Keeping skin hydrated and healthy is more challenging than many people realize, particularly during summertime. Though we often associate dull, scaly skin with dry winter air, summer sunshine is actually much more damaging to our dermis. In fact, research shows that harmful UV radiation is responsible for approximately 80 percent of the visible signs of aging. Other summer risk factors—like chlorinated water and excessive sweating—also take a toll on our skin.
Summer Skincare Challenges
Even if you’re drinking eight glasses of water every day and regularly applying moisturizer, your skin can become dehydrated. You may not even be aware it’s occurring, because skin usually feels clammy in warm weather, but the same sweat that creates that oily feeling can leave your skin parched. As sweat evaporates, it takes some of the moisture that was in your skin with it, gradually causing dryness. The same thing happens when water evaporates off the skin, hence the drying effect of days spent at the beach. At the same time, sweat leaves oily deposits behind that clog the pores in your skin. Some research indicates that sweat also liquefies dirt particles and environmental toxins, allowing them to seep more deeply into our pores.
This situation creates multiple problems: One, when pores are clogged, moisturizers can’t penetrate the skin properly; this limits the effectiveness of topical treatments. Two, adding an oily moisturizer to sweaty skin tends to cause irritation and breakouts. (this is why acne symptoms typically get worse in summertime). Three, sweat dilutes moisturizer (and sunscreen), so we inadvertently wipe most of it off along with our excess perspiration. In other words, topical treatments alone aren’t going to cut it—If you want to keep your skin healthy in the heat, you’ll need to seek out professional intervention in the form of a Hydrafacial.
What is a Hydrafacial?
The Hydrafacial system offers both deep exfoliation and hydration, all without causing any discomfort. It’s technically a form of dermabrasion, but instead of using crystals to get rid of dead skin cells and debris, it uses a blend of water pressure and mild organic acids. This allows the Hydrafacial to accomplish many of the same cosmetic objectives as a chemical or laser peel, but without causing lasting redness, peeling, or flaking. Accomplishing all of this is no easy feat, so the Hydrafacial system employs four distinct treatment phases:
1. The Vortex Exfoliation phase.
During this stage of treatment, the Hydrafacial applicator applies Activ-4 serum to the patient’s face. This serum contains two gentle organic acids, lactic and glycolic acid, that strip away the most superficial layer of the skin (the stratum corneum). Excess oil, dead skin cells, and dirt are all removed along with this layer. Activ-4 also contains antioxidant-rich compounds (like algae extract and yeast extract) that nourish the skin and combat damaging free radicals.
Once the Activ-4 serum has had a chance to loosen built-up debris, it’s sucked away, revealing a radiantly clean surface.
2. The Vortex Peel phase.
During the Vortex Peel phase, the Hydrafacial penetrates deeper into the epidermis to tackle signs of sun damage and aging. This stage of treatment also removes any remaining oil and debris that’s embedded into the base of hair follicles.
To accomplish these goals, another serum—the Glysal serum, a mixture of salicylic and glycolic acid—is applied to the skin. These acids are well known for their ability to fight whiteheads and blackheads, so you might recognize them if you’ve ever used an acne treatment.
3. The Vortex Extraction phase.
Once the Glysal serum has done its job—loosening any remaining oil and debris—the Hydrafacial system switches gears into “nourishment mode.” During the Vortex Extraction phase, all vestiges of pore-clogging gunk are powerfully extracted into a sealed container. This allows patients to actually see just how much debris has been removed, proving the efficacy of this treatment in real-time. Then, nourishing serums are infused deep into the patient’s pores, preparing his or her skin for the final phase of treatment. These serums are rich in natural antibacterial agents (like honey extract) and several kinds of peptides. Peptides are the building blocks for proteins that strengthen the skin, like collagen and elastin.
