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East Market at Fair Lakes
12585 Fair Lakes Circle Fairfax, VA 22033

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Skin Fitness

‘Tis the Season to Be Hydrated

December 18, 2017

Stop what you’re doing and go pour yourself a big glass of water. I’ll wait.

You’re back? Good.

I’m going to start this post off with an apology. It’s winter break and everyone’s brains have likely turned to holiday mush, and here I am about to throw some science at you. You need to know this. I promise.

It’s that time of year when dry and dehydrated skin abounds. We’re here to help. But first, a quick lesson on dry vs. dehydrated. Dryness refers to the lack of oil in your skin, whereas dehydrated refers to the lack of water. Your skin needs both, regardless of what you read in teen magazines about how to cure oily skin (you probably were doing more harm than good back then). You know how oil floats on top of water? It also sits on the surface of your skin, trapping in the water that your cells desperately need. If you strip off that oil, you experience more water loss resulting in dehydrated skin. Even if you leave that oil alone to do it’s thing, you can also deplete your skin of adequate water by not drinking enough water, overindulging in caffeine or alcohol, or smoking. Skin can be dehydrated whether or not it’s also dry. Got it?

Okay, so now on to the good stuff. It’s winter, your furnace is cranking out dry heat, you don’t think you need to drink as much water because you’re not sweating, you’ve had your share of cocktails at various holiday parties, and you’re still using your skincare products from the summer. Now your skin is tight, flaky, and dull. Here’s what to do...

I’ll talk about skin care products in a minute, but they won’t do squat if you have layers of dead skin cells preventing those products from penetrating. (Remember how I said oil is good for your skin? It is, but oil + dead skin buildup = breakouts, so exfoliation is key.) Start out with a Silk Peel to exfoliate and soften while getting an added boost of hydrating solution. Feeling particularly dehydrated? Follow up your Silk Peel with a Dermafrac. Dermafrac uses microneedling to create tiny channels within your skin, then adds a hydrating serum to really get that hydration down deep where your skin can drink it all up. Think of it like aerating your lawn and then watering it, except in this case the lawn is your face.

Okay, so you’ve seen Billy for a Silk Peel/Dermafrac combo and you’re feeling softer and brighter already. How do you keep those results going at home?

Step 1 — a gentle cleanser. This is not the time to use something harsh and strip off all that precious oil! Swap out that foaming cleanser for something creamy. You’ll thank me later.

Step 2 — a hydrating serum. This one is critical this time of year. Hydrating serums are generally made with, among other things, hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body and attracts water to itself, helping your skin hold on to as much hydration as possible. We are partial to SkinMedica’s HA5. But for our Revision junkies, we have their hydrating serum too!

Step 3 — moisturizer. It’s a no brainer, I know, but after applying your hydrating serum you’re going to want something with a bit of oil to create a barrier to trap that moisture in. This one is a bit more of a personal preference and depends on both your skin type and how you like your moisturizer to feel. Some people like something very rich and creamy, particularly at night. If you’re in that group, you will love SkinMedica’s Dermal Repair or TNS Ceramide cream. For something a little lighter, check out Replenish Cream by Skin Medica or Moisturizing Complex by IS Clinical.

Step 4 — sunscreen. Yes, I know, days are short and cold and you’re rarely outside this time of year. Unless you absolutely never leave your house, you are still getting incidental sun exposure while driving, playing in the snow with the kids, or exercising outside. If you want something that feels lighter than a sunscreen but still gets you sun protection, I recommend any of Jane Iredale’s mineral foundations. They all have an SPF of 15-25, are super gentle on your skin, and look fantastic.

Questions about any of these treatments or products? Want to schedule an appointment? Curious about package deals on Silk Peel or Dermafrac to keep you looking fresh and dewy all season long? Call us at 703.222.0173!

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Bruce Freedman MD Radiance Fairfax Medical Director
Northern Virginia’s Radiance Fairfax Medspa
East Market at Fair Lakes
12585 Fair Lakes Circle Fairfax, VA 22033
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