I want to tell you about what is becoming more and more popular a collagen boosting alternative Dermal Micro Needling (DMA).
New technology and products come out every day, that are promising secrets to the fountain of youth. It becomes so difficult to choose the right one that meets your expectations. True anti-aging treatments must stimulate collagen and elastin production, which is what, makes your skin look plump, smooth and young looking and feeling again.
You know, I love my wide variety of chemical peels (deep or aggressive and not aggressive) with microdermabrasion that are great treatments for collagen stimulation to reverse signs of aging and I still greatly rely on them. But I read recently Dr. Lance Setterfield’s book about the science behind skin rejuvenation technique called Dermal Micro Needling (DMN), and also attended DMN training and it opened my mind to another healthy and safe collagen boosting alternative.
DMN also known as collagen induction therapy (CIT), involves pricking the skin multiple times using a specially designed device with needles to create thousands of micro channels to allow greater penetration of topical solutions and to induce regeneration via the wound healing process. Unlike another collagen boosting procedures like deep or aggressive chemical peel and laser skin resurfacing, DMN treatment keeps your epidermis (skin protection barrier) intact! While the channels in the epidermis have closed within hours a new collagen structure starts to form in the dermis under a protective shield, which minimize down time, this eliminates the risk and the negative side effects of a more aggressive procedure like deep chemical and laser resurfacing or fraxel.
During DMN treatment you will feel a little pressure and slight prickling with mild pinking or redness and sensitivity in the treated area which can lasts between 1 to 24 hours. To protect and soothe the skin occlusive healing cream or ointments are recommended for the first 24 to 48 hours as home care regime. Mineral makeup and sunscreen may be used on the treated area next day after procedure, although just keeping the skin moist often looks better and encourages faster healing.
DMN is a safe collagen boosting treatment that can reduce and improve the following conditions:
- Increase penetration of active product ingredients into the skin (80% more)
- Promotes thickening of fine skin (increase in collagen deposition more than 200%)
- Softens fine lines and wrinkles (especially the forehead, nasolabial lines and wrinkles around the mouth)
- Tighten and restore elasticity
- Reduce the appearance of acne scars
- Helps reduce pigmentation marks
Number of treatments you need depends on age and skin condition. For more moderate common skin condition, anywhere between three and eight treatments with four weeks intervals is required. The results are evident after the very first treatment from the skin texture and its appearance as a smooth, tight, firm, even toned, glowing and younger looking skin.
Starting November the DMN treatment will be available as one of my services.
Hormonal fluctuations are a key contributing factor to acne in all age groups.
Androgen hormones, including testosterone stimulate overproduction of oil secreted by sebaceous glands located in every hair follicle, leading to clogged pores and P-acne bacteria proliferation. To read “Acne, why and how it happens” click here.
Although androgen hormones are more dominant in men, women may experience also their acne-causing effects. As estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate throughout the days, months and life, an imbalance of testosterone can take place, leading to more potential for breakouts.
During puberty (from age 9-14 in girls and 10-17 in boys) lots of biological and physical changes occurs together with changes to the skin. Because of its role that testosterone hormones have in the onset of acne, the condition is more severe in males during puberty. However it normally clears up or get much better by mid 20s and is not as reoccurring throughout life as in females.
About 45% of women suffer from menstrual cycle breakouts, because this 28 day process involves constant fluctuation of different hormones, which can improve or worsen the skin condition. During days 1 to7 of the cycle, estrogen hormone level increases clearing up the skin and during days 15-28 it begins to decline again which increase the potential of blemishes. In addition to a drop in estrogen, the progesterone level increases causing follicles to swell, compressing pores which in combination with the increased oil production create an ideal environment for acne.
Peri-menopause and menopause period begins when ovaries production of estrogen and progesterone slows down, while testosterone becomes more dominant, stimulating sebaceous glands produce more oil. In addition, surface hydration decreases with age (due to decreased surface lipids), trapping oil beneath the surface, this leads to a higher potential for breakouts. Menopause acne sufferers’ skin is considered water dry, not oily dry.
Another hormone cortisol (released in response to stress) stimulates sebum production and inflammation and thus contributing to severity of acne.
