Jan 11, 2016

The Canmore MediSpa and Laser Centre

Tips for keeping your skin hydrated and healthy this winter: January 2016 Newsletter

This time of year, particularly in the Prairie provinces, dry skin is a very common complaint. With the humidity hovering around 20-40% and heaters turned to maximum warmth, it's any wonder that our skin doesn't completely crack. However, our skin is amazingly resilient and switching up a few things can make a world of difference.                        
From the desk of Dr. Balharry...

“I use lots of moisturisers on my skin but I always feel dry. What am I doing wrong?”
This is a complaint that we hear quite frequently, particularly from people older than 40. Our skin is a very effective barrier that prevents us from harm from our environment. Our skin is made of different layers that all serve a different purpose. On the very surface, there is a layer of dead cells called the stratum corneum which provides a waterproof barrier and also protects against viruses, bacteria and other foreign substances. As we age, this dead cell layer gets thicker which is why older skin often looks dull compared to young skin which is bright and shiny.

So what has this to do with hydration? The manufacturers of skin care products have struggled for ever to find a way to allow products to penetrate the skin and get to the deeper layers where it can do some good.  You can’t just splash water on your face and think that you are hydrating your skin. You can’t rub vitamin C on your skin and think that it is going to help. This stuff has to get through the protective barrier of our skin. Because of the increased dead cell layer, it becomes increasingly harder for products to penetrate through older (thicker) skin.

Skin care products have improved significantly in the past few years and manufacturers have found ways of penetrating the skin to allow the good products to get through the barrier. Yet still, to get good results from these products, it is much more effective if we further weaken the barrier. This is not hard to do. A simple thing to help to remove some of the dead cell layer is to use an exfoliant cream on a regular basis. These creams are usually derived from the fruit acids like glycolic acid or vitamin A acid. Many forms of facials purposely help to remove some of the dead cell layer allowing penetration of hydrating or rejuvenating products. A step further would be the very superficial skin peels (exfoliants) such as the Microzone Moisture Boost. (see our January promotion).

One of the very popular treatments for brightening the skin and removing some of the dead cell layers is microdermabrasion. The Silkpeel microdermabrasion system not only removes a very thin layer of dead cells but also uses different solutions that can hydrate at the same time. More damaged skin may require more aggressive management such as Micro Laser Peel. This is a very effective use of laser energy that allows us to remove very thin layers of the dead skin off the face in a very accurate way. You have to allow 2-3 days of redness following this treatment but the results are rewarding.

We should also think about inside-out. A healthy diet helps our skin repair the cells. This should include a good intake of the antioxidant vitamins (Bcomplex, C), vitamin D (supplements in the winter months), repairing minerals (selenium, magnesium, zinc) and the fish oils (EPA/DHA). Sun protection is also very important. (Feel free to call or drop in to ask about our line of Metagenics line of health products).

In summary, moisturising is important to how we feel and we may have to assist these moisturisers to allow them to penetrate our skin barrier.

Gina's Winter Skin Care Tips...

During the winter months you may notice that your typical moisturizer is not keeping your skin as hydrated as it may have in the previous seasons. The fix may be as simple as opting for richer cream. Look for creams that are labeled as ‘evening creams’. These are often oil based and will create a preservative layer on the skin and will retain more moisture. Be sure to only choose products with face friendly oils so you don’t get congestion. Some examples are avocado oil, primrose oil, jojoba seed oil, and coconut oil just to name a few. Dermalogica’s Super Rich Repair moisturizer is a winter must have when it comes to chronically dry and dehydrated skin.

You can also try incorporating a hydrating masque once a week, preferably on a day you exfoliate for better product penetration. Our product of the month is Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Masque. This masque is designed to deliver time-released hydration, stimulate the skin’s natural moisturizing factor and help restore skin’s protective barrier.

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Category: Newsletter