We catch up with Dr. Thomas Buonassisi, facial plastic surgeon and co-founder of 8 West Clinic to talk about all things summer skincare
Q: When it comes to skin treatments, not all are ideal for summer. Can you explain why?
A: Some laser treatments are not recommended during the summer months due to the increased risk of complications and adverse effects that can arise from the combination of laser treatment and sun exposure. Although many medical-grade treatments, such as laser services can provide undeniable results for the right patient, they are also incredibly powerful treatments that can cause harm if not performed by a skilled, and fully trained treatment provider. These are just few reasons why certain laser treatments are typically avoided in the summer:
- Treatments cannot be performed on an active tan: If the laser is designed to target the “reds” and “browns” in the skin, and you have an active tan, then the laser will not know which pigment to target, ultimately dispersing its energy to all of the pigment which can result in burns.
- Increased sun sensitivity: Laser treatments can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, particularly those that target pigmentation issues or involve deeper skin resurfacing. The laser energy can leave the skin temporarily more vulnerable to UV rays. Exposure to the sun without adequate protection can result in sunburn, hyperpigmentation, and other forms of skin damage.
- Difficulty in maintaining sun protection: After certain laser treatments, it is crucial to protect treated skin from the sun. This usually involves strict adherence to sun protection measures, like wearing a mineral-based sunscreen (and reapplying every two hours), seeking shade whenever possible, and using protective clothing. Sticking to these guidelines is more challenging in the summer when outdoor activities and sunlight exposure are more prevalent and can increase chances of sun damage to the treated areas.
- Potential impact on desired results: In some cases, laser treatments are performed to address specific skin concerns like pigmentation issues or uneven texture. Sun exposure can interfere with the desired outcomes of these treatments by stimulating the production of melanin and triggering new pigmentation issues or disrupting the skin's healing process.
It's important to note that the specific recommendations regarding laser treatments and sun exposure may vary depending on the type of laser used, the depth of treatment, and individual circumstances. Consulting with a qualified laser specialist is essential to determine the most appropriate timing for laser treatments and to receive personalized advice based on your skin type and concerns.
Q: Which skin treatments offer comparable results to lasers?
A: At 8 West Clinic, we offer a variety of medical-grade skin treatments that can be performed in the summer and year-round as they do not have any contraindications with an active tan. Treatments like MOXI laser, NCTF Boost with RF microneedling or traditional microneedling, can be fantastic options for targeting texture, tone, pigmentation and firmness. 8 West is also one of the first clinics in Canada to offer EMFACE which is a groundbreaking treatment for firming and lifting facial contours.8 West is one of the first clinics in Canada to offer EMFACE, a groundbreaking treatment for lifting and tightening the face and brow.
Q: What are some other treatments people can consider to improve the texture and appearance of their skin during the summer months?
A: Injectable treatments such as dermal fillers, Sculptra, Radiesse and Botox are a great way to address skincare concerns during the summer months. Injectable treatments target volume loss, fine lines and overall facial rejuvenation to provide a natural-looking, more refreshed appearance. Patients often also forget about the hydrating benefits of hyaluronic acid fillers in the skin—say goodbye to dehydrated lips!
With a skilled injector, Botox is also amazing for subtly smoothing general texture across the face, again creating a hydrated and healthy appearance.
In addition, having a HydraFacial or a Biologique Recherche facial during the summer months offers numerous benefits for your skin. The HydraFacial’s multi-step process cleanses, exfoliates, extracts impurities and hydrates the skin while combating common summer skin concerns like clogged pores and sun damage. With customized formulations and facial massage techniques, Biologique Recherche can address specific skin issues like uneven tone, pigmentation and dehydration. Both treatments offer the dual benefit of deep cleansing and restoring essential moisture, making them ideal for achieving and maintaining healthy, radiant skin throughout the summer.
HydraFacials offer the dual benefit of deep cleansing and moisture restoration making them an ideal summer skin treatment.
Q: What are the best-practices to keep in mind when it comes to summer-safe skincare?
A: Use a mineral-based sunscreen year-round and remember to reapply every two hours. Incorporate a good-quality vitamin C serum. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage caused by environmental factors such as UV radiation and pollution. Consult with an experienced and skilled skin expert to understand any considerations that you need to be aware of from both in-clinic treatments as well as home care. In the end, think: spring and Summer “protect”, fall and winter “correct”.
8 West is a Vancouver plastic surgery and skin clinic led by dual-board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Buonassisi.