In summary even though acne pathology remains the same, adult acne is typically drier and similar to menopausal acne than teenager acne, due to decrease of surface lipids. To create an appropriate treatment plan both teenager and adult acne should seek advice from a professional
For my next article “Treatment plan to control teenager and adult acne”. (click here)
First of all, no matter what causing acne (hormones, genetics, stress, skin’s lipids abnormalities, faulty skin exfoliation and others) it is important to understand that acne is our body immune system respond. To understand it, I will explain on very simple model as to how and why it forms within the skin.
- Epidermis (top layer) of the skin mostly composed of dead cells (keratin filled). But those cells have not been dead for long. About every 5 days new cells are born in the lowest layer of epidermis and start their journey to the surface before they die, which takes about 28 to 40 days.
- Cells protect us by shifting from being water-filled to keratin filled giving the strength and integrity to the skin as they move up to surface. Ultimately, because of water loss these cells die and slough off in about a month.
- Dead cell together with oil, secreted by oil glands (sebaceous gland, located in every hair follicle) create skin barrier from external (like bacteria, weather changes) and internal (like dehydration, temperature changes) factors.
- But occasionally, things go wrong. Sometimes the cells don’t effectively move up and out of the follicle shaft that the oil glands are attached to, resulting in clogs composed of sticky cells, oils and the like, which can go on and form a black head or a white head .
- If the clog gets large enough it block excess air to follicle. Without oxygen P-acne bacteria (which live in all skin) starts developing and multiply, while matter forming in the clog (dead cells and oil) is feeding the bacteria.
- Now since that bacterium is no longer under control, our defense mechanism is activated and rushes to fight the bacteria, resulting in papule, pustule or cyst. Histamine (defensive hormone) is released that causes swelling and consequent pain from pressure on nerve ending. Capillaries are dilated to allow immune cells to arrive quickly causing redness and heat. And last, the pus is formed as a sign of the end of the battle.
Picking at pimples can give you immediate satisfaction but the infection can get worse, spread and cause permanent scaring along with post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation (brow or red spots).
Excessive washing of oily skin on the other hand, can be as detrimental as not washing enough, as is the use of overly drying products. Under each circumstance, the skin gets dehydrated, causing it to overproduce oil as it tries to seal in whatever water remains, which can lead to more clogged pores.
At this point very important to understand that your skin is not your enemy, it is as confused as you are and needs the help. It is time to change your habits and to start working together with your skin, not against it. It is the time to get professional advice with an appropriate treatment plan in office and at home.
My first advice in keeping your skin young is to exfoliate on a regular basis. Here are some basic principles of exfoliation.
First off, what is exfoliation?
It is a process of removing the top layer of the epidermis (dead cells) to improve the skin elasticity, texture and clarity. This helps correct many skin conditions like signs of aging that include fine lines and wrinkles and sagging. Also dehydration, acne, enlarged pores, rosacea, scaring and hyper-pigmentation, exema to name a few.
The purpose of professional exfoliating treatment is to create a controlled trauma to outer layers of the skin. Doing so will bring the skin from a resting state to a survival mode, and that will stimulate many beneficial skin functions like healing, rejuvenating, metabolic processes that will rid old cells and reveal healthier and younger looking skin.
All skin and condition will benefit from a suitable exfoliating method. The key is finding right one that increase skin benefits without over-exfoliating that could lead to chronic skin irritation and post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
Here are some top methods of exfoliation:
· Mechanical exfoliating: dead cells are physically rubbed off the skin with the appropriate ingredients (do not use apricot scrub for the face) used in your scrub at home or a more aggressive but effective professional treatment like Microdermabrasion (more info about this, click here).
Chemical exfoliation: the application of a selection of chemical solutions to gently dissolve the glue between the dead cells in your serums, weekly exfoliants and creams or a more aggressive but effective professional treatment like Chemical Peels (more info about this, click here).
Enzyme exfoliation: tend to be a gentler alternative with its digestive properties to dissolve the topmost layer of epidermis. Can be found in your everyday home care products or the more stimulating and effective professional treatments available with Enzyme action (more info about this, click here).
· Retinoids: are representatives of the vitamin A family, they are natural exfoliators that speed up cell turn over to help manage acne, discoloration and wrinkles.
There are two forms of retinoid: (1) non prescription like Retinol, Retinol palmitate, Retinol acetate and Retinoldehyde available in creams and serums. (2) Prescription only like Tretinoin (Rretin-A, Renova), Adapalene (Differin), Tazarotine are more effective but much more aggressive and can be the most irritating.
