Is it Worth it to Invest in Professional Skincare Products?
Depending on your normal skincare routine, it may come as a surprise to hear that it has been estimated that a woman will invest over $200,000 in makeup and skincare products in her lifetime. It doesn’t come as a surprise that skincare is a multi-billion-dollar industry. There are virtually thousands of products available to cleanse, clear-up, soothe, brighten, tone, and moisturize our skin, and that includes only what we see on the shelves of drug stores and department stores. Where does medical grade skincare fit into all of this, and who needs these products, anyway?
We all do. Here, we discuss why more and more of our patients are making the switch to medical grade skincare regardless of age or specific skin concerns.
A Look at Grades
Skincare products come in two grades. According to the FDA, a product may be considered a cosmetic or a drug.
Cosmetics, like the concealer that hides dark circles around the eyes, are developed to increase beauty. There is no FDA approval needed for a cosmetic product to go on the market.
Drugs are products that affect the function and structure of the skin, potentially affecting appearance, as well. A serum that brightens the skin is considered a drug just like a medical device or injectable product is. Before a drug can be put on the market, it must be approved by the FDA to confirm that it meets its claims for safety and efficacy.
Generally speaking, the skincare products available in drugstores and department stores fall into the cosmetic category. Those that are available by prescription or only in a doctor’s office or medical spa fall into the drug category.
What this Means for Your Skin
Understanding the general difference between medical skincare and cosmetic skincare may not be life-changing if your drugstore products seem to be working just fine. Here, we discuss some of the detailed reasons why medical skincare stands out.
- Stronger ingredients. Going back to FDA approval for drugs, we can observe the quality of medical grade products in the strength of ingredients. A cosmetic product may be marketed to contain a particular ingredient such as retinol but may be formulated with only 10% of the active ingredient versus 90% water and “filler” ingredients. Medical grade products are held to a high standard. They have to work. Therefore, the ingredient concentration is significantly higher in these products, which leads to benefit number two;
- Products are recommended just for you. You cannot walk into a medical spa and purchase any old product on the shelf unless it is one you have already used successfully. Before a purchase is made, a professional will evaluate your skin to ensure the right products are purchased. This greatly minimizes the chance of inflammation or other reaction and it also maximizes the chance of achieving noticeable improvement based on your particular needs. The fact that products come recommended also saves you money because there is no guesswork involved.
- Long-term gains. Professional skin care is not only for individuals with pressing concerns. The sooner you begin using high-quality products recommended just for your skin, the more your skin will gain in the long run. Your aging process may be slower because your skin is adequately nourished with potent ingredients that fight damage as it occurs.
We are passionate about skincare and skin health. Learn more about the medical grade skincare available in our Renton and Seattle offices. Call 206-859-5777.
How to Deal with the Dreaded Dry Skin of Winter
When the temperature drops, so do humidity levels. Without as much humidity in the air, our skin is almost guaranteed to suffer. The excessive dryness that occurs during the cold-weather months, even if they are also wet, can cause itching, irritation, and can also accelerate the dermatologic aging process. Here, we offer a few strategies to help you deal with the dreaded dry skin of winter.
Prepare Your Canvas
The uppermost layer of the skin is the canvas through which products and treatments affect positive change. If nothing can get through, the skin will not improve. One of the first things that needs to happen to offset the drying effects of winter is superficial exfoliation. The top layer of the epidermis can be gently exfoliated weekly with a professional-grade product, or you can choose to visit Pacific Dermatology in Renton or Seattle for a Vi Peel or laser skin resurfacing like Clear + Brilliant. Once the canvas of your skin is prepared, it can absorb nourishing, moisturizing ingredients.
Maximize Your Sleeping Hours
We often hear that we need to get plenty of beauty sleep, but this tip goes above and beyond. What you do before bed can have a profound effect on your skin’s overall health and beauty. During cold-weather months, it is advantageous to develop a specific nighttime skincare routine that includes washing with a luxurious, creamy cleanser and applying a hyaluronic acid serum before topping off with a thick moisturizer, even Aquaphor. This combination of steps places moisture right on the skin and then locks it in while you rest.
Look at Your Plate
You’ve heard that old saying “you are what you eat.” Well, what you eat in the wintertime can boost your skin when you need it the most. Because dryness is an expected battle, you can promote moisture-retention from the inside out by consuming healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil or avocado oil, and walnuts more often. Conversely, experts recommend limiting consumption of coffee, caffeine, and alcohol due to their dehydrating effects on the body. To promote healthy, resilient skin, trade coffee for herbal tea and consume plenty of water throughout the day.
If your skin needs a boost this winter, we can help. Call 206-859-5777 to schedule a visit to our Renton or Seattle office.
