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Protect Yourself in the Sun

June 13, 2014

Get Glowing
We all know that the summer elements — strong rays, coarse sand and salt water, and chlorine can damage even the clearest of complexions. But ancient diets combined with modern technology can help reverse skin damage to restore health, luster, and a youthful appearance. Here, we’ve consult skincare expert Meghan Ellis, owner of Facialworks in Newport Beach, for advice about how to best repair — and prevent — skin ailments not only during the summer season, but year-round.

What skin product is essential for summertime in Newport Beach?
Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen!

What level SPF do you recommend?
At least 30 SPF, but you don’t need one much higher. Additional protection beyond 30 is negligible. Sunscreens should have a physical block such as zinc oxide, which block UVA rays that cause premature aging. Reapply every couple of hours for prolonged exposure.

What changes does skin face throughout the seasons in Newport Beach, and how should we change our beauty routine to suit them?
When it’s warmer, skin is more sensitive from sun exposure and more prone to breakouts and irritation. Make sure you have a strong cleanser with AHA’s, such as glycolic or lactic acid for the summer months. When the weather gets cold, skin tends to be dryer and more in need of moisturizing. Look for a moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid, which attracts water and locks moisture into skin.

What are your top tips for keeping skin healthy and appearing youthful?
Don’t smoke, wear sunscreen, remove makeup completely before bed, and invest in good products that increase cell turnover, such as AHA’s or Retinol creams. Getting plenty of sleep and eating lots of veggies keep your whole body in better shape —your skin is no exception.

What facial treatments do you recommend, and how frequently?
Ideally, exfoliating treatments such as microdermabrasion or HydraFacials should be done monthly as one gets older. This will help build collagen and elastin while removing cell buildup that causes acne and skin damage. We also believe in non-exfoliating hydrating treatments that can be performed weekly, such as oxygen facials, to help keep skin soft and youthful.

What’s the cure for under-eye bags, crow’s feet, and laugh lines?
Keep the under-eye area moisturized at all times. For severe cases, a laser treatment or surgery may be needed. Fine lines such as crow’s feet are best treated by repeatedly exfoliating the outer eye area. I recommend a professional HydraFacial treatment as well as a combination of exfoliating cleansers and Retinol used at home to combat fine lines. Although a bit pricier, peptide serums and growth factor products work wonders when used consistently. Laugh lines are best addressed with exfoliation and hydration, if they aren’t too deep; if they are, consider treatment fillers such as Juvaderm or Radiesse.

What foods fight to keep skin looking its best?
No mystery here — the same foods that keep your body healthy also keep your skin healthy. Veggies such as carrots, spinach, kale, cucumber, and tomatoes are great for skin. Avoid sugar — it breaks down collagen and leads to wrinkles.

What are the biggest causes of fast-aging skin?
Aging is divided into internal and external factors. Internal factors are largely genetic, and not much can be done about them. The good news is that external factors are far more important in how you actually age. Smoking and time in the sun are huge factors, as they introduce free radicals into the body that damage cells. Also, lack of exfoliation will certainly lead to lines and dull skin.

What’s the best way to treat a blemish?
Don’t pick it. Use salicylic acid or benzyl peroxide to cleanse the area. Then, to calm the skin, apply a mask with such ingredients as cucumber and aloe.

What is the most frequent complaint you receive from clients about their skin?
We get a lot of acne complaints. The treatment path for everyone is different but a good place to start is by purchasing a cleansing brush, such as a Clarisonic. This will remove excess makeup and products, and cell buildup which cause acne.

What is the biggest skincare faux pas you see men and women make?
For women, it’s not completely removing makeup in the evening. Again, brushes such as Clarisonic are great for this. If you don’t have one, find an alcohol-free makeup wipe and use several each night. One is usually never enough. For men, not wearing sunscreen, or wearing an inferior sunscreen, is the most common mistake.

How can I reduce freckles and pigmentation?
Pigmentation can be treated with exfoliating treatments such as microdermabrasion or the HydraFacial, but a good home skincare regimen is a must. I recommend vitamins C and E be applied topically. Ferulic Acid is a newer product on the market that has shown promising results for those who don’t mind spending a bit more. We formulated our own C, E and Ferulic serum for this reason.

Should we care for the skin on our bodies the same as our face?
The danger here is with free radicals, unstable particles that enter the body and cause a chain reaction of damage that affects us on a cellular level. It’s important to eat healthy. Foods high in antioxidants will stop that chain reaction and prevent further damage. For the skin, vitamins C and E applied topically will help fight free radicals while rebuilding the skin’s natural defenses against them.

Facialworks, located at 1727 Westcliff Dr., offers an array of facials, facial lifts, and airbrush foundation along other treatments. 949-877-1911

Written by Ashley Breeding

Ashley Breeding is a full-time magazine editor and freelance writer. Splitting her time between Palm Springs and Orange County, Calif., she covers feature stories, fitness & outdoors, architecture & design, fashion, health & beauty.

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