You may have noticed how excited those of us working in medical aesthetics get when Fall rolls around. Not that we don't love the sweater weather and color changes, but it is actually due to the opportunities that cooler weather brings us when it comes to products and procedures. Let's spend a little time talking about what you should take advantage of in order to maximize your glowing skin before the warm weather returns.
Cooler months are the best time to start a Retinol or to increase the potency of your Retinol. Retinol (or retinoids such as Tretinoin or Retin-A) is a topical used to increase the rate of cellular turnover. It is especially beneficial when it comes to combating signs of aging and acne. The downside is the period of purging you will experience. Purging is a term used to describe side effects such as redness, flaking, peeling, stinging, sensitivity, itching, and worsened acne breakouts that occur within the first 6-8 weeks of Retinol use. Have you ever heard someone say, "it always gets worse before it gets better?" Well they were probably talking about the purging period when starting Retinol. However, once you are through the purge it is so worth it! Now, why does it matter when you choose to start a Retinol product? It sounds rough no matter what month you choose to do it in. Fall and Winter months are the best time to start as you are less likely to be in the sun (burns), at the pool (irritation/dryness), or in a picture-worthy event.
Just because the weather has cooled off, doesn't mean your other skin care practices go out the window. Remember to continue wearing SPF and to exfoliate 2-3 times per week. The sun still shines when it is cold and often reflects more powerfully off of snow. So even if it isn't warm or looks gloomy, you can still get sun damage and SPF is vital. Cooler months often bring dry and dull appearing skin. Exfoliating is important to help remove dead skin cells and reveal your healthy, glowing skin underneath.
Now, what us aesthetic providers are really excited about: PEEL AND LASER SEASON! What does that even mean, right? Similar to Retinol, when undergoing chemical peels and laser treatments your skin is more susceptible to sun burns and damage. Hence, if performed in months when the sun is less aggressive and sunny beach vacations are not as likely to be on your agenda, this is the safest option. With holiday breaks, time spent with family and away from coworkers and friends is the perfect time to get those “not so attractive” aftercare moments over with! A majority of lasers and peels require a series of procedures to yield desired results. For example, when getting laser hair removal you will likely be getting a series of 6-12 treatments spaced 4-8 weeks apart. If you do the math, that is MONTHS. You want to start early in the Fall in order to get optimal results without disruption prior to Summer. You may also consider IPL (laser for hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and vascular lesions) and chemical peels (to treat hyperpigmentation, sun damage, fine lines, acne-scaring, and texture abnormalities) during this time.
Kybella is another procedure that requires multiple treatments to see results. Kybella is an injectable for under the chin to dissolve fat. The downside is the swelling you experience after treatments. I often have patients report they looked like a bullfrog for a few days after the treatments. If done during cold months, nobody will question the turtleneck clothing choices after this procedure!
Finally, IV hydration to boost your immune system is a great idea during the Winter months. Colder months are notorious for cold and flu spikes. Supporting your immune-system by getting routine hydration paired with vitamin C, zinc, glutathione, and B-vitamins can often combat and lessen symptoms of illness.