by Sherra Sewell, guest writer and Reflections client
When I was in my 20s, 30s and even my 40s, I was told I looked 10 years younger than my age on a regular basis. Now that I’m 50 something (said begrudgingly, although better than the alternative), this hasn’t been the case. So obviously I’m looking my age but still yearn for those compliments.
For years, I’ve contemplated Botox (I hate needles, by the way) or a Facelift. And while I’ve been receiving ultrasonic facials at Reflections Laser & Wellness for about a year… and my skin feels softer and looks smoother, it just isn’t quite getting me the flattery that my vanity requires. And don’t get me wrong; I want healthier skin too.
Recently, Janet (Robbins, my esthetician and owner of Reflections) convinced me to try Microneedling (did I tell you I hate needles). So I did, and oh wow. We’re on the way to avoiding that dreaded facelift.
So what is Microneedling? Also called Collagen Induction Therapy, Microneedling involves using fine needles to create tiny, invisible puncture wounds in the top layer of the skin. Yes, I said “needles.” Sounds awful, right? But it’s not; it actually felt like an intense massage. And what Microneedling does is stimulate the body’s natural wound healing process, which automatically turns over cells and increases collagen and elastin growth… ultimately helping to reverse and prevent signs of aging.
But that’s not all. Microneedling can also eliminate acne scars, reverse sun damage, shrink your pores and make your skincare products absorb better so that they are more effective.
Several hours after the process, I felt some intense tingling in my face, and then it felt like sandpaper for a few days because it was releasing the old collagen. Immediately after the process, I was able to go back to my work and normal activities and was told to stay out of the sun for a couple of days.
Microneedling can also be combined with other minimally invasive procedures such as PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy and chemical peels to achieve a more dramatic effect. It’s not inexpensive to take good care of your skin… and look younger… but to me, the benefits far outweigh the alternatives, including facelifts. (Did I mention I hate scalpels more than needles?) Oh, and don’t forget to use your sunscreen.
SkinCare – Make Life-long Commitments Instead of New Year’s Resolutions
So have your New Year’s resolutions already gone out the window? Maybe instead of resolutions, you should dedicate yourself to long-term goals and plans that you can stick with. Let’s start with feeling good about how you look.
You can live a lifetime of healthier, better and younger looking skin as long as you devote yourself to an ongoing regimen. And it’s never too early to start an anti-aging program. So get going now with these four simple steps you can follow for the rest of your life. Because even though you’re older tomorrow, your skin doesn’t have to show it.
This is the first and most crucial step in your healthy skin care program because it prepares your skin for the other steps. Clean your skin in the morning and at night. A creamy cleanser is great for dry skin and removing makeup. A cleanser that lathers up is good for oilier skin. Look for products with glycolic acid, which exfoliates and balances out oils, salicylic acid, which dissolves oils (a major factor for acne) and benzoyl peroxide, which controls bacteria.
Never, ever go to bed without removing your makeup. It’s a proven fact that leaving it on will age your skin.
To treat your skin, look for products that contain active ingredients such as retinol or glycolic acid. These ingredients energize your skin cells, making them migrate to the surface, leaving your skin soft and supple, erasing fine lines and wrinkles.
Think of balancing products as vitamins for your skin. You may already be taking supplements, but did you know that the skin is the last organ of the body to receive any of the benefits? Your balancing products should include ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and, most importantly, peptides. Peptides are responsible for producing collagen and elastin. They also have the ability to lighten the skin.
Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Ninety percent of what you see on aging skin is due to the sun. Protect those healthy cells that you’ve cleaned, treated and balanced with a daily dose of sunscreen. We recommend a minimum 30 SPF here in Florida.
At Reflections, we represent the Glymed Plus organic line of products, which, contain natural botanicals and, for 25 years, have achieved proven results featuring natural botanicals.
A flawless complexion is lying just beneath the surface of your skin—and we know that a classic treatment is the fastest way there.
After being eclipsed in the early 2000s by new skin-resurfacing lasers, these classic treatments (like, ancient-Egypt classic) are back on top. More people are getting chemical peels now than in 1997 (when peels were the number-one cosmetic procedure in the country), according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Turns out good old chemical peels can actually deliver certain skin benefits—like reversing melasma and breakouts—better than high-tech devices. By casting off dull surface cells, they improve fine lines, acne, discoloration and more. And they can work for all skin types and colors—usually for a fraction of the cost. A superficial fractional-laser treatment can run up to $1,000 a session—and you’ll probably need several. A medium-depth chemical peel may cost a third of that and gives more impressive results in a single treatment, according to Reflections Florida Owner Janet Robbins (but count on more recovery time).
