21 Sep 2023 | by Leonard Miller, MD, FACS, FRCS
Happy 2022!! Despite the craziness of the last couple of years, there is always something hopeful about a new year. It can also be a time when many struggle. There’s often an expectation that things will be instantly different, yet, as we all know, life doesn’t magically change on January 2. I like to focus on skin in the new year because with so much out of our control, changing the look and feel of your skin is easy to accomplish. Not only that, but these rejuvenating effects manifest pretty quickly. There is also nothing better than looking in the mirror, and seeing glowing skin. It’s a huge self-confidence booster. And when you feel better about yourself, it shifts your energy to a more positive vibe all around. So, here are my thoughts on how to best achieve new skin in this new year.
January can be the ideal month to adjust your skincare regime as we are all already inherently primed to embrace anything “new”. It’s also smart to reassess your skincare products whenever the seasons change. During the winter months, your skin can become more dry, especially if you live in a cold climate. I typically recommend a milder cleanser during the fall and winter that won’t strip your skin as well as a heavier moisturizer or layers of moisture depending on your needs. However, one product that I recommend year-round to everyone, male or female, regardless of age is a retinoid. I like to call it your forever cream.
Many patients are confused about the difference between a retinoid and a retinol as the terms are often used interchangeably by the media. While both are Vitamin A derivatives, they are not the same chemical compound. In simplest terms, a retinoid is only available in prescription strength while a retinol is available over the counter. For this reason, a retinoid packs a more powerful punch in terms of efficacy and results. The nice thing about today’s retinoid products is that they come in a range of unique formulations that allow even those with super sensitive skin to find one that works for them. The benefits of daily retinoid use are intense. It can improve the appearance of:
- Fine lines & wrinkles
- “Crepey”, uneven skin texture
- Pore size
- White heads
- Black heads
This is what makes a retinoid your all-around skin superstar.
Lasers to Improve Brown Spots, Redness & Uneven Texture
The next workhorse in my new skin, new year regimen is a laser treatment. My expertise with lasers is a natural outgrowth of my curiosity and amazement at the breadth of issues a laser can effectively address. The key, of course, is choosing the right laser or lasers for your unique:See more patients »
The most common issues that I treat with a laser are brown spots, redness and uneven texture since, at a certain age, everyone experiences some degree of these big three. At Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, my colleagues and I have access to a full range of excellent laser options. I typically use the Excel V to improve redness, and either the 1540nm or Clear + Brilliant laser for rejuvenation and/or prejuvenation. The latter is incredibly mild, almost like a facial, and can be a great option for younger patients and for general “glowing” skin maintenance. Patients, when they first embrace a laser treatment, are universally amazed at what a huge difference it makes. The human eye is hard wired to associate smooth skin with youthful looking skin. Diminishing the appearance of sun spots and broken blood vessels is a fast, easy way to take years off your face with little downtime. Again, a win-win.
Sunscreen is Not Just for Summer
My last recommendation for your new year, new skin regime is sunscreen. Yes, sunscreen is not just for the summer months. Sun damage can occur whenever the sun shines so even on a cloudy day, you want to protect yourself. Not only will this greatly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, but it is probably the single greatest thing that you can do to prevent your skin from aging in the first place. It’s also never too late to start.
There are a ton of different sunscreens on the market. Some use a chemical to block UVA/UVB rays, some use a mineral and some use both. Personally, I don’t have a preference. The important thing is to find a sunscreen that you like enough to use daily, and then make it the last step in your skincare routine. Elta MD is a product line that I really like, and they make an excellent daily moisturizer for the face that also comes in an oil-free option. It’s a super easy way to keep your skin hydrated and protected in one simple step.
So, there you go. Follow this simple 1-2-3, sit back and watch the compliments start rolling in. To find out more about skin care and lasers at the Boston Center for Plastic Surgery, contact us today or call (617) 735- 8735 to schedule a consultation.