BY MIMI GREENWOOD KNIGHT
Like the rest of your body, your skin is nothing short of amazing, renewing itself in a repetitive process throughout our lives. A baby’s skin is completely renewed every 14 days. By the time we’re teenagers, though, the same process takes more like 28 days. When we’re adults, it takes between 28 and 42 days, and by the time we’re 50, skin renewal has slowed considerably, taking up to 84 days to renew itself completely. It’s no wonder our skin needs help from time to time. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to get your skin glowing again.
Radio-frequency Skin Tightening
Noninvasive radio-frequency skin-tightening delivers heat energy deep into the skin. Your body reacts with a healing response in skin cells that stimulates the production of collagen, the protein responsible for maintaining your skin’s smoothness and elasticity. The result is tighter, firmer skin in the treatment area, such as around the eyes, mouth, cheeks, and neck. Some RF devices can also break up connective tissues to diminish the appearance of cellulite on the abdomen, flanks, buttocks, inner and outer thighs, upper arms, bra line, and back.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Also known as a laser peel, laser vaporization, and lasabrasion, this procedure can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, scars, and blemishes. The latest laser technology allows clinicians to be extremely precise while addressing scars from acne or chickenpox, diminishing sun damage and signs of aging, liver spots, warts, birthmarks, and shrinking enlarged oil glands in targeted areas.
Microdermabrasion uses a noninvasive, minimally abrasive instrument to gently sand your skin, removing the thicker, uneven outer layer to treat light scarring, discoloration, sun damage, and stretch marks. It can improve age spots and blackheads, treat hyperpigmentation (patches of darkened skin), exfoliate skin for a refreshed appearance, reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and enlarged pores, and treat acne and acne scarring.
Sometimes called collagen-induction therapy, microneedling involves pricking the skin with tiny, sterilized needles. Creating small wounds stimulates collagen and elastin production, helping your skin become firmer, smoother, and younger-looking. Microneedling can help improve acne, hair loss (alopecia), hyperpigmentation, large pores, skin elasticity, scars, stretch marks, and sun damage, as well as fine lines and wrinkles. Typically, microneedling is less expensive than laser treatments and may work better for people with darker skin tones than certain laser technologies that don’t bypass skin pigmentation.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy
Also known as a photofacial, IPL therapy is a noninvasive way to improve your skin’s radiance, pigmentation, and texture. IPL, which works best on lighter skin, can undo some of the visible damage caused by sun exposure on your face, neck, hands, or chest. The light energy heats the skin, motivating the body to jettison unwanted skin cells. Because it sends out more than one wavelength of pulsating light, it’s often able to treat a range of skin conditions at the same time. IPL helps reduce acne, birthmarks, stretch marks, age spots, broken blood vessels, skin discoloration, fine wrinkles, freckles, rosacea, scarring, spider veins, and unwanted hair.
Your skin is your body’s largest, most nutrient-hungry organ. Many of the things you do to keep the rest of your body healthy will also result in healthy, glowing skin. Here are some simple things you can do.
- After you wash your face at night, moisturize it with virgin coconut oil or organic aloe vera.
- Wear sunscreen daily with a broad-spectrum SPF of 15 or higher.
- Don’t avoid the sun altogether, though. Like the rest of your body, your skin needs Vitamin D.
- Don’t cleanse your face too often or over scrub, which can rob it of its natural defenses.
- Avoid cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke.
- Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats such as fish oils.
- Eat enough fiber to stay “regular.”
- Avoid junk and processed food.
- Take a daily probiotic supplement.
- Minimize your skin’s exposure to extremely hot water.
- Get regular, adequate, undisturbed sleep.
- Exercise daily.