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February 15, 2012 | James McDougal
Every cell type in your skin secretes certain proteins known as growth factors. These natural proteins are present in the epidermis, which is the outer layer of your skin, as well as in the dermis, which is the layer of skin just below the epidermis. Melanocytes, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes are all types of cells that produce these growth factors. These special proteins play an important role in helping protect your skin and supporting proper functioning within the dermal and epidermal layers. These growth factors also provide an interesting and innovative ingredient in certain skin care products. With the appearance of these new products on the market, lackluster skin may be a thing of the past.
Topical skin care products that contain growth factors produced in the body are now being used for cosmeceutical purposes. Cosmeceutical substances, such as those found in SkinMedica products, are substances that provide a blend of both therapeutic and cosmetic benefits. These serums, peels, and creams fall into the anti-aging category of skin care products.
As natural proteins produced within your skin, growth factors fulfill their intended role by working to promote healthy tissue repair and renewal, encouraging the formation of new collagen and elastin, and interacting with other proteins to help mend injuries. These factors contribute to skin that feels and looks soft and supple. As an ingredient in skin care products, growth factors can penetrate the outer layer of skin. This penetrating action may help reverse intrinsic skin aging caused by the passage of time, as well as extrinsic aging caused by outside factors, such as the environment.
As part of the normal aging process, skin cells tend to divide and renew at a slower rate. The skin begins to thin and collagen production decreases. The elastic fibers within the tissues can overstretch and lose their resilience. Sun damage is often responsible for further damage, such as dryness, discoloration, and coarse wrinkling. Adding growth factors to skin care products may help halt and reverse these types of skin deterioration.
Products that contain growth factors can help improve the appearance and health of the skin by evening out blotchiness, enhancing elasticity, minimizing surface roughness, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Incorporating growth factors into cosmetic products can help boost skin health by stimulating the cells to divide and multiply, producing vibrant new cells, as well as increasing the amount of collagen and elastin within the skin.
Many skin care products that contain growth factors also contain a wealth of other beneficial ingredients. For instance, SkinMedica products contain numerous antioxidants that help fight off free radicals, as well as specialty ingredients designed to hydrate and plump the skin. These trendy skin care products may be just the ticket to help your skin return to a more youthful, energetic state.
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February 6, 2012 | James McDougal
Fraxel treatments use a revolutionary type of laser to help restore the appearance of health and vitality to damaged skin. Fraxel offers three specific types of treatments, also known as the Fraxel family of laser treatments. These treatments range in intensity, starting with Fraxel re:fine®, the mildest form of the Fraxel laser, and ending with Fraxel re:pair®, the most aggressive of the laser treatments. The Fraxel re:store® falls in the middle of the Fraxel options and provides the optimal form of this type of laser treatment for patients with mild to severe skin damage.
What it Treats
Like many people, you may have noticed that the normal aging process has left you with small lines around your eyes and darker patches of skin over your face. Known as melasma, these irregular patches of brown skin typically form along the upper lip, forehead and cheeks. Fraxel re:store® can help fade age spots, even out blotchy skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines around your eye area. The FDA has approved Fraxel for treating various conditions, such as surgical scars, melasma, precancerous lesions, and peri-orbital wrinkles. This type of laser treatment may also help improve the appearance of old acne scars and uneven skin texture, leaving you with smoother, fresher-looking skin.
How it Works
The Fraxel technology uses a cutting-edge type of technology called fractional resurfacing. This technique focuses the laser pixels on specific areas of the skin, delivering a series of laser pinpoints to the treatment areas, while leaving untreated areas intact and preserving healthy areas of skin. The refined technology helps limit unwanted damage and aids in rapid healing. The laser’s penetrating microscopic columns encourage your body to produce new collagen and stimulate the growth of healthy skin cells.
Fraxel re:store® is an office procedure that can be done in about the same amount of time as a quick haircut or brief dental check-up. The procedure starts with a skin cleansing process. A topical anesthesia is then applied to your skin to help numb the area of treatment and reduce the level of discomfort. The laser treatment begins after the anesthesia has time to absorb and begin working. You may experience some mild to moderate discomfort during the procedure. For an entire face, a typical Fraxel treatment takes about 20 to 25 minutes. You may experience some minor redness and irritation immediately following the treatment, but you should be able to return to your normal routine within one or two days.
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