4. The Vortex Fusion phase.
Once the skin has been exfoliated and primed with essential nutrients, a final comprehensive nutrient mask is worked deep into the epidermis. This serum, called Antiox-6, contains a range of potent antioxidants that are particularly adept at healing sun damage and reversing the visible signs of aging. They’re also extremely hydrating: They’re precisely calibrated to encourage the skin to replenish depleted collagen stores, and collagen molecules are largely made up of water. Antiox-6 contains hyaluronic acid (the same wrinkle-fighting agent used in dermal fillers), vitamins A and E, and a number of plant extracts.
After Hydrafacial treatment is complete, patients are given medical-grade Hydrafacial sunscreen to keep their skin protected from sun damage. As well as having a high SPF value, this sunscreen contains many of the same vitamins and antioxidants as the Antiox-6 serum. This way, by applying the sunscreen each day, the patient will be maintaining an ongoing state of healing and hydration.
The Benefits of Having a Hydrafacial
Achieving smooth, healthy, and hydrated skin is just one of the many perks of Hydrafacial treatment. By removing oil and dead skin cells, combating damage, reducing bacterial overgrowth, and increasing collagen production, the Hydrafacial can tackle a number of common skin conditions, such as:
–The “big three” signs of aging: Fine lines, wrinkles, and loose skin. As we get older, the amount of collagen our body produces declines. As a result, our skin becomes weaker and more susceptible to damage from the sun. The normal stresses of movement also start to take their toll, gradually stretching and creasing the skin. Hydrafacial treatment combats collagen loss in a couple of different ways: First, removing the uppermost layer of the skin activates the body’s “healing response.” The body needs to send collagen to the epidermis in order to regenerate it, so more collagen is distributed throughout the skin in treated areas. The many collagen-stimulating compounds used in Hydrafacial serums amplify this natural process, causing collagen production to temporarily surge. As this collagen goes to work, patients notice gradual improvements in the appearance of their skin. Fine lines, wrinkles, and looseness diminish over a period of about two months following Hydrafacial treatment.
–Dull, flaky skin. Skin that looks dry and lacking in vibrancy is usually being smothered by dead skin cells. By removing this build-up, Hydrafacial treatment allows the skin to “breathe” again. It also directly vacuums away flakes and adds hydrating nutrients that stop them from coming back.
–Abnormalities in skin color and texture. Texture and color issues take many forms. They can be caused by uneven collagen distribution (as we age, our remaining collagen stores tend to clump together, making the skin thicker in some areas), broken capillaries, and sun damage. Age spots, one of the most common pigmentation problems, arise after many years of accumulated UV damage.
Repeated Hydrafacial treatments can slowly alleviate these problems by removing damaged skin cells and improving collagen density and distribution. Better still, unlike laser treatments and chemical peels, the Hydrafacial system can be used on all skin tones. It won’t lighten dark skin or create a patchy look.
–Oily, acne-prone skin. The advanced exfoliation techniques that form the backbone of the Hydrafacial system are capable of removing more oil and debris than any topical treatment. Furthermore, by healing and strengthening the skin, Hydrafacial treatment helps combat bacterial overgrowth. This leads to an overall reduction in the frequency and severity of breakouts. Dermabrasion is also a great way to gradually fade acne scars and tame redness. This treatment has even been shown to shrink enlarged pores!
Even among peels and dermabrasion systems, the Hydrafacial stands out as being exceptional. It doesn’t cause lasting redness or “peeling’ like a laser or chemical peel, meaning it boasts absolutely zero downtime. Patients usually have a bit of a rosy “glow” right after their Hydrafacial, but this fades within about an hour. Because this treatment is so uniquely gentle, it’s suitable for patients with sensitive skin.
