While many skin rejuvenation treatments such as Fractional laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), Dermapen, Chemical peels and Microdermabrasion can be done all year round, you do need to be extra cautious during the hot summer months when the risk of pigmentation is higher. It is also not advisable to have any of these treatments when you are tanned.
When it comes to serious skin rejuvenation many people book a course of treatments during autumn and winter to gain the full benefit of multiple skin rejuvenation treatments during the cooler seasons.
Dr Ian Webster was the first laser specialist in South Africa and was also one of the first Dermatologists, over two decades ago, who saw the importance of an integrated approach to skin rejuvenation for the best results after laser treatments.
What is an integrated approach?
As a medical specialist Dr Webster saw the value in treating the skin holistically, not only performing laser treatments but making use of pre-and-post treatment products. Preparing the skin with the correct products before a treatment and supporting the skin with targeted post-procedure products not only enhances these treatments but helps to minimise any discomfort or unwanted side effects when the skin is in the healing stage and is vulnerable and dehydrated.
Pre-treatment preparation of the skin is vitally important. The skin needs to be clear of any build-up of dry dead skin cells and this is especially important when you are considering any kind of laser treatment. This is the reason why we often advise our clients to have a chemical peel a few weeks prior to a laser treatment so that the skin is clear and smooth, rather like a clean canvas.
In addition it is also important that your skin barrier function is healthy and functioning correctly as dry, sensitive skin can cause further discomfort, allergic reactions and a longer healing time post treatment. One of the factors that contributes towards a healthy skin barrier function is hydration – a skin that is healthy and hydrated is able to tolerate skin treatments far better.
If you are using products which contain ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids, retinol or other exfoliating formulations your skin should not require any pre-treatment products because these ingredients naturally prep the skin by encouraging cellular turnover and keeping the skin smooth and healthy. In skins that are naturally more dry, it is advisable to use an added moisturiser together with these products.
“If you are using products which contain ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids, retinol or other exfoliating formulations your skin should not require any pre-treatment products because these ingredients naturally prep the skin by encouraging cellular turnover”
There are two schools of thought on stopping Retinol before a skin rejuvenation treatment but it all depends on your tolerance levels – this is something you would need to discuss with your doctor as some people are of the opinion that it enhances the results and others feels it makes the skin too sensitive. Dr Webster’s opinion is if you are an experienced Retinol user with no sensitivity, you can use it up until just before your rejuvenation treatment.
When you embark on a course of skin rejuvenation treatments, you are investing in your skin and you need to protect your investment in the best possible way. If you are starting on a course of treatments and you have never used any active ingredients products, then it would be a good idea to build-up your skin tolerance with the correct products. You can find out which of our Dermatologist-curated products are suitable for your skin type by taking Dr Webster’s online skin assessment now, or you can get specialist advice on our Dermastore™ Skin Care Support email email@example.com or call us on 0860 246 628.
Post Treatment Products
In the days following a skin rejuvenation treatment, the skin barrier function may temporarily be disrupted and this can result in red, inflamed, sensitive skin that lacks moisture. Generally the use of active ingredient products is discouraged at this time as they can cause irritation and discomfort. Targeted, corrective products which help to the restore the skin barrier function and that provide comfort and hydration post treatment are advised as the skin can be vulnerable and it needs good care and extra special attention.
We normally suggest to our clients that they re-start their normal skin regimen with active ingredients as soon as the redness and sensitivity have disappeared but this varies as it may take a day or two after a mild treatment or up to a week with a more invasive treatment. Again this is something to discuss with your doctor or skin therapist, depending on who is performing the treatment.
“We normally suggest to our clients that they re-start their normal skin regimen with active ingredients as soon as the redness and sensitivity have disappeared”
If you are undergoing a more invasive skin rejuvenation treatment such as ablative fractional laser then it is best to take pre-and-post treatment advice from the doctor who is performing this procedure as each doctor has their own set of guidelines for their patients.
Any skin rejuvenation treatment that involves the skin can make it more photo-sensitive i.e. more sensitive to light and increases the risk of hyperpigmentation or brown marks and general sensitivity. The sun is Enemy No 1 after a skin treatment. The reason for this is that redness or inflammation of the skin when exposed to sunlight can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is best to avoid total sun exposure after any of the skin or laser treatment until the skin is completely healed.
You do not want to swop one set of problems for another – you may have undergone a skin treatment for wrinkles but by not looking after it post-operatively, you may find yourself with pigmentation which can be a long and arduous road to correct.
The Best Products
The type of products we recommend for post-treatment care usually hydrate, soothe and build up the skin barrier function. These products can be used several times a day to lessen any discomfort.
It is very important to use a very mild, gentle cleanser and the most important product of all post-treatment is a high quality, broad spectrum sunscreen as it is not always possible to totally avoid the sun in South Africa. It is also advisable to wear at UV protection hat post treatment.
What are some of our favourite post treatment products at Dermastore?
- SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair
- SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5
- SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective
- SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
- Exuviance Vespera Bionic Serum
- NeoStrata Bionic Face Cream
- Obagi Nu-Derm Hydrate Facial Moisturizer
- Bioderma Sensibio Rich Soothing Cream
Treat your skin tenderly before and after a skin rejuvenation treatment and your investment will be a rewarding and enduring one.