Pink Prescriptions: Skin Care Essentials

Prescriptions web

What does the term SPF mean?
What number do you recommend for my face and body?
What is the best way to rehydrate my skin after sun exposure?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which rates the ability of a sunscreen to protect skin from UVB rays that cause sunburn. The SPF number dictates by what factor of time you can remain in the sun without getting burned. For example, an SPF 15 means unprotected skin will burn after 10 minutes, but with proper application of the SPF 15 product that time can be extended to 150 minutes. Use a sunscreen that also has UVA protection, since these sunrays also cause damage to the skin.

I recommend an SPF 30 or higher, everyday, on all sun-exposed areas. Many makeups and moisturizers are now loaded with sunscreen, making this easier than ever. If you’re swimming or sweating, re-apply often. The keys to proper sunscreen application are: 1. Apply 30 minutes prior to exposure. 2. Use one ounce for entire body coverage (inadequate volume is the number one cause of sunscreen failure.) 3. Re-apply every 2 hours or after water exposure, even with “water resistant” options.

If you’re going to be out in the sun, drink plenty of water, both while you’re out and afterwards. Avoid caffeine and excessive alcohol. Skin can get dehydrated too.
-Pinnacle Plastic Surgery, Dr. Audrey Klenke, MD, Bluffton, SC

Why is it important to use medical grade skin care products?

Medical skin care actually prevents the aging process. These prescription skin care systems not only erase years off the face, they actually slow down the aging process. The ingredients in medical skin care regimens, particularly retinoids, change the skin’s structure to be younger and healthier. These changes are obvious both across the room and in the magnifying mirror. Plus, medical skin care allows these changes to be maintained far longer than the normal aging process allows. It can even help prevent the growth of some skin cancers. These treatments are non-invasive and very cost-effective compared to most aesthetic treatments. The outer layer of the face is the skin and it’s impossible to look great without great skin. Medical skin care is the best way to start your age-management program.
-Weniger Plastic Surgery, Dr. Fred Weniger, MD,  Bluffton, SC

I’m bad about removing my makeup at night. How does this affect my skin?
What should I look for in a makeup remover?

Removing the day’s makeup, oil and pollution is an important part of skin health. When we sleep our body temperature rises. This opens the pores allowing makeup and other pollutants to seep down into the pores, clogging them and causing breakout.  Also, as our collagen levels decline, due to the natural aging process, our pores won’t snap back easily once they’ve been enlarged. Not cleaning your skin at night can lead to inflammation generating more free radicals and collagen breakdown.

Use a PH-balanced cleanser for your skin type and condition. If you’re using makeups that are transfer-resistant or water proof, use a makeup dissolver to break it down and then your cleanser.
-Island Medical Spa, Teresa Kitchings, LE, Hilton Head, SC

How does my daily water in-take affect my skin?
Do I need to be more conscientious in the summer months?

Water most definitely impacts your skin’s appearance and given factors like sun, sweat, salt water and chlorine, summer requires diligence. Our skin is 64% water.  Studies show that drinking ten 8oz. glasses of water throughout a day plumps the skin and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and pores.  In addition, a variety of structures in the skin that support collagen (that magic stuff that keeps our skin supple) require water to work effectively.

For the acne prone, water may also ward off breakouts by decreasing the concentration of oil on your skin.  If skin is too heavily covered in oil, relative to hydrated skin, pores can clog resulting in acne breakouts and blemishes.

A note to you coffee addicts out there—caffeine is a form of diuretic.  For every one-cup of joe or two cups of black tea, you need to compensate with an additional eight ounces of water. So DRINK UP!! Love your water and you’ll love your skin.
-Hilton Head Plastic Surgery, Dr. David Reid, MD, Hilton Head, SC

How essential is a toner for my daily face care regimen?

This is an excellent question to ask and not the easiest to answer. There are a number of reasons to use a toner as part of your skin care regimen, but it is essential to get the right toner for your skin. (Check with a skin care specialist to determine what product is best for your skin type.) A toner will remove additional dirt and cosmetics that a cleanser may not. This will help your pores to shrink. By closing the pores, fewer impurities and environmental contaminants enter the skin and cause damage. In addition, a toner will balance your PH after using a cleanser. Our skin is naturally acidic; a toner will balance that acidity and keep your body from potentially producing too much oil. Toners with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) can prevent ingrown hairs and stimulate collagen. A toner can complement your cleanser and moisturizer and increase the positive results of your skin care regimen, giving you healthier, younger looking skin.
-Smith Plastic Surgery, Brendan E. Smith, MD, Okatie, SC

How and why are facials beneficial for my overall skin care?

Facials offer deep cleaning and exfoliation of your skin. This results in improved hydration, stimulates collagen production  and gives the skin a healthy, glowing appearance. You can also have blackheads and milia (also called a milk spot, milia are keratin-filled cysts under the surface of the skin) extracted. During  a facial you have an opportunity to get to know your esthetician and for her to become personally familiar with your unique skin and specific problem areas you may want to address. As a skincare expert, she can explain and recommend various skincare options and guide you to those most beneficial for your skin type. Maintaining healthy, hydrated skin throughout adulthood is a primary way to slow the aging-process. A facial will also leave you feeling more relaxed, beautiful and happy. Happiness is good for your skin and the environment.  It’s contagious!
-LUX-A Medical Spa, Susan Coker, PA-C, Bluffton, SC



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