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06-23-11 | Posted by


You don’t have to live with problem skin that puts a crimp on your beauty routine anymore. Aesthetic treatments, topical procedures and skincare options abound for problems that arise from the teen years to social security. We’ve grilled some experts to find out the new ways to beat breakouts, wrinkles, brown spots and more.

You’ve got… large pores

What’s happening: Pores can be invisible on dry skin or tight, firm skin. If you have oily or thick skin, pores tends to be more noticeable. Causes of large pores can include genetics, sun damage is another cause. As we age, the skin’s surface thickens which makes pores more visible. Not enough exfoliation also contributes to pores because oil and debris collect without sufficient shedding.

What you can do: Exfoliate with a mild peel to keep pores open and clean. Use a Clarisonic cleansing brush. Book yourself in for a series of IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments to keep skin firm and toned.

Photo Credit: ddfskincare.com

Your skin prescription: Use gllycolic acid pads or solution daily such as DDF Glycolic 5% Pads ($35) or Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads ($36), in addition to weekly exfoliation with a microbead scrub such as Clinique 7 Day Scrub ($18.50) or a salicylic acid exfoliator like Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate Acne Clearing Exfoliator Treatment ($65). A daily sunscreen with SPF 20 plus is a must such as Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Ultra Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid ($24.50) or Dermadoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Skin Clairfying & Mattifying Sunscreen SPF 30 P+++ ($30).

You’ve Got…Brown Spots

What’s happening: Years of cumulative sun exposure are catching up with you so brown pigmentation, discoloration, patches and dark spots are appearing at a furious pace. Old sun damage comes to the surface of the skin, causing uneven pigmentation. It can also be caused by hormones as in pregnancy, the onset of menopause, birth control therapy, and certain medications may make skin more prone to hyperpigmentation.

What you can do: A series of NeoStrata Peels or a deeper Obagi Peel from a professional skin clinic or doctor can remove brown patches and reveal younger looking clear skin. Many lasers work to reduce pigment, such as Syneron E-max.

Your skin prescription: Daily use of a high SPF is in your future to prevent discolouration from going darker and new patches from appearing. ELURE ADVANCED SKIN LIGHTENING SYSTEM can help reduce discoloration in eight weeks of daily applications. Many of our favorite brands also offer lightening systems, such as the Dior Snow Brightening range ($40 -$124), the Shiseido Skincare 1 2 3 White Lucent Brightening introductory kit ($49.50) or Ole Henriksen Enlighten Me Pigment Lightening Serum ($48).

You’ve got… wrinkles

What’s happening: Collagen and elastic break down over time giving way to lines and wrinkles. Some wrinkles are caused by dynamic muscle activity – squinting, frowning, smiling, etc., whereas deeper wrinkles may be present all the time. Fat loss and soft tissue sagging also give way to creases and folds.

What you can do: Wrinkle relaxing injections – such as Botox Cosmetic and Dysport – are the ideal treatment. Fillers including Restylane and Juvederm, can plump up deeper wrinkles and lines and smooth them out to make them disappear. Deeper lasers such as Fraxel Repair and Lumenis Active Fx can soften wrinkles and stimulate skin tightening and new collagen to develop. Pelleve Wrinkle Reduction System is also a great treatment for crow’s feet and fine lines of the face.

Photo Credit: rocskincare.com

Your skin prescription: Retinol works wonders for wrinkles such as Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30 ($19.99) or Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream ($54) . Peptides are also great wrinkle reducers such as those included in the Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Serum ($25.99), Perricone MD Neuropeptide Deep Wrinkle Serum ($180) or Lancome High Resolution Collaser-5X Anti-Wrinkle Serum ($70).

You’ve got… redness

What’s happening: Skin thins with age, and tiny spider veins appear closer to the surface, giving skin a more ruddy look. Couperose skin is also genetic and can be related to hormonal flux. Fair skin individuals tend to have more flushing than dark skin, although anyone can have rosacea. Sun exposure is another culprit and reactive skin that tends to be red and flushed can also be caused by harsh skin treatments and aggressive therapy.

What you can do: Treat your skin with extra TLC. Candela VBeam laser is the dermatologist’s treatment of choice for redness. IPL treatments can also help to reduce flushing and blushing with a course of sessions.

Photo Credit: dermstore.com

Your skin prescription: Look for products that are hypo allergenic, contain fewer and pure ingredients, and avoid fragrance or anything that can cause irritation. Avoid soap or detergents that dry skin and keep your complexion hydrated and protected from environmental irritants. Taking too hot showers, and aggressive peels are also factors. Avene offers a great range for super sensitive skin including Avene Diroseal Anti-Redness Skincare Lotion ($46). And June Jacobs Redness Diffusing Masque ($56) is formulated with loads of antioxidants especially to fight redness. Look for non-chemical sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium dioxide and deliver UVA/UVB protection with an SPF of 15 or higher. Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion with SPF 15 ($1499.) is a good option. Mineral makeup is ideal for rosacea prone skin – such as Bare Escentuals or Jane Iredale, which is light and offers great coverage.

You’ve got… blemishes

What’s happening: Unfortunately acne is an equal opportunity skin condition that affects teens as young as age 12 up to adults, women and men, in their 50s. Sometimes acne goes away, but it can also get worse or spots can creep up on you even if you had clear skin in college. Acne is a chronic skin condition and the key to controlling it long term is to keep using your medication even when you don’t see blemishes.

