All posts by Western Dermatology Consultants

Why Are Humectants So Important in Skin Care?

Our skin is constantly in contact with the environment, so it’s affected not just by sun exposure, but also by all kinds of changes in weather and climate. Once “sweater weather” arrives in Albuquerque, our skin tends to become drier and duller, thanks to increased exposure to central heating and colder, less humid air. One of the best things we can do to maintain healthy, clear skin during these seasonal changes is adjust our skincare routine accordingly. One of the essentials everyone needs in the cooler months is a good face and body moisturizer to stave off parched, irritated skin—especially if you have a naturally dry or sensitive skin type. Chances are good that if you’ve ever looked up skin care ingredients, you may have seen the term “humectants” thrown around. What you might be asking yourself is what exactly do they do and why are they an essential part of your skin care routine? Hyaluronic acid, the same ingredient found in most of the popular facial fillers at our Albuquerque, NM-based practice, is a humectant. Here are some things you should know about the benefits of adding humectants to your skincare regime. 

Humectants Draw in Hydration

Humectants are hydrophilic, meaning that they’re attracted to water molecules. These substances act like magnets to attract moisture to the outermost layer of skin, called the stratum corneum. The water might be drawn from the deeper, middle layers of skin or from the surrounding environment. 

Humectants Are Mostly Used for Moisturizing

These water-loving ingredients are most typically found in moisturizing products for the face and body, such as creams, lotions, and serums, along with shampoos and other beauty products. 

Not All Humectants Are the Same 

Some of the most common examples of humectants used in skin care include glycerin or glycerol, hyaluronic acid (as noted above), urea, sorbitol, alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid, aloe vera, and honey. Some types of humectants simply hydrate, while others remove dead skin cells to regulate moisture levels. 

Want plumper, less wrinkled-looking skin and enhanced facial contours? Call us at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to request a consultation if you’re curious about the benefits of aesthetic treatments. Find out more about products and services from The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants.

Can BOTOX® Prevent Wrinkles from Developing?

We’ve all wished we could turn back the clock on aging. Of course, there’s no way of realistically doing that. We have to live with the fact that our skin is constantly folded and creased when we make facial expressions each day, or even during small movements involved in chewing gum or drinking from straws. Lines eventually form in the areas where the skin folds most frequently. Once the body begins to produce less collagen, our skin isn’t able to snap back into its normal position, and expression lines start to deepen.

While there’s no time machine we can use to avoid this, there are some cosmetic treatments that can indeed delay the effects of aging for anyone who wants to preserve youthful skin for as long as possible. The beauty of wrinkle relaxers from our Albuquerque, NM-based practice is that they not only do BOTOX® and similar injectables quickly minimize the fine lines that have already become more pronounced on the face—such as crow’s feet and frown lines—but they can also delay or prevent the formation of additional wrinkles. 

This is one of the reasons why a younger demographic of patients—meaning in their 20s and 30s—have begun using neuromodulators.

There are many advantages to what is known as “preventative BOTOX®.” The goal of these wrinkle injections is to prevent those early, faint fine lines that appear when we smile, frown, or make other expressions from deepening and becoming engraved into the skin.

If you’re bothered by faint lines in your 20s or have a very expressive face and know that you’re most likely going to want wrinkle relaxers later in life, it makes sense to start early. Once the lines have become more pronounced, patients will need more units of fillers and neuromodulators or more invasive procedures to correct them.

Also, if you start treatments earlier in life, you may not need as many units as someone who starts injections at an older age because your wrinkles will be fewer in number and less pronounced. 

For more information on wrinkle relaxers, contact The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants. Call us at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to request a consultation if you’re seeking non-invasive treatments to reduce facial lines. 

How Does the Holiday Season Affect Our Skin?

Even if you’re not exposed to freezing temperatures, snow, and wind, winter festivities can put your skin through the wringer so that by the time the New Year comes around, you’re having to deal with the terrible effects of a post-holiday complexion. Between getting together with friends and family, indulging in rich holiday foods, and perhaps going on an exotic vacation, we often let our healthy habits fall to the wayside when we get busy. This makes acne breakouts, irritation, and dry, dull skin more likely. A lack of quality beauty sleep deprives our skin of its chance to repair itself, all of the sweet treats cause inflammation to spike, stress harms our skin barrier, too much alcohol produces free radicals that break down skin fibers, and our normal skin care routine may get put on the backburner when things get hectic. At Western Dermatology Consultants, we provide a range of cosmetic treatments—including lasers and microdermabrasion—for Albuquerque patients to revive their skin by removing the buildup of dull and damaged skin cells that block the surface. 

Along with in-office procedures to restore more vibrant, healthier skin, we recommend that patients follow these tips for helping their skin survive the holiday stress. 