As with most old-is-new-again ideas, today’s peels aren’t just total retreads. When glycolic peels got really popular in the ’90s, they hurt and left skin raw. But acid formulas have been refined, and so have our approaches to using them. Our goal now isn’t so much to cause visible peeling as it is to infuse the skin with ingredients that diminish lines, build collagen, and improve tone, says Robbins, who is also a master aesthetician.
Here are four more reasons to book a peel—and help your skin turn back the hands of time.
Peels can make your skin—and skin-care products—work better. In minutes, acids lift away dead cells and trigger a chain reaction. A thorough sloughing also offers one very immediate upshot: smoother skin that’s both more radiant and more receptive. Your skin-care products will also perform better after a peel because there are no dead cells impeding their penetration.
Peels are low-risk, and you can go custom. You can choose chemical peels that are safe to use on every skin color without risk of hyperpigmentation (usually a worry with darker complexions). We now know that using low percentages of multiple acids gives a better outcome with less irritation than a single acid at a higher strength. We have plenty of peels plus premixed cocktails to choose from, like Glymed Plus, which includes trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and lactic acid to rev up collagen synthesis deep down and dissolve the drab skin on top. At Reflections, we layer our own recipes to address very specific concerns. For brown spots, we add a pinch of brightening vitamin C or a smidgen of bleaching hydroquinone to our acids of choice.
The right peel can end acne and soften the scars that come with it. Salicylic acid peels and Jessner’s peels (equal parts salicylic acid, lactic acid, and resorcinol, an antiseptic exfoliant) dive deep into skin to unclog pores while also skimming the surface to erode blackheads and fade post-pimple marks. Another advantage of salicylic acid: It lingers in the pores, where it continues to keep them clear over time. To improve pitted acne scars, we target individual divots with a high percentage of TCA before applying a weaker acid to the rest of the face to even things out. This method beats most resurfacing lasers, plus there’s little-to-no downtime, and it’s safe for all skin colors.
Nothing controls melasma better. There isn’t a permanent cure for the recurring sun-triggered dark patches brought on by hormonal surges (like those caused by pregnancy and the Pill), but chemical peels (paired with at-home bleaching creams, high-SPF sunscreen, and strict sun avoidance) offer the best fighting chance.
To book your chemical peel today, visit www.ReflectionsFlorida.com or call 561-221-1462.
Helping Cancer Patients Feel Better by Looking Better
Anyone suffering from cancer is yearning for normalcy. That’s why Master Medical Aesthetician Janet Robbins has teamed up with Cosmetic Makeup Specialist Kelly Schreck to help cancer patients feel better by looking better. They are providing a select package of services specifically designed for those who have suffered from the skin and body effects of cancer and its treatments.
“We recognized a need that few are meeting in the Palm Beach County community, “ Janet said. “Because we already have a passion for making a difference with clients, it made sense for us to get the necessary education and provide specialized services for those in distress.”
Chemotherapy and radiation can cause a variety of skin issues including dryness, rash, decreased blood flow, irritation and inflammation. Common skin care treatments are often ineffective and may cause further damage. Oncology facials will soothe and repair the skin, improving skin tone, hydration and discomfort.
Every facial is customized to suit your individual skin issues. You will receive a completely relaxing treatment that will safely balance your skin so that if looks and feels refreshed.
Hair loss, including loss of eyebrows and eyelashes, is a common result of illness and treatment. The hair on your head will most likely grow back, but permanent makeup may be the best option for your brows and lashes.
After careful review and consultation, Kelly will discuss with you the most beneficial course of action. Shaping, application and touch-ups will make sure your color is rich and you look natural.
Areola Cosmetic Tattooing
Kelly also puts on the finishing touches after breast reconstruction with tattooed areolas. She builds color over several visits to give you the prettiest look possible.
Other conditions may also create the need for these specialized services. Alopecia, thyroid disease, a car accident or even a facelift can cause issues with hair loss and skin problems.
“Chemotherapy and radiation are lifesaving treatments, but when someone sees what they do to the skin and hair, it can be traumatic,” Kelly explained. “What we’re doing helps the soul because these treatments bring dignity to people who are fighting so hard.”
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
When it comes to skin cancer, your first line of defense is protecting your skin from the sun. And in Florida, it’s hard to stay out of the sun. So whenever you go outside, cover up and use a good sunscreen. Reflections Laser & Wellness Center offers an excellent line of Glymed professional skincare products, including sunscreen.
Your second line of defense is your medical aesthetician. That’s because your skincare specialist is dealing with your skin on a regular basis and is trained to recognize when there is something of concern.
About Cosmetic Makeup Specialist Kelly Schreck
Kelly has been in the beauty industry for 15 years. Inspired by her mother, a two-time breast cancer survivor, she trained at the distinguished Make-Up Designory (MUD) in New York and around the world in a number of make-up specialties. She has mastered the art of microblading, which is the best method for natural looking hair strokes for the brow.