Chemical Peels or Microderm?
What are light chemical peels and microdermabrasion used for?
Light chemical peels and microdermabrasion are most commonly used for:
~ refreshing skin texture and improving “glow”
~ helping to treat certain types of acne, clean out pores
~ helping with melasma when done in a series of 4-5
~ after some lasers to speed shedding of brown pigment
~ before weddings, reunions, etc to improve skin
What do microdermabrasion and light chemical peels treat?
They are both methods of superficial exfoliation that remove dead or damaged skin cells, refine the texture and color of your skin, help minimize fine lines, and clean out pores to improve acne. They can also help with melasma and some small scars.
They do not help with deeper wrinkles, lines of expression (like frown lines), or serious sun damage.
Microdermabrasion is often used in conjunction with laser photorejuvenation treatments to help even out color and remove brown spots. It is more effective than home scrubs.
What is microdermabrasion (MDA)?
Microdermabrasion is a method by which very fine crystals are vacuumed across the skin under pressure with a tiny vacuum-cleaner-like tip. The newer systems don’t use crystals but instead tiny diamond chips embedded in the tip to provide the abrasion. It’s nice to use the newer crystal-free systems but not essential.
Also, the newer systems offer the ability to infuse therapeutic agents at the same time that the microdermabrasion is being performed. For example, an aesthetician can infuse a solution of salicylic acid, which helps to clean out the pores while the microdermabrasion is working. Or, hyaluronic acid, could be infused to add extra moisture.
Microdermabrasion can cause irritation or inflammation if the microdermabrasion is too aggressive for your skin type.
Depending on how much acne or pigment you have and how sensitive your skin is, approximately five microdermabrasions are done one to four weeks apart, followed by a maintenance treatment about every four to eight weeks.
You may have seen the terms Parisian peel, diamond peel, or lunch-time peel. Most of these all refer to the same process – microdermabrasion.
What are light chemical peels?
Light chemical peels exfoliate the superficial layers of your skin to help remove dead and damaged surface skin cells, refine the texture and color of your skin, and help improve acne. There are many different names for these peels but most contain hydroxy acids, either alpha hydroxy, beta hydroxy or combinations of both. Many of these peels contain glycolic acid (AHA) or salicylic acid (BHA).
Like microdermabrasion, they are usually gentle enough that you can go right back to your daily activities.
How often should I get microdermabrasion (MDA) or light chemical peels?
This really depends on your skin. If you are very oily and acne-prone, you may want to get a series or two every year with maintenance treatments every 4 weeks. For others, a series (usually 3-5 treatments) followed by a maintenance treatment every couple of months might be plenty.
When will I see results with MDA or light chemical peels?
Your skin will look and feel better immediately after a treatment. If you are acne prone, continued treatments will help to keep the pores unclogged.
For microdermabrasion, there is a mild pulling sensation (that tiny vacuum cleaner) during the treatment and a gentle, sandpapery feel. Most patients notice just mild discomfort.
For light chemical peels, there is mild itchiness or warmth in the skin for a few minutes. The treatments usually take 30 to 60 minutes, depending on what else is being done.
What will I look like right after treatment, and what will the healing time be?
Generally, the skin may look slightly pink for one to two days after the treatment, although not everyone experiences this. Check with your aesthetician, but makeup can be used starting right after the treatment as long as it is applied over a moisturizer and removed very gently.
You will need to increase your use of moisturizers during the treatment period as your skin will be slightly drier temporarily. Be sure to use sunscreen every morning.
What are the possible medical or cosmetic side effects?
MDAs and light chemical peels are very safe at iDental, and are only performed by our dermal therapists. We use the strictest hygiene. We never share microdermabrasion heads, but throw these out after every single treatment.
Some prolonged redness can occur for some patients, and this is usually for patients that have a reactive skin type.
Both treatments can activate cold sores as mentioned above. You will also be temporarily more sun sensitive so be sure to use sunscreen daily and more often if outdoors.
Anti-wrinkle vs Fillers
The line between Anti-wrinkle treatment and Dermal fillers can sometimes seem blurred, so here's the lowdown...
What is BTX and how does it work?
BTX, is a natural, purified protein that is used to temporarily relax facial muscles that cause lines and wrinkles. It can also be used to treat medical conditions such as excess drooling, and other muscle spasm conditions. There are a number of brands on the market, and but they all work in the same way. It is the result of many decades of studies and has been used extensively in medicine. They are a very safe product, and is approved by TGA for many uses.
What does the treatment involve?
