Want to Age in Reverse? Learn More About Laser Treatments for Anti-Aging
Lasers are one of many modern technologies that can be used to our benefit–but did you know they’re very effective when used for skin care? More and more people are seeking laser treatments to reveal youthful-looking, healthy skin and to erase the flaws right off their face. For laser newbies, it might sound scary or dangerous, but these procedures are perfectly safe and produce great results for those that want to slow or reverse signs of aging.
What is laser treatment?
Laser treatments use focused light to penetrate the skin, removing or repairing skin irregularities both on and under the surface. It varies in intensity based on the exact type of laser being used. Laser treatments are performed by trained professionals in medical spas, dermatology clinics, and plastic surgery clinics and should not be attempted by amateurs. While the lasers are perfectly safe if used in the correct application with safety measures, they can cause serious harm if not handled appropriately.
What kind of skin concerns do laser treatments address?
Laser treatments can help a whole host of skin issues! This goes way beyond anti-aging: because there are so many different kinds of laser treatments, there is an equally diverse number of skin concerns that they can be used to fight or repair.
Here’s a quick list of some of the things that laser treatments can help with:
- Uneven pigmentation or hyperpigmentation
- Spider veins
- Enlarged pores
- Acne scars
- Treatment-resistant melasma
- Surgical or injury scars
- Sun damage
- Hair removal
- Tattoo removal
- Fine lines
- Skin texture
- Loose skin
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it should give you a good idea of the types of skin issues that could benefit from laser treatment. If you have a skin concern that isn’t on this list, talk to your dermatologist to see what type, if any, could be helpful in treating your specific condition.
Types of Laser Treatment
There are two main categories of laser treatments: ablative and non-ablative.
Ablative lasers work on the top layer of skin, using an intense light to remove a very thin layer and stimulate the skin underneath. This works well to remove flaws on the surface, like sun damage, texture issues, and deep scarring, as well as reduces moderate fine lines and wrinkles. This is a more aggressive, invasive type of lasering and is often used in resurfacing procedures.
A slightly more mild option is a non-ablative laser treatment. Non-ablative lasers work by heating up the skin at a deeper level than ablative lasers and therefore don’t harm the surface, making this a much less invasive option for certain skin issues. Heating up the subsurface skin tissue stimulates collagen production and can help with acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and mild wrinkles or fine lines.
Either of these treatments can also be fractionated. Fractionated ablative or non-ablative laser treats only an evenly distributed percentage of an area of skin instead of the whole area all at once. It quite literally only uses a fraction of the laser’s area. Fractionated lasers create targeted, precise, self-healing micro-holes in the skin to treat the area at the most effective level.
There are also other types of non-invasive lightwave treatments that will help your skin look better from the inside out. BroadBand light therapy can reverse visible signs of aging and acne by stimulating skin at a deep level, much like non-ablative laser treatment. Intense Pulsed Light therapy (abbreviated as IPL or colloquially known as photofacial) pulses intense light waves into the skin to reduce discoloration and repair sun damage.
Side effects of laser treatment
Before you schedule your first appointment for laser treatment, you should be aware of potential side effects. Laser treatments can induce some uncomfortable and unappealing side effects before you see the final results and may be shocking if you aren’t fully prepared before undergoing treatment.
Potential side effects include (but are not limited to):
- Itchy skin
- Eye injury
- Change in skin color
- Peeling or flaking
Some of these symptoms–like peeling and flaking–are perfectly normal and to be expected as part of the healing process after receiving laser skin treatment.
Others should be addressed with your dermatologist and/or primary physician right away. Things like infection or eye injury should always be taken seriously as soon as you notice symptoms, as delaying treatment can sometimes result in long-term complications.
Severity of symptoms will differ depending on which type of laser treatment you receive because of the varying levels of intensity of treatment. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours in mild cases to several weeks for more extreme treatments.
What’s the best laser treatment for anti-aging?
That depends! Everyone’s skin is different and what works well to tackle your aging concerns doesn’t necessarily work for someone else’s, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers can treat common signs of aging like wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, and texture at different levels of progression.
Ablative lasers treat more acute conditions and produce more dramatic change with fewer treatments. Non-ablative treatment may require more sessions to achieve the desired result but will cause less discomfort and milder, more temporary symptoms than ablative lasers.
A big factor to consider when determining which laser treatment is right for you is the recovery process. Treatments using ablative lasers may require more intense recovery measures and may be more disruptive to your everyday life than treatment with non-ablative lasers.
Potential recovery measures for laser treatment include making sure skin stays hydrated, using cold compresses to alleviate swelling, avoiding sun exposure, and diligently using sunscreen.
