5 Treatments & Tips to Refresh Your Skin This Winter

As festive gatherings clutter your calendar, you may have noticed more than just a change in season. The colder months can be particularly harsh on your skin so in honor of “sweater weather,” we are sharing our favorite Santa Rosa med spa treatments and at-home tips to combat Old Man Winter’s effects on your skin and maintain a merry glow all season long.

Hydrafacial MD™

Winter air is drying and can quickly steal moisture from your skin. Hydrafacial uses advanced skin analyzing software and gentle vacuum technology and to slough off dead, dry skin while simultaneously restoring much-needed moisture to balance your skin’s protective barrier. Hydrafacials are completely customizable to target a number of skin concerns, including:

  • Brown or sun spots
  • Chronic or infrequent outbreaks of acne
  • Decreased skin elasticity or firmness
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Large or congested pores
  • Oily skin
  • Rough skin texture
  • Uneven or dull skin tone

Hydrafacial is one of our most popular options to noticeably improve your skin; it’s a refreshing, pampering treatment that also creates an ideal base for a smooth makeup application.

Microneedling with RF

Microneedling with Radiofrequency (RF) is ideal for plumping tight-feeling winter skin. A handheld needle-tipped device creates tiny holes in the skin’s surface to stimulate collagen production, which is amplified by the inclusion of RF energy to encourage softer, more supple skin. Microneedling with RF helps revitalize winter skin and treats a variety of concerns:

  • Dry skin
  • Uneven skin tone
  • Coarse texture
  • Age spots
  • Loose skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Scarring

Research shows that microneedling with RF is a safe and effective way to support better skin health with results continuing to improve for up to 6 months after treatment.

Chemical peels

A chemical peel can help you deeply exfoliate your face, neck, and décollatage and is particularly helpful in removing unsightly skin flaking and dry patches that cold, dry weather can trigger, while also reducing signs of aging including:

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Sun spots
  • Rough skin texture
  • Uneven skin tone

By removing older, dead surface layers of your skin, chemical peels trigger your skin’s healing response and prime your skin to better absorb products in your beauty regimen.

VI Peels are available in light, medium, and deep depth levels of chemical exfoliation to achieve personalized treatment results with minimal downtime—the light VI peel is nicknamed the “lunch break peel” as patients can return to work immediately after their appointment.

Laser skin rejuvenation

Laser skin resurfacing is a versatile treatment option which can be personalized to achieve aesthetic improvements, reduce existing sun damage, and treat winter skin woes. It is important to choose the right class of laser when it comes to targeting specific skin concerns, as they differ widely in recovery requirements and effects:

  • Ablative lasers remove surface layers of skin, similar to a chemical peel, and are suited for treating more dramatic concerns like deeper acne scars, wrinkles, and skin laxity—but the trade-off is typically more downtime
  • Non-ablative lasers do not remove any skin but create micro-damage to stimulate collagen and natural skin healing. Non-ablative lasers noticeably improve fine lines and pigmentation issues with little to no downtime and strong results visible in 2-3 months.
  • Fractional lasers can be either ablative or non-ablative; the idea is to treat the skin in an invisible pattern (versus 100% of the surface) to encourage faster healing. This allows patients to enjoy benefits of a more intensive laser treatment with little or no downtime and thus more quickly enjoy firmer, healthier skin. Fractional lasers can be used to treat fine lines, sun damage, acne scarring, and pigmentation issues.

Depending on the depth of your chosen laser skin resurfacing treatment, you can expect some level of post-treatment skin crusting, flaking, and peeling. This is a sign your dead skin cells are being sloughed off to reveal healthier underlying tissues. (Whatever laser treatment you have, you can avoid the potential risk of scarring by following your aesthetician’s aftercare instructions to the letter, including not picking at or rubbing your skin to remove the dead skin.)

Intense pulsed light therapy (IPL)

An IPL photofacial works by sending intense pulses of light deep within the layers of your skin to warm the treatment area just enough to trigger natural regeneration processes. IPL treats many complexion blemishes such as:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Redness
  • Age spots/brown spots
  • Broken capillaries

In the days following IPL treatment, skin pigmentation irregularities will come to the surface and then begin to flake off. Many patients choose this treatment during winter months to allow for the necessary periods of sun avoidance both before and after treatment.

