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Know What to Avoid Before a Treatment

I was reminded recently that not everyone has been an aesthetics client as long as or in depth as I have. My daughter and her friends, all mid 30s professional women, frequently come to me for skin care advice. When younger the last thing they wanted to hear was my persistent speech about using sun block at their age. They were young, knew everything and were going to live forever. The skin care ruminations of an older (and of course wiser woman) were not on their playlist. Now as adults their perspective has changed. They started by asking what products to use at home. I gave suggestions to accommodate their budgets always ending with “use sunblock!”

Now that they are making money on their own and developing the physical signs of environmental and corporate stress that accompanies it, they have graduated to asking for advice about procedures. This gets trickier for me. It was instilled in me ages ago to avoid using retinols and all acids such as salicylic, glycolic, AHAs/BHAs, etc. before any laser procedure. This is not a rule to ignore. It’s purpose is to avoid the possibility of facial burns. These home treatment protocols sensitize the skin and compromise the skin barrier.

‍There are many new laser treatments available as well as great ones that have been around for ages. To maximize the benefits of these treatments it behooves us to be aware of the do’s and don’ts leading up to a scheduled appointment. Think of it as a more sophisticated approach to brushing your teeth before seeing your dentist for a checkup. At the very least it is an act of accountability and convenience to ourselves as well as the provider.

‍In today’s busy world, time is money. The hour booked for that Secret RF treatment is wasted if before the appointment you respond to the pre-appointment due diligence questionnaire with answers that result in the appointment having to be cancelled. Trust me, it pays when scheduling a procedure to ask what things should be avoided pre-procedure. By so doing the practice hasn’t lost the time booked, and you don’t miss out and have to go home disappointed.

‍It’s important to know the pre-care and post-care rules. Protect your skin, your investment and time.

‍A few helpful rules to follow:

1. For microneedling, radio frequency microcurrent, chemical peels and laser appointments, avoid for one week before appointment. These sensitize the skin making it susceptible to burning and compromise the skin barrier:

‍2. Botox dosing is not “one size fits all!” An important thing to realize is that dosing and duration of benefit is different for everyone. Avoid spreading treatments out too long. The average time to schedule neurotoxin injections is every 3-4 months. Trust your provider. Let them guide you on what is the best dosing for you and ask them how long to wait to schedule your next neurotoxin appointment. Some of us hyper metabolize medications and this applies to neurotoxins as well.

‍3. Medical grade skin care is a YES. Medical grade skin care has more active ingredients than over the counter products. Read the label’s contents to see the differences. Ingredients are listed from the highest amount first to the lowest last. If the first ingredient listed is water then your product is mostly water. Medical grade skin care products have better quality ingredients, higher concentrations of active ingredients, fewer to no preservatives resulting in greater benefits and were developed from clinical research targeting the exact purpose of the product. Remember your home skin care supports and prolongs the benefit of your clinical treatments.

‍4. A before and after treatment product to consider is regenerating skin nectar from Alastin. Tri-hex is a proprietary blend of peptides that help the body to clear damaged collagen and elastin from the skin bed. Using it two weeks before any controlled injury treatment to clear the skin bed of damaged collagen and elastin creates a more efficient surface for the treatment. Your body will not have to work as hard to produce results. Continued use while your body is healing from the treatment encourages more healthy collagen and elastin production. Use for two weeks after treatment instead of the usual “serum” step in your home skin care routine. Alastin’s story is about peptides which are predictable and are our friend.

Lastly, always hydrate and always use sunblock. You will be so glad you did when your orthopedist assumes you are 10 years younger!