In the case of more intense ablative laser procedures, many patients opt to take a few days (or weeks) off of work. This is due in part to the dramatic appearance of the skin while undergoing the healing process and can also be beneficial to focus on following post-procedure orders to protect your investment in your skin and ensure best results.
The Dangers of Sunscreen: Why You Should Avoid These Ingredients
There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing ultraviolet (UV) radiation and converting it into heat, while physical sunscreens work by reflecting or blocking UV radiation. Both types are effective at protecting against UV damage, but chemical sunscreens have come under scrutiny in recent years for their potential health risks.
These active ingredients in chemical sunscreen can be problematic for a number of reasons. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are both endocrine disruptors, meaning they can interfere with the body's hormone production. Octisalate, octocrylene and avobenzone are all photo-sensitizers, meaning they can increase the skin's sensitivity to sunlight. And finally, homosalate has been shown to disrupt the body's natural production of vitamin D.
Oxybenzone is an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the body's hormone production. It's been shown to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body and can also act as The UV radiation before it can damage the skin.
Homosalate is a UV filter that absorbs UV radiation. It has been shown to disrupt the body's natural production of vitamin D and may also act as an endocrine disruptor, meaning it can interfere with the body's hormone production.
The proposed concentration limit of 2.2 percent for oxybenzone and 1.4 percent for homosalate is based on the fact that these ingredients are not safe in the current amounts used.
U.S. sunscreen manufacturers are legally allowed to use these two chemicals at concentrations up to 6 and 15 percent, respectively, and hundreds of sunscreens manufactured in the U.S. use them at concentrations that far exceed the European Commission's recommendations. These ingredients are all systemically absorbed into the body after one use according to studies published by the FDA, (Matta 2019, Matta 2020), according to studies published by the FDA, which also found that they could be detected on the skin and in the blood weeks after no longer being used (Matta 2020). Previous studies detected many sunscreen ingredients in breast milk and urine samples (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010). In addition, it's possible for sunscreen users to inhale ingredients in sunscreen sprays and ingest some of the ingredients they apply to their lips, so the ingredients must not be harmful to the lungs or internal organs.
Safe Alternatives- Physical sunscreen
Physical sunscreens work by reflecting or blocking UV radiation. They are typically made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are both effective at protecting against UV damage. However, physical sunscreens can be difficult to apply evenly and can leave a whitish cast on the skin. They also need to be reapplied more frequently than chemical sunscreens. But overall, physical sunscreens are considered to be more safe and effective than chemical sunscreens. So, if you're looking for a sunscreen that will protect you from UV damage without any potential health risks, a physical sunscreen is your best bet.
So, what's the bottom line? When it comes to sunscreen, be choosy about the ingredients and don't overdo it. Your health—and the health of the planet—will thank you.
Know your AHAs and BHAs
AHAs and BHAs are types of hydroxy acids. You can find both acids in a variety of:
The purpose of both AHAs and BHAs is to exfoliate the skin. Depending on the concentration, a related product may remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, or it may remove the whole outermost layer.
Still, neither type of hydroxy acid is “better” than the other. Both are highly effective methods of deep exfoliation. The differences lie in their uses.
AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acid. BHA stands for beta hydroxy acid.
AHAs are water -soluble acids made from sugary fruits. They help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place. After use, you’ll likely notice that your skin is smoother to the touch.
On the other hand, BHAs are oil-soluble. Unlike AHAs, BHAs can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin cells and excess sebum.
Although AHAs are often marketed as safe for all skin types, you’ll want to take care if you have extremely dry and sensitive skin. You may need to gradually work up to daily use to avoid irritating your skin.
BHAs, on the other hand, are primarily used for acne and sun damage. These products go deep into your hair follicles to dry out excess oils and dead skin cells to unclog your pores. Because of these effects, BHAs are most suitable for combination to oily skin. Lower concentrations may be used to help calm sensitive skin. You may also have more success with BHAs if you wanted to reduce rosacea-related redness.
All AHAs yield significant exfoliation. Still, the effects and uses can slightly vary between types of acids. Your selected AHA should have a maximum concentration between 10 and 15 percent. Apply new products every other day until your skin gets used to them. This will also reduce the risk of side effects, such as irritation.
No matter which AHA you choose, the strong exfoliating effects make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Wear sunscreen every morning to prevent burns, age spots, and increased skin cancer risks.
Lactic acid is another common AHA. Unlike other AHAs made from fruits, lactic acid is made from lactose in milk. It’s also known for its significant exfoliation and anti-aging effects.
Tartaric is another type of AHA. It’s made from grape extracts, and may help alleviate signs of sun damage and acne.