Winter is an ideal time to receive laser treatments as avoiding sun exposure is key to seeing optimal results and protecting your new skin.

Switch to medical-grade skincare

When it comes to soothing the effects of winter and treating ongoing skin concerns, the quality of your skincare products matter. Medical-grade skincare has much higher concentrations of active ingredients—like retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C—providing greater, faster benefits than over-the-counter brands do. Since scientists and dermatologists develop these formulas using clinical studies and rigorous testing, and plastic surgeons and medical spas expect noteworthy results from products they prescribe, you can trust that they’re worth the investment.

Continue wearing SPF to slow aging and prevent damage

Although you will likely be getting less sun exposure during the winter months, sun protection is non-negotiable; 90% of visible skin damage is the direct result of sun exposure, no matter the time of year. Here again, physician-only products are superior (many OTC sunscreens have been shown to provide only a percentage of the advertised protection level!).

Supporting healthy skin at home this winter

To help keep your skin bright and hydrated at home, try these simple steps in between your medspa treatments!

Slugging helps prevent transepidermal water loss while you sleep

Slugging is a term used to describe the application of a thick, occlusive layer of skincare to seal in moisture. This can help prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). TEWL is the amount of water that evaporates from the skin’s surface and it is triggered by a number of factors, including dry weather conditions. When you apply your skincare products at night, slugging will provide an additional sealing layer that locks in the moisture for hours. Slugging can also be used on the eyelids, lips, neck and hands—anywhere that’s prone to dryness or irritation during cold weather months.

Give your lips extra care with scrubs and balms

If you’re prone to chapped lips, try using a gentle lip scrub to exfoliate the skin on your lips, removing dead skin cells that can lead to dryness. The best lip scrubs are gentle and include hydrating fats like coconut, shea butter, or jojoba oil. You can also use a light coat of petroleum jelly on your lips overnight to seal in moisture.

Tip: avoid licking your lips! It will only make them drier. Instead, have a moisturizing, wax-free lip balm on hand (wax products can build up and create a barrier on your lips, preventing moisture from penetrating). During the daytime, try using a lip balm that contains SPF 15 or higher for extra protection against UV rays (which also dry out skin).

Use a humidifier at home

Humidifiers add moisture to the air to help prevent drying and support a healthy skin barrier. Try setting your humidifier on a low setting (about 60% humidity) all night long and place it just outside the area where you sleep. This should be enough to keep your skin hydrated without making it feel too humid to sleep comfortably.

Exfoliate away dead skin (but don’t overdo it!)

If you wish to refresh your skin via exfoliation, ask your medical aesthetician to recommend appropriate products with glycolic or salicylic acid. Stick with 1-2 times per week for maximum efficacy without overdoing it—if you are heading to the slopes or spending time in colder climates this winter, your skin could be especially sensitive.

Check with your medical skin specialist before using any physical exfoliants at home to ensure they won’t harm your skin or interfere with medspa treatments or results. We advise patients to completely avoid harsh physical scrubs like apricot pits and sand scrubs that can easily irritate or damage the top layer of skin.

Avoid scalding hot baths/showers

Hot water can strip the skin of moisture and cause inflammation as well. It may be tempting to use hot water in the winter, but keep your shower temperature mild instead. If your skin is red several minutes after you’ve gotten out of the bath or shower, then it’s likely that your water temperature is too high. Bonus tip: apply lotion immediately after you shower, while your skin is still damp, to provide an additional hydrating boost!

Visit our Santa Rosa med spa to restore your skin’s health

Allegro Medspa and its team of aesthetic specialists offer the latest in safe, restorative skin treatments. Founded by board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. Heather Furnas and Dr. Francisco Canales in 2006, we proudly serve the Santa Rosa and Novato areas. To schedule your consultation, we invite you to contact us online or call us at (707)-537-2123.

If you are interested in more transformative results this season, our founders at Plastic Surgery Associates also offer procedures such as facelift, brow lift, and eyelid lift to fully rejuvenate your appearance in time for spring.

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