It seems that two hands are not enough for aestheticians as science has brought, to aid the industry, several tools such as: the light laser, the sound laser, oxygen, electricity and many other sophisticated machines which promise additional years of young, healthy skin. Anti-aging is the buzz word and from medical spas to wellness centers, dermatologists to over-the-counter products, there are more and more new and improved opportunities to leave the clients new and improved. But do they really work?
The basic concept of cleaning one’s face isn’t so basic anymore as cleanliness alone, isn’t enough. Today, men and women want to stop the passage of time, to have the wrinkles and lines disappear and the spots of age never make their debut at all. The beauty industry spends and makes millions each year to meet the “demand” of society.
Is this really the “demand” of the market or of the masses in the beauty industry?
Many highly sophisticated machines have been invented to address the anti-aging process but many of them inflict more pain than pleasure.
There are an overwhelming number of options available to improve the skin’s appearance; from creams and peels to micro-dermabrasion and laser treatments, with most promising to lift, hide, remove lines, while rejuvenating what damage the sun, genetics, and bad diet have done to the skin. None of the machines are going to deliver the look of a 16-year-old to those who are 6o, but with many treatments it is possible to slow the aging process of the skin.
While resurfacing of the skin, by using acid or chemical peels, may help the appearance of skin, there are also many potential complications, despite their approval by the FDA. Light lasers have also been found to be effective in slowing aging of the skin by creating collagen, and the mesotherapy system, popular in Europe, has also had good results.
Micro-dermabrasion is a fairly quick and simple process which doesn’t require the client to heal at home or take time off of work and has been found to peel the skin without side effects, however, it produces superficial peeling which is not effective for deep wrinkles.
Microdermabrasion superficially peels away the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin which halts healthy ingredients from penetrating, thus, allowing the skin to show through a more youthful appearance. Fine sand particles attack the skin in a frictional motion set forth by any number of tools, removing dead skin cells.
The depth of the peel is controlled by the amount of time the aesthetician spends on the client. Performed properly, (most aestheticians work cautiously and slowly so as not to injure the skin, creating further damage), most results are visible after three days with at least five separate treatments.
The process, like most skincare routines requires sterilized tools and must be done by a well trained aesthetician, is not recommended for those with hyperpigmantation, inflamed skin or skin afflicted with acne or coprose skin.
Mesotherapy is a process where multivitamins and amino acids are injected into the skin in monthly intervals. With exstensive research, I have found no beneficial clinical relevance. While Mesotherapy treatments, which are thought to stimulate fat cells, allowing the shedding of fatty acids and stored water, have been performed throughout Europe, and South America for more than fifty years, and more recently the United States, physicians have long been concerned about both the efficiency and safety of the treatment, often arguing that a lack of scientific study makes the process more of a trend with potentially dangerous side effects.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons issued a position statement against Mesotherapy because there is no established mechanism of action that demonstrated the efficiency, or established safety profile, with any of the drugs used in the process. Mesotherapy claims to work by delivering tiny amounts of all natural extracts of vitamins and other agents directly into the dermis which then melt away the fat deposits that are trapped inside the dermis layer, forming cellulite. There are also many claims that Mesotherapy improves circulation, and because toxins are eliminated, lots of water is required to flush these substances, along with dissolved fat, out of the body. An exercise routine of at least three days a week is recommended to assist in the circulation of the medications used. Not a treatment that anyone would categorize as “pampering,” the skin is numbed before the process begins. Many clients find small bumps on the skin that go away after few days and some experience bruising or swelling which can last about a week before clearing up. Mesotherapy is not recommended for treating the neck or for those who are free bleeders.
Photo rejuvenation, also known as LPL/LED Pulsed Light therapy, has been found successful for the treatment of acne, hyperpigmentation, roseca, broken capillaries, and enlarged pores with little pain and no recovery time necessary. While not recommended for those with dark skin, in most cases, after five treatments, a gradual, natural-looking improvement can be seen. LPL/LED uses energy of light to treat numerous skin conditions at once including freckles, age spots and other forms of sun damage on the areas where sun damage is most visible; the face, neck, chest and hands.
A cold gel is usually applied to the areas to be treated by the providing physician or trained aesthetician who places the smooth, crystalline surface of the LPL hand piece to the skin. With the eye area covered, light is delivered to the skin surface in precise pulses providing a warm feeling. Following the treatment the skin is likely to remain red for one to two hours. In addition to the face, this form of therapy works well on the neck, chest and hands, with results usually lasting a year or more. Medical studies report that four to six, twenty-minute treatments are recommended in three-week intervals. Recovery requires no downtime and patients are able to return to normal activity immediately afterward. Because the repairs are done internally, this form which creates the production of collagen leaves no breakage to the skin.
LASER SKIN TIGHTENING
A unique facial rejuvenation option, laser skin tightening effectively reduces the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin for a smoother and more youthful appearance. The lasers create an intense beam of bright light that travels in one direction with precise and selective wavelengths allowing specific treatments and safety levels not previously available. Laser skin tightening is a minimally invasive, non-surgical process that uses an infrared light source to tighten skin by heating the collagen under the skin’s surface.
