5 Post-Summer Skin Care Tips for a Healthy Glow
Summer may be over, but its after-effects on our skin remain year-round. Regardless of whether you piled on the SPF, those long days spent under the sun take a toll on the dermis—and it’s going to take some dedicated TLC to give your skin the ultimate refresh. We spoke to leading NYC plastic surgeon Dr. David Cangello MD, who shares his post-summer skin care tips for achieving a beautiful, healthy glow:
1. Stay hydrated. Always underestimated and critically important is the necessity of staying well-hydrated! Drink plenty of water. Doing so helps give the skin good turgor (rigidity) and gives it a more vibrant appearance!
2. Exfoliate daily. A lot of oil and cellular debris tends to build up on the skin during summer months! We like the Skin Better Science brand, especially their Detoxifying Scrub Mask, which is a clay-based scrub that uses spherical beads to lightly resurface the skin.
3. Use a topical Retinoid. Retinol is available in many over-the-counter products. Like Retin-A, it’s a derivative in vitamin A. Retinoids have their effect by increasing cell turnover, stimulating collagen production and ultimately reducing fine lines, lightening dark spots and improving minor textural irregularities of the skin. Retinols may have some benefit but not to the same degree that Retin-A does.
The downside to Retin-A use is that it can cause hypersensitivity to the sun, and some redness and/or flaking of the skin. The tradeoff for these potential side effects is that it does work! After summer is a good time to start a regimen with Retin-A (which is by prescription only), as we are spending less time in the sun.
4. Have a resurfacing treatment. To undo all the damaging effects of the sun, some sort of resurfacing treatment will go a long way. Many patients are understandably confused about what treatments really work to improve skin quality. The only way to truly improve skin quality is for there to be some sort of resurfacing of the skin. The three modalities that achieve this are chemical peels, dermabrasion, and lasers such as Fractional CO2 or Erbium. All of these modalities create an injury to the skin surface as well as to the deeper layers.
Controlling the depth of injury dictates the amount of downtime and therefore the results that are attainable. The deeper the skin is injured, the more downtime there is—but the greater the result. For patients who want minimal downtime for a day or two, I highly recommend the Micro Laser Peel. This can be repeated four weeks apart if desired, one or two times. It’s great for shrinking pores and stimulating collagen production to tighten the skin and make it more robust.
For patients who want reduction of pigmentation (light brown spots) caused by the sun as well as improvement in textural irregularities and improvement in fine lines, in addition to reducing pore size and skin tightening, a slightly more aggressive treatment with the Fractional CO2 is recommended. This will cause a little more downtime (5-7 days), but it’s extremely effective. I can’t tell you how many patients I have that do all kinds of non-ablative laser treatments who tell me they don’t see any change afterward.
Fractional CO2/chemical peels such as TCA remain the gold standard for providing truly significant, visible results. We also like to perform treatment with PRP, which is rich in growth factors that potentially speed the healing process and also stimulate cell turnover to produce rejuvenating effects.
5. Use a good moisturizer. This is critical. Keeping the skin cells well-hydrated (moisturizer locks in water) helps them perform all their necessary functions to the best of their ability. Optimal skin cell function is critical to maintaining youthful-looking skin!
For more information, visit Dr. Cangello’s official site.