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Summer Skincare & Procedure Safety 101

ArtMed, Guelph's experts in the art of cosmetic medicine, shines the light on the dos and don’ts when taking care of your skin during the summer
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When days turn long and warm, and we shift to shorts and swimsuits, we often take stock of how we’re looking. Winter weight?  Time to get out for those walks, onto a bicycle or into the gym. Ditch the heavy meals and bring on the Mediterranean al fresco diet.

The same concerns often apply to our skin.  Replacing dry, dull, pallid winter skin with a sun-kissed, dewy complexion is often a summertime goal.  But how to achieve that?  Especially in the summer when UV rays can cause so much damage to skin, and treatments like laser can be a no-go when tanned…

Like anything, knowing what is safest and most effective to reach your aesthetic summertime goals is all about educating yourself.  This little summertime skin boosting primer will point you in the right direction.

First, is laser safe in the summer?  Yes and no. There are many different types of lasers that work in different ways.  Some are safe in the summer, some are not.

AVOID if you are tanned:

  • Flashlamp technology – e.g. IPL or BBL is white light of short wavelength in pulses or bursts applied to the skin to reduce redness and discoloration.  
  • Fractional ablative laser – e.g. Halo, Profractional are lasers that go deeper to resurface the skin and smooth fine lines, dry patches and correct mild discolouration. Laser Hair removal – tanned skin makes it more difficult to remove hair and increases the risk of burns and scarring with the laser.

Plus remember sun exposure must be avoided for 4 weeks after treatment!

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DEFINITELY SAFE:

  • Clear + Brilliant – long wave fractional non-ablative laser to resurface gently, improve tone and texture.
  • Radiofrequency treatments – eg. Thermage, Vanquish (body contouring).  These treatments bypass the surface skin to provide deeper heating that tightens skin and promotes collagen formation. Vanquish causes fat cell death leading to body contouring.
  • Microneedling – this non heat-based treatment uses small titanium needles to cause micro-injury that stimulates a wound healing response leading to collagen formation and evening of skin tone and texture.
  • SilkPeel/DermalInfusion– this microdermabrasion machine provide exfoliation and infusion of serums in a wet/dry vacuum cleaning experience to promote smooth skin and improve texture and hydration.
  • Chemical Peels – this type of treatment provides chemical exfoliation to the skin surface. It’s safe as long as you don’t have a recent sunburn.
  • Injectables – neurotoxins like Botox/Xeomin and dermal fillers are entirely safe in the summer.

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What else should we be careful about? Lighten up on your pharmaceutical skin care in the summer.

  • Dial back use of glycolic/AHA exfoliants
  • Reduce use of retinols (use only at night and every 2nd day)
  • Use abrasive scrubs less frequently
  • Use a lighter face wash and moisturizer
  • Switch out your SPF moisturizer or foundation with an SPF30 sunblock or tinted sunblock in the summer
  • Be sure to use a pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C serum each morning to neutralize damaging free radicals that form when skin is exposed to UV radiation 
  • Avoid any products with citrus ingredients like lemon, grapefruit, bitter orange, or bergamot as these can be phototoxic (cause the skin to burn easily)

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Avoid sun entirely when healing from aesthetic facial procedures and apply mineral-based sunblock (zinc or titanium) as soon as your medical aesthetician advises it’s safe to do so.

If you like that sun-kissed look, the best option is to use self-tanner.  There are many excellent self-tanners on the market that mimic a natural tan and spare your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation (skin cancer and premature aging).

Attending a medical aesthetics clinic with a high level of clinical expertise and a broad range of treatment options will ensure you’re able undertake treatments safely in the summer.  By being knowledgeable and choosing carefully, you can be your glowing best during these precious summer days!

For more information on protecting and improving your skin, visit artmed.ca. To book a consultation online click here or email info@artmed.ca