This is an increasingly popular treatment as facial skin tightening is noticeable immediately after the treatment and there is no downtime. Additional skin tightening occurs over the next few months but two to three treatments, at one month intervals, are required to see intense results. This process, with no required recovery time, helps clients achieve a younger-looking, smoother skin without undergoing surgical procedures such as a face lift or a tummy tuck. Laser skin tightening can erase and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles on the face’s upper lip, cheeks, eyelids and forehead. The treatment, appropriate for both men and women over the age of thirty, improves crows’ feet around the eyes, removes brown spots and uneven skin tones, and scars.
Botox, a drug made from a toxin produced by bacterium, temporarily removes facial wrinkles by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles and/or nerves. With primarily positive results to all skin types, there are many side effects including severe underarm sweating, severe neurological disorders that cause pain in the shoulder muscles, and uncontrollable blinking.
MAKE BELIEVE BOTOX
The desire for anti-aging products is greater than ever with new vitamin products, creams and other marketed products available every day. The “miracle” cure is forever on its way and many companies want to shorten the path to success. There are vitamin E products for all skin types although some people react with redness or red eyes. Vitamin K, another “miracle” cure is excellent for coporose, but it is important to note that pregnant women must seek their doctors’ advice prior to using it.
Peptides, of natural substance or manmade, are biological active compounds that are chemically altered protein fragments. A chain of two or more amino acids, joined together that build protein, play a role in building collagen, diminishing wrinkles and rosacea, stimulating cell renewal and cell turnover. Peptides increase the synthesis of the dermal matrix molecules which are essential to preserving the skin’s youth. Peptides can deliver results as substantial as 287% for Glycosaminoglycans, 117% for Collagen I, and 327% for Collagen IV. Anti-aging ingredients such as AHA’s, Retinols and Vitamin C irritate the skin and cause inflammation that may appear as redness or chaffed skin while peptides stimulate new skin growth without causing damage or irritation to the skin. Peptides act as a messenger between the epidermis and the dermis, stimulating cell activity by interacting with molecules that signal cells to produce more collagen.
Amino acids help retain moisture in the skin and enhance the circulatory process while fatty molecules can be used to guide the peptides down deeper into the skin. The chain of amino acids can be altered so that the penetration level to the deeper levels of the skin can be achieved. Recent in-vitro studies show that “lipo-peptides” help attract cells to other sites that need repair and contributes to the reconstruction of the dermis, improving cell cohesion, enhancing water retention and reducing skin dryness. MATRIXYL® Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 ( Lysyl-Threonyl-Threonyl-Lysyl-Serine) Like retinol, Matrixyl is a fast acting source that reduces wrinkles with less irritation, creating a neo-synthesis of collagen and fibronectin.
Test results show that when the proper percentage is used twice a day for two to six months there is a reduction of deep surface wrinkles by 68% (2-months) and up to 90% (6-months). ARGIRELINE® Acetyl hexapeptide-3 Argireline is a neuro-peptide which inhibits wrinkle formation by preventing the transmission of nerve impulses to the muscles which cause facial wrinkles. This unique new peptide also reduces the degree of existing facial wrinkles and has been demonstrated effective against wrinkle development. Controlled studies have also demonstrated that the depth of facial wrinkles can be reduced, especially in the forehead and around the eyes, and that Argireline can prevent visible facial skin aging. Laboratory tests revealed that the severity of wrinkles decreased up to 27% after one month of treatment and skin topographic analysis, performed on healthy female volunteers, confirmed the validation of the proposed biochemical mechanism of action.
Alpha-hydroxy acids, combining lactic, citric and malic acids have been used for decades with preferred application by a doctor or trained aesthetician. Many studies show these to reverse the signs of aging and that of sun damage while others show reports of thinning of the skin and causing blotches and irritation.
RETIN A – RETINOIDS Tretinoin, the most common treatment for acne, was the first retinoid developed for topical use. Used by some as a hair loss treatment it is also a component of many commercial products that reportedly slow the skin’s aging and removal of wrinkles. Current evidence suggests that topical tretinoin decreases the appearance of blackheads and fine lines and smoothes out rough facial skin. The Renova brand of Tretinoin is used to reduce the visibilty of fine wrinkles and skin discoloration, and to make rough facial skin feel smoother. Some patients, using both Tretinoin and Renova, experience dryness of the affected skin, redness and scaling. Because usage of Tretinoin may cause thinning of the skin, it is strongly recommended that patients who are using the drug abstain from hair waxing as, when the wax is removed, it is likely to pull off the top level of skin. Both medications have also been reported to possibly cause harm to unborn children, so, it is recommended that those who are pregnant, or planning to be, abstain from using these treatments.
Natural and recommended by doctors from early childhood, vitamin C, L-ascorbate, is an essential nutrient that is required for the synthesis of collagen. As a water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C, along with vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, and the enzyme glutathione peroxidase stops free radical chain reactions. Vitamin C, one of the few topical agents whose effectiveness against wrinkles, fine lines and bleaching dark spots is backed by reliable scientific evidence, presents some difficulties due to its lack of stability. When exposed to air, vitamin C solution undergoes oxidation and becomes not only ineffective but also potentially harmful as oxidized vitamin C may increase the formation of free radicals. With regular use, vitamin C improves skin density and helps to restore youthful elasticity to skin. Vitamin C also helps protect against skin-aging free radicals while tightening the skin, thus providing a firmer, smoother feel
By Rena Levi Gibson