Here in the middle of January, most of us are doing our best to make it through the cold months and flu season. It's cold outside, it gets dark early, and we are looking forward to spring. Because most of our time is spent indoors, many people neglect their skin care and sunscreen routines in the winter.
But did you know that the winter season is the best time to address sun damage and pigmentation changes in the skin? Don't stop your skin care routine now!! If sun damage has resulted in uneven pigmentation, melasma, sun spots, or other areas of sun damage now is the best time to start doing something about it. The lack of direct sunlight during this season makes it an ideal time to begin working on skin care.
First, start with the basics. Make sure you are wearing spf 30+ on your face, every day, rain or shine. Treating sun damage is like treating high blood pressure or high cholesterol. It will always be with you, and to keep the effects under control, daily maintenance is required. Hyperpigmentation, sun spots, and melasma can be particularly troublesome. The damage to the skin is always there, lurking beneath the surface. Sunlight will bring the damage to light by causing the pigmentation to "blossom." Keep it at bay by blocking the sun's harmful UV rays.
Second, use targeted medical-grade skin care specific to your skin's needs. The more progress you can make towards reducing the appearance of your hyperpigmentation now, the better off you will be when sunny season starts. Choosing a targeted medical grade product can be tricky and appropriate selection begins with assessing your particular needs, in addition to any underlying sensitivities or special considerations you may have. At Traceside, we have had good success treating our patients with a combination of antioxidant serums such as CE Ferulic and/or Resveratrol, prescription creams such as Finacea and Retin-a, and topical skin brighteners.
Third, if you are considering aesthetic procedures to target your skin's sun damage, tone, and texture, now is the time to start. The best results are seen after a series of treatments, which takes time. A great place to start is with chemical peels. A series of glycolic, citric, retinol, and/or TCA peels over time will exfoliate the skin, reduce hyperpigmentation, reduce the apperance of fine lines and wrinkles, and overall improve skin's tone and clarity. Because the effects are gradual, chemical peels are ideal for patients who are new to aesthetic services. The downtime is minimal with most peels and can be completed in a matter of minutes during an office visit.
Fourth, keep your skin moisturized. The dry air so prevalent this time of year can really do a number on your skin! For combination skin, we recommend CeraVe PM; sensitive skin will do well with Vanicream Lite Lotion. Mature skin that is very dry does well with SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore.
If you have questions about how to get started on achieving your best skin, call us today to schedule a cosmetic consultation. We can help!