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BABYFACE PURE PROTEIN HAIR TREATMENT
There will always be a need for the correction of the visible signs of aging in the skin, and although there are now numerous treatment options available, the first step in treating any skin concern is determining what is happening within the dermis and epidermis that is causing the symptoms. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the No. 1 cause of visible aging, hence the popular term “sun damage.” By identifying the breakdown that occurs when the skin is exposed to the sun’s damaging rays and which ingredients can be used to limit or repair this breakdown, more deliberate treatment and product choices can be made.
Understanding UV Sun Damage
External factors, such as sunlight, are responsible for many of the visible changes that take place in the skin. Although some minor alterations would occur regardless of the amount of sun exposure, research indicates that up to 85% of visible aging is due to external factors. The following are among the most common presentations of sun damage.
Deep wrinkling. This is not associated with the normal aging process; fine lines are normal, deep wrinkles are not. The sun’s UVA rays penetrate deeply into the dermis and cause the breakdown, disorganization and cross-linking of collagen. Cross-linking refers to what occurs when collagen fibers break down and fuse back together in a crisscross pattern. This process leads to reduced support and structure and, in the end, deep wrinkling. In addition, collagen and elastin breakdown is accelerated by an overproduction of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) enzymes. Important MMP include collagenase and elastase, which break down collagen and elastin, respectively. Studies have found that MMP are increased within minutes of UV exposure, making any time spent outdoors potentially destructive to the skin.
Coarsening. This refers to keratinization of the skin, or the abnormal buildup of keratinocytes. Coarsening is responsible for the dull, thickened and rough-textured appearance often seen in more mature skin. Many refer to coarsening as an orange peel or leather like appearance. UVA and UVB radiation can cause an overproduction of epidermal cells, and the skin’s thickness can double as a result of repeated sun exposure. This obvious, rough-textured appearance only occurs in certain cases of sun damage.
Dehydration. This is common in nearly all cases of sun damage. Dehydration of the skin involves a lack of water moisture. Many incorrectly believe that sebum production decreases with age. In fact, the dryness that is common in clients with aging skin is due to a decrease in the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF). A drop in NMF levels occurs naturally with age, but is worsened by environmental exposure. Even the smallest disruption in this hydrating group of substances can significantly decrease surface moisture levels, and slow the natural shedding and cell turnover process. Additionally, hyaluronidase, which is another MMP responsible for the degradation of hyaluronic acid, increases in response to the inflammation caused by UV rays and free radical damage. Skin that is suffering from sun damage may experience a thickened, dry surface that appears flaky, dull and rough.
Hyperpigmentation. This is one of the most common concerns for mature skin. The melanogenesis, or pigment-producing process, generates melanin in response to inflammation, and UV exposure significantly increases inflammation levels throughout the epidermis and dermis. Sun-induced hyperpigmentation most often appears as random, sporadic freckling that may be more prevalent on the higher, more exposed areas of the face, such as the top of the forehead or the bridge of the nose.
Overall, there are five crucial changes responsible for accelerated visible aging:
• The degradation of collagen and elastin
• The overproduction of MMP enzymes
• A decrease in the skin’s NMF
• An overproduction of epidermal cells
• An increase in melanin production
Now that you know what needs to be addressed, it is much simpler to choose effective ingredients for prevention and correction. The collagen-stimulating and exfoliating benefits associated with chemical peels and microdermabrasion will significantly accelerate results. Research also indicates that alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), trichloroacetic acid (TCA), salicylic acid and retinoids/retinols also stimulate the production of collagen when applied to the skin. In addition, each acid either dissolves dead skin cells or dissolves the bonds that hold them together, which will decrease surface buildup, increase cell turnover and support NMF retention. Microdermabrasion has also been shown to stimulate collagen production, and the mechanical exfoliating properties will smooth textural changes, such as wrinkling, and encourage healthy cell turnover rates. Peptides added to your daily routine can also help boost the collagen repair process, smoothing and firming the damaged skin.
