Saturday, September 13, 2008

Combinations of Skin Concerns

These are my favorite clients:
  • the thirty-something professional who is beginning to see hyperpigmentation from childhood sun exposure, but still struggles with hormonal breakouts
  • the anti-aging client who struggles with both texture and pigment changes
  • the teen who can occasionally get her acne under control with drugstore treatments, but wants to avoid having acne scars as an adult
They prove a very important point about skin care: it is complicated. The truth is that most of us, unless our skin is clear, firm, even-textured, evenly-pigmented, not too oily, and not too dry, are concerned about skin care. What often happens is that we focus all of our energy on one of the skin concerns, and are effectively blindsighted to the others. Here are some examples:

Most of my anti-aging clients will come in concerned about either texture or pigmentation, but not both. In reality, most will see the best results from treating both! Prior to seeking professional skin care, they have largely focused on one or the other, either loading up on heavy "wrinkle" creams which do nothing for pigmentation, or focusing their skin care regimen exclusively on lightening agents which do nothing to build up collagen in the skin. Having access to a wide range of targeted cosmeceutical treatments through institut' DERMed professional skincare allows me to customize a skin care treatment and home plan to provide the most accelerated anti-aging results.

On a personal note, before entering into acne treatments with my esthetician and mentor, Stephanie McChesney, I had convinced myself that the root of all my skin problems was that I had sensitive skin. Stephanie explained that in fact, far from having sensitive skin, I simply had so much buildup of dead skin cells (as a result of only using products labeled for sensitive skin that did not provide me with any exfoliation) that I was experiencing both the predictable breakouts from lack of cell turnover, and frequent patchy irritation as a result of my skin's attempt to turn over normally. Professional treatments with Stephanie and a home care regimen that she carefully monitored (the same treatments and products I now use on myself and my clients) provided a 4-month solution to a 10-year acne problem which had persisted only because, as someone whose skin care knowledge was--at that time--limited to magazine editors' opinions, I had misjudged my own problem!

These examples show the strong value of professional intervention beyond the actual professional treatments that skin care specialists are able to provide. An effective skin care regimen doesn't get off the ground until accurate and complete analyses are made of all the skin's conditions.

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