Pharmaceutical Grade Sunscreen vs. Store Brands – The Difference is Real
Is there really a difference in over-the-counter sun protection and pharmaceutical grade sunscreen? You bet there is. The major difference between the two is their efficacy due to strength of their formulas and including the right active ingredients to protect your skin effectively. For this very reason we carry the full line of EltaMd suncare products, which is formulated with the correct levels of transparent zinc oxide and other active ingredients critical for maximum protection.
The best sun protection is formulated to both moisturize and protect your skin, while at the same time not irritate your skin. EltaMD meets all the requirements of higher potency and is formulated to keep your skin clear and healthy. This includes being:
To clarify, over-the-counter sunscreen is generally the products you find at a local drug or department store. Pharmaceutical grade sun care is typically found at a Doctor’s office, skin care practice or medical spa. Over-the-counter sunscreens usually do not contain as many active ingredients as medical grade, with only the 70% pure ingredients required by the FDA. Instead, OTC brands contain inactive compounds, fragrances and preservatives. This leaves you with less sun protection.
On the other hand pharmaceutical grade sunscreen must contain 99.9% pure active ingredients. It also has to be backed up by scientific research, and must have been proven beneficial for the skin. In other words, you get your moneys worth with real medical grade sun protection because it has the ingredients that make it work.
Another differentiating factor between pharmaceutical grade and retail store brands can be price. Excellent pharmaceutical grade sun care can be found at the same price point as higher end OTC brands. You don’t have to spend over $100 that some brands command. We recommend EltaMD sun care because it is both very reasonably priced and exceptionally effective. EltaMD offers facial sunscreens to be worn every day under your makeup, to sunscreens for sports and outdoor activities. And they won’t break the bank.
DERMAPLANING + MICRONEEDLING: AN OPTIMAL COMBO TREATMENT
Dermaplaning and Microneedling are Effective Stand alone treatments. But combined they can produce optimal results. Dermaplaning is a safe and simple skin rejuvenation treatment intended to exfoliate the epidermis and remove facial peach fuzz. It leaves the skin smoother and looking healthier. This exfoliation allows for your skincare products to penetrate more readily into the deeper layers.
Dermaplaning is an ideal treatment for those with excess vellous hair the can cause dirt and oil to clog follicles and is a perfect add on for many aesthetic procedures. Dermaplaning is also a prime exfoliation treatment for those who are pregnant or nursing and not allowed to use chemical peeling agents.
Patients often wonder if their hair will grow back thicker and darker after dermaplaning. This is simply a myth. As long as the hair is superficial vellus hair, it will continue to grow back at the same rate and texture as it did prior to treatment.
Microneedling or collagen induction therapy mimics the effects of fractional laser by generating micro-punctures in the skin. This controlled wound-healing response in the deep layers of the skin stimulates the collagen. It results in a smoother and more youthful appearance. The micropunctures create a controlled injury underneath the surface of the skin, which then sends a wake up call to the collagen to start producing more. The skin plumps and thickens in response to this. Microneedling aims to improve mild to moderate acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, rough skin texture, decreases pore size, and tightens lax skin.
What is a microneedling treatment? The skincare provider holds a pen-like device with a sterile, disposable tip housing tiny needles used to pierce the skin. Most people experience redness and light swelling post-treatment that can last up to 48 hours. This is suitable for all skin types and colors, and there is no risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Combining these two treatments will give you the most desirable outcome. Together these procedures are ideal to treat uneven skin tone and texture, large pores, fine lines, unwanted facial hair, and acne scars. Dermaplaning before Micro-needling allows for topical products to penetrate significantly deeper into the skin layers, allowing the patient to achieve the most desirable outcome.
AESTHETICS FOR A CAUSE AND DURING A CURE
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We would like to extend a few helpful skincare tips to those who are undergoing or have undergone cancer treatments. Side effects from chemotherapy and radiation may include severely dry, itchy skin that often accompanies significant facial volume loss. There are a number of aesthetic treatments available to help minimize these skin issues. These include calming facials, lasers, fillers, Botox, and topical skincare products. These services are typically safe during and after radiation or chemotherapy for breast cancer and other non-head and neck cancers.
Facials: gentle products used during our aesthetic treatments are customized to your specific skincare needs. Studies have shown there are healing benefits through the power of touch, such as with facial massage, including pain reduction and mood enhancement. A soothing facial treatment will improve skin appearance and leave you feeling relaxed.
Injectables: Botox and dermal fillers, such as Voluma and Sculptra are safe to use after chemo and radiation and can give your face the volume that was lost during drastic weight loss that often accompanies cancer therapies.