Avoid Certain Holiday Foods

Some high-glycemic and processed foods are believed to be linked to skin breakouts. Eggnog is something you’ll need to avoid because it contains plenty of inflammation-inducing saturated fats along with alcohol that will dry out your skin. Sugar cookies can also be detrimental for your complexion because of all the white sugar and white flour they contain. Trade in eggnog for water or hot chocolate or have a slice of antioxidant-rich pumpkin pie instead of cookies. 

Be Consistent 

Consistency is the key to healthy skin, so remember to follow the same skin routine—including wearing sunscreen—throughout the colder months. 

Don’t Sleep with Makeup On 

You’re likely to be wearing more makeup for holiday parties, but even if you feel too exhausted to remove it before bed, make a habit of at least using micellar water to cleanse your skin. Forgetting to take off your makeup results in blocked pores and bacteria. 

Explore options for cosmetic skin resurfacing procedures like microdermabrasion from Albuquerque, NM’s The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants. Call 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation if you need advice on skin care. 

What Can You Do to Avoid Acne Scarring?

If you have acne-prone skin, you may notice that the condition is likely to flare up a lot during the summer. When the weather is warm—as happened over the summer—acne breakouts tend to get worse. That’s because the high temperatures and humidity ramp up the skin’s production of oil and sweat, which can stick to the surface and lead to blocked pores. There’s also the added friction from damp hair and clothing, which is likely to irritate the skin. Although acne is a fairly harmless condition that’s usually just uncomfortable and embarrassing, it can leave some lasting marks on the skin when inflammation occurs in the blemishes and pores rupture. The skin attempts to rebuild the damaged areas, but can sometimes produce too much or too little collagen, causing scars to form. A combination of treatments for acne from Albuquerque NM’s The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants may be the best way of managing the symptoms and reducing prominent scars to create a more even complexion. 

However, the best way of treating acne scars is by preventing them from occurring in the first place. It helps to be aware of and avoid certain habits that make scars more likely. 

• Wear Sunscreen

Even if you’re afraid it will make your acne worse, sunscreen is a necessity if you’re trying to keep your skin clear. Not only do acne medications make your skin more prone to sun damage to begin with, but the sun exposure is more likely to delay healing and cause discoloration, making your scars more pronounced. 

• Avoid Heavy Makeup 

We often use heavy foundation and cover-up to disguise acne, but if the pores become blocked, it can cause irritation and worsen scars. 

• Don’t Pick at Your Skin

Though it might be tempting, don’t pop, pick, scratch or squeeze your skin. This is likely to spread bacteria and cause further damage, resulting in inflammation and potential scarring. Try to allow your skin to heal naturally. If acne lesions are large, deep, painful, and lasting, contact us to help.

Find out more about effective treatments for acne to restore more even and clear skin in Albuquerque, NM, from Western Dermatology Consultants. Give us a call at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to request a consultation if you’re interested in learning more. 

How “Beauty Sleep” Improves Your Skin

Don’t underestimate the advantages of beauty sleep for making you look youthful and healthy. Research has shown that millions of Americans don’t get enough sleep at night. Along with contributing to other health problems, such as weight gain, getting less than seven hours sleep on most nights might also be causing your skin to suffer. As we all know, even just a few nights of tossing and turning can lead to dark circles, puffy eyelids, and an overall more haggard and worn-out appearance. If you want your skin and hair to look more refreshed, you need about seven to eight hours of quality sleep. The REM sleep that occurs in the middle of the night is the most essential type of sleep of all. While considering advanced treatments designed for skin rejuvenation at our Albuquerque, NM, practice, the team at The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants recommends making changes to your lifestyle that will promote healthier skin. Here are some reasons why getting some shut-eye is great for your complexion. 

Your Skin Goes into Repair Mode

As we all know, our skin faces constant adversity from everything from dust, pollution, and the force of gravity to harsh chemicals, temperature fluctuations, and sun exposure. When you’re sleeping, your skin has the opportunity to repair damage sustained during the daytime. Cell turnover happens at a faster rate when you’re asleep, and the skin is also building new collagen. 

A More Even Complexion 

Is your skin looking blotchy, sallow, or discolored? Instead of using makeup to conceal it, getting a good night’s sleep can help, because proper rest promotes healthy blood circulation. This brings beneficial oxygen and nourishment where it’s needed. 

Fewer Breakouts

Even noticed that you have your worst breakouts when you’re stressed? When you’re sleep deprived, levels of a stress hormone called cortisol that can have bad effects on your skin increase. This triggers activity in sebaceous glands, causing excess production of oil that may contribute to acne breakouts. Levels of cortisol drop when we’re sleeping, which means less oil production when you’re rested.

Warn more tips for glowing skin? Learn about how cosmetic treatments like microdermabrasion and other techniques for skin rejuvenation at The Spa @ Western Dermatology Consultants can help you reduce blemishes and enjoy smoother, clearer skin. Call us at 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to request a consultation.