Our Skincare Center carries scientifically-formulated skin care products, such as those manufactured by Obagi, BioMedic, and SkinCeuticals, many of which are available by prescription only. Although products sold in stores or spas may have some of the same ingredients as those we carry, they do not have these ingredients in the concentrations or forms needed to be clinically effective.
A good example is vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights the damage caused by free radicals. When used daily on the skin, vitamin C repairs damage caused by sun and age while also promoting the growth of a healthy collagen network to improve your skin’s support and maintain its volume. Only skin care products that contain prescription-strength vitamin C have this antioxidant in an active and stable form that is useable by the skin.
If you buy an over-the-counter product, you are not getting vitamin C in the concentration or the form needed to repair your skin and stimulate collagen production. This example illustrates the major difference between the products available in our Skincare Center and those sold in stores or salons.
During a consultation, our aesthetician and skin care specialist will explain the essential steps of a good skin care program: 1) cleanse, 2) tone, 3) exfoliate, 4) stimulate, and 5) protect with a sunscreen of SPF 30. Many people should add another step to even out the pigmentation of sun-damaged skin.
The major goals of an effective program are to correct existing damage, maintain the skin’s improved health, and prevent future damage. A daily regimen tailored to your skin’s needs will be designed by our skin care specialists to improve the health and appearance of your skin.
When we were babies, we all had perfect skin that was soft, firm, and vibrant. Young skin replaces its cells about every 6 weeks as surface cells are sloughed off and newer cells rise to the surface. Unfortunately, everybody’s skin ages and becomes less able to renew itself. By the time we reach our 30s, the collagen begins to break down, our skin loses some of its elasticity, and the turnover of cells slows.
This natural aging process accelerates with exposure to the sun, stress, environmental assaults, and smoking. Gravity takes its toll, and skin begins to sag if not supported by a healthy collagen network. The goals of the skin rejuvenating products and services offered in our Skincare Center are to stimulate skin cell renewal, rebuild collagen to smooth and firm the skin, improve circulation, and repair the skin’s ability to hydrate itself.
The way your skin looks directly relates to its supportive structure. Most skin care products work on the superficial layers of the skin called the epidermis. The epidermis is about 1/1000th of an inch thick and composed of several layers of cells. Below the epidermis lies the dermis. The health of the dermis determines the appearance of the epidermis. Much thicker than the epidermis, the dermis contains collagen fibers as well as elastin and hair follicles.
Collagen is a protein that gives skin its structural support and volume. Age, sunlight, and other factors cause the amount of collagen in our skin to diminish over time. With some of the underlying support gone from the dermis, lines and wrinkles appear on the skin surface, or epidermis. The most important step for rejuvenating skin is to stimulate the production of collagen so the skin’s deeper structure is rebuilt.
Some over-the-counter products say they include collagen and elastin, but these cannot be used by the skin when added through superficial application. New collagen and elastin fibers come only from below, within the dermis.
The Skincare Center offers prescription products that stimulate collagen production by working deep within the dermis, at a cellular level. Products containing Vitamins A and C are the best stimulators and the most important skin care products for building a healthier, better supported, and younger-looking epidermis.
Vitamin A, or retinol, is the strongest stimulator of collagen production and increases the rate of cellular turnover so newer cells reach the skin surface more quickly. Officially called tretinoin, Retin-A works deep within the dermis to restructure the collagen network and make skin firmer and thicker. Greater firmness minimizes fine and coarse lines, and increased thickness gives skin more tolerance to assaults from the sun and environment. In addition, the skin becomes better able to hydrate itself.
When Retin-A is applied daily, the skin’s elasticity improves, the size of pores shrinks, texture becomes smoother, and pigmentation evens out. Blood flow in the skin is stimulated. Finally, Retin-A effectively repairs sun damage and may even reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
Some over-the-counter products may contain vitamin A (retinol) or an ingredient called retinyl palmitate. This is not the same thing as tretinoin, which is available by prescription only and comes in its own tube. Although it can be combined with other skin products just before use, true retinol cannot be stored in a mixture with other ingredients or it loses its potency.