The Hydrafacial system can also be customized to meet the needs of each individual patient—it doesn’t take a “one size fits all” approach to skincare. Different finishing serums can be used to tailor the treatment to different skin types and age groups. You can elect to use the Dermabuilder serum if your main problem is poor skin tone and wrinkles, for example; it’s specifically calibrated to enhance collagen production. If summer sunbathing has caught up with you in the form of sun damage, you can choose the Britenol Boost serum instead. It utilizes bearberry extract to safely and naturally lighten dark spots. It also contains a high concentration of vitamin C, which has been shown to heal UV-damaged skin. When you come in for your Hydrafacial consultation, the skincare experts here at Aristocrat Plastic Surgery will help you select the serum that’s right for you.
Get the Most Out of Your Hydrafacial With Our Summer Skincare Tips
Having a Hydrafacial is a great way to replenish your skin and help it cope with the stresses of sun exposure. There are, however, a number of other steps you should take to keep your skin healthy during the warmer months. Doing these things will maximize the results of your Hydrafacial treatment and ensure they last as long as possible:
1. Regularly apply a medical-grade sunscreen.
All sunscreens are not created equally. In fact, some over the counter brands of sunscreen actually have the potential to harm your skin. Not only do they contain an array of chemical perfumes, alcohols, and other common skin irritants, they usually don’t meet their stated SPF value. Research conducted by Consumer Reports, a consumer protection agency, revealed that half of all consumer sunscreen brands have a lower SPF value than the one printed on the package. Furthermore, these inexpensive sunscreens don’t tend to be very long-lasting. They’re easily dissolved by sweat and water or removed via friction.
If you want to get serious about sun protection—for the sake of both your health and your appearance—you should ask a trained skincare expert about getting medical-grade sunscreen. Medical-grade sunscreens are thoroughly quality-tested to ensure that they both meet their SPF requirements and stand up to the rigors of use. Most of them, like the Hydrafacial sunscreen, also contain antioxidants. This allows them to heal sun damage as it occurs. This is important, because even the most powerful sunscreen can’t filter out 100 percent of the sun’s rays.
2. Cover up.
When you’re not enjoying the pool or the beach, it’s a good idea to wear a hat and long-sleeved clothing, not just sunscreen. This provides an added layer of protection against sun damage.
3. Wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy or rainy.
Even on cloudy days, some of the sun’s UV rays make it to the Earth’s surface—if they didn’t, we’d be plunged into darkness. While the UV index on cloudy days is usually lower than it is during sunny weather, there’s still enough radiation present to cause damage. Don’t risk it; slather on your favorite sunscreen before you leave the house, even if it’s pouring.
4. Protect your lips, too.
Most people only use lip balm in the winter, when cold winds and dry indoor air leave their lips feeling cracked and raw. However, it’s important to remember that your lips are just as vulnerable to sun damage as the rest of your body. To keep them looking young and feeling healthy, regularly apply a lip balm with an SPF value.
Summer fun doesn’t have to be hard on your skin. With the right treatments and precautions, you can enjoy yourself to the fullest without paying for it in the form of dry, damaged skin. If you’re ready to try a Hydrafacial, or you need help with summer skincare, why not contact us? We’ll be happy to teach you more about the potential of professional skin rejuvenation.
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At Aristocrat Plastic Surgery & MedAesthetics, we believe that plastic surgery offers the ultimate expression of art in surgery. The Centurion at 33 West 56th Street New York, NY 10019. Tel: 212.439.9900 | 560 Northern Blvd., Suite 109, Great Neck, Long Island, NY 11021
The Centurion at 33 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019. Tel: 212.439.9900 | 560 Northern Blvd., Suite 109, Great Neck, Long Island, NY 11021. Tel: 516.498.9790
At Aristocrat Plastic Surgery & MedAesthetics, we believe that plastic surgery offers the ultimate expression of art in surgery. Located in Manhattan, New York City, and Great Neck, Long Island areas of New York, Aristocrat Plastic Surgery and New York plastic surgeon, Dr. Kevin Tehrani, offers plastic and reconstructive surgery and non-surgical treatments such as breast augmentation, breast lift, tummy tuck, mommy makeover, facelift, rhinoplasty, liposuction, injectables and more.