Hot or Not? Plastic Surgeon Weighs in on 4 Skincare Trends

Thursday April 18, 2019

Are you ready for a spring refresh? Several skincare treatments are being touted as the next big thing, but do they really work? We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board-certified plastic surgeon and skincare expert, to look at four trends and weigh in on their effectiveness.

CBD In Skincare
Much as it did in 2018, CBD is taking off in the new year. In fact, CBD (short for cannabidiol) has no plans of easing up its reign on the skin-care world in 2019. As a case in point, there are at least two MAJOR skincare brands that now include CBD in their skincare, not to mention the indie companies who have created CBD skincare.

Dr. Shah's take: "As far as it being good for skin, it acts as both an anti-inflammatory agent and an oil reduction agent. Theoretically, its addition to skincare products, especially those tasked to fight acne and other inflammatory skin conditions, is probably legitimate. It is also a good antioxidant that can help protect against free radical damage to skin cells. CBD can be made from hemp which helps skincare companies get around the federal ban on marijuana. Side effects of unregulated use include Nausea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner Coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does."

Microneedle Patches
Some beauty editors and bloggers swear by pimple patches. According to experts, those patches are about to get even more advanced by way of a ton of tiny microneedles (or "microstructures"). The logic is that you can output a smaller amount of acne-fighting ingredients into these tiny little cones and apply it to the skin, it's a better, more effective delivery system.

Here's how they are purported to work: The small band-aid-like sticker has spikes coated with hyaluronic acid that are thinner than a hair follicle. Through these teeny painless pricks in the skin, the patch drives the active ingredients deep into the skin. Dr. Shah's take:

"There is plenty of good medical literature on the validity of these small patches that are impregnated with various chemicals. The patch gets worn and the needles (either metallic or made out of absorbable polymer) penetrate the skin delivering the chemical treatment. Their design takes advantage of the concept of transcutaneous delivery of drugs. Patches can be custom made to fit various areas of the face and deliver anti-aging or other chemicals while a patient sleeps. The efficiency of delivery is better through the tiny skin punctures than if you only put the chemical directly on the intact skin. In theory, aesthetic practitioners can make custom topical treatments and place them on the patches to deliver customized at home skin treatments for their patients."

Is a Cryotherapy Facial Is the Best Way to Brighter, Tighter Skin?
Cryotherapy has gained popularity in recent years with spa treatments exposing clients to subzero temperatures to help relieve pain and improve their health. This wellness treatment has recently undergone another adaptation with cryotherapy facial treatment. The Cryo Facial is a cryogenic treatment that is performed by what is considered a "cryoprobe," which beams vaporized liquid nitrogen across the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Different from the cryotherapy chambers that can be used for pain relief, the facial targets helping the face look younger.

Dr. Shah's take: "This may be more suspect. There isn't a great deal of study-based evidence that cryotherapy facials actually do what they claim. Typically, cryotherapy uses extremely cold liquid nitrogen to freeze exposed skin cells to kill them, like a wart. The facials use the same liquid nitrogen as a spray, but the aesthetician doesn't stay in one area too long to avoid frostbite to the skin. Some level of cold injury occurs, probably to a very superficial level of the skin, so there may be some exfoliation. But there are safer ways to get exfoliation without risking frostbite or hyperpigmentation."

Anti-Pollution Skincare
Your skin is exposed to environmental aggressors on a regular basis. Although unseen, these pollutants can wreak havoc on your skin by breaking down collagen and elastin, the fibers that give skin its bounce. To help reduce these unwanted side effects, anti-pollution skincare products are continuing to gain favorability among consumers. Just as SPF is now de rigor in skin care, this seems to be the case with the anti-pollution ingredient.

Dr. Shah's take: "I think that this is a new name for old tech. In brief, our skin is exposed to environmental contaminants that create inflammatory conditions. These conditions lead to a build-up of free radicals in the skin. The ingredients in antipollution skin care are basically strong antioxidants that protect against the free radicals. But the skin is assaulted by more than chemicals. It experiences dehydration, UV exposure, temperature changes, etc. True antipollution skincare should guard against all this. Typical protective and reparative ingredients include vitamin E, vitamin C, retinoids, hyaluronic acid, zinc oxide, vitamin B3, and bisabolol."

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