Intro to Skin Care
The Maas Clinic
Introduction to Skin Care
One of the most important things we do for patients is to inform and educate about proper skin care.
Skin care is the single biggest return on investment type of activity that any of our patients can do, and that even includes surgery.
Good skin care over a lifetime will reduce wrinkles and spots that are associated with the aging process, and most importantly, keep the skin healthy and reduce the risk of skin cancers and other types of neoplasm, or growths of the skin.
Proper skin care can be broken down into four basic categories.
Cleansing and Exfoliating
The first one is cleansing and exfoliating , which work closely together.
There are 50 to 100 layers of just dead skin cells on the surface of most people’s skin, and the process of cleansing and exfoliation stimulates new generation of skin from the deeper basal layers to the surface, and make the skin look and feel smoother.
The second area is “treatment,” which can be confusing due to the marketing hype surrounding many different commercial and corporate interests, but there are really only a handful of molecules that we know actually treat the skin and change the and physiology of the skin that’s associated with aging and sun damage.
One of the main ingredients is Tretinoin, which is a vitamin A based molecule. The trade name was originally Retin A, it’s off patent now, so it comes in many forms. Tretinoin is a vitamin A derivative that does many things in the skin cells and improves the quality of the skin, division or replication, and contours of the anatomy of the skin.
Using Tretinoin, along with other molecules we found to be helpful, including an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant like topical vitamin C, are good and important parts of the skin care program. By using the retinol type of products in the evening, along with cleansing and exfoliation, we’re beginning a process of treatment that for most patients will make a substantial impact on their skin quality and appearance.
The third area is hydration. Most of the things that we see purchased over the counter at most of the skin care studios and salons like Nordstrom’s or Neiman Marcus are very good hydrators of the skin, very good moisturizers, and while there is nothing wrong with excellent moisturization, it is only one component of proper skin care, and shouldn’t cost hundreds of dollars.
Moisturization of the skin creates plumping, and when the skin cells are plump, they’re very well hydrated, which makes the skin look and feel smoother, and gives it a better overall appearance. It’s not actually treating the skin, but it is making the skin look better and replenishing that surface hydration, which improves overall skin quality and tone.
The fourth and final component of proper skin care is protection.
The sunscreen you use should have a physical blocking agents zinc, and/or titanium oxide, it should have Avobenzone in it, and it can be oil free if you’re acne-prone, because some sunscreens do plug the skin.
Although sun screen with SPF factors of 50, 100, and 200 are available, even the best, waterproof sunscreens wash off or sweat off in outdoor conditions within about 4 hours, so reapplication of sunscreens during periods of prolonged exposure is critical to protection.
If you have other questions about putting together a custom skin care program, please call The Maas Clinic at 415.567.7000