Skincare products: a quality skincare regimen can help regain skin health with much needed hydration and moisture that is greatly lost during cancer treatments. Lightweight lotions that can be easily applied are ideal as well as products that are gentle and non-drying that do not contain perfumes, dyes, or chemicals are essential. Lavender is one scent that is often tolerable but avoid sweet smells like vanilla. It is also important to avoid alpha-hydroxy products and others that heavily exfoliate and peel skin that is already compromised from cancer therapy.
The exceptions for non-invasive skin care treatments are those with a depleted immune system as well as those receiving cancer therapy for head and neck cancers.
Cancer treatments will affect patients physically, mentally, and emotionally. We understand how important it is to stay positive and looking well is important to your well-being. Schedule a complimentary skincare consultation with our aesthetic specialists and feel comfortable in knowing that we perform every skincare treatment with knowledge, compassion and understanding.
Face the New School Year Acne Free
The stress teenagers experience as they head back to school can often leave its mark on their faces. Acne can be tricky to control and teens can unknowingly cause more harm than good to their skin if they do not understand how to properly take care of it.
When the body is under stress it produces greater amounts of androgen hormone, which can then cause skin glands to generate larger amounts of oil. Oil build-up, bacteria and debris can then become trapped which triggers an inflammatory response as the body is trying to rid itself of the foreign matter. Redness, swelling, warmth and discomfort are all characteristics of skin inflammation. Any pressure, including squeezing pimples, can excessively irritate acne and possibly force oil and bacteria deeper into the skin layers, causing cysts and further trauma. Teens are more susceptible to breakouts due to hormonal changes. Also, teens actively participating in sports may experience more breakouts during their sports season due to excessive sweating, dirt, and rubbing their skin. Fortunately, we offer a variety of anti-acne treatments and products to help remedy these breakouts.
In many cases, Acne Laser Treatments are an effective alternative to Accutane or long-term antibiotics. The Sciton BBL™ in our office is a FDA approved treatment that utilizes a blue light to target p-acne bacteria on the surface and in the sebaceous gland. Treatment sessions last less than one hour. Following treatment, some may experience temporary redness and mild swelling but there is no required downtime. Makeup can be applied immediately following treatment.
In addition to laser treatments, we also offer acne facials and light chemical peels. During acne facials, the Aesthetician will use purifying products formulated to refine texture and calm irritated skin. Deep cleansing, exfoliation, acne extractions, and an anti-acne mask are all included steps of an acne facial. A light chemical peel may be added for extra exfoliation if desired and if the Aesthetician feels it is needed. Done in a series, facials and peels are highly effective at improving mild to moderately severe acne breakouts while evening out skin tone and fading discoloration.
There are many products, in varying strengths, available to reduce acne. We offer three effective products from the My Body acne skincare line. Step 1 is the Probiotic Calming Cleanser which helps relieve stressed skin while preventing future breakouts. This cleanser contains salicylic acid, a common ingredient for acne skincare products, which will unclog pores without irritating the skin. Eucalyptus and Menthol helps naturally soothe and refresh problematic skin. Step 2 Refining Gel reduces pores, naturally brightens, and restores skin clarity. Step 3 is an Oil-Free Hydrator. This product is great for calming redness and inflammation while rebalancing skin that has been depleted. Tretinoin may also be prescribed.
Visiting a skincare specialist can be insightful for both the parent and teenager because improving the teen’s skin quality can also boost their confidence. As an Aesthetician and Mother of a teenager, whether you are plagued with occasional breakouts or persistent acne, I have experience and can customize a treatment that will be right for you.
Call our office today for one of these services and to schedule a complimentary skincare consultation.
Runners: Collect Race Medals, Not Sun Spots
Being outdoors and staying active are vital components of a healthy lifestyle. Fresh air, daily exercise, and a healthy diet are all important, but it is also important to protect your skin from harmful sun rays before stepping outside. Prevention is the first line of defense against sun and sun spots.
July brings us a plethora of marathons, bike races, fun runs and more. The race you can often win is the one against negative effects of the sun, which outdoor runners are exposed to day in and day out. Sun damage can be prevented by applying topical vitamin C and mineral-based (zinc) sunscreen before heading outdoors, covering up with UV protective clothing, hats, UV-blocking sunglasses, and by avoiding training during peak sun hours of the day.
