Our skin goes through a lot in a lifetime. After all, it’s the organ that protects our entire body from everything external. It’s no wonder that, as time moves forward, skin can start to show signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, laxity, and discoloration. You don’t have to just grin and bear it. There are remarkable treatments that don’t require any downtime and can boost your overall skin health. Call Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA and ask about our PRP facial.
What Causes Our Skin to Age?
There are quite a few processes in play that take a toll on our skin. Many of those things that cause the signs of aging we can’t avoid; but some we can. The biggest factor in our skin’s aging process is a decline in collagen production.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies and makes up our connective tissue, ligaments and, of course, skin. Our skin is actually 80% collagen. Think of this protein as the scaffolding on which the house of our skin is built. Collagen makes the middle layers of our skin, the dermis, smooth and strong. When our surface skin has this kind of foundation to lay on top of, it is also smooth and strong.
When we’re young, we have an abundance of collagen and our skin looks flawless. Something happens around age 25 and our collagen production starts its decline of about 1% per year. For women, there’s about a 30% drop after menopause. All of this can wreak havoc on our complexions.
The Decline of Collagen
As collagen declines, that once smooth and strong surface starts to experience weakness. Our dermis will develop crevices and small areas where collagen isn’t strong enough to support our surface skin anymore. When this happens, the skin on our face falls, filling in those areas and forming wrinkles, lines, and folds on our faces.
Why Does Collagen Decline?
It’s a natural aging process, but it happens to most people a lot sooner than it needs to. The number one culprit for speeding the decline of collagen and breaking down the collagen we have is the sun. If you’re an active person who is outdoors a lot and you aren’t vigilant about applying sunscreen, your collagen levels will pay the price, and you’ll show signs of aging before your sunscreen wearing friends will.
Dermatologists and estheticians everywhere will tell you the single greatest investment you can make in your skin is sunscreen.
Genetics plays a role too. You may have inherited lower collagen production. You can tell by how quickly and severely family members’ skin ages. If you’re in this group, you need to pay even closer attention to the causes you can control.
Other lifestyle choices we make that are detrimental to our supply of collagen are:
- Diets high in sugar and processed food
- Not enough sleep
- Unmanaged stress
- Not enough water
- Sedentary lifestyle
Collagen has two very important powerhouses that not only work with it but decline with it too—elastin and hyaluronic acid.
Elastin is another protein in our bodies and, while it’s not as abundant as collagen, it’s still pretty important. Elastin makes our organs, including our skin, flexible and able to keep their shape even after movement. When you’re young, you can pinch an area of skin on your body and know it will snap back to place. Do the same when you’re 65 and you can’t be so sure.
When elastin declines, our skin can’t keep its shape and when collagen production drops, our skin doesn’t have the strong structure to hang on to, so it falls. As we run low on elastin, our drooping skin can’t lift itself back up anymore and we end up with:
- Drooping eyebrows
- Loose skin on the neck and chin
- Crepey skin
This is a naturally produced sugar that helps our connective tissues and skin stay lubricated and hydrated. Our eyes rely on hyaluronic acid to keep them comfortable. When we reach a certain age, we may find that our knees creak, our eyes dry out, and our skin looks dry. All of those are a symptom of not enough hyaluronic acid.
Youthful skin is dewy and supple, and even if a young person is a little dehydrated, their skin won’t show it. As our collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels drop, our skin is the most visibly noticeable area that suffers.
All hope is not lost. If you’re seeing signs of aging that you’re unhappy with, there are non-surgical and natural ways to kick start your body’s ability to produce more collagen. One of the best treatments available is the PRP facial.
What Is a PRP Facial?
PRP stands for platelet rich plasma, and a PRP facial uses the client’s own plasma from a sample of their blood to stimulate the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. These are becoming more and more popular as they’re highlighted by celebrities online, but the reason celebrities seek this facial is simple: it produces transformative results.
How Does a PRP Facial Work?