While there is no real downtime associated with this treatment, it is important to note that you may encounter some slight bruising and swelling directly after treatment, due to the needle. This is very uncommon, but can happen in people who bruise easily. This can easily be masked by makeup. There are no long-term side effects of having wrinkle injections, meaning patients can resume their usual activities straight away, and can also fly post-treatment.
Who would this treatment suit?
This treatment can be used on a wide range of patients, and is primarily used for skin rejuvenation and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. The anti-wrinkle agent is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) for a short period of time. It can also be injected into the area around the side of the eyes to improve the look of moderate to severe crow’s feet lines.
Who should avoid this treatment?
Those who have medical conditions, such as damaged nerves or muscle complaints, should disclose this information during consultation, to avoid any complications. Treatment is not advisable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. While there are no clinical studies to show that the injection is harmful to the baby or mother, medical professionals advise against having treatment under these circumstances.
The treatment is used to soften the lines caused by facial expression and can be adjusted to ensure natural results. The duration of results is variable in between individuals but ranges from 3 to 6 months.
Typically, patients will come into the clinic and point to a specific line that they don’t like. Good practitioners, like the dentists at iDental, shouldn’t just look at treating this specific line, but will look beyond the line at how the face looks as a whole (as treating an individual line might make the face look unnatural). Sometimes patients come in and say their colleagues and friends keep telling them that they look tired or grumpy when this isn’t the case. In these cases, it’s usually not a single line that is creating this impression, but multiple factors, and the practitioner should talk through treatment options with the patient.
What are Fillers and how do they work?
As we age, the natural collagen and elastin in the skin lessens, as cells lose their ability to produce more of their youthful component. The skin becomes dryer, thinner and less able to fix itself. When we are born, we have plentiful amounts of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in our body, but as we get older this store of HA diminishes, leaving the skin less well supported, and so lines and wrinkles develop. By lifting and smoothing targeted folds and wrinkles by adding subtle volume, dermal fillers can make a difference to a person’s appearance, giving them a fresher look.
The treatment of wrinkles with dermal filler will usually involve injecting this naturally occurring product (HA) through a tiny needle. The discomfort is minimal as the treatment does not take long to perform. The aesthetic outcomes of treatments with dermal filler are seen immediately after the treatment. Treating wrinkles with dermal filler is fast, leaving no scars. There is a vast range of fillers on the Australian Market. At iDental we only use TGA approved products that are the most current generation.
What does the treatment involve?
The procedure takes around 30-45 minutes and patients can expect to notice the effects for some time, and this does vary depending upon the area treated. Treatment with fillers is completely reversible. With any injectable treatment, there can be some slight bruising or swelling that accompanies it. This should not persist for very long as it resolves in the normal way that bruises heal, and is easily coverable with makeup.
Who would this treatment suit?
Facial fillers can be used on a wide range of patients, and are primarily used for skin rejuvenation and the reduction of lines and wrinkles. Other suitable candidates are those seeking to add structure and volume to the face. I see a lot of patients who have lost volume in their face due to living a very active, high impact lifestyle (such as runners). Fillers help to restore the volume loss that naturally begins to occur when we reach our late thirties, and in turn gives a fresher, brighter appearance.
Who should avoid this treatment?
We would advise against pregnant and breast feeding women from having this treatment. There is no known risk, however it is best to be safe.
What results does the treatment aim to provide?
The results should suit our face, leaving our friends and family believing that we are simply looking our best and great for our years. We will measure your face to determine the best treatment, and will only proceed with treatment if we feel that the result will enhance your face naturally. When the effects begin to soften, we aim to ‘top up’ the treatment.
Patients will often come in to the clinic and point to a specific line that they don’t like. Sometimes the patient will say that people tell them they look sad, tired or grumpy when this isn’t really the case. In these instances, it’s usually not a single line that is causing this impression but multiple factors and the practitioner should discuss treatment options with the patient. It is really key that you feel safe and reassured by your chosen practitioner: a partnership should develop where you can speak freely about what concerns you, as this will allow the practitioner to truly understand your hopes and desired outcomes.
What's my skin type?
The best place to start is by coming into iDental to book a Skin analysis consultation. We will take photos of you, scan your skin and then discuss what concerns you have. We can go through together what we can do to improve your skin health, and what skin care products are right for you.
Below is a general introduction into possible skin types, and what to consider when treating them.
What skin type do you have?
Recognising and Understanding Oily Skin
Oily skin is hard to control because it's the result of genetically determined hormonal changes in your body, and you simply cannot control hormones topically. The hormones responsible for oily skin are called androgens—the male hormones—and they are present in both men and women.
