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Skin Care Products: Facts & Fairytales

Everywhere you look, magazines, television, radio you are struck with a barrage of advertising for products that imply miraculous results. Advertising can mislead the consumer into purchasing a product that can never deliver by using phrases such as “diminishes the visual signs of . . . ” or “reduces the appearance of . . .” These phrases do nothing more than imply and most consumers believe. The consumer purchases the product, uses it as directed and once again, they are disappointed when the results fall short of the expectations that they had, based on the product’s advertising hype.

by Lisa A. Finch, Licensed Aesthetician

The truth is that most of the products that you see advertised on television and in magazines have not received FDA approval. The FDA regulates the cosmetics industry differently than they do the drug industry. Drugs need FDA approval before they are marketed. The FDA only gets involved with Cosmetics once they have crossed the line.

Most of what you see advertised on television and in print are products that are not powerful enough to do anything more than act as a skin protectant. They cannot correct past damage or restore skin health. These products are mostly emollients and provide a false sense that the skin health is improving because they truly do improve the skin texture by filling in the gaps on its surface and making it look and feel smoother. These products that contain ingredients such as Petrolatum (petroleum jelly), Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, and Cyclomethicone are in my estimation just spackles for the face. They act as temporary fillers for fine lines and wrinkles. They make the imperfections less noticeable, but do nothing to correct them. And at night, with a little facial cleanser and water, the product is washed away, the imperfections are noticeable again and the consumer’s hope…is washed down the drain.

Heavy moisturization, is in fact unhealthy for the skin. Although it does protect against Transepidermal Water Loss, it actually helps the skin to retain dead surface cells that should be shed. Heavy moisturizers also send a false message that the skin has adequate moisturization, and therefore the skin does not create any of it’s own but rather relies on the synthetic moisturizers that we purchase and apply, which is why so many feel the need to apply moisturizers as soon as they get out of the shower.

The best way to achieve beautiful skin, is to have healthy skin.

The best way to achieve healthy, glowing skin is very simple . . . use physician strength skin care products and ensure that your Protocol includes:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (Glycolic, Lactic, etc.)
  • Vitamin C/Antioxidants
  • Vitamin A (Retrinal/Tretinoin)
  • Pigment Correctors (Hydroquinone/Kojic Acid)
  • And most importantly…a Physician Strength Sunscreen that contains at least 7% Zinc Oxide.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha Hydroxy Acids help by eating/dissolving dead surface cells so that new cells can travel to the surface. This will also improve the appearance of the skin by giving it a glow as it removes the dead surface cells that cause a dull appearance. Alpha hydroxy Acids also loosen sebum deposits in pores and eat away at the “roof” of dead skin that seals off the follicle opening, so that sebum does not stay trapped there and become infected.

Vitamin C/Antioxidants

Vitamin C/Antioxidants help to defend the skin against free radical attack. Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals which are attracted to fats and lipids in the skin before they can attach themselves to the cells and eventually kill them.

Vitamin A (Retrinal/Tretinoin)

Vitamin A (Retrinal/Tretinoin) is a Keratolytic, which means that it is a protein dissolver. It helps to remove dead cells so that new healthy cells can take their place. It helps to eliminate black heads and reduce pore size and by liquefying sebum in the follicle. It also brings in new blood supply to the deeper layers of skin enhancing the elastin and collagen fibers of the dermis. This new robust blood supply is then transmitted as a rosy radiant appearance to the skin.

Hydroquinone and other skin lighteners

Hydroquinone/Kojic Acid/Arbutin/Azelaic Acid/Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate – Melanin Suppressants. Keeps the Melanin (brown spots/liver spots) from being visible on the skin’s surface.

Physician Strength Sunscreen

The single most important skin care/beauty product that you can use. Make sure that it is broad spectrum, has an SPF of at least 30 and a Zinc Oxide content of at least 7%. You can use all the most effective anti aging products that money can buy, but if you don’t bother to protect on a daily basis with a Physician Strength Sunscreen, you might as well just rinse those products down the drain.

In closing . . .

So when you’re trying to reverse the signs of aging and regain a youthful, radiant glow, remember, don’t get seduced by the flashy television commercials, glossy magazine ads, or the woman in the cosmetics department with the $175 jar of cream. If they are not Physician Dispensed Products, then they will not deliver the results that you desire. The only ingredients that those products have that Physician dispensed skin care doesn’t are a lot of unnecessary dyes, fragrances, mineral oils, silicones and preservatives.

When you’re ready to get serious about Skin Care, please call me and let me help you decide what skincare products will help you accomplish your skincare goals. I can recommend what it is that you need and give you an explanation as to why. Without the hype of flashy advertising, glossy ads, and fancy packaging…just products that actually do what they say they will do.

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Dr. Daniel A. Sterling, MD, FACS
Telephone: 603.518.5450
Fax: 603.518.5856
Email: info@sterlingplasticsurgery.com
Address: 2 Washington Place, Bedford, NH 03110

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Staff: Bedford Ambulatory Surgical Center Bedford, NH - 2012- present

Staff: Elliot Hospital Manchester, NH - 2005-present, Chief of Plastic Surgery

Staff: Southern New Hampshire Medical Center Nashua, NH - 2016-present

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