By Michelle Villett
There is a Japanese proverb that says “Kind hearts are better than fair faces.” Its nice sentiment, but, as anyone with skin concern knows, playing nice when it comes to blemishes, wrinkles, sagging and discolouration can only get you so far. “Everybody should practice good skin care, but there can come a point where [products] alone can’t do the job anymore,” explains Dr.Frank Lista, a Toronto-based plastic surgeon. “It might be something we can fix with lasers, injectables or, if necessary, surgery.”
The good news is that there are many new procedures and techniques that deliver natural–looking results with less downtime as well as great high-tech topical products for those taking the DIY route. ELLE, asked some leading experts for advice on how to fight four of the most common skin concerns, from the drugstore to the derm’s office.
If concealing pimples at an age when you’re also contemplating eye creams seems like one of mother nature’s cruelest jokes, you’re not alone: According to a recent study, the median age for acne sufferers has risen from 20.5 to 26.5. Characterized by pustules and cysts around the jaw and neck, female adult acne usually has a hormonal origin, says Dr. Nowell Solish, an assistant professor of dermatology at the University of Toronto. Hormones stimulate the production of oil, which combines with bacteria to clog pores and create inflammation.
AT HOME Your first instinct might be to spot-treat your pimples, but that’s the wrong strategy, says Dr. Rolanda Johnson Wilkerson, a P&G Beauty scientist. “Drying out the skin is the old way of treating acne, but it makes you more susceptible to wrinkling, irritation and sun damage.” Instead, the newest remedies take a gentler, all-over approach. Olay Professional Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol is a three-step system that has replaced old-school benzoyl peroxide with salicylic acid and niacinamide; the former eradicates oil and prevents future breakouts, while the latter fades spots and improves skin texture.
Kellett Clear Skin Care System, developed by Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist based in Toronto, employs a similar philosophy, featuring not only acne fighting ingredients but also antioxidants and anti inflammatory herbs.
For a fast fix, hand held zappers such as Zeno Hot Spot, which delivers a controlled, low level dosage of heat to kill acne causing bacteria, can also be effective, says Dr. Mark Lupin, a dermatologist based in Victoria, B.C.