5 Steps to Better Skin

So, it’s cold outside – Winter weather can take its toll on your skin, but there are some simple steps to help protect it:

Add extra moisture.

Even if you consistently hydrate your skin, consider moisturizing more often or even switching to a heavier moisturizer during these cold days. Check out our range of hydrating skincare to help provide extra-rich moisturization which can deliver moisture that lasts throughout the day.

While you’re at it, remember to keep your lips hydrated with a moisturizing lip balm with skin-protecting ingredients to help prevent chapping.

Stay warm.

Pretty obvious, right? But still essential. Do what you can to remain warm this winter: this means bundling up when you go outside, heating your house/room when necessary, and using a humidifier if you live in a dry climate. Your skin will thank you for taking this easy step in these colder months!

Up the fatty acids in your diet.

Foods that contain a good dose of healthy fats – including almonds, walnuts, salmon, and olive oil – may help keep your skin hydrated. These are also superfoods that can help your heart health…so they’ll work double duty for you in winter!

Cool it with the baths.

Baths can be very relaxing and warming when it’s so cold out, but try to limit them this winter, and keep the water warm – not hot. Using hot water in your bath or shower can actually break down the lipid barriers in skin, which may result in moisture loss and can dry out your skin.

Don’t forget sunscreen!

Just because you can’t see the sun as much in winter doesn’t mean it can’t affect your skin. In fact, UVA sun rays (which can penetrate into deeper levels of the skin and contribute to skin aging) are present year-round and can pierce through glass and clouds.

So, when we say it’s best to use a broad spectrum sunscreen every day, we mean EVERY DAY – winter included.

These 5 easy steps may make a difference between dry, chapped skin and more hydrated, softer skin this winter.

Ready to get started?

For a complimentary consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or request an appointment online.

Are Microtreatments The Best Beauty Procedures?

Microtreatments might sound like a new concept, but thousands of women over the world claim they create better results than any other option on the market today.

Microtreatments make up a good portion of what we offer at SKYN® and do not involve any surgery, and you can be in and out of the clinic in a matter of minutes or hours. Injections will be involved for the best outcomes, but that’s much better than going under the knife to achieve your aesthetic goals.

If you’re still not convinced about microtreatments, here are some examples of the type of concerns they can address and the benefits.

 

Improving crow’s feet and frown lines

Crow’s feet and frown lines can make people appear much older than they actually are. So, it makes sense that you will want to smooth them out as soon as they appear on your face (or before they do). While there are many moisturisers available on the market that claim to produce those results, few of them cut it in terms of real results.

There are also surgical options, but there is no need to spend that much money or put your body through such an invasive experience. Microtreatments are the perfect solution and can usually be administered in your lunch break with little downtime.

We encourage clients to book a consultation appointment with our Talent first, so you get all the information you require about the best ways to kick those tired eyes to the curb.


Wrinkle Relaxers / from $4 per unit

 

Smoothing and tightening the skin

When the skin on your face and neck becomes flabby and loose, you will begin to look old before your time. Again, there are lots of surgical solutions available, however, most experts agree there is no need to opt for something like that now we have microtreatments on the scene. Our Talent will take a look at your concerns and then offer advice on the best microtreatments to address them.

That will often involve the use of cutting-edge creams and moisturisers, and you might also benefit from cosmetic injectables like wrinkle relaxers or skin treatments like laser resurfacing.

Treatments like laser resurfacing can effectively combat the early signs of skin sagging and laxity.


Chemical peels / from $110 each
Wrinkle Relaxers / from $4 per unit
Laser Resurfacing / $550 per session

 

Creating the illusion of high cheekbones

Cheek enhancement services can help you to create the illusion of high cheekbones with dermal fillers. While it’s a temporary solution lasting 9 – 18 months before a top is due, you’re guaranteed to become the envy of your friends.

If you want to assess the results for yourself; book a complimentary consultation to see if the treatment could benefit you. Some people spend thousands of dollars with plastic surgeons to get those desirable cheeks, but there are much more affordable options with the correct combination of microtreatments.


Dermal Fillers / from $650

 

Microtreatments packages and pricing 

We have packaged some of our most popular microtreatments at very affordable prices. To achieve the perfect result our Talent analyse the entire face and consider your facial proportions ensuring a natural result. Each service is completely customised.

