By Senior Skincare Specialist, Sammy Swart
Glowing, radiant skin is as much a feeling and a mindset as it is a visual attribute. When we feel good and are well-rested, we are already radiating from within. But what exactly is skin radiance, and is there any new technology available to help us get it?
Table of contents
- WHAT SKIN RADIANCE AND WHY DO WE WANT IT?
- COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS AND CAUSES
- WHAT IS A MODERN SKINCARE CONSULTATION?
- WHAT IS A VISIA SKIN ANALYSIS?
- WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A VISIA SKIN ANALYSIS?
- THE IDEAL SKINCARE PLAN; DOES IT EXIST?
- WHY SKINCARE CONSISTENCY IS IMPORTANT TO SEE RESULTS
- IN CONCLUSION
WHAT SKIN RADIANCE AND WHY DO WE WANT IT?
For me, skin radiance comes from skin that is even-toned; free of blemishes, hydrated, plump, and refreshed. When we feel good and are well-rested, we are already “radiating from within”. Top that off with a tailored skincare routine, and the radiance becomes visible, tangible even. We all want to look into the mirror and love who and what we see, and ultimately, this is what radiant skin is all about… A healthy lifestyle combined with a bespoke skincare routine both working together to enhance your natural, healthy glow. Inside and out.
For most, naturally glowing skin requires some work as there are many skin conditions that can affect our skin radiance. So before we discuss skin radiance solutions, let’s cover some of the most common skin conditions and their causes.
COMMON SKIN CONDITIONS AND CAUSES
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation causes and treatments
This is the most common form of pigmentation we as skincare specialists see. Essentially this is the result when there is some form of trauma that happened to the skin. This can be from excessive sun exposure, waxing, and of course breakouts. When the skin senses damage, one of the ways it tries to protect that area from future damage is to overproduce pigment.
This may sound like a strange way for the skin to react to trauma but remember, the entire purpose of pigment is to protect the skin cells from damage caused by UV rays. So, in an emergency, the skin will use all the protective tools it possesses to prevent further harm. This pigmentation is usually easier to treat as it is predominantly situated in the most superficial layer of the skin.
At Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates, we can treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation by means of chemical peels, bespoke micro-needling treatments, platelet-rich plasma injections, GFIT (growth factor induction therapy), skin resurfacing procedures, and of course, pigment-inhibiting homecare.
Melasma causes and treatments
Melasma in essence is hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal fluctuations and can also occur in men. For women, this can be due to the use (or stopping use) of contraception, pregnancy, or menopause. Unfortunately, Melasma is a chronic condition that patients will be managing for the rest of their lives.
Pigmentation from Melasma is in the deeper layers of the skin, and it is therefore important to manage expectations regarding how soon we will see results. Some patients will have 90% of their pigmentation lifted and cleared with treatment, and some only 20%.
Before we can even start with treatment, a thorough consultation is needed to understand why the pigmentation occurred and what the current triggers are that may cause the pigment to become darker again. These triggers can include sun exposure or heat and other lifestyle factors such as diet or chronic medication.
At Dr Nerina Wilkinson + Associates, we most commonly treat Melasma with Cosmelan or Dermamelan (by Mesoestetic). These are clinical topical treatments specifically formulated to not only depigment the skin at surface level but also treat underlying causes. This effectively removes and lightens dark patches, resulting in a brighter, smoother, and more even complexion. When treating Melasma, home care is vital. All patients need to follow a very specific home care regime and really take their SPF applications to heart!
Acne causes and treatments
Acne can be seen in many forms and variations. Acne grade 1 is where we see the most success. This will be seen on the skin mainly as blackheads and enlarged pores. Acne grade 1 is easily managed and treated by doing regular chemical peels (such as ME LINE and Acnelan) and using a vitamin A-based homecare system. Acne grade 3 is where we see blackheads and ‘blind pimples’. Here we also see great results by doing regular chemical peels and vitamin A-based homecare.
Acne is mainly an inflammatory condition and can be related to hormonal changes. Therefore, we would normally see acne in teenagers and then again with women in their early 20s and perhaps adult acne from the age of 40 due to menopause. In severe cases where we do not see changes in the skin during the topical treatment of acne, we seek medical intervention from our team of Aesthetic Doctors.
Rosacea causes and treatments
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory condition and is (unfortunately) easily noticed when you get flustered or experience stress. It shows up as red patches on mostly the cheeks and neck area but can appear on other areas of the body too. When it comes to Rosacea, it is important to understand your body and what the triggering factors are. For some, it would be a glass of wine or alcohol in general, stressful situations, very hot weather, or even heavy exercise.
We treat Rosacea by doing Lumecca IPL (intense pulsed light), Azelaic acid or Lactic acid superficial peels, as well as bespoke micro-needling treatments to help strengthen the broken blood vessels and prevent further damage.
