My Journey To Clear Skin
By Nadia Bahash
I have struggled with oily skin and acne breakouts for as long as I can remember. Both internal and external factors affect the way our skin behaves. I don’t have the cleanest diet (kind of addicted to sugar ), I suffer from hormonal imbalances, and just have overall oily skin. It has left me with large pores, cystic acne, little to big pustules (white heads). You name a type of pimple, and I’ve had it. Lucky for me, I had a cousin growing up who is an esthetician, (Nikki Bahash) and she was able to help me control my breakouts from a young age, which has in turn prevented scarring.
One of the main factors in helping to prevent breakouts is exfoliation. I am the exfoliation queen. I believe in all types of exfoliation, scrubs, enzymes, peels, etc. I would say the most rewarding exfoliation for pustule like acne (white heads) or cystic would be chemical exfoliation. This comes in many different forms, from retinoids, glycolics, salicylics, lactic and many more.
Chemical exfoliants tend to be the best option for breakouts because they help to keep our pores clean, and they also increase our cell turn over rate which increases cellular production (new, healthier cells are created). They also don’t tear away at the pimple like a scrub would, which helps prevent scarring and the spread of bacteria. People with oily skin tend to love to exfoliate because it leaves the skin feeling new, fresh, and removes excess oil.
One common misconception with oily, acneic skin is because of the amount of oil, we don’t need to moisturize. This so wrong and for so many reasons. Because those of us with oily skin tend to exfoliate more, we are drying out our oil glands, and stripping our skin of its natural moisture layer. It’s very important to rehydrate the skin with a moisturizer after exfoliation. Overly dry skin can clog pores and produce breakouts, and it actually increases our oil production because our bodies are trying to compensate for the oil we just removed, creating much oilier skin, hence causing more breakouts.
Besides exfoliation and moisturizers, I recently started using a new product that has really been a game changer for me. While I can usually keep my breakouts under control, at the beginning of this year I under went some hormonal changes and a great amount of stress that really threw my skin for a loop. My breakouts were so bad, I struggled coming into work because I was embarrassed at how bad my own skin looked. I had some of Skin Medica’s TNS Recovery Complex at home and thought I’d give it a shot. While this product is mostly advertised as anti-aging and is great at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. Within six days my skin looked at least 10x better. How does this happen? TNS consists of a growth factor that improves the overall health of our skin and increases cellular production (collagen production). Think of our skin like a garden, and TNS being miracle grow. It produces and abundance of cells that tend to be healthier, resulting in an improvement in the overall appearance of the skin. My acne was clearing up, redness reduced, and my overall texture felt better. Call me crazy, but I even feel like my skin is less oily now. My boyfriend thought my skin looked so great, he actually started using the product too… talk about a miracle.
My strict product regimen provided my skin what it needed to clear up acne and blemishes, here are the products I used and how I used them to clear up my skin.
In the morning, I wake up with a nice a cleanse. For my oily skin, I really enjoy the Benev Salicylic Cleanser or Epionce Lytic gel cleaner (I go back and forth between the two). I pat dry my face and immediately apply my TNS Recovery Complex. It’s important to let each product soak into your skin before you apply the next. I usually wait about 30 sec- 1 min. Next is my day time exfoliator. My favorite for the past few years has been the Lytic TX by Epionce. It is a retexturizing lotion that contains azealic and salicylic acid. I like it during the day because it allows me to get some exfoliation in the morning, without over drying my skin for the day. Next is moisturizer, which my go- to is usually SkinMedica’s HA5. This is a hyaluronic acid based moisturizer which is great for oily skin. Hyaluronic acid is a water- binding molecule rather than oil binding, so it keeps your face from feeling too oily throughout the day. I finish my morning routine with Alastin’s Hydratint spf, that is chemical free sunscreen and has a little tint to it. At night time I do the same thing, but I incorporate the Clarisonic Smart Profile into my cleanse, which helps remove all my oil and makeup build up throughout the day and ensures a deep cleanse. Just like the morning, I follow my cleanse with TNS Recovery Complex, and for my nightly exfoliator I use Skin Medica’s Retinol Complex 0.5 instead of the Lytic TX. Since our skin tends to rejuvenate and restore while we sleep, I do finish my nightly routine with a heavier moisturizer than I use during the day. My favorite is our Vita Soothe serum, it leaves my skin hydrated in the morning without developing too much oil throughout the night.
Why Dracula never went bald…The hair growing power of blood
Your blood has powerful regenerative properties. Platelets found within whole blood have long been known to play an important role in the body’s response to trauma. Not only do they help stop bleeding and repair damaged blood vessels, but they also release a number of growth factors which recruit our body’s stem cells to optimize wound healing. We have developed a way to isolate and concentrate platelets in plasma from our blood. When these concentrated cells are injected or applied to damaged tissue, wound healing is accelerated due to the abundance of growth factors available to restore collagen and elastin fibers. You may have heard the term ‘vampire facelift’ or the ‘Dracula lift’. These procedures use concentrated platelets from your blood injected into the skin to stimulate your body to regenerate healthy new cells.
What you may not have heard about is the way we can use Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) to stimulate hair follicles to regrow hair. A variety of environmental and physiological factors can impact a hair follicles ability to grow hair. After a follicle has been inactivated, it remains dormant and causes thinning or balding in the area of the inactive follicles.
In many cases an inactive follicle may still be able to grow hair but require stimulation in order to ‘reactivate’. At FAC we are using PRP injections to stimulate hair regrowth. PRP is a non-surgical treatment that releases the growth factors within platelets to stimulate cellular activity This treatment can be used anywhere a patient would like to stimulate hair regrowth.
When combining PRP, pharmaceutical, and other non-surgical therapies, we are able to regrow hair in over 30% of patients.
For individuals with more dramatic hair loss or those that don’t respond to non-surgical therapy we recommend hair restoration with the NeoGraft system using the advanced FUE method. This involves removing individual follicular units from the back of the head to transplant to areas of thinning or balding.
Unlike with the traditional strip grafting method, the Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) technique leaves no scar and has minimal downtime.
At FAC our goal is to provide our patients with the best possible outcome and experience in all we do. In order to minimize downtime and enhance the success of our Hair Restoration treatments we combine them with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBO). Hyperbaric treatments help to stimulate bloodflow and preserve the health of the newly grafted hair for a significantly improved result.
Our consultations are an educational process to help you understand the latest options available for achieving full, natural hair.