This treatment harnesses the body’s natural healing process to diminish signs of aging and other skin imperfections. A sample of your blood will be taken and spun in a medical centrifuge. This separates the blood into three parts:
- Red blood cells
- Platelet poor plasma
- Platelet rich plasma
This platelet rich plasma is then infused with a combination of vitamins and amino acids. Your provider will apply it to areas of concern by a series of injections. Once it’s under your skin, it goes to work. To fully understand the power of this treatment, you need to first understand the power of platelet rich plasma.
Platelet Rich Plasma
Plasma makes up 55% of our blood and is 93% water. It is the medium the other components of our blood use to circulate through our bodies. Platelets help our blood clot, contain growth factors, and are the “first responder” when we are injured. PRP is not a new concept to the medical world.
Surgeons and physicians have used PRP injections for decades to facilitate the healing of injuries or wounds. When injected, PRP has been shown to significantly improve function and reduce the pain associated with tendonitis, tennis elbow, rotator cuff tears, and Achilles tendon ruptures. Imagine what this stuff can do for your skin.
What Does a PRP Facial Treat?
Not only is this a non-invasive and safe treatment, but it’s also very versatile and can address multiple areas of concern for many people. During your consultation, talk to your wellness expert about the condition of your skin and the results you’d like to achieve. This can be a very effective treatment for:
- Skin laxity
- Fine lines, wrinkles, and folds
- Large pores
- Uneven skin tone and texture
- Thinning skin
- Dull complexion
Some people will even compare this to a facelift but without the necessary commitment to expense, downtime, and risk.
What to Expect
The consultation phase of any treatment is the most important. It’s critical you and your skincare specialist talk through your areas of concern and what you’d like your results to be. They will then do a physical examination of the treatment area to ensure this is the right treatment for you. Because you’ll be using your own blood, there’s no need for any allergy testing.
Because this is non-surgical, there isn’t a long list of specific instructions for you. You may be asked to stop taking and over-the-counter blood-thinning medications and/or herbal supplements. These may include:
- High doses of vitamin E
- Gingko biloba
- Fish oil
Stopping these blood-thinners for a week or two will lessen the already small risk of bruising from treatment.
When you arrive, your blood will be drawn. A numbing cream will be placed on your face to ensure your comfort during treatment. While you’re waiting for this cream to numb your skin, your blood will be spun in a centrifuge to separate it.
The PRP will be mixed with vitamins and amino acids and readied for injection. Your specialist will then make strategic injections to ensure you get maximum results. Once your treatment is over, you’re done. There’s no downtime associated with this treatment.
When Will I See Results?
Your results will be amazing, but you’ll need to be a bit patient. Remember: your skin is healing itself from the inside out, so you have to wait for collagen to be produced and go to work rebuilding its strong foundation in the deeper layers of your skin. Studies show these results with PRP treatment:
- An increase in collagen fibroblasts
- Increased blood vessels in the treated skin
- Increased collagen density in the treated area
- Significant improvement in the appearance of wrinkles, skin laxity and pigmentation issues
You will start to see results in about a week and they will continue to improve over the next few months. Clients can enjoy results that last over two years from the time of your last treatment. How many sessions you need will vary. Many clients get the results they want from only one session while others may opt for two or more treatments depending on the condition of their skin and the results they want.
There are a few treatments that pair very well with a PRP facial. The first is microneedling.
This treatment involves a handheld device loaded with hair-thin needles that will be passed over your skin, creating micro-channels. If you put PRP over those micro-channels, the plasma is delivered directly to deeper layers of the skin. This can ensure the healing properties are spread more evenly across the face and kickstarts the production of collagen in different layers of the skin.
Microneedling itself is known as collagen induction therapy because those micro-channels also cause your body to ramp up collagen production to regenerate healthy cells to heal the micro-channels.
When applied to the skin, ozonated mediums can carry its anti-aging properties into the cells of the skin. The benefits of ozone therapy can be:
- Cellulite reduction
- Improved appearance of lines and wrinkles
- Stimulation of collagen
- Encourages cell regeneration
Call for a Consultation Today
You don’t have to put off treating yourself well and moving toward a happier, healthier and younger-looking you. Call Optimal Health and Wellness in Pasadena, CA to schedule a consultation with a wellness expert. We have a strong commitment to providing the most advanced integrated medicine to our clients. We look forward to helping you reach your Optimal Health and Wellness.