When I was growing up, skincare for me, consisted of three things: cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. Here I was at my vanity at the ripe age of 11 thinking I had it all. Well, times have certainly changed in more ways than one and skincare in my house is no longer just about three products. Serums, LED treatments, masks, and overnight creams are more the way of it now and it seems even these products are losing their edge. To keep my skin in pristine shape, I routinely get facials at a local medi spa and between the potency of the products and the skill of the technician, I always leave with the healthiest and glowiest-looking skin. In fact, one of the biggest beauty trends forecasted for 2022 is medical-grade skincare!
But how do we achieve this result without always going to see a pro? The answer my friends is Skinceuticals. I’ve been a longtime fan of the brand and it’s not just because of their cult-following amongst beauty pros. The products actually work and deliver serious results as if you’ve spent your life savings at a medi spa.
Skinceuticals has always been passionate about providing skincare products scientifically proven for skin improvement and the brand is focused on making medical-grade skincare more available and accessible than ever before. To further dive into the medi-skincare and where the trend might be headed, I had the chance to chat with Dr. Lori Shapiro, MD FRCPC, Founder of Thornhill Dermatology Centre.
Blair Alex: Medical-grade skincare can sound a bit intimidating to those who might not even have an in-depth skincare routine. What’s your advice to someone interested but apprehensive?
Dr. Lori: Medical-grade skincare implies that the active ingredients in the products may be of higher quality, stability or percentage than what you can buy off the drugstore shelves. I ascribe to the “KISS” theory or Keeping It Simple Stupid. I would suggest advice from a dermatologist or esthetician at a dermatology office who will steer you in the right direction. You can start off very simply with a trained professional to help guide you to achieve your goals. This is what we strive for at Thornhill Dermatology.
BA: What are three products that should be in everyone’s beauty cabinet?
Dr. Lori: I counsel my patients on the ABCs that should be in everyone’s beauty toolbox:
A – topical vitamin A. This is available as over-the-counter retinol or in many prescription versions. This is a great anti-aging topical – it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and improving tone and texture; it helps lighten sun freckles.
B – sunblock. This is the ultimate anti-aging item. Sun is the biggest contributor to aging. I advise patients to use no less than an SPF of 30. They must find one they like in order to buy it as I want them to use it every day. There is a vast array of formulations available which means there’s no excuse for not finding one you love!
C – topical Vitamin C; otherwise known as ascorbic acid. This molecule is inherently unstable, so buyer beware as not all brands are equal. I recommend the SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, Phloretin CF, Serum 10 and Silymarin CF. There are a few options to choose from depending on skin type.
BA: Medical-grade skincare has never been so readily available which is super exciting but it can tend to lead to the consumer mixing active ingredients, causing irritation. What’s something to keep in mind when using multiple serums or products with different actives?
Dr. Lori: I think you want to try to pick ingredients that are complementary. When you are using a retinol that causes microexfoliation, you may choose a hyaluronic acid serum that helps plump and hydrate. Another tip is to moisturize under retinol to minimize irritation. You will also want to make sure you are not adding too many exfoliating ingredients all at once such as retinol, alpha and/or beta hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid. Starting one at a time to see your tolerance is the safest way to go.
Again, here is where professional guidance is helpful. At Thornhill Dermatology Centre, we offer a Visia Skin analysis on a complimentary basis. A high-definition picture of your face is taken and compared to a database of individuals your age and ethnicity and evaluates endpoints such as wrinkles, pore size; pigmentation both red and brown, and eyelash length. The findings provide a basis on which to recommend skincare for you.
Blair Alex: Where do you see the trend of medi-skincare going next? How do you see it evolving?
Dr. Lori: I think one trend is custom dosing products for patients. This uses a technology that bases the formulation of a custom product for a given individual on their specific skin goals and underlying skin type. New ingredients are constantly being developed. The regenerative properties of plants have grabbed the interest of dermatology researchers and the cosmetics industry.
Blair Alex: Spring and summer are on their way (yay!), but with them comes the sunshine. Applying SPF is a given but even the best of us can miss an application. What’s the most effective way to treat a sunburn without having it turn into long-term skin damage?
Dr. Lori: The most effective way to treat a sunburn is taking a high dose of an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin or ibuprofen for 24-36 hours depending on the burn severity. This combined with the four times daily application of a potent prescription topical steroid can alleviate symptoms quickly. This may not eliminate all the potential for long-term skin damage but will provide acute relief quickly. Long-term sun damage is the result of the cumulative effect of sun exposure. The best way to minimize long-term skin damage from sun exposure is PREVENTION!