Citric acid is made from citrus fruit extracts. Its main purpose is to neutralize the skin’s pH levels and to even out rough patches of skin. Citric acid makes a good serum or toner used before applying a moisturizer. It may even help work with sunscreen to provide maximum UV protection.
Malic acid is a type of AHA-BHA crossover. It’s made from apple acids.
Mandelic acid contains larger molecules derived from almond extracts. It can be combined with other AHAs to increase exfoliation. Used alone, the acid may improve texture and pore size.
Salicylic acid is the most common BHA. Concentrations can range between 0.5 and 5 percent, depending on the product at hand. It’s a well known as an acne treatment, but it can also help calm down general redness and inflammation.
Citric acid while primarily classified as an AHA, some formulations of citric acid are BHAs, too. Rather than even out your skin’s pH levels, this type of citric acid is primarily used to dry out excess sebum and clean out dead skin cells deep in your pores.
Don’t mix face acids
- Don’t use salicylic acid with any other acid at the same time. Extreme skin irritation may occur when mixed.
- Avoid salicylic acid with products that contain niacinamide.
- Don’t use glycolic acid or lactic acid in combination with ascorbic acid (vitamin C). This will cause the ascorbic acid’s benefit to disappear even before it begins to work.
- Avoid using AHAs with retinol.
AHAs and BHAs, if these actives are used at too high of a concentration or too frequently, they can irritate your skin and compromise the skin barrier.
Some Ugly Truths About Retinoids: They Can Weaken Your Skin's Barrier Function
Dermatologists don't — and can't — argue there. In my opinion, [retinoids'] benefits are more about the skin's appearance," says Dr. Katta. "The compounds in retinoids can help boost collagen, but they're not necessary for healthy skin. The most important factor in maintaining healthy skin is about protection and promotion." Research shows that although retinoids thicken the skin overall, they thin the skin barrier, the built-in protective layer that guards against invading pathogens and environmental aggressors and locks in moisture.
How Does Retinyl Palmitate Form Vitamin A?
The different retinoids have slightly different functions and benefits. All the retinoids are converted into retinoic acid in the body. Retinoic acid is the main ingredient that has a direct biological effect on the skin. Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A and is responsible for most of the benefits to the body and skin.
Retinoic acid is available as a prescription treatment known as tretinoin or Retin – A. Tretinoin can cause skin irritation including excessive peeling, redness, and photosensitivity which limits its use.
EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which rates ingredients based on toxicity. Retinol can rank anywhere from six to nine out of 10, making it a "high concern" ingredient. For reference, lead and formaldehyde — two undisputed toxicants — earn 10s.
The overall product or ingredient score in Skin Deep is calculated from information drawn from the nearly 60 integrated toxicity, regulatory and study availability databases," Leiba explains. "Retinols get a high score in Skin Deep because government testing has shown that, on sun-exposed skin, these chemicals can increase the risk of skin lesions and other skin damage."
Again, there is no definitive evidence that topical retinoids lead to cancer or reproductive toxicity, but the evidence we do have is pretty much on par with that of parabens. (Read: Not agreed upon by professionals, requires more research.) So what's the difference between potentially-toxic parabens — largely shunned by both indie brands and drugstore giants as a precaution — and potentially-toxic retinoids?
The Best Alternatives to Retinol for Your Skin
The Truth About Natural Sunscreen Ingredients
Sunscreen is essential for protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. However, the claims made from some of these natural ingredients are proved to not be as effective as we thought.
UVA and UVB Rays
UVA and UVB are the two types of ultraviolet radiation that come from the sun. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing long-term damage such as wrinkles and age spots. UVB rays affect the surface of the skin, causing short-term damage such as sunburns. Both types of rays can lead to skin cancer.
The efficacy of natural ingredients- Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide is one of the most common ingredients used in sunscreens. Even though zinc oxide is a chemical, sunscreens that contain zinc oxide are often referred to as natural, or physical. This means that the ingredient does not penetrate the skin but rather block the sun by sitting on top of skin.
Surprisingly, not all sunscreen ingredients protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc oxide, however, does. “It’s a photostable, broad-spectrum sunscreen, so it has one of the broadest UVA coverages of all the sunscreen ingredients.
“Zinc oxide can be ‘micronized,’ meaning it’s processed into very small particles, so small that the preparation appears clear when applied on the skin.” Non-micronized formulations, she explains, are often less cosmetically elegant and are more opaque or white. So, if you’ve ever applied a sunscreen that left a white, powdery cast on your body, it most likely contained zinc oxide as a key ingredient.