Overnight Skin Care Treatments - Ask Jennifer Reichel, M.D.
What are overnight treatments and how do they work?
Overnight treatments are creams, serums, masks etc. that help to nourish the skin and replace moisture that is lost during the day. They can also be aimed at specific concerns, such as pigmentation, or texture or even pore size. Really, many of the cosmeceuticals that we recommend could be considered "overnight treatments". the best example, is RETIN-A (tretinoin) - which is used only at night, and is significantly targeting lines, pigment, acne, and pore size.
What would be the benefit of picking an overnight treatment over your regular night cream or serum?
An overnight treatment will have ingredients that may last longer. The best example would be in a mask. They will often times be heavier on the moisture balance than a regular night cream. So if you need an extra moisture boost - give them a try.
What are some common skin care concerns that an overnight treatment can address (i.e. acne)?
- Pore Size
How do you pick the right overnight treatment for you?
- Your age
- Skin type
August 2017 Specials and Events
August 2017 Specials and Events are here. Back to School, Back to Work! 3 steps to get your student's skin ready for class, plus specials on Kybella, Cellfina, Sculptra, Skintyte, and Ultherapy. And, a new series -- Jeff gets filler for the FIRST time! Learn more by reading through our specials or contact us at 206-859-5777 or via our contact page.
3 Summer Skin Care Tips from Dr. Jacobson
Summertime is finally upon folks and us across the Pacific Northwest are taking advantage of sunnier days and warmer temperatures. This can mean a lot of great memories, a glowing tan, and, we hate to say it, long term UV damage.
The UV rays that are absorbed into your skin have a powerful effect. These rays break down the collagen we all need to look younger for more years of our life. UV damage shows up down the line as laxity (then sagging), hyperpigmentation, and possibly as precancerous lesions. As your concerned dermatologist team in Seattle and Renton, it is important that we help you understand the dangers of too much sun, and how to avoid the effects of UV damage on your skin.
Caring for your Skin in 3 Easy Steps
- Apply it. Sunscreen is your best summertime skin-saving friend. Good products are those that offer broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen works by either filtering light, or be reflecting it. People with sensitive skin may prefer physical sunblock products that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreen products are made with organic compounds the diminish the amount of light that is absorbed.
- Wear it. The right clothing can make a world of difference for your skin. We normally consider hitting that trail in shorts and a tank top, but UV protection would be better provided by a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt. Hats are also advantages for sun-safety. Hats protect the skin on the face that is most susceptible to UV damage and skin cancer. The wider the rim, the greater the extent of protection (ears and neck).
- Avoid it. Sunless tanning became a popular trend when studies indicated just how dangerous UV rays are to the skin. The thing is, tanning beds also bronze the skin with UV light. In fact, it has been determined that the UV light in tanning beds significantly increases the risk of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer.
We understand the draw toward the warming rays of the sun, and would not expect you to stay indoors when summer comes calling. Using safe habits, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: summer sunshine and smooth, healthy skin.
Has UV damage become obvious on your face, chest, arms, or hands? We can help. Contact Pacific Dermatology at 206-859-5777.
July 2017 Specials and Events
July 2017 Specials and Events are here. Sensational Summer - July savings and clinic happenings. Restylane filler days, Dysport dash Monday, peels for reals, melt stubborn fat with Kybella, lips & lashes, Skinmedica specials, and more. Plus, our patient portal is live and get text & email appointment reminders. Learn more by reading through our specials or contact us at 206-859-5777 or via our contact page.
Is This your Answer for Younger Looking Skin?
Ask any skin care expert how to keep your skin looking young, and the first answer you will hear is "use sunscreen - every day! Since we know this, we are going to move on to the next best thing you can do for your skin as you age. Any man or woman who consults with an aesthetician or dermatologist about skin health and vitality is likely to hear that they should be using a retinoid. Retinoids are derived from vitamin A. They are touted for their ability to boost collagen proliferation and even out skin tone, among other things.
Prescription or OTC?
Because the benefits of retinoids are so well-known, many of the over the counter skin creams sold today contain retinol. The clear benefit to obtaining prescription retinoid cream is potency. Many of the men and women who start using a prescription product such as Retin-A or Tazorac notice that their skin looks brighter and more dewey after about 4 weeks of consistent use. Commercial products, on the other hand, improve skin when retinol is transformed into retinoic acid as it interacts with skin cells. The improvements from non-prescription creams occur over about a 12-week process.
The fact that prescription retinoid creams are stronger does not mean that's where you want to start. People with sensitive skin may gain the most benefit from a lighter, gentler product. Jumping right in to a concentrated retinol could lead to flaking and dryness. Lower concentrations of retinoids are also kinder to the delicate skin around the eyes, even if you don't have sensitive skin.
