If you’re thinking about a cosmetic procedure such as laser resurfacing or even surgery, those few hours you spend in the doctor’s office are just a small part of your journey to beautiful skin. The process of skin rejuvenation is a long one, and it starts with solid skin care. But proper skin care is not a single product—it’s a comprehensive regimen combined with healthy habits. When these align, it’s possible to reverse signs of aging, improve symptoms of sun damage and even prevent future skin damage from occurring. The ultimate goal is to find the right balance for your skin and treat your skin’s specific needs—with or without plastic surgery.
The ideal regimen
Nearly everyone’s skin can benefit from growth factors, peptides and other special ingredients like antioxidant green tea and brightening alpha arbutin. Retinol is another key skin-improving ingredient and it benefits just about everyone, especially those with acne and visible signs of aging. Lastly, sunscreen is a crucial part of every skin care regimen. But SPF alone isn’t enough, and choosing a product with added antioxidants can actually help reverse existing signs of damage as well. Together, these ingredients help get skin in optimal shape before cosmetic procedures—and ensure the best and longest lasting results possible.
Laser resurfacing treatments essentially remove the uppermost layers of skin in order to eliminate damaged cells, so skin care plays an indispensible role before and after these procedures. Before laser treatment, it’s especially important to have a fairly even skin tone so the end result is uniform, which is why I make sure all of my patients use retinol and a skin lightener. A proper skin care regimen also ensures that the end result is uniform. When the skin is peeling and healing immediately after treatment, I have patients use a very gentle regimen (including SkinMedica® Sensitive Skin Cleanser and TNS Ceramide Treatment Cream™). Once post-laser peeling is done, I keep these patients on retinol, growth factors and skin lighteners for the long term, which helps prevent future damage. It’s like an insurance policy for their investment.
In order to get the best end result, it’s important for the skin to be in optimal condition before undergoing cosmetic surgery. You have to keep in mind that surgery doesn’t have an effect on skin quality—only a skin care regimen can do this. For example, a facelift can remove extra skin, but can’t improve the quality of the skin that remains. This is why surgical patients need to be on a solid skin care regimen for at least six to eight weeks before the procedure. Of course skin care needs to be gentle immediately after surgery to ensure proper healing, but I get patients back on their retinol after just a few weeks.
Regardless of your personal skin-improvement plan, using the right products is key for obtaining the most beautiful, healthy skin possible. Cosmetic procedures like laser treatments and surgery are wonderful ways to improve the appearance of the skin, but the proper skin care regimen can take their results to a whole new level—and preserve the skin’s rejuvenated appearance for years to come.