But as mentioned before, all success starts with a professional skincare consultation…
WHAT IS A MODERN SKINCARE CONSULTATION?
A skincare consultation is when a qualified skincare specialist takes a closer look at what is happening in and on the skin. They would also take an in-depth look at your medical history to see if there are any triggers that could be contributing to your skincare condition and concern(s). They will also ask questions about previous treatments and how the skin responded, and request details on homecare products currently and previously used. These steps are really to determine the history and trigger factors of the specific skin conditions.
For a truly comprehensive and more modern consultation, we also include a computerised VISIA Skin Analysis, where all concerns (even those not visible to the naked eye) are mapped and revealed. By doing this, we can truly determine the best way to treat very specific skin concerns and conditions.
As with everything in life, a better understanding of why things happen allows us to make informed choices in our day-to-day habits. We believe educating our patients is our greatest tool in helping them achieve the results they want to see in their skin. This is why we always start our patients’ skin science journeys with a thorough consultation.
WHAT IS A VISIA SKIN ANALYSIS?
The VISIA is a device that captures various images and collects them on a cloud database. These images are then compared to previous images as well as other patients that fall under the same age group and ethnicity to give you an estimate of whether you are above the average or below the average in those categories. The VISIA Skin Analysis reveals and measures the following:
- Lines and wrinkles
- Enlarged pores
- Redness / vascularity
- Brown spots (superficial and deep pigment)
- Acne causing bacteria
- Your skin type
- Your skin’s true age
With this detailed assessment of your skin, your Skincare Specialist then prepares your bespoke treatment plan and recommended home care to create the most suitable skincare Journey for you. As your skincare journey progresses, we use the VISIA to track the improvements in your skin and in turn, monitor the effectiveness of your skin plan.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A VISIA SKIN ANALYSIS?
With the VISIA Skin Analysis, the Skincare Specialist can see not only what is happening on the surface of the skin but also what is going on below. VISIA imagery should always be taken at the beginning of your skincare journey and thereafter every 3-6 months depending on the skin condition we are treating. In doing this we are able to track the true changes that are happening in the skin, and can adjust the skin care plan as needed.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER A VISIA SKIN ANALYSIS?
This is when the Skincare Specialist will determine an individualised treatment and home care plan. They will be able to tell you what treatment you need to target the specific condition (or concerns) you saw during the VISIA and then also combine it with the ideal home care products for optimal results. The specialist would then be able to advise how often you will require treatment.
AT WHAT AGE CAN I HAVE A VISIA SKIN ANALYSIS?
There is no specific age group that should or shouldn’t have a VISIA analysis. Each person has a different need for why they would have the analysis done. For a young patient, a VISIA Skin Analysis is good to have a better understanding of the skin and how it works. Any patient that has specific skin conditions they want to be treated (such as acne, pigmentation, Rosacea, or even skin ageing, dryness, and dehydration) is a great candidate for a VISIA Skin Analysis, whatever their age.
THE IDEAL SKINCARE PLAN; DOES IT EXIST?
Yes, but plans can change. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to skincare, and there are definitely no quick fixes.
We start all our patients’ treatment plans by taking all the information that we have gathered during a consultation as well as the results from the VISIA Skin Analysis and developing a treatment plan unique to their lifestyle, goals, and desires. Over and above this we also take great care in making sure that each treatment approach is scientifically driven to help achieve optimal results.
Two of the determining factors (of an ideal skincare plan) would always be how soon you want results and how often you can visit for treatment. If you cannot afford to have downtime after treatment, then we would need to change the treatment plan accordingly. If a clinic visit is only possible once a month, we also need to take this into consideration. Seasons and holidays can also impact your treatment plan as certain treatments are better to be done during the colder winter months. Or perhaps it might be winter, but you decide to travel overseas to a warm destination where more intensive treatment results might be compromised.
So as much as we aim for the ideal skincare treatment plan, we need to aim for the ideal skincare time too.
WHY SKINCARE CONSISTENCY IS IMPORTANT TO SEE RESULTS
It is the same as brushing your teeth and following a healthy diet. If there is no consistency, the desired results will not be achieved or maintained…
For example, when we select your skincare routine to use at home, these are carefully selected ingredients prescribed by the specialist that your skin should be exposed to daily. When it comes to home care, results are only seen and measured after 3 months of consistent use of the ingredient.
Your skin is your body’s biggest organ and will consistently see change as the years go by. As your skin changes, so should your home care and professional treatment approach, that is if you are interested in consistently beautiful results. And to get it right, you need to consult with a specialist at least every 6 months to ensure your goals are reached and your skin is radiant and glowing!
Contact Dr. Nerina Wilkinson + Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your individualised consultation and start your journey to your most beautiful, radiant self.
Written by Sammy Swart