Is it an Age Thing?
The use of retinol products used to be associated with acne, and thus with younger patients. Today, we hear more about retinoids and their action against the process of aging. The fact is, there is no "right time" to start using a retinol cream. We consult with patients in their early 20's who can benefit a great deal from this ingredient. The only time we may recommend otherwise is during pregnancy.
A Matter of Timing
According to studies, retinoids do not lose their power, even after years of regular use. Once you begin applying retinol products to your skin, chances are you won't want to stop. The caveat is a trip to the Bahamas! Really, any sunny location could cause an adverse reaction in your skin, especially if you are using a prescription-strength cream. Before a beach vacation, it is wise to stop using any retinol product for a short time (about a week). Also, retinoids should be applied at night, and sunscreen during the day, just as a general guideline.
Do you see brighter skin in your future? Call 206-859-5777 for a visit to Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center.
Bring on the Holiday Season!
As we make our way fully into this holiday season, we want to extend warm wishes to all of our patients. There is so much going on during the month of December that we may inadvertently be more than a little unkind to our skin. Making changes to your skin care routine to adapt to the colder temperatures is one measure we're sure you've already taken. Did you know, though, that all those holiday treats you are presented with could potentially harm your skin? On the flip side, there are foods we love to savor during the holidays that give skin a boost. Here, we will look at both.
Harmful Holiday Fare
It's not so much certain foods that could harm your skin, but ingredients in some of the common foods in which you may indulge. Our best recommendation is to watch what you eat and minimize the following foods to maintain a healthy glow.
- Salt. Salt is a sneaky ingredient. You may not be one to load your morning eggs with this seasoning. However, if you rely on fast food to get you through your evening shopping excursions, you are more than likely getting more salt that you need. Too much salt can lead to puffiness in the face.
- Sugar. You are probably well aware of several reasons you want to cut back on sugar. We're going to give you another . . . Refined sugar weakens collagen fibers that keep the skin firm and supple.
- Alcohol. Because alcohol quickly leads to dehydration, there is a correlation between a few extra cocktails and dull, dry skin. Alcoholic beverages can also cause the skin on the nose and cheeks to look flushed.
Load up on . . .
- Coffee! Several internet websites tout the use of coffee grinds to minimize under eye puffiness. That's not what we're talking about. One of the most significant findings about caffeinated coffee has been that certain components in this beverage bring about a reduced risk for nonmelanoma skin cancers. This risk dives by 10% with just one cup.
- Pumpkin. Of the various holiday foods we love, pumpkin has got to be the one that is filled to the brim with goodness. The vitamin C in this fruit fights premature aging by sending antioxidant power to combat free radicals. The carotinoids that bring out the brightness in pumpkin relieve the skin of UV damage.
Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center is happy to help you get your holiday glow on. Contact our Seattle or Renton office today.
Could you Be Inadvertently Putting your Skin at Risk?
You may do everything "right" with your skin. You wash morning and night with quality products. You remove makeup before bed and drink plenty of water. You even apply sunscreen before going out in the sun. This should be sufficient to avoid unwanted changes like fine lines and wrinkles and sun damage, right? It's certainly a healthy start! There are potential pitfalls to the average skin care routine, especially as it relates to sun exposure. Here, we're going to touch on the subject of photosensitivity. Being that summer is now in full swing, it seems like the perfect time to look at ways we may be inadvertently inviting damage.
Why so Sensitive?
If you do not have red hair or would not describe yourself as a "toe-head," chances are you do not give the idea of photosensitivity much thought; any thought, really. Why would you? If you have your sunscreen nearby, you should be well-protected, right? Maybe. The level of protection you need may just increase if you have done something before your day at the pool, beach, or other outdoor venue that has caused your skin to become extra responsive to UV rays. Photosensitivity can occur from chemical compounds in foods, medicine, and other sources.
- Photosensitive food. Fortunately, the foods that can cause your skin to react strongly to sunlight are not ones that most people consume on a regular basis. If you love celery, though, beware of taking this healthy treat along with you on a day outdoors! Other triggers include parsley and fennel.
- Medicine. There is a fairly long list of medications that may lead to photosensitivity. It is important to talk with your doctor or pharmacist about this likelihood. Some of the medications to watch for include sulfa drugs like Septra and other antibiotics, such as Cipro. Some heart medications, as well, may create sensitivity. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can also make it easier to burn.
- Natural solutions. Natural remedies may be advantageous on many fronts, but that does not mean there aren't things to watch for, like photosensitivity! Examples of triggers include citrus essential oils like lemon and bergamot, and St. John's wort.
Your skin is resilient, but this can be affected by certain habits and factors. For personal dermatologic care, call us in Renton or Seattle.