treatments

Retinol, the ‘Holy Grail’ of skincare?

mature skin options

Serums containing retinol are, arguably, amongst the most effective products available to support skin health and should be a staple of all good skincare regimes, alongside a suitable cleanser, moisturiser and broad-spectrum sun protection, plus, Vitamin C (and that’s another blog post…)

Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and vitamin A itself, is long established as being central to cell renewal. Extensive research has shown that Retinol, by encouraging new skin cell production, can improve a variety of skin concerns –

·         Firming skin: by encouraging the production of the skin’s structural proteins (Collagen & Elastin) and Hyaluronic Acid (the natural water retaining molecules in skin tissue)

…which also has the added bonus of …

·         Reducing wrinkles

·         Improving Acne: by encouraging ‘desquamation’ – the skin’s natural exfoliation process – so that pores don’t become blocked by dead skin cells

which also has the added bonus of …

·         Improving the appearance of enlarged pores (this is also thought to be helped by the increased Collagen and Elastin production, as the pores are strengthened)

So, if it is ‘the holy grail’ of skincare, why has it got such a questionable reputation?

Unfortunately, Retinol is one of a family of vitamin A derivatives called Retinoids, which vary in strength and effect. The strongest, and the one with the greatest effect on skin cell turnover, is Retinoic Acid.

Retinoic Acid can most easily be described as ‘prescription strength’, and it is used in cream/gel format (Tretinoin) and tablet form (Isotretinoin) to treat Acne. Its strength means that cell turnover is very rapid indeed, and so, in the short term, it can cause irritation, dryness and flaking. This has led people to believe that Retinol thins the skin.

However, this is misleading, because, it only thins the very most outer layer of the epidermis, removing those skin cells that would be exfoliated naturally.  In fact, evidence shows, that over time, Retinol actually thickens the skin, by encouraging the basal layer, which contains the stem cells, to reproduce more quickly. Used appropriately, it will not detrimentally affect the skin, as it has a regulatory effect on the cells and renewal is controlled. So, in the short term, this leads to brighter, healthier looking skin, and in the longer term, to the strengthening of the deeper dermal layers of the skin which helps to smooth lines and wrinkles!

So, should we all rush to add Retinol to our daily regime?

The answer is yes & no!

As already explained Retinoids (of which Retinol is a form) come in varying strengths

·         Retinyl Palmitate, which is the weakest, but the least potentially irritating form

·         Retinaldehyde

·         Retinol

·         Retinoic Acid, the strongest but the most potentially irritating form

Ideally, in order to see the greatest improvement in the look and health of our skin, we should opt to use Retinol on a daily basis. However, as already discussed, it is potentially irritating when first used. The sensible approach, is to gradually introduce it into our regimes, either by starting off with a lower strength product, such as one containing Retinyl Palmitate, or by initially using it only once or twice a week, and slowly reducing the time between applications. It is important to note that the onset of irritation can be delayed, and so may not be apparent for 2 or 3 days.  The goal should be to use a moderate strength Retinol (0.04-0.1%) every evening, but if your skin is sensitive, you may find that 2 or 3 times a week is all that it can comfortably tolerate. If irritation is still an issue you may need to look at products containing weaker retinoids. These options will still provide the improvements, but progress will be slower.

So, is Retinol suitable for everyone?

Natural collagen production begins to slow down from our mid 30’s, and so from this age, everybody should think about boosting it through Retinol use. However, if you are prone to irritation, or suffer with conditions like Eczema, then you should seek help to ensure that your choice is appropriate.

Retinol is not suitable for use during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding, and should be discontinued for a month prior to attempting conception.

Finally…..SPF,SPF,SPF: daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (minimum SPF30 & 5 crowns) should be one of the mainstays of your skincare regime. But retinoids have a photosensitising effect on the skin, it is therefore imperative not to skip this vital step, and if/wherever possible avoid strong sunlight in order to avoid pigmentation issues.

It’s also important to make sure your skin’s barrier function remains intact, by moisturising and maintaining your hydration levels. This will ensure that your skin remains healthy, and irritation is kept at bay, once you have established the use of skincare’s ‘Holy Grail’ in your routine!!

Posted by canda2510@gmail.com
Can microneedling help melasma?

Can microneedling help melasma?

Can microneedling help melasma?

Microneedling can be a very effective treatment for most forms of hyperpigmentation.

The micro-needles create minute channels in the skin’s surface breaking up areas of pigmentation staining. Suitable actives can then be delivered deeper into the skin to aid the process.

Where the pigmentation is a result of sun damage, treatment is particularly effective. A course of 3 – 6 treatments are generally required.

