Only the lucky few are born with flawless skin that seems to barely age and maintains a healthy, even complexion through the years. For the rest of us, there is usually something about our skin that we would like to improve. Do you want to even out your skin tone, decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, or remove dark spots? Achieving those goals are within reach. We all want to look our best year-round, but the holiday season can mean an increase in photo opportunities, visiting with loved ones you don’t see often, and generally wanting to put your best face forward. At Rabin-Greenberg Dermatology, a U.S. Dermatology Partners practice in Houston and Kingwood, Texas, Dr. Katherine Bell works with patients to achieve healthy skin that looks as good as it feels. In this blog post, Dr. Bell walks through some tips for keeping your skin looking its best during the holiday season, as well as some of the most popular cosmetic dermatology services and how they can help you improve the appearance of your skin.
How Can I Keep My Skin Beautiful?
Getting beautiful skin starts with healthy daily skincare habits! Your dermatologist can partner with you to develop a daily care routine to keep your skin looking its very best. Each person is different, and we’ll recommend a personalized daily cleansing and moisturizing routine to help you keep your skin looking and feeling great. Some basic recommendations that work for everyone include:
Daily Cleansing Routine
You should wash your face at least twice a day (in the morning and evening). Use a gentle cleanser and check the ingredients list for alcohol. Alcohol strips moisture from your skin, so it’s best to choose a cleanser without alcohol. To begin, wet your skin with lukewarm water. Then, gently apply the facial cleanser by hand. There’s no need to use a brush or cloth that can irritate your skin. You should also avoid scrubbing, which can lead to inflammation and puffiness. Then, carefully rinse the soap from your skin with lukewarm water.
You should apply a moisturizer every time you wash your face or take a shower. Warm water strips natural moisture from your skin. Even if you have oily skin, moisturizing is important to ensure moisture is even. By maintaining adequate moisture levels, you encourage cell regeneration and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s important for you to find the right moisturizer. Some common moisturizing ingredients include the following:
- For increased firmness – look for Vitamin A and B5
- To fight skin damage – look for antioxidants like Vitamin C and E
- To prevent sun damage – look for moisturizers with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher (as an added bonus sun protection also means anti-aging)
Last but not least, everyone needs to apply sunscreen every day. Even if your skin doesn’t burn from sun exposure, the UVA and UVB rays still damage skin, leading to uneven skin tone, wrinkles, dark spots, and other cosmetic flaws. Many moisturizers and foundations now contain sunscreen, so you may receive adequate coverage using these products. However, you should be reapplying sunscreen every two to four hours in most cases.
What About Cosmetic Dermatology?
Dermatology is the field of medicine concerned with skin health. Thus, cosmetic dermatology services are treatments geared toward improving the appearance of skin. These services are beneficial in a wide variety of situations, including:
- Maintaining youthful appearance – as we age, our skin may start to show signs of the years of damage, stress, and sun exposure. Cosmetic dermatology can help minimize the appearance of age spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
- Removing scars – after an accident or injury, an unsightly scar can mar your appearance for years. Modern cosmetic dermatology treatments can help to reduce their appearance.
- Discoloration – there are also cosmetic dermatology services to address dark spots, age spots, or birthmarks that negatively impact your appearance.
- Lumps & bumps – moles, lipomas, benign cysts, skin tags, and other lumps and bumps that are not skin cancer may not impact your health, but if they irritate you or impact your appearance, we can quickly and comfortably remove them.
What Treatments are Available?
According to Dr. Bell, “A skilled dermatologist can provide a wide range of personalized cosmetic treatments to help you improve the appearance of your skin. We want our patients to look as good as they feel, and we know the profound impact that improved confidence can have when we make changes to the appearance of skin. In short, we want every patient to love their skin, so if you’re not happy with your skin’s appearance, we can help.” Some of the most popular cosmetic solutions we offer include the following:
Neurotoxins, Dermal Fillers & Volumizers
To eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, neurotoxin injections and dermal fillers offer effective, minimally invasive treatment options. Your provider will work with you to determine which option is right for your circumstance and desired outcome. While Botox and Juvederm have garnered the greatest brand recognition, there are a wide range of available options, including:
- Botox – a wrinkle-reducing treatment that stops unnecessary muscle contractions below the wrinkle to improve the overall appearance. Botox is typically recommended to address fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead.
- Dysport – reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by blocking the nerve impulse that stimulates muscle contractions.
- Jeuveau – a newly available neurotoxin that can be used to target and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and forehead.
- Belotero – a hyaluronic acid filler that creates a smoother appearance for fine lines and wrinkles that frame the mouth and lips.
- Juvederm – there are a full range of Juvederm dermal filler gels available to improve the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth, nose, lips, and cheeks.
- Restylane – a dermal filler used to address a variety of issues including improving the appearance of shallow or deep fine lines and wrinkles, restoring facial firmness, and replenishing fullness around the mouth, nose, and lips.
- Radiesse – This is a filler and volumizer that instantly restores volume and also stimulates collagen growth.
- Sculptra – effective in filling deep facial lines and wrinkles, Sculptra is a unique volumizing product that stimulates your body to produce collagen slowly over time.
Skin Resurfacing & Rejuvenation
For many people, years of exposure to sunlight, chemicals, pollution, and daily stress lead to skin that may look a little worse for the wear. When you want to renew your skin’s health and create an even skin tone, resurfacing or rejuvenation treatments may be beneficial. Your provider will make recommendations based on your desired goals. Some of the available treatment options may include:
- Microneedling – you may hear this referred to as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), and it is an impressive treatment option to address scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and create an even skin texture, tone, and color.
- Chemical Peels – a chemical peel improves the overall appearance of your skin by removing the current surface layer of cells to reveal healthy, new skin below.
- CO2 Laser Restoration – this treatment uses lasers to remove the surface layers of skin and reveal the healthy layer below.
- Fraxel – this fractional laser technology is effective for a variety of treatments, including smoothing skin tone and texture and reducing the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and dark spots.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing – a completely comfortable and noninvasive way to improve the tone and texture of the skin using gentle, innovative laser technology.
- ProFractional Therapy – a laser therapy that creates microscopic holes in the skin’s surface, which stimulates the body to heal the skin, speeding up collagen production and skin cell regrowth.
- Microdermabrasion – a resurfacing treatment that uses exfoliants to remove damaged and dead skin cells while stimulating blood flow to speed up cell renewal and collagen production.
- Dermaplaning – this exfoliation treatment removes dead skin cells and stimulates new cell production. This is a great option to improve the efficacy of other skin treatments like moisturizers and masks.
- IPL Photo Rejuvenation – helping to reverse the effects of sun damage using intense pulsed lights, this treatment improves the appearance of brown spots and also reduces facial redness.
- Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy – using your own blood plasma, PRP therapy gives skin a healthy, rejuvenated appearance and fights signs of aging by stimulating collagen production and skin cell renewal.
- Skin Lightening – melasma (darker spots on the skin), age spots, and freckles can all be lightened to even the skin tone. These treatments may involve bleaching creams, chemical peels, and laser treatments.
Get Started with U.S. Dermatology Partners
Whether you want to improve the appearance of your skin or simply maintain the health of your skin, we’d love to hear from you. Dr. Bell and all of our knowledgeable dermatology professionals are committed to creating personalized treatment plans that ensure your skin looks and feels its best. To get started, complete our online request form. One of our local teams will be in touch with you soon to answer your questions and help you schedule your appointment.
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