Ready to get started?

For a complimentary consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or request an appointment online.

MORE FROM THE BLOG

THE SPRING EDIT

Read More

5 Steps to Better Skin

Read More

Are Microtreatments The Best Beauty Procedures?

Read More

The Best Skin Treatments for Winter

Read More

What is a Lip Flip? Experts Weigh In

Everything you need to know about the low-key injectable procedure.

In a rapid-fire round of beauty word association, Wrinkle Relaxers will most likely conjure images of smooth foreheads and vanishing wrinkles. Since the OG Tox was approved by the FDA for cosmetic use in 2002, Wrinkle Relaxers have become the go-to injectable treatment for combating wrinkles and fine lines. But lately, it’s also gaining popularity through a subtle procedure in the lip augmentation family: the lip flip.

 

WHAT’S A LIP FLIP?

As Lara Devgan, a top board-certified cosmetic surgeon in New York City, explains it, lip flips are a procedure in which neuromodulators (Wrinkle Relaxers) are injected in infinitesimal quantities at the corners of the mouth and near the Cupid’s bow. All in all, a standard lip flip procedure takes less than ten minutes. Over the following weeks, it gently unfurls thin lips to make them appear large and full.

 

HOW ARE LIP FLIPS DIFFERENT FROM LIP FILLERS?

Lip fillers inject a high viscosity filler into the lip to add volume. Lip flips enhance the upper lip’s appearance by relaxing a muscle around the lips: the orbicularis oris, a circular muscle that almost acts like a purse string. “The idea behind the lip flip is if you use [Wrinkle Relaxers] to slightly soften some of the tensioned areas of the purse string, then you can cause a little bit of relaxation of the pink-white border of the lip,” Devgan says. “So that vermilion border flips out a little bit and it gives you a very subtle improvement in upper lip show.”

 

Wrinkle Relaxers can sometimes conjure images of frozen lips that struggle to wrap around a straw, but there’s little risk of immovable lips with this procedure. Lip flips involve highly strategic injections administered in teeny-tiny quantities—and if you’re seeing a board-certified professional, it’s unlikely that they’ll overdo the injection.

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I SHOULD GET A LIP FLIP?

If you’re eyeing a dramatic lip augmentation, a lip flip may not be for you. “It’s the right procedure for someone who is interested in fuller lips but feels a little bit apprehensive and wants a baby step before they commit to lip filler,” Devgan says. Lip flips only roll the upper lip out, making thing lips appear fuller; they don’t add volume. Additionally, the procedure only lasts for about three months.

 

HOW MUCH DOES A LIP FLIPS COST?

Devgan tells us that lip flips can range anywhere from [AUD $150] depending on the person and the practice. And if you like the results, you’ll expect to spend the same amount again on a return visit when the it fades in 90 days.

 

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR A  LIP FLIP?

All the health requirements you’d need for another injectable procedure—say, cheek fillers or lip fillers—are standard for lip flips too. Devgan also advises that you don’t have any active cold sores. To reduce swelling, refrain from alcohol, aspirin, and other blood thinners for a few days before and after any injectables.

Ready to get started?

For a consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or book online.

The ultimate guide to improving Dark circles under the eyes

If you’ve ever attempted to brighten dark, tired eyes, you’ll know it can be an arduous task. So what’s to blame, what should be avoided and how can you make tired eyes look fresh again.

DIET

As we’ve heard time and again “You are what you eat”. The largest organ in the body is our skin – so what you put in is going to be reflected on the outside. One of the biggest culprits is alcohol, so if you’ve been overindulging it’s time to take a break! The best foods for tackling dark circles are those rich in Iron, Vitamin A, C, E and K. As a general life rule, always remember to stay hydrated.

SLEEP

If you haven’t been clocking up your 8 hours sleep, your eyes can be a dead giveaway.

Sleep deprivation can mean your eyes aren’t as wide, bright or clear so if you haven’t been getting the recommended amount of shut-eye it’s time you started to think about the quality and quantity of your sleep routine.

 

ALLERGIES

The skin under the eyes is super gentle, so allergies and excessive eye rubbing can cause thickening and darkening in the area.