Any of the above methods are very beneficial for your skin by themselves and can boost each other in combination. During my organic paprika facial treatment or microdermabrasions, I am layering the mechanical with an enzyme exfoliation followed by organic AHA & BHA detoxifying and firming treatment (all from Eminence) that gives the best penetration and actions of the followings masks, serums and creams.
During chemical peels I am layering the mechanical (microdermabrasion) with an enzyme exfoliation (Enzyme peel) which is followed by a Chemical treatment from PCA, customized for individual clients needs to achieve the best result with long lasting effect.
Enzymes are substances that act as catalysts in living organisms resembling chemical reaction machines. These reactions allow the cells to build thinks or take them apart as needed. They do everything from breaking glucose down for energy release to building cell walls. Without enzymes we would never have wine and beer, baking and pharmaceutical industries, medicine and the skin industry.
Enzymes used topically are commonly derived from different fruits and plants such as pumpkin, pineapple, kiwi and papaya. By nature’s design enzymes deliver lots of skin benefits. For example, papaya and bromelain enzymes more gentle, while pumpkin enzyme can be more active and aggressive with the same digestive properties that dissolve dead cells protein. It is important to choose right one depending on skin conditions and concerns. I would choose papaya for sensitive skin and pumpkin for thicker, more resilient skin.
Another important condition for enzymes activity is water, which is regulating almost every enzymatic action. So to act they have to be in liquid. Our natural epidermal enzymes also require water to be active. That’s why it is so important to drink enough water to properly hydrate the skin.
By combining enzymatic activity with slightly more aggressive alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) or beta hydroxy acids (BHA) or both, which is depending on client’s skin type and conditions, it is possible to boost activity and result from any enzyme & chemical peel treatment.
I get amazing results to add on an enzyme exfoliating treatments to my facials, deep pore treatments, microdermabrasions and chemical peels or combinations of them together.
Chemical peel is skin resurfacing , typically characterized as the application of variety of chemical solutions to peel away the top layers of the skin and expose a smoother, even textured surface while stimulating repair and rejuvenating mechanism to produce new cells. They also reduce excess oils to minimize the occurrence of acne while controlling oil production and hydration. Stimulating cellular turnover, chemical peels are reducing appearance of hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. All these changes are manifested in more healthy, youthful looking skin.
The most common types of chemical peels are done with active ingredients as alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), beta hydroxy acids (BHA) and trichloracetic acid (TCA).
AHA are water soluble acids derived from fruits, nuts, milks and sugars. Some representatives of AHA are glycolic acid (from sugars), lactic acid (from milk), citric acid (from citrus fruit and corn), malic acid (from apples and green grapes), mandelic acid ( from almonds) and tartaric acid (from cranberry and grapes). AHA break down the bonds between skin cells, which allow the easier exfoliation of dead surface cells, kind of loosening the “glue” that holds the skin cells together.
BHA are works the same as AHA but they are oil soluble and often penetrates much dipper. Salicylic acid is BHA derived from willow tree bark, wintergreen oil and sweet birch.
Chemical peels are often classified by how deeply they can penetrate the skin, and ultimately how much they wound the skin. The deeper the peel penetrates, the more the skin is wounded, and the greater down time and risk involved. While light chemical peels are performed by esthetician, medium and deep chemical peels should be performed by physician.
Light chemical peels are defined as superficial. These peels reach into the epidermis and only impact the top layers of the skin. Light chemical peels are usually having a concentration of less than 10% of BHA and TCA and less than 30% AHA. They are used to treat fine lines, wrinkles, acne and acne scars, uneven skin color (pigmentation) and dry or oily skin condition.
Medium chemical peels can be prone to more complications, they penetrates deeper and are used to treat deep wrinkles and scars and dermal pigmentation issues. Medium chemical peels are usually having a concentration of AHA between 30% and 70% and BHA and TCA between 10% and 35%.
Deep peels like Phenol are the most aggressive and used for the removal of precancerous grows, deep wrinkles and acne scars.
Any chemical peels should always be followed by appropriate anti-inflammatory daily care products to help to repair skin barrier and to prevent inflammation. It is very important to use pharmaceutical skin care products with SPF protection to protect the skin and to prevent developing the postinflamatory hyper-pigmentation .
In my practice I work with PCA chemical peels that are a safe blend of active ingredients such as AHA,BHA, TCA together with retinoids, antioxidants and poliphenols incorporated into the complicated formulas to flood the skin with these beneficial actives during treatment. To get the best result I create customized chemical peels program for every client depends on client skin type, conditions and concerns.