Carrot seed oil
Carrot seed oil does have health benefits, but protection from the sun is not one of them. Carrot seed oil has an SPF of 38 but it does block the harmful UVA and UVB rays, and should not be used on it's own as a sunscreen.
Red raspberry seed oil
Red raspberry seed oil is a natural sunscreen with an SPF of around 28 to 50. However, it has not been proven to be effective against UVA rays. Because raspberry seed oil doesn’t offer UVA protection — which is responsible for 95 percent of UV rays — raspberry seed oil alone isn’t recommended as a sunscreen. Given its other beneficial characteristics, however, it can be used as a healing agent for other skin conditions.
Almond oil does have SPF, but it’s not very high. The SPF of almond oil is only 2 to 6. This means that you would need to apply a lot of almond oil to your skin to get the desired level of protection. Almond oil is also not water-resistant, so it’s not a good choice for activities like swimming or sweating.
Coconut oil has an SPF of around 4 to 6. The Mayo Clinic also mentions that coconut oil only blocks 20 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays compared to sunscreen’s 97 percent.
It’s imperative that a sunscreen provides either UV-absorbing or UV-blocking protection to be effective. There is not one scientific study proving coconut oil, or any other natural oil for that matter, provided any adequate UV-absorbing or UV-blocking protection. But as far as zinc oxide (the main ingredient for sun protection in these DIY recipes), mixing active cosmetics isn’t as simple as adding the recommended amount.
Shea butter has an SPF of around 6, also not enough protection against harmful UVA rays. However, shea butter is known for its high concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins, an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin. Shea butter also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.
There are many natural ingredients that can be effective for sunscreen. Some of the most popular include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and avobenzone. Each of these ingredients has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the one that is best suited for your needs. Zinc oxide is a physical barrier against the sun's rays, making it a good option for those with sensitive skin. It is also effective at blocking both UVA and UVB radiation. Titanium dioxide is another physical blocker that is less likely to cause irritation. It is not as effective as zinc oxide at blocking UVA radiation, but it is better at blocking UVB radiation. Avobenzone is a chemical blocker that protects against UVA and UVB radiation. However, it can be unstable in sunlight and can cause skin irritation. Ultimately, the best natural sunscreen ingredient will depend on your individual needs and preferences.
The Wonders of Plant Extracts for Anti-Aging
The best plant extracts for anti-aging can be found in nature. These extracts have been shown to have powerful effects on the skin, helping to reduce the signs of aging. Some of the most effective extracts include:
Aloe vera, Green tea, Yellowdock Root, Seabuckthorn oil, Bladderwrack, Oregon Grape Root Extract, Borage Oil, Shitake Extract, just to name a few.
Each of these plant extracts has been shown to have powerful effects on the skin, helping to reduce the signs of aging. Using a combination of these extracts can provide thee best results for anti-aging.
As we age, our skin begins to show the effects of time and exposure to the elements. wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots can all make us look older than we are. While there are many products on the market that claim to reduce the signs of aging, not all of them are effective. In fact, many of them contain harsh chemicals that can damage the skin.
Thankfully, there are plant extracts that have been shown to be effective in reducing the signs of aging. Each of these extracts has its own unique properties that help to improve the look and feel of the skin. By using a combination of these extracts, you can achieve the best results for anti-aging. Some of the benefits of using plant extracts include:
-reduced wrinkles and fine lines
-improved skin elasticity
-reduced age spots and other signs of sun damage
Some of the most effective plant extracts for anti-aging include:
Aloe Vera- is a succulent plant that has long been used for its healing properties. Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory and contains antioxidants that can help to protect the skin from damage.
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from free radicals. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce the signs of aging.
Yellowdock Root is a plant that is rich in antioxidants and minerals, including zinc. Yellowdock Root can help to improve the appearance of skin blemishes and reduce the signs of aging.
Rosehip oil is a natural oil that is rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Rosehip oil can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, and can also help to improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.
Bladderwrack is a type of seaweed that is rich in nutrients, including antioxidants and minerals. Bladderwrack can help to improve the skin's elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Seabuckthorn oil is a natural oil that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Seabuckthorn oil can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and scars.
Oregon Grape Root Extract is a plant extract that is rich in antioxidants and minerals, including zinc. Oregon Grape Root Extract can help to improve the appearance of skin blemishes and reduce the signs of aging.
Borage oil is a natural oil that is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid. Borage oil can help to improve the appearance of wrinkles and age spots, and can also help to improve the overall tone and texture of the skin.
Shitake Extract is a plant extract that is rich in antioxidants. Shitake Extract can help to reduce the signs of aging, as well as to improve the complexion.