Although it is true that each person will continue to age, there are measures that can be taken to limit the severity of visible skin aging. Prevention is, of course, ideal, and people of all ages should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen each morning. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are also important preventative products you can add to your daily routine. Once the damage is done, it is not too late. Those with sun damage should use a combination of corrective ingredients that address multiple concerns simultaneously for the fastest possible results.
Q: I came across your store and wanted to try your products. I am 40, and have several acne scars, scars from attempted laser treatments, and a few age/sun spots starting. What would be your recommended product for those issues. I have not had any success yet...
A: Getting rid of scars is not easy. You can definitely reduce the appearance - but I'm not going to pretend it will be gone in a week or even a month. Basically, you have to replace the current, messed-up tissue, with new tissue. This usually involves the use of some sort of Retinoid, like the Babyface Night Renewal Creme, or if you have the stomach for it, applying frequent chemical peels to the affected area, like a 25% TCA. Next, you'll need something that promotes new cell regeneration, peptides that build new collagen & elastin, a booster agent to help the "work" happen as fast as possible, and nutrients to feed the skin below so it not only reproduces quickly, but as perfectly as possible. For this I recommend the Babyface Collagen Serum with Marine Peptides & EGF. Lastly, if you have an uneven skin tone, you can use the Babyface MAP Serum to even out the skin tone, and fade any areas of blotchy pigment, such as the sun spots.
For more information on scars, how to treat or prevent them, read on....
About Scars and Scar Tissue
Scars form when wounds penetrate to the deeper, thicker layers of skin (dermis and hypodermis). The scar tissue – made of tough, fibrous cells called fibroblasts – will differ from the skin it replaced in appearance and quality. It won’t be able to produce sweat or hair, and it will be more susceptible to sun damage. Scars are a natural part of the healing process. While not pretty, they keep our insides on the inside.
Early wound care lessens the severity
It is far more difficult to get rid of scars than it is to prevent – or at least limit – their formation. First of all, keep your wound clean and covered. Infections lead to more severe scars. The bandage or covering will keep the wound moist, which has been shown to speed up healing. Allow the wound to fully heal before starting treatment and avoid picking at scabs. Once the wound has healed, moisturize the scar regularly with a hyaluronic acid serum or cream. Most importantly, protect the scar from the sun. Scars have less pigmentation, and a sun burn will put a stop to healing and make the scars much more noticeable, and the damage can be permanent (hyperpigmentation).
Smoking and Scars
Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen in the blood, which significantly slows healing. Furthermore, nicotine constricts blood vessels and thus reduces blood flow to the skin. No doctor worth her lab coat will allow you to undergo surgical scar removal of any kind until you quit, as it undermines effectiveness, complicates anesthesia, and increases the risk of infection. The good news is that if you quit, research shows that your body will begin to heal normally in as little as four weeks after quitting.
Massage can help get rid of new scars and prevent the buildup of scar tissue
This is one of the best ways to get rid of scars from surgery or accidents. Massaging with moisturizers will increase blood flow to the scar, which will speed up healing, increase collagen production, as well as ensure an even distribution of collagen. It will also keep the scar moist and prevent a loss in skin elasticity. Press on the scar until it becomes white and massage in all directions – vertically, horizontally, and in circles. Most topical scar treatments are massaged into the skin. As many double blind studies have shown, it is the massage, not the topical treatment (vitamin E, onion extract…etc) that gets rid of scars.
You may need to see a Doctor
With the amount of research underway, the medical landscape of scars and scarring is certain to keep changing in the coming years. If your scars require something a bit more intrusive, like surgical scar removal, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, steroid injections…etc – then a Dermatologist will be able to refer you to the right people. There are many procedures and operations that can effectively get rid of scars. Some treatments - including dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, and chemical peels – involve removing the outer layer of skin. Over a period of time, new, more naturally pigmented and contoured skin takes its place. Surgical scar revision involves actual removal of the scar. Yes, this will create a new scar, but its shape or direction should be less noticeable. Other options include collagen fillers, grafts, and steroid injections. On the horizon, more sophisticated lasers and drugs (Avotermin) are set to revolutionize scar treatment in the coming years.
Nothing mentioned above will completely get rid of scars however, so procedures should never be taken lightly. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, even when these procedures are performed correctly by a qualified professional, complications are possible.