BLAME YOUR PARENTS

Genetics can also be a cause for dark circles. Pale, thin skin can reveal blood vessels under the eyes, leaving you with a reddish-purple hue showing through. The natural progression of life can also take its toll on your appearance and as the collagen and elastin in our skin decreases, the results are hollowed shadows under the eyes.

TREATMENTS

It’s not always possible to fully remove dark circles but SKYN® can be your best defence in minimising their appearance. To obtain these results we may use topical treatments, injectables or lasers.

One of our most effective treatments of dark circles is Tear Trough Fillers

Tear Trough Filler is a specialised dermal filler treatment to give the effect of an eye lift without surgery, instantly giving you a less tired appearance. We offer the treatment to help improve concerns with eye bags, sunken and tired-looking eyes.

SKYN’s Tear Trough Filler can completely transform a clients face from tired and sunken to looking bright, refreshed and awake.

Improving the overall quality and texture of your skin can also give you a glow back which can draw attention to other areas of your face.

Ready to get started?

For a consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or book online.

The Best Treatment for Pigmentation

To be honest, we’ve spent many, many hours scrolling through Instagram this year. Usually, it’s a pointless habit to pass the time while we’re waiting for our morning cappuccino. But every now and again, we stumble across a post that disrupts our mindless scrolling.

Sydney-based facialist Melanie Grant is a wealth of skincare knowledge. A skincare expert to the stars, Grant has treated everyone from Zoe Foster Blake to Lara Worthington. And, fortunately for us, she often uses Instagram as a medium for sharing skincare-related advice.
Grant’s latest Instagram lesson? How to get rid of pigmentation.

WHAT IS PIGMENTATION?

In her first post, Grant gives an in depth explanation of what pigmentation is:

“Hyperpigmentation—brown patches, marks, splotches—can be caused by excessive sun exposure, hormone imbalances, inflammation and injury to the skin. It most commonly appears on the face, neck and décolletage. It’s also notoriously difficult to treat.”

“Before you can treat your pigmentation, you need to know what type you have. Those with fair skin are more prone to sun-induced pigment and people with olive complexions can be more susceptible to post-inflammatory pigment. Women who are pregnant, who take the oral contraceptive pill, or who are on hormone replacement therapy or IVF are more likely to suffer from hormone induced pigmentation, aka melasma or chloasma.”

Hyperpigmentation will often appear as we become older as our melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment) increase in size as we age. Younger skin can be at risk of pigment from sun damage—that cute spray of freckles across the nose and cheeks can become more dense, causing uneven tone and darkness to the face, and melasma caused by the pill is very common in younger women.”

THE BEST IN-SALON TREATMENTS FOR PIGMENTATION

As one of Australia’s most well regarded skin experts, Grant knows a thing or two about in-salon treatments:

“If you’re serious about clearing up your pigmentation, I’d recommend the following,” she wrote. “For sun-induced pigment I favour lasers such as Fraxel (or Erbium)  and IPL.”

“For hormonal pigment there’s no cure as such, however it can be managed with a good skincare regime and in-clinic treatments such as laser or depigmentation peels, I find Cosmelan and Dermamelan are super effective.”

“For early onset or minimal pigment, I like to combine low level, gentle peels with light therapy to gradually break down the pigment, brighten the complexion and unify skin tone.”
“Unless you want to end up right back where you started, there’s no use booking in for clinical treatments if you continue to skip the SPF. Diligent sun protection is vital in managing all types of hyperpigmentation, this is where it starts! Some women even choose to stop taking the pill to ease the side effects of melasma.”

DERMAMELAN DEPIGMENTATION

The Dermamelan Peel is a rapid medical treatment for all types of pigmentation. Dermamelan provides extremely effective results for this problem that will return the skin to its natural even colour and complexion and involves very little downtime. It is an express depigmentation treatment that is effective in all types of pigmentation problems, even in resistant cases that have failed all other types of treatment.

It can be applied in any season and is compatible with all types and shades of skin. It is completely safe and the pigmented patches will usually disappear in a short period of time.

Results you can expect

There are minimal side effects (only slight redness and flaking) and there is a stabilisation of sebaceous secretion resulting in a reduction of any excessive oiliness and improvement of any acne problems. The skin becomes bright, rejuvenated and abnormal pigmentation starts to fade, with results starting to show in just 10 to 14 days.