What you can do:  Prescription treatments range from topical to oral, depending on the extent of your breakouts.  The challenge for acne sufferers is to find the ideal balance between using a regimen that works consistently without experiencing problematic side effects and redness, dryness or peeling, and increased sun sensitivity. ACLEARA is ideal for unclogging pores and keeping skin clear. Glycolic peels work well for acne as does microdermbrasion combined with peels for a one-two punch.

Photo Credit: clinique.com

Your skin prescription: Benzoyl peroxide is the most universally effective active ingredient for acne, as it works to remove excess oil and dead skin cells that clog pores. Salicylic acid, called “sal acid” by skincare professionals, prevents pores from clogging by slowing down the shedding process of cells inside the hair follicles. It may also get rid of whiteheads and blackheads. The most commonly used alpha hydroxy acids in acne products are glycolic acid and lactic acid. The benefits include removal of dead skin cells, reduction of inflammation and stimulation of new, smoother skin. Clinique Acne Solutions range (starter kit is $32.50) has everything you need to keep blemishes away. So does the Murad Acne Complex Kit ($60), which features a cleanser, exfoliator, spot treatment and lotion.  The direct-marketed brand Proactiv has developed quite a following for good reason. It’s  online intro kit is just $29.95. Remember, when searching for products, avoid anything that is not oil-free.

You’ve got… sagging

What’s happening: Gravity is happening. Skin gets lazy, muscles relax, and the end result is a breakdown of structural tissues that hold everything in place. The usual area that women see sagging first is the chin, jowls and cheeks that can start to show up anytime after age 35. Genetics plays a role, weight fluctuations don’t help at all, and sun damage causes earlier signs of visible aging to appear including sagging and slackening jawlines.

What you can do: Sculptra Aesthetic can help firm and lift the cheek area – a series of 2-3 treatments may be needed to see results that lasts for 2+ years. To lift and tighten facial skin, Pelleve is one of the newest systems on the market to stimulate new collagen production. Syneron Refirme can gently firm tissues in a series of treatments. The next level up from these non-surgical devices would be some variation on a neck lift or facelift depending on how much sagging you have.

Photo Credit: avon.com

Your skin prescription: Phytoestrogens like soy, DHEA, peptides, and potent antioxidants will be needed – bring out the heavy artillery. Skin sagging doesn’t respond all that well to creams and lotions, it helps to stick with a consistent regime to maximize your skin care benefits. Avon Anew Platinum Night Cream ($38.00) is developed to lift and firm aging skin. Korres Quercetin and Oak Antiwrinkle Night Cream ($52) delivers firmer, more elastic skin. Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Serum ($79) provides an immediate lift for aging skin. StriVectin Neck Cream ($90) works to visibly firm and tighten the neck area and reduce the appearance of sagging skin.

You’ve got… dryness

What’s happening:  Dry skin can be caused by a breakdown in the skin’s barrier that makes it thin, dry, dehydrated and fragile. Exposure to sun, cold, and wind can prevent skin from staying adequately hydrated and result in flaking, cracking and irritation. Dry skin equals old looking dull skin that has a loss of radiance, tone and texture.

What you can do: A moisturizing classical European facial will give your skin an instant hydration boost. Silkpeel or other dermal infusion systems are great treatments that combine microdermabrasion techniques with the infusion of serums that can be customized for your skin type.

Photo Credit: skinceuticals.com

Your skin prescription: Moisturize and nourish skin with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E and potent antioxidants to repair the damage and encourage hydration. But beware of over moisturizing, which can clog pores and weigh skin down preventing exfoliation that skin needs to stay glowing. Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel ($69) can help to repair dehydrated skin – followed by an intensive application of a moisturizer. L’Oreal Hydra-Nutrition Moisturizer ($16.59)  is formulated for mature dehydrated skin. And Bobbi Brown Extra Moisturizing Balm ($88) delivers the brand’s ultimate level of moisture.

You’ve got… dark circles and bags

What’s happening: Dark circles may be caused by discoloration, sinus congestion, allergies, thinning skin that allows blue and red veins to become more visible, and fat deposits that can develop with age and create shadows that make dark circles look worse.

What you can do: If your lower eyelids are dark, you can have a trichloracetic acid peel or deep laser to lighten up the pigment and firm up skin, and reduce lines. For lower eye bags, an injection of a hyaluronic acid gel such as Juvederm or Belotero can help camouflage the problem.

Photo Credit: drugstore.com

Your skin prescription: For dark circles around the eyes, skin lightening agents may be helpful over time to improve discoloration. Dr. Brandt Dark Circles Away Collagen Eye Serum ($55) uses a ball applicator to instantly refresh the eye area and help fade dark circles. Murad Lighten and Brighten Eye Treatment ($67) improves the undereye appearance by lightening dark circles. Sun avoidance is mandatory or discolouration will return. For eye bags, avoid using heavy creams that can trap moisture in the skin and make puffiness worse. Use a lighter gel formula to reduce the look of eye bags such as Olay Age Defying Revitalizing Eye Gel ($9.99) or Bliss Baggage Handler Eye Gel ($28), For treatment of shadows and bags in one, try Lancome Renergie Eye Multiple Action ($75), a two product system offered in three different shades.

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