Skin Care Trends: What to Try and What to Pass Up, Part 2

The Body of Evidence for Healthy Skin

Trend #4: Tattoo Freckles

Babies aren’t born with freckles— they form in areas exposed to the sun from repetitive ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage. In an attempt to protect itself, the skin makes more pigment, which temporarily appears as a tan. As the tan fades, islands of pigment appearing as freckles are left. While freckles will usually fade with the seasons, “age spots” or lentigines persist as we age. Even though freckles may be adorable in children, they are a sign of sun damage. I have spent many years removing freckles and age spots for patients, so seeing this as a trend is a bit surprising.

Skin Care Trends: What to Try and What to Pass Up - The Body of Evidence for Healthy Skin

While tattoos are permanent, their appearance does not stay the same. Since the skin and facial shape change with age, anything placed on the skin will move to a different position over time. Freckle tattoos fade and may eventually appear bluish and unnatural. Natural freckle pattern variation is very difficult to simulate with a tattoo, even in the best artist’s hands. If you want to have laser treatments for wrinkles in the future, you may not have this option as interactions between certain lasers and the metallic tattoo pigment may cause them to turn black and is a contraindication.

Benefits: None

Risks: Permanent; fades and changes color over time.

Alternatives: Microblading faux freckles is a semi-permanent option. Microblading is a common treatment for eyebrows and a nice alternative for someone who does not want to draw in freckles daily or get them naturally from UV radiation, but still likes the look. Results typically last two to three years but vary greatly. Since the skin is broken during the procedure, there is a risk of infection and going to a reputable office with a skilled aesthetician is recommended. The effect may last shorter or longer than average, depending on technique and other variables.

Bottom Line: I think this trend will pass quickly, and I would recommend avoiding it altogether.

Treatment #5 Body Skin Care

The focus has been on the face for so long, which is understandable, since this is where youth and beauty are often defined. But, I think we have made so much progress with skin care and aesthetic treatments for the face that the body has been neglected. I often remark that you can tell a woman’s age by looking at her neck, hands and the flatness of her butt. While FitnessRx has a wealth of effective workouts to keep your bottom perky, I will share some simple tips to keep the skin overlying your muscles more attractive and healthy.

Laser treatments are expensive and the neck, chest and hands cannot be treated as aggressively as the face since they do not have the healing capabilities of the face. Therefore, prevention and daily maintenance is a simple, yet essential strategy. It is never too late to start and never too late to make a difference. Loss of volume to the hands can be treated with fillers; age spots can be treated with lasers; and microdermabrasion can be performed to both these areas to help renew skin. But, prevention is key. Strict sun protection with daily sunscreen use and covering up with clothing is going to be your best ally. When looking for skin care, I recommend a moisturizing cream with an ingredient that helps lift off dead skin cells while simultaneously infusing moisture in the skin. My favorite is Replenix Smoothing Body Lotion, as it has cell-renewing retinol and green tea antioxidant protection. Look for products containing retinol, glycolic acid or salicylic acid.

Benefits: Hydrated, healthy skin

Risks: None

Alternatives: Neglect your body and spend a lot of money down the road to avoid looking like a withered prune.

Bottom Line: Daily use SPF to neck chest and hands and covering up PLUS apply nightly body lotion will make a big difference in the long run.

Trend #6: Skin Supplements

When I trained to become a dermatologist, we were told that diet has absolutely no effect on skin. Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, its appearance is a true representation of internal health of all the other organs. If there is skin inflammation, there certainly is inflammation internally. Since we take medicine to treat numerous ailments internally, we now realize that food and supplements can act as a “medicine” also (or poison— your choice!) There are numerous supplements out there, and most of you are savvy enough to realize they are not regulated and not all the same. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that what is stated on the label is actually in the capsule you are taking. So, I will only discuss a few reputable brands that I think are worth checking out. In my next article, we will discuss my favorite skin and hair supplements that actually work.

Jennifer Haley, MD, FAAD

Dr. Haley is a board-certified dermatologist with a degree in nutrition science from Cornell University. She has been an NPC Bikini competitor and a consultant to the U.S. Capitol. Dr. Haley advises multiple global Fortune 500 companies and speaks internationally on lifestyle strategies to achieve optimal skin health. Dr. Haley practices in Scottsdale, AZ and Park City, UT, where she enjoys an active lifestyle with her family. For more information, visit drjenhaley.com or email drjenhaley@gmail.com

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