Entering the fall months is a good time to undo some of the damage done over the summer months. No matter how much sun screen we wear (although it is immensely helpful) if we have active lifestyles that take us outdoors a lot we end up with some sun damage.
We tend to have less and less sun exposure in the fall and winter months so it is a good time to target pigmentation with combination treatments. Myself and several of my coworkers all agree upon a series of 2-3 IPL’s (or photofacials) combined with skin peels. I personally like to do an IPL followed by a peel within 1-2 weeks once a month for 3 months. This is very effective at lifting the pigmentation that developed over the summer. There is some “downtime” with these treatments, although it is minimal.
The IPL creates what we commonly refer to as “peppering” which literally looks like pepper flakes on the skin. These tend to develop over the first 12-24 hours and then flake off in 7-14 days. These “pepper flakes” are pigmentation that has been brought to the surface leaving behind either faded pigmentation or complete clearance of the pigmented lesion.
A peel is a controlled surface burn of the skin using a combination of acids. The peel helps lift pigmentation, shrink the appearance of pores, minimize fine-medium lines, firm and improve overall texture. When a peel is done about a week after an IPL it helps to lift any of the peppering that is hanging on to the skin. There are lots of peels on the market, from very light peels to deep peels. We tend to use medium depth peels and find the results to be predictable and well tolerated. The “real” peeling with these types of peels tends to occur on days 3-5 and then flaking can last 7-10 days. The “real” peeling does create cosmetic and social downtime as the skin peels noticeably and one looks like they are molting for 2-3 days.
We use SkinMedica Peels and VI Peels at Toccare. I am a huge fan of the VI Peels. They are well tolerated on most skin types and seem to go just a little deeper than the other medium depth peels I have used. Additionally, VI peels can help minimize acne outbreaks and treat melasma.
So if you ended up getting a little too much sun and are unhappy with how it has left your skin color and texture consider the above treatment plan. Here’s to beautiful healthy skin!