By: Lynn Jaffe and Shelley Conn
Facial Rejuvination Acupuncture works best when combined with a skin care program that nourishes and protects the skin from the sun, irritants, and harsh treatment. Therefore, we recommend the following:
-Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and protects against both UVA and UVB exposure every day. To ensure you are protecting from both UVA and UVB rays, your sunscreen must contain either Titanium Dioxice, Zinc Oxide, or Avobenzone (Parsol 1789). Sun damage, or photoaging, is the greatest contributing factor to aging of the skin, which includes wrinkles, discoloration and dark spots, and thick leathery skin. We only need about 15 minutes of direct sunlight each day to get adequate amounts of Vitamin D. After those 15 minutes, any sun exposure you get only serves to age your skin prematurely. The sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so avoid exposure during those hours, if possible. Wear a hat and protective clothing if you are going to be in the sun for any length of time, and don’t forget that the sun’s rays can reflect off of water, snow, and even concrete.
-Wash your face with a gentle cleanser twice a day. Avoid harsh soaps, such as bar soaps, and overwashing, as both can dry out your skin.
-Moisurize your skin only as needed. It’s important to note that not everyone has dry skin and needs a daily moisturizer. Overmoisturizing can dull your skin and clog your pores, causing your skin to break out. It’s possible that you only need to moisturize certain parts of your face such as the area under your eyes.
-Your skin will look its best if you exfoliate to remove the very outer layer of dead skin and debris from your face. There are a number of ways to exfoliate, and you only need to choose one. Among them are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) or Beta Hydroxy Acids, which help loosen and slough dry and dead skin. Lynn or Shelley can explain more about products containing AHA’s or BHA’s.
Cleansing products which contain granules also work to exfoliate, but can sometimes be too abrasive. Look for a product that is gentle enough that it won’t injure your skin as you wash. Scrubbing your face with a washcloth will also get the job done, but again, can be abrasive. In addition, a wet washcloth is the ideal environment for all kinds of bacteria, and therefore is not your best choice. Brushes used for exfoliation are too abrasive, and not recommended.
-Always treat your skin gently. Use upward strokes when washing or applying products, and dab the delicate area around your eyes with your fingertips to avoid stretching or damaging the skin.