Androgens stimulate healthy oil production, and while that truly has benefit for your skin, it is a problem when androgens stimulate too much oil to be produced! When too much oil is produced, the pores become larger to accommodate the excess oil production. Excess androgens can also cause the pore lining to thicken, which blocks oil from getting out of the pore, and that can result in blackheads and white bumps.
Not sure if you have oily skin? It's recognisable by a few classic characteristics:
~ Your face is shiny only an hour or two after cleansing, and usually appears greasy by midday.
~ Your make-up seems to "slide," or disappear right off your face.
~ The more oily areas of your face have blackheads, white bumps, or acne.
~ The pores are visibly enlarged, especially on your nose, chin, and forehead.
Why Your Skin Gets Dry
The primary reason your skin becomes dry is all about impairment. What happens is that the outer layers of skin lose their ability to maintain normal moisture levels? For the most part, this is due to sun damage and, to some extent, the use of skin-care products that contain irritating or drying ingredients.
Have you ever noticed that the parts of your body that don't have sun damage (the parts of your body that are not routinely exposed to the sun) are rarely, if ever, dry (just look at the inside part of your arm or your derriere)? That's because areas with little to no sun damage don't suffer the range of problems that stem from cumulative sun exposure.
How to Fix Dry Skin
What dry skin needs is barrier-repairing ingredients that help it act younger so it can sustain a healthy water balance. Here are our best tips to stop the cycle of dry, uncomfortable skin:
The first step is to stop damaging the outer layer of skin by avoiding:
1. Soaps (all kinds, and anything in bar form)
2. Harsh cleansing ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium C14-16 olefin sulphonate
3. Products with irritating ingredients (i.e. alcohol, peppermint, menthol, mint, citrus, eucalyptus, fragrance)
4. Exposure to hot water
5. Abrasive scrubs (think of the microdermabrasion-at-home type, or those that contain fruit and nut fragments)
Will Drinking Water Prevent Dry Skin?
This is one of those beauty myths that refuses to go away, but here are the facts: Although drinking eight glasses of water a day is great for your body, it doesn't work to improve or reduce dry skin. If all it took to get rid of dry skin was drinking more water, then no one would have dry skin and moisturisers would stop being sold.
The causes of and treatments for dry skin are far more complicated than just drinking water. Of course, you should be careful to not consume the types of liquids that lead to dehydration, with alcohol and caffeine being the chief offenders. Balancing moderate intake of coffee or, for example, red wine with water will help offset the dehydrating effects both can have on your body.
Allergy-Prone or Sensitive Skincare
The most common reason people have sensitive skin is using the wrong type of products on their skin, so that the skin barrier becomes compromised or damaged. The skin starts performing badly as it gets clogged with the product. Typical examples include using essential oils, coconut oil or sorbolene on your face. All of these products have heavy oils and fats that stop the pores from being able to release natural oils and moisture. This then gets trapped in the skin, causing the skin to break out. Once you stop using the irritating product, it will take quite some time to see an improvement, as skin cells need to cycle through from the bottom to the top to begin functioning again properly.
Is it a Skin Disorder?
Be certain you are dealing with an allergic or sensitising reaction to a product, and not a skin disorder. Many skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, folliculitis (an inflammation of the hair follicle), and reactions to food cause irritated, swollen, red, itchy, flaky or rashy skin.
Avoid Problem Ingredients
Find what product(s) or ingredient(s) are causing the problem and stop using them. Sometimes this is a simple determination. If you started using a new concealer and within a few hours that area became red, itchy, and swollen, it is clear that the concealer is the problem. Unfortunately, it isn't always that easy. What makes this process potentially difficult is that many skin reactions don't happen quickly. Further, given the number of cosmetic products women use daily, it is no wonder that pinning down exactly which item caused the problem can be a challenge.
Avoid The Following:
~ Overly abrasive scrubs (such as those that contain aluminum oxide crystals, walnut shells, or pumice)
~ Astringents containing irritating ingredients (alcohol and menthol being the prime offenders)
~ Toners containing irritating ingredients (alcohol and menthol being the prime offenders)
~ Scrub mitts
~ Cold or hot water
~ Steaming or icing the skin
~ Facial masks containing irritating ingredients (watch out for fragrant essential oils and polyvinyl alcohol)
~ Bar soaps and bar cleansers
Our online booking system is perfect for midnight impulses.
I recommend that you book a skin analysis consultation, so that we can work together to find out about your skin and what treatments will work best to achieve your goals.