The outer superficial layer of your skin, as its primary jobs, protects the deeper layers of the skin against harmful external elements and prevents water loss. Therefore, problems on the skin’s surface can include dryness, hyper pigmentation, and broken blood vessels caused by free radical damage and damage from sun and environmental toxins.
There are many products and treatments out there. However, for surface or epidermal skin issues, you want ingredients and procedures that only work on the outer layer of the skin.
To understand products, it is important to know where in the skin they operate, and what precisely they aim to improve. I have outlined here 4 simple ways to think about superficial skin treatments and how they can help your skin health:
1.) Moisture Is Important. Moisturizers work on the surface of the skin by preventing moisture from leaving the skin. Even though there are types out there commercially, they all
share the characteristic of leaving something behind on the surface that seals in moisture.
The best time to apply moisturizers is after washing or showering, when the skin is moist. Applying an oil-based product, even something as simple as coconut oil or baby oil, does prevent that moisture from evaporating. Unfortunately, oil-based skin products can make the skin feel oily or greasy and even stain clothes.
Other types of moisturizers, such as those on our website store, contain ingredients called humectants. Not only do humectants prevent moisture from escaping the skin, but they also actually attract moisture, resulting in longer-lasting effects.
2.) Defend Against Damage. When various external factors affect the skin surface, the epidermis is the first line of defense. When the ultraviolet rays of the sun or other damaging environmental toxins hit the skin, they cause a reaction within the cells known as oxidation.
Oxidation is essentially the same process that produces rust in metal. When oxidation occurs in living cells, free radicals are formed, which are chemical fragments that can damage the metabolic functions of the skin.
Antioxidants are basically chemicals that can absorb or neutralize the free radicals. When placed on the skin surface, they can rid your skin of free radicals before they penetrate the skin and cause more damage. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and our Vita-C 20- Brightening Creme is an excellent product in this category.
3.) Protect The Surface. Physical sunscreens, such as those we carry here at Maine Laser Skin Care, contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or magnesium oxide. These types of sunscreen sit on the skin surface and essentially shield the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation by reflecting the damaging effects away from the cells.
Because UV rays are around all the time, it is important to wear sunscreen every day. Use one of these products to protect your most important asset: your skin surface and its cells.
4.) Treat The Surface. Sometimes, despite our best efforts or because of bad skin habits we have taken up in the past, damage occurs to our skin in the forms of fine lines, broken blood vessels, and hyperpigmentation. Nonablative superficial lasers can make a world of difference in the process of repairing the ill effects of previous skin damage.
Although many laser treatments can penetrate deeply into the skin, I can choose a specific laser and the settings on that laser that will only affect the epidermis. With this given laser and the appropriate settings, I can only target the surface related damage.
I hope you have learned from reading this blog post this that the surface of your skin is very important and you need to defend and protect it. If damage does occur, however, I have at my disposal multiple types of treatments, including lasers, radio frequency, and microneedling to name a few, to repair and improve the appearance of the epidermis.
If you have any questions concerning these products, you can click on the links provided. If you have any questions about procedures and how they could help you improve damage from years gone by, give us a call at (207) 873-2158 to schedule your free consultation or treatment soon.