to promote the best possible healing and optimal results, diligent sun protection is essential after any non-surgical procedure.