Basic steps of natural body detoxification
Our body has 6 main system of detoxification: liver, kidneys, small and large intestines, lungs, lymph and our largest organ of elimination is our skin. All our organs of elimination have to work in harmony; otherwise the end result will negatively impact the body.
Here are some solutions to help your body to get that harmony:
- Avoid fried and processed foods, sodas, sugar, white flour and coffee.
- Boost fiber intake with foods such as whole grains( brown rice, millet, quinoa, oatmeal, barley, flax-seeds),legumes(lentils, kidney beans, black beans, fresh fruit and berries, vegetables like tomatoes, artichokes, onions, garlic, beets, red cabbage, broccoli)
- For cleansing and protecting all 6 systems it is ideal to drink plenty of water each day.
- Juice fresh vegetables and blend fresh fruits because fructose sugar from fruit when it separated from fiber (which is what happens during juicing) rushes into the system too fast and can be stored as fat.
To read more about the merits of juicing and for some basic ideas and recipes click here: Benefits of juicing article
- Herbs such as dandelion, burdock, milk thistle and natural green tea help to detoxify the liver.
- For yeast cleansing try herbs like olive leaf extract, capryllic acid and grapefruit seed extract.
- Take probiotics for good bacteria( natural sources are dairy products; fruit and veggie like brined olives, sauerkraut , pickled beets; soybean like miso, tamari, nondairy beverage like kombucha)
- Daily vitamin C intake aids in the production of glutathione, a compound the liver requires for flushing our toxins.
- Breathe deeply, as this allows oxygen to circulate and stimulate lymph flow.
- Exercise is one way you can promote perspiration to get rid of toxins through the skin; another is steam baths and saunas.
- Dry brush the skin to increase lymph flow and blood circulation.
- Indulge in hydrotherapy at home. Take a hot shower for five minutes, including scalp. Follow this with a burst of cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat this process three times (this stimulate lymph flow).
- Colon cleansing using colon hydrotherapy, enemas which utilize solutions of water or saline, sudsy solutions, oil solutions or variations of medications to aid with elimination.
Try to transform stress by focusing on positive thoughts and emotions; this will detoxify your brain which is very important to complete the Detox Program.
The Health Benefits of juicing
Juicing with fruit and vegetables is extremely healthy, because it allows the body to easily assimilate vital nutrients. It is also helps to cleanse the body of toxins and help with regeneration and repair. Homemade juice has a rich source of enzymes and antioxidants, which assists the body to neutralize damaging free radicals and enables metabolic processes at the cellular level.
As a skin care professional I truly belief that regular (everyday) intake of fresh vegetable juice and fresh fruit smoothie will dramatically improve your skin’s health and look.
According to Carla Golden, owner of Golden Touch Massage Therapy in Hilton Head, SC, is the most important tip to know about juicing is this: juice vegetables and blend fruits in smoothie, fruits because fructose sugar from fruit when it separated from fiber (which is what happens during juicing) rushes into the system too fast and can be stored as fat.
Juices and smoothies are magical, because they contain easy nutrition and support the body’s natural healing tendencies.
You can add to your smoothie dairy, nuts or cooked oatmeal. I prefer to add 1or 2 tea spoons of Chia seeds to my fruit and berry smoothie for a good source of omega-3 and fiber.
Ideally, the best is to use organic fruit and vegetables that grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers.
The main difference between homemade and store bought juice that the juice in store is heat treated to kill bacteria and enable it to store without refrigeration, which changes the taste and lowers the nutritional value.
Goldie Bonnel, who has 20 years of experience in skin care and wellness industries, pointing out that besides using organic fruits and vegetables, it is an absolute must to include one of the following: lemons, grapefruits, ginger, apple cider and bitter greens. The more adventurous can even include hot peppers!
The simplest beginner juice is just apple-celery juice, which is stimulate gall bladder (apple), helps break down fats and clears things out (celery).
The next is more complicated juice, made by adding parsley ( it helps keep the urinary tract, bladder and prostate clean), beats , lemon and carrots (they clean the liver and strengthen the immune system) and another dark green veggie as more veggies add more healing properties.
Try a simple juicing blend to detoxify your body with the following ingredients:
1 grapefruit, 1 lemon, 1 granny smith apple 1 cup of blueberries, 1 piece of fresh ginger, 2 big carrots.
I like it, hope you enjoy it too!