When triggered by hormone changes, as melasma often is, improvement is possible but more difficult due to the physiological nature of the problem and our body’s genetic make-up can not be changed.

Following treatment, all results will require the on-going use of products with the appropriate actives for maintenance and the prevention of further staining.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

Can microneedling cause broken capillaries?

Can microneedling cause broken capillaries?

This is a common worry.

However microneedling is proven and safe, and because it is only minimally invasive and is non-ablative it carries very little risk of adverse reactions.

On the contrary…

In fact, despite the apparent contraindication to its use where vascular conditions exist, it can actually be very effective at treating conditions like Telangiectasia (often referred to as broken capillaries) as the microchannels stimulate the development of new capillaries (angiogenesis) and the strengthening of the vascular network.

A thorough consultation will highlight any potential issues and you may be advised to prepare your skin in advance through the use of appropriate skin care products.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

Where did microneedling come from?

Where did microneedling come from?

Microneedling’s origins lie in Chinese acupuncture.

However, modern advances are the result of medical findings in the 1990’s that revealed that various needling procedures around depressed scars had the side-effect of stimulating Collagen production and as a result filling and raising them.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

Can microneedling help acne scars?

Can microneedling help acne scars?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive aesthetic procedure that is proven to be safe and effective.

It works by creating microchannels in the skin’s surface that stimulate cellular renewal to build new skin and so offers exceptional results for a number of common skin conditions.

Research has shown that this ability to build new skin can be extremely effective in improving the appearance of scars particularly indented scars (hypotrophic scars) such as those caused by Chicken Pox or Acne.

It is important to remember that the process of building new skin tissue is progressive and takes time, and so optimal results generally require a course of treatment, and may require a period of pre-treatment skin conditioning to avoid potential adverse effects.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

Can microneedling be done on the neck?

Can microneedling be done on the neck?

Microneedling is a minimally invasive aesthetic procedure that stimulates cellular renewal to build new skin and so offer exceptional results for a number of common skin conditions including:

  • lines,

  • wrinkles,

  • scars,

  • pigmentation stains and

  • poor skin texture.

Although commonly used on the face, the treatment can safely be used on most areas of the body and offers good results for improving a ‘turkey neck‘ or double chin.

The process of building new skin tissue takes time, and is progressive, and so the full effects of the treatment may not be seen immediately.

Optimal results generally require a course of treatment, and may require a period of pre-treatment skin conditioning to avoid potential adverse effects.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

microneedling: what to do before and after

microneedling: what to do before and after

Microneedling is a minimally invasive aesthetic procedure that can give exceptional results for a number of common skin conditions including lines, wrinkles, scars, pigmentation stains and poor skin texture.

Optimal results require a course of treatment that includes pre-treatment skin conditioning and post-procedural care.

Preparation before treatment

Where the skin’s natural protective barrier is not functioning adequately, post-treatment healing will be slower and adverse effects like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation can occur. To guard against this, a pre-treatment regime of cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating and moisturising with products suitable for your particular skin type, together with the introduction of antioxidants, and actives to address specific concerns, should be undertaken for at least 2 weeks.

Care after treatment

Following your treatment, you will be given products to care for your skin during the first 24-48 hours whilst it is in the immediate recovery period, when you should avoid using perfumed products and some types of make-up. After this time, you should begin re-introducing your skincare regime to enhance the effects of the procedure.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

Why is my skin not peeling after my chemical peel?

Why is my skin not peeling after my chemical peel?

Newer chemical peel formulations, that have ingredients that work together to provide the desired result with minimal downtime, often mean that you won’t actually ‘peel’.

Rather there will just be a short period of flaky skin.

Research has shown that several treatments with a milder peel solution can offer the same results as a single session with a stronger, more aggressive formulation. This means less downtime and a reduced risk of an adverse reaction.

Sometimes, the solutions are so gentle that there will be no visible skin peeling at all.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

What is microneedling good for?

What is microneedling good for?

Microneedling offers a very effective way of dealing with a number of common skin conditions.

It provides great opportunities for improving age-related issues such as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as helping to improve the overall condition of your skin.

Epidermal pigmentation problems through sun damage can also be addressed.

Short courses of treatment can significantly improve acne and acne scarring, and skin suffering with issues of sensitivity and redness.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart

Can microneedling damage your skin?

Can microneedling damage your skin?

Microneedling is proven and safe, and because it is only minimally invasive and is non-ablative it carries very little risk of adverse reactions.

However, to ensure that your skin heals as quickly and smoothly as possible it should be in a healthy condition prior to your treatment. A thorough consultation will highlight any potential issues and you may be advised how to prepare your skin in advance through the use of appropriate skin care products.

 Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician Anne Stewart, Owner and Aesthetician

Posted by Anne Stewart