From the first day after treatment, make-up can be worn, if required, without any problems. Suitable for all skin types this Dermamelan treatment can help reduce pigmentation marks by up to 95%.

Before and After

THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR PIGMENTATION

As Grant explains, there are plenty of pigmentation fighting products that you can add to your everyday routine.

“Look for brightening serums that feature ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, bearberry or liquorice extracts, and azelaic acid,” she says.

Dr Joseph Hkeik, from All Saints Skin Clinics in Sydney, agrees that vitamin C is one of the most effective ingredients for treating pigmentation, along with other signs of ageing. (Win, win.) “Vitamin C is great because it brightens the skin and it’s also good for exfoliation,” Dr Hkeik told ELLE.

“People that have pigmentation, people that have sun damage—these are the things that we use vitamin C for. It’s a wonderful brightener and I think this is probably the reason why it’s been thrown into a lot of products.”

SKYN PRODUCTS FOR PIGMENTATION

1. Tyrosinase Inhibitors

are amazing at addressing unwanted pigmentation in the skin. They act by blocking or sedating the enzyme responsible for the overproduction of melanin which causes your skin to have dark spots. This is a great prepping ingredient if you are considering undergoing laser treatments, IPL, chemical peels or invasive skin treatments as it reduces the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Cosmedix Simply Brilliant

ZO Brightalive Skin Brightener

 

2. SPF

SPF is also an absolute MUST for pigmentation prevention.

 

3. Retinol / Vitamin A

Retinol / Vitamin A is also good for pigmentation caused by sun damage as it increases cell turnover which has an exfoliating effect, so dull, damaged cells are brought to the surface to make way for brighter more even-toned skin.

ZO Retinol

Cosmedix Serum 16

 

Great for people who find they “react” to retinol.

Cosmedix Define  & Cosmedix Refine are also great!

Ready to get started?

For a consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or book online.

Chrissy Teigen Just Got Wrinkle Relaxers in Her Armpits to Stop Sweating—Here’s How That Works

“I can wear silk again without soaking woohoo!”

Chrissy Teigen is known for being totally candid about the personal aspects of her life. From getting real about postpartum depression to her vaginal steaming routine, she’s definitely not one to hold back. But her latest beauty treatment may just be one of her most honest.

Last night, Teigen shared a video of herself receiving anti-wrinkle injections (Wrinkle Relaxers) in her armpits as a way to combat her “excessive sweating.” In the video, she gives a shout out to Jason Diamond, MD, a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon, while calling the procedure the “best move” she “has ever made.”

While Teigen hasn’t revealed an exact diagnosis (she could simply just sweat a lot—feel that, girl!), excessive sweating can be a symptom of hyperhidrosis—and anti-wrinkle injections in the armpits are often a common treatment for the condition.

“What’s happening in hyperhidrosis is the nerves that send signals to sweat glands to sweat are way too chatty, and we don’t really know why that is,” Adam Friedman, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, previously told Health. Medications and anti-wrinkle injections work by blocking those nerve signals that are responsible for activating the sweat glands, he explained.

The good news? Anti-wrinkle injections aren’t specifically meant for those with a hyperhidrosis diagnosis—even if you just want to rock a silk dress, sweat-free (like Teigen), you can go ahead and opt for the procedure. “You can absolutely get anti-wrinkle injections under your armpits, even if you don’t have hyperhidrosis,” Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist and author of Skin Rules, tells Health. “Some people may be allergic to antiperspirants, so for them, this is a good—and safe—alternative.”

As for the pain that might come with the procedure, Teigen said she didn’t feel anything. “Truly didn’t hurt at all” she wrote in a tweet later to a fan asking about the pain. “But I also do laser hair removal there so my pain tolerance might be quite high,” she added.One small drawback: anti-wrinkle injections only prevents sweating in the area that it is specifically injected, Dr. Jaliman added. That means if you’re just getting the treatments in your armpits, you can still sweat other places (hi, underboob sweat!), so one round of anti-wrinkle injections won’t solve all of your sweaty summer woes. Plus, the procedure only lasts about six to seven months, says Dr. Jaliman, so be ready to make multiple appointments to keep your underarms dry for good.