Topical vitamin C is vital in protecting the skin from free radicals and photoaging. CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF are at the top of my favorites list and offer advanced environmental protection, calms the skin, and stimulates collagen synthesis while reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Avid outdoorsmen need to choose clinical grade sunscreen that offers both UVA and UVB protection to combat burning and photoaging, while lowering your risk of skin cancer. EltaMD Sport and Physical sunscreens are my go-to when it comes to sunscreens because they are water-resistant and don’t sting my eyes when I sweat. EltaMD Sport 50 is great for face, ears and neck, combined with EltaMD UV Lip Balm SPF 31 for lips that are always sun exposed and easily forgotten when it comes to sun protection.
Topical vitamin C and quality sunscreen are effective as stand-alone products but are even more effective when paired together. Skincare professionals say these two products combined “plug the leak” and keep the harmful sun rays from penetrating the skin. Always keep sunscreen in your race bag. It is important to remember that the sun’s UV radiation can pass through clouds and fog, therefore sun protection is necessary even with it is overcast. Daily application of a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher is recommended to help prevent premature aging and also reduce your risk of skin cancer.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, so be kind and keep it healthy! Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced Aestheticians and allow them to customize a comprehensive skincare regimen that is right for you.
Brotox: Botox for Men
‘Brotox’ – Men Choosing Botox More Often Today to Increase Confidence and Look Younger
In our practice our skin care team and cosmetic surgery team are seeing more and more men looking for facial rejuvenation. They want to remove wrinkles in order to make them look more youthful and less tired. This is the trend nationally as well. The majority of our male skin care clients are ‘Brotox’ fans and choose Botox as their first line of defense against wrinkles and the appearance of aging.
For our male patients ‘Brotox’ is the perfect jumping off place to begin working on reducing wrinkles and regaining a youthful appearance. Botox treatments will deliver smoother skin, and men report that having a younger look helps them feel more confident. Botox is a very simple, quick procedure with no downtime and men can be back at work or to a meeting immediately after the procedure.
Botox is an extremely effective injectable that relaxes the muscles in the area and sends wrinkles packing. Botox treats and corrects ‘crows feet’ in the corners of the eyes, vertical lines between the eyebrows know as ’11’s’, and – most important for many men – virtually reduces the horizontal wrinkles of the ‘furrowed brow’, or worry lines on the brow.
Botox treatments last approximately 4 months, and multiple areas can be treated in a single appointment. Injections take about 10 to 15 minutes per area.
Choosing Botox can be a very affordable investment in a man’s self image that can make him look and feel younger and more relaxed. Feeling confident can lead to feeling more competitive in the workplace and beyond.
Our male patients are very happy with their ‘Brotox’ treatments and you can see great results on these photos of actual Botox patients from our practice.
Call Wells Plastic Surgery and Skin Care at 859.255.6649 to schedule a consultation with Susan Meers Wells RN, MS to see how Botox can work for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Rejuvapen
Rejuvapen is an amazing breakthrough in skin care that yields amazing results quickly with almost no downtime. Rejuvapen’s nine precisely spaced micro needles create tiny perforations in the top two layers of the skin. The skin shifts its repair mechanism into high gear, producing collagen and elastin to mend these micro-perforations. This is a 100% natural form of skin renewal, repairing from the inside out. Your skin will be firmer and regain its elasticity, so fine lines and wrinkles become visibly reduced, pores are smaller, and you look younger.
With every new procedure comes questions, and these should answer many of yours.
Q: What results can I expect from Rejuvapen?
A: Skin becomes firmer, regains its elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles are visibly reduced, pores are smaller and circulation is stimulated so the overall condition and appearance of the skin improves.
Q: What skin problems does Rejuvapen primarily address?
A: Rejuvapen addresses fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, hyper-pigmentation and skin texture by stimulating the skin’s natural ability to produce new collagen formation creating healthier skin.
Q: What areas are typical for Rejuvapen treatments?
A: The forehead, around the eyes, cheeks, around the mouth, neck and chest are treated most often, but Rejuvapen can be used on problem areas like surgical scarring to reduce prominence.
Q: How long does is a treatment with Rejuvapen?
A: Procedure time ranges from 30-60 minutes per area depending on the treatment area.
Q: Is it painful and is pain medication involved?
A: All it requires is a topical numbing agent on for 15 minutes before your Rejuvapen procedure. Individualized settings allows for treatments to be adjusted to any skin type and sensitivity level.
Q: What is the recovery time after a Rejuvapen treatment?
A: There is very little down time. Patients will be pink – it will look like a sunburn and feel like a mild windburn – for only about 24 hours. You can resume normal activity immediately after the procedure including driving yourself home. Your practitioner will prescribe a post-procedure skincare regime to optimize healing.
Q: How many procedures does it take to see results.
