by Lauren Jameson
Let’s face it. 2020 was quite a challenging year. The stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting stay-at-home order, social distancing, masking up – not to mention TWO hurricanes – have all wreaked havoc in most of our lives. Has all this stress taken a toll on your complexion?
If so, maybe 2021 is the year to treat yourself.
“I think everyone needs a little something to feel good about,” said Hannah Grogan, nurse practitioner at Renaitre A Williamson Cosmetic Center. “I have clients tell me every day that they feel they’ve aged more this year than ever before.”
Grogan and Dr. Allison L. Clement, medical director of Skin Studios, said there are plenty of products and treatments on the market that can give you a lift in 2021.
Botox and Dysport, as well as dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane, continue to be the most sought-after cosmetic treatments in 2021.
“Don’t be afraid of injectables!” Dr. Clement said. “In the hands of an experienced physician, they are safe, effective, and can provide extremely natural-looking results.”
“Injectables are great because they’re truly ‘lunchtime’ treatments,” Grogan added. “Botox is quick, painless, and you see results in just a few days. It offers a very natural result. It’s still you – just without the lines. Dermal fillers are a favorite as well. As we age, we lose volume. Fillers help bring our trouble areas back to where they used to be. You don’t have to look overdone or over-plumped.”
Although injectables help noticeably reduce wrinkles and add volume, it’s important to take care of your skin as well. “These days it’s all about collagen!” Grogan said.
Some collagen-inducing procedures include:
Microneedling involves tiny needles passed over the skin, creating minute channels and controlled micro-injuries on the skin. This triggers the body’s natural healing process to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. Your skin will feel tight and will appear slightly sunburned for a day or so.
Morpheus takes it up a notch by combining the power of micro-needling with radio-frequency, further stimulating collagen production by emitting radio-frequency heat through the needles. You’ll feel mild heat on your face immediately afterwards, along with mild-to-moderate redness for day or so.
Both treatments results in firmer skin, enhanced skin tone, and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, and both procedures are made comfortable with the use of numbing agents. “While everyone heals differently, both treatments have a minimal downtime,” Grogan said.
Medical-grade skin care products are essential for your daily, at-home skincare routine.
“A medical-grade retinol, in my opinion, is the most important anti-aging product you can invest in,” Grogan said. “Retinol products fight fine lines/wrinkles, increases the turnover of old, dull skin cells and gives a more youthful glow.” Dr. Clement adds that using sunscreen year-round is a must. “Prevent, protect against, and reverse sun damage with full-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 40 or higher, chemical peels, and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), which uses pulsating light wavelengths to treat a range of skin conditions with the goal of making skin look younger and more even toned.”
Antioxidant blends and growth factors are beneficial in anti-aging products.
“Antioxidants help fight premature aging and protect the skin cells from damage caused by free radicals. They also help reduce inflammation and pigmentation, promoting a more even skin tone,” Grogan said. “Growth factors help maintain the skin’s firmness and elasticity by enhancing collagen and hyaluronic acid production.”
Before trying any new treatments, Grogan recommended you talk to your medical aesthetic provider first about which ones would be right for you. “We meet with you, listen to your concerns, and develop an individualized plan for your goals and needs. We help guide you towards the perfect plan.”
Pay close attention to your skin. “Your skin is an organ and its function and appearance can be a reflection of internal health,” Dr. Clement said. “Certain findings on the skin are reflective of underlying medical conditions. Skin checks performed by your doctor on at least an annual basis are recommended and part of basic preventative health.”
Finally, Dr. Clement recommends you use the right regimen and products in the right order for YOUR skin. “It isn’t a one size fits all situation!” Clement said.