Ready to get started?

For a consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or book online.

Gwyneth Paltrow: ‘You can’t be in a bubble where you’re never going to encounter something that’s not clean’

When actress-turned-Goop founder and CEO Gwyneth Paltrow introduced the broader concept of wellness to women around the world, she arguably redefined modern beauty standards. Paltrow is often credited as being a first adopter of emerging trends; clean beauty, crystals and ashwagandha have all become more mainstream, thanks to Paltrow and her greater influence. Last week, she may have done it again. On Thursday, Paltrow announced her partnership with Merz Aesthetics’ “pure” injectable Wrinkle Relaxer X.

Paltrow has never been the global face, much less an ambassador, for a cosmetic aesthetics company, especially since she publicly swore off Botox after her 40th birthday. But Paltrow’s relationship with Merz represents the duality of the beauty industry today, one that encompasses cosmetic treatments, clean beauty and wellness. Below, she discusses with Glossy what made her take the plunge with Wrinkle Relaxer X, what the future of beauty looks like and what’s on deck for “The Goop Lab” season two.

What made this partnership with Merz Aesthetics interesting to you?

“I think it kind of goes along with my philosophy that life is a balance, and also that women should feel completely empowered to do the things in their lives that work for them and make them feel better. Obviously, I’m very into clean products and clean beauty, but basically, the story goes like this: When I was 40 — I was panicking about turning 40 — I did full anti-wrinkle [injections], the whole thing. And I [looked like] a monster. It was crazy. I honestly want to show you a picture of my face; it was nuts. I was like, ‘I’ll never do this again.’ ‘I’ll never touch my face again.’ But of course, I went along and I felt good [on the] inside, but maybe you’re noticing more wrinkles. I was getting really pronounced frown lines. My really good friend is a plastic surgeon in Chicago, I’m always asking him, ‘What are women doing?’ “Is it to early for a face lift?’ ‘What’s the laser [to use]?’ — and he told me about Wrinkle Relaxer X. He was like, ‘It’s just for right here [Paltrow points to the area between her eyes], and you need just a little drop.’ And I was like, ‘No, I had a really bad experience with an anti-wrinkle injection.’ He said, ‘Just trust me, it’s a purified version. It’s very you. It’s the cleanest version of this possible.’ He gave me a drop of it, and really, it was fantastic.”

How important was the “clean” aspect, given that you are such a proponent of clean beauty and wellness?

“It’s one of those things you have to balance, because it’s still a neurotoxin. But the fact that it’s uniquely purified — there’s not other stuff in it — made it more palatable for me to try. I’m so passionate about what we put on our skin — moisturizer, or whatever body oil, cream or exfoliants. Your skin absorbs, transdermally, like up to 70% of what you put on it. Over 10 years, as I’ve learned more and more about clean beauty, [I’ve found] some conventional beauty products that are considered luxury products have antifreeze in them.”

So, what is your take on conventional beauty products?

“You can’t be in a bubble where you’re never going to encounter something that’s not clean. I have really dry, color-treated hair. I cannot use a clean moisturizer. Clean conditioner in my hair doesn’t work. I would like to make [a clean conditioner] one day, and we’re trying to work on one, but there’s a balance. I think women should feel free to explore whatever they want to — eyelash dye, hair color, it is what it is.”

You’re known to spot the next big thing. Is there anything you have your eye on?

“I thought it might be a good time to do a chemical peel to get rid of sun damage [because of staying indoors], but I haven’t found one. There are so many mixed reactions. I’m still gathering research about that one. People say, like, ‘What are your beauty hacks?’ Besides my GoopGenes moisturizer, which I’m obsessed with by the way, [they include] exfoliating, sleeping, breathing, meditating — [and] basic things to reduce stress: sweating, exercising, eating good nutrients. Those are all considered wellness [to me].”

How is that going to come to life in season two of [the Netflix series] “The Goop Lab”?

“Season two is really about relationships, intimacy and sex. We’re focusing on that. We just started filming, so we’re still putting it all together right now.”

Ready to get started?

For a consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or book online.