A: You will actually see visible results after the first treatment, and results improve after subsequent treatments. It is recommended to have 3-4 treatments for optimal results.
Q: How do you get started on a Rejuvapen regimen?
A: Schedule a consultation to ensure that Rejuvapen is the right treatment for you, then schedule individual treatments over the next 3-4 months (based on the recommendation of your skin care professional). If you have a history of cold sores you will need to pretreat with anti-virals to prevent an outbreak post procedure.
There is nothing “small” about the results of Micro-Needling
The REJUVAPEN Automatic Therapy System is one of the newest additions on the skin care scene. Wells Skin Care is extremely excited about the results we are seeing on
every patient that has the procedure. Plus there is virtually no down time for recovery.
REJUVAPEN THERAPY works to:
- Minimize fine lines, including around the lips and eyes
- Soften deep wrinkles, especially on the forehead
- Smooth acne scarring
- Firm thin, crepe-like skin, especially under the eyes
- Smooth coarse skin as a result of sun damage
- Lessen the appearance of large pores
- Improve appearance of scarring from plastic surgery or trauma
WHAT IS MICRO NEEDLING
Micro-needling with Rejuvapen consists of precisely spaced, tiny needles in a small cartridge that makes very small, virtually invisible, vertical perforations into the top two layers of the skin.
Rejuvapen causes the skin to kick into repair mode to fix these tiny holes, making the skin naturally produce collagen that in turn gives you a plumper, more youthful look. Collagen and elastin work to self-repair – resulting in a 100% natural skin renewal system that heals and improves your skin from the inside out. Your body is actually doing the heavy lifting!
You will see results after one treatment, but the most powerful results are seen after three treatments. You get the best results with the absolute adherence to spacing treatments one month apart, allowing your natural collagen to do it’s work improving skin plumpness, tissue repair and natural radiance.
No more skimpy lashes! Latisse lets you grow your own!
As we age, eyelashes naturally get thinner and finer. This is sometimes the result of hormonal changes as well as years of makeup use and removal, which can make lashes fall out. Having thicker, longer lashes help frame the eyes, enhance your makeup, and give your eyes a more youthful look.
But skimpy lashes no more. Latisse has been a safe and dramatically effective way to enhance your face with lush natural lashes, and now Wells Plastic Surgery and Skin Care is making it even easier by offering Latisse at a low price of $110 (regularly $129).
Sometimes referred to as ‘miracle gro for your lashes’, Latisse is extremely simple to use – just brush a tiny amount (sterile brushes provided) onto top lash line each night before you go to bed after you remove your makeup. You can see results sometimes as fast as three weeks after your first use, with maximum results by week sixteen. Easy, easy, easy!
- Apply every night – you will see faster results if you don’t skip a treatment
- Keep your applications up over time – if you use for several months and then stop, you will lose lashes naturally and they will return to their original appearance over several weeks or months. Continued use of Latisse keeps them long and strong.
- Be patient. Gradually you will begin to notice first changes in length, then you will begin to see changes in thickness and darkness in your lashes.
The results are in. According to Allergan clinical studies, Latisse users reported significant improvement in lash length and quality. Lashes were 25% longer, 106% more full and 18% darker.
They wont be able to keep their eyes off of yours!
The “Great Eight” – Summer Skin Protection Tips
Summer is the time to have your head in the clouds. It is also the time to keep your mind on Sun protection! Here is our ‘Great Eight’ Sun Protection Tips to get the most out of your sunscreen and to keep your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays.
- Always, always wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or above
- Use a shot glass full of sunscreen – 1.5 oz. – each time you apply head to toe
- It’s best to apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outdoors
- Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, and during intense sun apply every 45 minutes to 1 hour
- Use sunscreen lip balm and reapply often
- Check the expiration date on your sunscreen and discard expired products
- Don’t keep sunscreen in the car – extreme heat breaks down sun protective ingredients
- Don’t rely solely on sunscreen – use a hat, good sunglasses and sun protective clothing
Our sunscreen pick for fun in the sun? Physician recommended Elta-MD has a family of sun protection products, and everyone should use two of these sunscreen tools – 1) a DAILY sunscreen for everyday use and 2) a SPORT sunscreen for times of extreme exposure.
For everyday use – and we mean every day – we like Elta-MD Daily SPF 40 or Elta-MD Clear SPF 46 under your makeup to save your face from harmful rays. Use broad-spectrum Elta-MD Sport SPF 50 for active exposure.
Play it smart by spending a lot of chill time in the shade when you are at the beach or the pool. Be safe and be glad that a deep dark tan has gone out of style!