Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon
Laura Phan, M.D.
Laura Phan, M.D.
  • 15055 Los Gatos Blvd Suite 320, Los Gatos, CA 95032. (408) 502-5000 0

Laura Phan, M.D.

Skin care is a two pronged process: 1) to repair and renew and 2) to protect and prevent damage.

Skin care regimens start with a mild cleanser. Most bar soaps are too strong for the skin. Washing with warm water and a gentle cleanser removes dirt and oil from the skin. An exfoliating cleanser with alpha hydroxyl acids and beta hydroxyl acids two to three times a week sloughs off the top layer of the skin, which helps rid fine lines and blemishes while preparing the skin for other repairing and renewal products. Retinoid nightly further exfoliates the skin and stimulates fibroblasts, cells that make collagen, the most important component of the skin that gives volume. Retinoid also stimulates blood vessel growth, which improves skin tone. Retinoid is an all around skin rejuvenator: reduces fine lines and blemishes and improves skin tone and texture. Growth factor, peptide and hyaluronic acid products are ever-changing with new delivery systems to enhance the penetration through skin. Once in the skin, growth factors and peptides are building blocks to collagen production, while hyaluronic acids fill in lines and wrinkles. 

Use of exfoliant and retinoid can cause dry, flaky skin. A good moisturizing regimen includes topical hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 serum. Hyaluronic acid is hydrophilic or water-liking. It absorbs water 1000 times it own weight and, therefore, holds onto moisture on the skin. Vitamin B5 also helps hold water onto the skin. 

Aside from lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation is a challenging skin problem to treat effectively and permanently. Over the years, hydroquinone has been the gold standard. It is typically used with retinoid. It bleaches the skin by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme needed to make melanin, the pigment in the skin. Alternative to hydroquinone is kojic acid, which is a tyrosine inhibitor. Tyrosine is an amino acid also needed to produce melanin. Although effective in bleaching the skin, the effects of these agents are reversible if the agents are not continued and if the skin is not protected from the sun.

A broad spectrum sunscreen is the single most important component of your skin regimen since it helps protect the skin from photo damage and aging. An appropriate sunscreen should include either a physical blocker of UV radiation like zinc or titanium dioxide or a chemical blocker such as avobenzone (parasol). A SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or greater is optimal. In addition to sunscreen, topical antioxidants like vitamin C and E and ferulic acid help remove free radicals in the superficial skin and prevent sun damage. Antioxidants also help with collagen production and inhibits melanin production.

Home skin care regimen is one component of skin rejuvenation. It compliments injectable skin treatment for better rejuvenation results.