By Kate Elliot, Esthetician

If you are a skincare guru or just started your skincare journey, the end goal is always the same: to achieve that effortlessly healthy, glowing skin. So, how do we get there? How long does it take? And the question we all have thought about before… is there a shortcut? Let’s dive in.  

Today, injections and laser treatments have gained a lot of popularity for their accelerated and unparalleled results. Almost instant gratification to reverse years of damage without having to do any long-term work to achieve it. Too good to be true? Maybe. It depends if you are doing anything else to maintain the results or prevent further damage. Many clients that I see that have had these types of treatments, usually, not always, don’t have a solid skincare routine at home. With the desire to achieve great skin or a youthful appearance, you would think that skincare would be of greater importance. But usually, when these clients see the results of their injections or lasers, they see how great their skin looks afterward and they don’t think they need to do anything else. But I’m here to say that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you are someone who gets these treatments, having healthy skin and a routine that supports it can prolong and even boost the results of your procedure.

Whether you are on the good old-fashioned skincare journey with creams and serums galore or adding more intense treatments like Botox or IPL, a healthy skin barrier should be your top priority. Your skin is your body’s first line of defense against external aggressors and houses blood vessels, nerves, sweat glands, and most importantly, collagen and elastin. It comprises a unique and intricate matrix of cells that prevent any harmful bacteria or irritants from entering when functioning properly. When this barrier is damaged, the skin can’t properly do its job and skin becomes dry, red, and irritated. This can happen due to improper skin care routine, stress, genetics, and your environment. So when injections or lasers are introduced into the mix and that skin barrier is not functioning at peak performance, your results are not going to be as good as they could be, or worse, could create damaging effects. 

To achieve optimal skin barrier performance, starting with a skincare routine for your skin type is key. When trying to correct an already damaged barrier, start simple. Go back to the basics with a gentle cleanser and a great moisturizer. I often see clients that are doing too much or too little to their skin leading to an unhealthy barrier. Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating are the most common reasons for this to happen. Allow your skin to take a break from actives and give it some much-needed hydration. Once your skin calms down, slowly incorporate some exfoliation back into your routine a couple of times a week. Getting a facial to reset the skin and evaluate your skin’s needs is also beneficial when trying to attain healthy skin function. Once your skin is feeling more comfortable and looking happier, you’re ready to take on those more intensive skin treatments. 

Not only is incorporating a proper skin routine good for the overall health and appearance of the skin, but it can also promote better results for your treatments. Who wouldn’t want that? When doing injections such as fillers or botox, certain ingredients can enhance the skin-smoothing and plumping effects. Hyaluronic acid is a great ingredient to use to keep the skin looking smooth and healthy, while peptides and vitamin A keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay. While already having a healthy barrier beforehand is essential, aftercare may be even more crucial for laser treatments. Depending on the treatment, the aftercare can determine whether or not you will get the expected results. When the skin is treated with hydrating and healing products post-procedure, the skin is given the ability to properly heal ensuring that you get your desired results. If not taken care of, you risk introducing harmful bacteria to your compromised skin. But most importantly, no skin routine is complete without sun protection. Without proper SPF usage everyday pre and post-treatment, you run the risk of creating more damage. Sun exposure is the number one cause of skin aging. With consistent use, you can avoid many skin problems down the line and save money on future treatments. Even after your skin is healed, not using sunscreen is like going to the gym without eating a healthy diet. It just doesn’t work. 

Like all things in life, taking the easy way out isn’t going to get you the same result. Skincare, lasers, and injectables work together to deliver you the best results possible and ensure that those results last. No matter what journey you decide to go on, always start with healthy strong skin and you will already be off to a good start. 

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