Dr. Birchall’s Skin Maintenance Plan

It is a truism of life that if things are not maintained, they break down. If you own a house or a car, or are in a successful relationship, you know this is true. Our skin is no different. Without the investment of time, effort and money, the effects of age, genetics and the environment will conspire to make our skin look older than we feel. Without proper care, skin loses collagen, which gives us fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin, plus brown and red spots develop and facial contours will change. Fortunately, there are things we can do—daily, weekly, monthly and periodically—to win this battle and maintain healthy, more youthful skin.

DAILY
A consistent, daily skincare routine has a significant, cumulative effect, even if you don’t see dramatic changes day-to-day.
Sunscreen: Use a good sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection and a minimum SPF of 30 and don’t forget to reapply throughout the day! Most chemical sunscreens only last about two hours (read the directions on your container), so without reapplying, you are not protecting yourself when the sun is most damaging.

Cleansing: Use a cleanser that matches your skin type. Don’t spend a lot of money on pricey cleansers; they all do about the same thing and they’re only on your face for such a short time.
Moisturize: Moisturizing actually helps to exfoliate your skin and helps prevent wrinkles by keeping your skin moist. Again, it is not important to buy an expensive moisturizer.
Prevent Collagen Loss: Use products that contain the “big 3”: Retinol, Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C.

WEEKLY
Once a week, take a little more time in your skincare routine to do a more aggressive exfoliation of your skin. This is especially important in warm, dry climates such as Southern California that inhibit natural exfoliation, and leave the skin feeling rough and dry.

Masks: Masks offer light exfoliation as well as deep pore cleansing to improve skin’s texture and pore function. Choose a mask for your skin type.
Scrub: A scrub is an abrasive cleanser that removes the top, dead layers of your skin.

MONTHLY
Once a month include a deep, professional treatment that will give your skin a boost and help your regular skin maintenance to work more effectively. These treatments help maintain pore function to minimize acne, encourage skin cell turnover, which is good for collagen production, and lessening accumulated pigment changes.

Microdermabrasion: Polishes your skin to a healthy glow by safely removing layers of dead skin, improving the skin’s overall appearance. Not ideal for acne.
Chemical Peels: Exfoliates, clears breakouts, controls oil and improves skin texture.
Facials: Deep cleaning, exfoliates and as a bonus is relaxing.
Deep Pore Treatment: Penetrates the skin to eliminate bacteria, inflammation, dead skin cells and build up in the pores.

PERIODICALLY
If your skincare goal is to “roll back the years,” and restore the youthfulness and health of your skin, you should periodically use a professional regenerating skin treatment. Age, genetics, skin condition, skin type and your personal skincare “goals” will determine which procedure or combination of procedures (often the best approach) are right for you. Here are some examples of recommended periodic treatments.

Botox: Correction of “motion” lines in the forehead and between the eyes.
Juvederm: To significantly reduce deep lines such as the “parentheses” around the mouth, lip lines or eye circles.
Laser Treatments: Fraxel, IPL, Genesis and Pearl lasers all offer different types and levels of benefits to those seeking to improve texture, eliminate discoloration/spots, fade scars, reduce wrinkles and stimulate collagen.

Wouldn’t it be great if once corrected, our skin would stay forever young? Unfortunately the body will always return to its genetic “set point” and the effects of the environment; sun, pollutants, dirt and smoke all conspire against us, but, with diligence and the benefits of modern technology, we can minimize these effects and keep our skin looking youthful and healthy.