“Do you ever have moments when you look at yourself in the mirror and hardly recognize the person staring back at you? This is the reality that many of us face as we challenge the roller coaster ride of skin. This includes everything from the new (Non-fashionable) bags under your eyes to turning into the spotted 13 year old version of yourself at the ripe age of 40.”
– Theresa Horn
It is so important for all of us to have goals that we envision, plan for and commit to achieve, this should include our skin as well. As we look through before and after photos, the results are beyond Amazing but what we often don’t get to see is what happens between the photos such as the ups, downs and continuous dedication. We all have an idea what we want our skin to ultimately look like but we are unsure of how to go about getting this process started, which will then lead us to reaching our ultimate skin goals.
What are Skin Goals?
Skin goals are generally of a personal matter. We all have concerns that we want to work on and improve, mostly only the ones we notice but others usually may not. It is first and foremost important to keep your goals realistic and within a suitable time frame. This will help you to stay motivated and consistently keep you moving forward to your end result. There are usually different paths or approaches you could take but generally all are moving in the same direction.
Please Send Help!
In most of our consultations that we do it is extremely common for people to identify more than one concern on their face or body that they would like treated. For example, a person can struggle with spontaneous breakouts, dark marks which contribute to uneven skin tone, an oily skin type and rough skin texture.
In the perfect world we would love to be able to treat all of those concerns with one ‘magical’ treatment but this is generally not the case, which makes it important for us to take a look at the bigger picture to see what path the skin took to get to this point as it will also have an affect on our treatment plan and eventual outcome.
Here are some examples of the questions that we usually will ask to help us better determine what our treatment plan will be and why:
How long has the skin looked this way for?
We are all born with a skin type which is one we will have throughout our lives. Our skin conditions however will change from time to time due to internal and external factors such as hormones, medications, incorrect product use and excessive sun exposure. If your skin’s condition has been poor for many months or years it can often take the same amount of time to be corrected back to its original healthy state according to your age and genetics. Therefore it is very important to determine the factors that contributed to getting your skin where it is now.
What lifestyle choices and diet are followed?
The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ is completely true and reflects directly through your skin. If you have habits that compromise your health such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and spending too much time out in the sun will also have an effect on your skin’s immunity as well. Having a well balanced diet plays a huge role in achieving your skin goals as certain foods rich in sugar and dairy create a high inflammatory environment that contribute to the flare up of breakouts and breaking down of collagen which leads to thin, saggy skin..
What are the causes/factors that could have contributed to this skin condition?
We often have to use a process of elimination to determine if maybe something you have continuously been doing or recently changed has contributed to the current condition of your skin. We rely a lot on the patient’s information here. That is why we have a list of possible causes or factors to work through, to try and find the culprit. An in depth consultation is the base of your successful skin journey at Dermology.
What skincare products are being used and what previous treatments have been done?
This typically applies to what you are currently using on your skin and not necessarily the other products you once used in the past. The ingredients applied onto the skin on a daily basis will either contribute to building up the health of the skin or breaking it down. Your treatment history also allows us to determine what has been tried and failed in the past so that we may make the changes to your skin’s new treatment journey.
What medications are being taken and for how long?
Chronic medications come with their own list of side effects and tend to put a lot of stress on our livers that are responsible for filtering and detoxifying our blood which then flows around the body. Certain medications can contribute to the development of hyper-pigmentation, whilst others help to balance hormones to better control acne breakouts, so you unfortunately can’t have all the good without the bad.
Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail. Where Do I start?
As the skin is a functioning organism and forms part of our immunity, it will always be one of the first places to show ‘disease and dysfunction’ in the form of breakouts, pigmentation and redness as a way of communicating to us that it is not healthy and not functioning in the best possible way. The skin will continue to function this way unless changes are made, so if you keep doing what you are doing, you are unfortunately going to keep getting what you are getting.
The skin’s natural health and functioning needs to be restored first before seeking other avenues for help and here is how:
- Essentials: Get back to basics by using skin type suitable cleansers and lotions.
- Treatment: Serums to target and treat any and all signs of dysfunction.
- Protection: Daily use of a broad spectrum sun protection factor.
Preparation is key when making changes to your current home care and lifestyle regime as this will ultimately determine and contribute to the outcome of the treatments that are done. If the skin is not well prepared beforehand this is often when we run into complications making it so important to take the time to prepare the skin beforehand. You may find that once the natural processes of the skin have normalized that there may already be slight changes or improvements of your skin, moving you even closer to reaching your skin goals.
Plan of Action, Where to from here?
The skin at this point has moved mountains with regards to progress, which means that we ultimately want to start turning our focus towards damage control whilst keeping a close eye on any irregularities that could suddenly push the skin backwards.
Our eyes are naturally drawn to any marks or discoloration on the skin such as hyper-pigmentation (dark marks) and sun damage. To create a clearer and more even skin tone will automatically give the appearance that the skin is more healthy, youthful and may also unmask any other underlying concerns such as scarring, fine lines and wrinkles which will then be targeted next.
Depending on the amount of damage on the skin and how quickly the skin responds to treatment will determine how long it will take to reach your skin goals. Your results ultimately lie in your own hands as they are very much dependent on your commitment to following treatment protocol and instruction given to you by your treating therapist.
Go For Gold, Got It, Now How Do I keep my skin looking this good?
Maintenance is an essential part of keeping your skin looking great once you have reached your skin goals. It is important to ensure that your foundation of home care products and treatments does not taper down too much as this will affect the overall health and functioning of the skin, causing your pyramid to fall apart.
The skin will always continue to function as long as you live which means that from time to time that there will be improvements and corrections to be made along the way.
As a skin and laser specialist I am extremely passionate about treating skin and helping you reach your skin goals. There is often a lot of time, patience and dedication that is required but if you trust the process, the end result will definitely be well worth it. It takes two to Tango, so let me help you dance your way to better skin.