My Laser Tattoo Removal Journey

My laser tattoo removal journey with SKYN®. Why I got it, how it feels, how it heals and progress after two sessions.

 

Getting your partner’s name tattooed on you – aka the kiss of death. I thought I had beaten the system, vying for the safest option. My tattoo was in a hidden location – my upper thigh. I also swerved the use of their name, using my boyfriend’s logo (he was a musician). I deduced that no matter the future outcome of our relationship, it would be out of sight and I could live with a weird little worm (see pictures).

 

Spoiler alert: we broke up, and it was messy. While it may not be his name, unfortunately, the image is a daily reminder of a person I don’t want to think about, ever, permanently on my body. 

 

My strong advice would be to avoid getting someone tattooed on yourself, no matter how you feel toward them. Don’t just take it from me – a UK poll in 2018 showed tattooed names was the number one tattoo regret (unsurprisingly). Closely followed by tribal designs and Asian characters.

 

However, if it’s too late, there is a solution. Laser tattoo removal. SKYN® use the Lutronic Spectra Q-Switched Laser – one of the most effective laser machines on the market. (Read more here). It’s a little painful, but the results are worth it.

 

I am two sessions deep and I am elated to finally see my ex fading from my life.

 

The First Session

 

I was nervous going into my first session. I had been warned that it can be painful, and I’m sure I have a fairly low pain threshold. On top of that, I was told it would be approximately nine sessions until complete removal. Could I handle the process nine times? 

 

The nurse, who was incredibly kind, covered the area with numbing cream. After about 15 minutes I took a deep breath, put on my safety glasses and was ready to go. 

 

I won’t lie, it wasn’t comfortable. I have read the process being likened to being continuously flicked with a rubber band and yes, that’s exactly what it feels like. However, I found it manageable, and it was over in about 15 minutes or less. Anyone that’s had a tattoo knows they aren’t particularly comfortable either, and nowhere near as speedy.

 

The laser itself is gratifying to watch. The ink pigments absorb and chemically react with the emitted light, causing a white frosting. 

Before laser tattoo removal with the Lutronic Spectra Q-Switched Laser

The Healing Process

The day after removal, the tattoo was very red and sore to touch, similar to a sunburn. There were moments of soreness and itchiness, but nothing too dramatic. Don’t be alarmed at redness, blistering or scabbing. Two weeks after the first session, the tattoo was looking a little dry, but on the way to recovery.

One day after Laser Tattoo Removal with Spectra Q-Switched Laser

Two weeks after Laser Tattoo Removal with Spectra Q-Switched Laser

*After roughly eight weeks I can confidently say the tattoo removal was entirely healed and already I was seeing noticeable fading. I tried to keep the area clean, away from the sunlight, moisturised (later in the process) and breathing. If you want to speed the process along, SKYN offers the Healite II™. This can be used in conjunction with laser treatments, increasing blood flow to the tissue, and therefore assisting wound healing.

 

*The healing process may be faster for other clients as I have an autoimmune disease which affects my body’s ability to heal.

 

The Second Session

 

The second session fared similarly to the first in terms of the session and the healing process. It felt a little more sensitive than the first time, however, this is where there has been a vast improvement. It’s important to note that my removal journey has also been a little bit different. 

 

I have opted to guinea pig a technique where half of the tattoo has been treated with the Erbium Yag Laser, prior to using the Spectra Q-Switch. Basically, this pokes little holes in to let gas escape, which should be more effective. The other half of the tattoo has only been treated with Spectra Q-Switched. 

 

After the first session, I hadn’t noticed a huge difference between the halves, but now I can see portions of the tattoo that has dropped (almost entirely) where the Erbium Yag Laser technique was used. In saying that, I’m stunned by how well the only Q-Switched laser area of the tattoo removal application has developed.

Above the line: Combination Erbium Yag Laser and Spectra Q-Switch
Below the line: Spectra Q-Switch Laser only. See the lines of the eyes!

 

I can happily report that I will be continuing this journey. I am unphased by the discomfort and based on how well the tattoo has taken to the treatments so far, I am convinced it will be much less than nine sessions!