To use plant extracts for anti-aging, you should select a few that have the properties that you are looking for. For example, if you are looking to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, then you should choose an extract that is high in anti-oxidants. If you are looking to improve skin elasticity, then you should choose an extract that is high in Omega fatty acids.
The benefits of plant extracts for anti-aging are clear. By using a combination of extracts, you can achieve the best results for your skin. Plant extracts are natural, effective, and safe. They are a great way to reduce the signs of aging without using harsh chemicals. They are a great addition to other anti-aging ingredients, such as peptides, hyaluronic acid and vitamins. So, if you are looking to reduce the signs of aging, consider using plant extracts. Your skin will thank you for it!
Aiona Alive Wins First Place in the Clean Beauty Awards!
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Keep Your Skin Hydrated And Protected In This Wintery Season
DIY Masks for the Perfect Summer Glow
Winter tends to leave our skin awfully dry and dull. A great way to retain healthy, glowing skin is by making DIY masks. There are three masks listed below that will help you get the perfect summer glow.
Masks are a simple, effortless technique to nourish our skin. One of the main benefits of DIY masks is the assurance that the ingredients are natural and non-toxic. These masks contain less than 5 ingredients all of which can be found in your kitchen or at your local grocery store. Knowing all the ingredients that go on your skin is always best!
- Pumpkin Puree: 1 cup
- Unripe Papaya (no seeds): 1 cup
- 1 Egg
Blend ingredients until the texture is smooth and creamy. Apply to your face with a brush or hands. Avoid lips and eyes. Leave your mask on for 10- 20 mins. Wipe this mask off with a damp cloth.
Tip: Do this mask before bed and wake up with glowing skin!
- Turmeric: 1 tsp
- Honey: 1 tsp
- Plain Yogurt: 1 tbsp
- Lemon Juice: 1 tsp (optional)
Mix ingredients until the texture is smooth and creamy. Apply to your face with a brush or hands. Leave your mask on for 15- 20 mins. Rinse this mask off with warm water and apply your daily moisturizer afterward.
- Chickpea Flour: 1 tbsp
- Turmeric: ¼ tsp
- Almond Oil: ¼ tsp
- Plain Yogurt: 2 tbsp
Blend ingredients until the texture is smooth and creamy. Apply to cleansed face with a brush or hands. Leave your mask on for 30 mins. Rinse this mask off with warm water.
Show us your summer glow by using the #aionaaliveglow
We would love to see how the masks worked on you ☺
Skin Care Tips For Summer
1. Protect yourself from the sun
This one sounds like a no-brainer but a shocking 90 percent of skin aging is due to the sun. Protect yourself with SPF 30 sunscreen for the face and body. Re-applying often is the key to full protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is a known human carcinogen. Don’t forget about your lips— pick up a natural lip balm with SPF if you don’t already own one.
2. Wash your face every night
Now that we are taking full advantage of the outdoors because of the warm weather, it is especially important to cleanse the day off your face. By now we know that sleeping with your makeup on is bad for your skin, but new experiments show that it can actually age the look of your skin as well. Wash the sweat, bacteria, and makeup off your face and go to bed with a clean face for fresh and healthy skin. Pro-tip: change your pillowcases often to ensure you are not resting your cheeks on built-up bacteria.
3. Drink LOTS of water
Your skin looks best when it’s fully hydrated— otherwise, skin can appear dull, and wrinkles could be more prominent. Although it is always important to load up on water, the risk of dehydration increases during the summer season. It’s best to always keep a bottle of water on hand to avoid these things that can happen to your body when dehydrated.
4. Exfoliate the dead skin away
Scrub the sunscreen and smell of adventure off your skin with an exfoliant. Once a week is enough— like with the skin on your face, you don’t want to overdo it. Top off your skin with our Elixir Mask for Body for guaranteed soft skin.
Featured in Think Dirty's Mother's Day Gift Guide!
This product is perfect for "The Indulgent Mom." Check it out below.
"Mother’s Day is around the corner and we can’t wait to treat the special lady in our life! We’ve compiled a list of some of our recent favorite clean rated 0 products (yes, everything on the list is rated 0!) to give you some ideas on what to get mom this year.
The Indulgent Mom: Aiona Alive E-ternal Leave On Mask w/ Gold Collagen for All Skin Types
A photo by @kristyntysire shared by Aiona Alive (@aionaalive) on March 1, 2017.
This momma knows what’s good when it comes to the latest and greatest in skin care. She has her regime but is always searching for something better. For this mom, we recommend Aiona Alive E-ternal Leave On Mask w/ Gold Collagen for All Skin Types (or you could opt for the entire 4-Step System). Aiona Alive uses live collagen which has skin healing properties."
Republished with permission from blog.thinkdirtyapp.com