How to Safely Treat Patients with Darker Skin Types

Earlier this month Dr. Suzan Obagi explained her thoughts on why she is not afraid of causing PIH in darker skin types. She offers her expertise and personal approach to understanding and treating pigmentation issues, below and via https://www.aestheticauthority.com/view/fillers-for-post-fat-grafting-finesse

It is not unusual for me to see a patient in consultation for skin concerns only to find out that they were referred by their dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon because of fear of treating their darker skin complexion without risking more pigmentation issues. While I am thankful that the physician referred the patient if they were concerned about treating their skin safely, it makes me wonder how many patients out there are being turned away from treatments based solely upon their skin color.

I think we have been taught, rightfully so, to be concerned about post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) when treating darker-skinned patients, but there are steps we can take to prepare the patient’s skin well so that we can safely treat them.

First, let’s look at the difference between ephelides (freckles), lentigines (sunspots), PIH, and melasma. Patients may have a genetic predisposition to forming ephelides, but that gene varies racially. Biopsies show increased pigmentation but not increased melanocytes; however, ephelides have a predilection for sun-exposed skin. This suggests that there is an overproduction of melanin by melanocytes. Solar lentigines, on the other hand, arise in areas where repeated sun exposure induces mutations, resulting in increased melanin production and abnormal pigment retention by the keratinocytes. In these lesions, there is a mild increased number of melanocytes as well as evidence of photodamage in the dermis.

PIH is a temporary overproduction of pigment in response to an epidermal injury or trauma. Usually, this injury is thermal but PIH can be seen in patients that excoriate their skin or that have had inflammatory lesions in the skin. Rarely, severe inflammation can cause melanin to drop into the dermis and to be engulfed by melanophages. PIH is worsened by sun exposure.

Melasma, on the other hand, is a much more complex disorder that may have a genetic predisposition. Melasma arises mostly in women of child-bearing age but it can be seen in men and older women. In melasma, some unknown trigger has induced melanocytes to overproduce and distribute melanin to the keratinocytes. Sometimes, this pigment can drop into the dermis and be taken up by melanophages resulting in dermal melasma. While the trigger may be elusive, there is certainly a link to things that worsen melasma. These include ultraviolet light and certain visible light wavelengths, hormones (pregnancy, oral contraceptives, hormone IUD), and certain topical agents (chemical sunscreens, fragrances and certain botanical agents), heat (spas, saunas, hot yoga, cooking). Once these melanocytes are sensitized and over-produce pigmentation, it is challenging to quiet them down or to clear the melasma fully.

 

Evaluation & Diagnosis

When I see patients with dyschromias, it is important to assess the following:

  • Diagnosis of condition: ephelides, lentigines, PIH, melasma
  • Is this strictly epidermal or is there a dermal component?
  • What has been tried, what has worked and what has failed or worsened the condition?
  • For melasma, is the patient exposed to exogenous hormones such as oral contraceptives, excessive soy intake or the presence of a hormone IUD?
  • How motivated the patient is to follow an aggressive skincare regimen?

Patients with ephelides and lentigines can be safely treated with light peels and non-ablative fractionated lasers, Q-switched lasers, and broadband light (BBL). However, the darker the patient’s complexion, the longer I pretreat with a comprehensive skincare regimen before performing any of these treatments. The risk of not doing so is that you will induce PIH during the healing process.

Patients with PIH — the dreaded complication — are actually easy to treat. It may resolve with proper management in one month, three months or six months, but in the end, it all resolves. Patients that develop hyperpigmentation in response to acne or oven burns are at risk for PIH from any face procedure. PIH is not permanent thus it does not scare me if it arises, but I try my utmost best to minimize the risk of PIH and to treat it preemptively. Any patient at risk for PIH should be pretreated with a comprehensive skincare regimen, and once they have healed after a procedure, the patient should quickly resume the topical regimen. If, despite this, PIH develops, the patient must be diagnosed quickly and started on a series of 30% salicylic acid peels at two- to four-week intervals until the PIH resolves. Being more aggressive with peels, or by performing a laser (heat trauma), will only aggravate the condition. Lasers have no role to play in treating PIH.

Melasma is the one condition for which I do not over-promise the results. If the patient has eliminated all their contributing factors (hormones, heat, certain topical agents) and they have used their comprehensive skincare regimen faithfully, epidermal melasma should show considerable improvement by six weeks (one skin cell turnover cycle). If at six weeks the patient is doing well, I then see them back at three months. However, if at six weeks, they are not improved despite using their products correctly, I add light peels to their regimen with 30% salicylic acid every four weeks. At three months, I reassess their skin. If it is considerably improved, I continue the skincare regimen unchanged for one year. The light peels can continue. If the patient is only moderately improved, I might add a non-ablative fractionated laser combined with a salicylic acid peel or Jessner’s solution peel. However, if there is little change at the three-month evaluation, it may indicate that the pigmentation is dermal. If so, I may proceed with a medium-depth trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel to try to eliminate some of the dermal melanophages. I do not use more than a 24% or 25% concentration TCA peel, as higher concentrations can cause an inflammatory reaction in the skin. Of course, once the patient has healed, they resume their topical skincare regimen immediately. It is important not to let the melasma rebound.

Clearing up the Confusion; Skincare vs Clinical Treatment and IPL vs BBL

Deciding between skincare and clinical treatments

It’s the decision many of us struggle to choose between when it comes to deciding how to best combat our skin woes. The highly coveted ingredient Retinol is often a popular consideration due to its reputation in treating a range of skin issues, however, is it always the most effective choice? Depending on the intensity and the type of each skin issue, should determine the skin journey you choose to embark on. For instance, those stubborn dark spots and dynamic wrinkles that have graced us with their presence due to factors such as over sun exposure and repetitive muscle movements; the need for clinical intervention is required, if serious results are desired. Wrinkle relaxers are the most effective treatment when it comes to reversing the appearance of deep skin folds. They work by temporarily paralysing the targeted muscles which results in a relaxed and smoothed appearance. The results take about two weeks to appear and will last three to five months. Other clinical treatments such as the laser resurfacing ACTION II, can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and moderately deep wrinkles.

Skin tone inconsistency from acne scarring and pigmentation from brown sunspots and red blood vessels are ideally treated with IPL laser treatments such as SOLARI™. Whilst the SkinPen® works its magic to target acne scars, pigmentation, and more, by creating controlled micro-injuries that stimulate the body’s natural process to heal itself when wounded.

 

Other skin grievances such as mild pigmentation, acne, and static wrinkles can often be prevented and maintained with medical-grade skincare, with the additional help of occasional individualised treatments. Static wrinkles are those not caused by repetitive movement but rather through genetics, lifestyle factors, and the natural process of decreasing collagen. Ingredients such as Vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids, Hyaluronic Acid, and yes, Retinol are likely to contribute to making a difference, the extent of the difference you wish to see should help in determining your personal skincare journey. Allow skincare a couple of months to start to see effective results on such skin issues, if then you are not satisfied, clinical treatments are generally the next best point of action. Amongst your skincare routine, occasional treatments such as the incredible Hydrabrasion, known more commonly as Medical Microdermabrasion is incredible for combating those frustrating blackheads, pimples, and cysts are all caused from a build-up in the pores. Whilst regular dates with the Healite II, will make a significant improvement in eliminating acne-causing bacteria, acne scarring and collagen production and skin rejuvenation.

  

IPL and BBL – is one really better than the other?

Truth be told, there is actually not much difference between the two. BBL stands for Broad Band Light, and IPL for Intense Pulsed Light. The main difference is in the way they have been marketed.  Both are very effective light therapy treatments that work by delivering a constant, non-invasive steady stream of light energy and heat.

Both IPL and BBL technologies have the following benefits and features;

  • Use contact cooling ensuring a comfortable procedure
  • Work through the use of a range of light waves that target haemoglobin and melanin and heat the skin to stimulate collagen production
  • Ensure results in reducing fine lines, acne scarring, appearance of freckles and sunspots, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone and texture
  • Use non-invasive light waves to rejuvenate skin
  • Treat skin on any area of the body

 

Some like to argue that BBL offers more effective results through a higher intensity of light to better heat the skin, however, the two offer the exact same benefits and functions. The number of treatments required for maximum benefit for both treatments varies on the individual patient. The SOLARI™ is a guaranteed safe and effective IPL treatment.

 

 

 

Ready to get started?

For a complimentary consultation, or to book in for a treatment, call SKYN 08 9389 9022 or request an appointment online.