Without even knowing it, you can cause significant damage to the skin on your face, which can have long-lasting effects.
From going out into the sun without wearing SPF (sun protection factor), to popping your pimples, sleeping with make-up on, or even not washing your bedding regularly.
You can also just be born with bad skin genes or bad eating habits can start to show up on your face.
Whatever the cause, there are a variety of reasons for acne-prone, pigmented or dry skin.
In some cases, the condition of the skin can be so bad that topical skin care is not enough to help with the deep-seated damage.
But new technologies and skincare innovations have made it possible to penetrate deeper into the skin’s layers, in a bid to restore damage.
We have sought expert advice on both procedures, to help you put your best face forward this festive season, and into the new year.
This is a cosmetic technique that is used to improve the appearance of the skin by stimulating collagen production.
The technological treatment also enhances the absorption of topical products applied on the skin.
Micro-needling is non-invasive, has minimal downtime and is safe for all skin types, Noluthando Mkhize, the education facilitator at the Beauty Therapy Institute (BTI), said.
“The procedure uses a device with fine needles to create controlled micro-injuries on the skin’s surface,” she added.
This treatment begins with a thorough consultation to address skin type, conditions and concerns, as well as medical history.
The skin is then thoroughly cleansed and a topical numbing cream is applied to the face, which works to minimise discomfort during the treatment.
Once the treatment area is numb, a derma micro-needling pen, with tiny needles attached, is used on the skin.
“The depth of the needle length for penetration is adjusted based on the skin concerns being treated,” Mkhize added.
The skin is then “micro-needled” after the application of a gel or serum, such as hyaluronic acid, to retain the skin’s moisture levels during the treatment.
Following this, a soothing cream is applied to the skin, which at this stage is sensitive following the needling.
This sensitivity is expected to remain for a few days and it is recommended to stay out of direct sunlight until the skin returns to normal.
The procedure also causes short-term swelling, redness and skin flaking.
The Mayo Clinic explained that a chemical peel is a procedure in which a chemical solution is applied to the skin to remove the top layers.
“Chemical peels are used to treat wrinkles, discoloured skin and scars – usually on the face – and after the treatment, the skin usually grows back smoother,” the US health-care company added.
Meanwhile, the founder of The Laser Beautique (TLB), Tzvia Hermann, added that this procedure is designed to strengthen the skin, and to make it more resilient.
“In addition to improving the barrier, this peel assists in targeting and reducing inflammation, which is responsible for ageing, pigmentation and acne in teenagers and adults.”
“This treatment also helps with flaky or rough skin texture, dull, tired or uneven skin, and it even improves production of collagen and elastin, which will result in plumper, younger-looking skin,” Hermann said.
There are also different types of chemical peels, which depends on the severity of the condition of the skin.
The Mayo Clinic explained that a light chemical peel removes the outer layer of skin, which is the epidermis, and a medium one removes skin cells from the epidermis as well as from portions of the upper part of your middle layer of skin, also known as the dermis.
Meanwhile, deep chemical peels remove skin cells even deeper, in order to treat deeper wrinkles, scars or precancerous growths.
But as these procedures have become so popular, it can now even be conducted in just under an hour, with little to no downtime.
This has caused an upsurge in lighter chemical peel versions, Hermann said.
And for these less invasive peels, treatment begins with a full cleanse of the face, followed by an analysis of the skin.
“Therapists look closely at the skin type, the conditions present and the appearance of it, and they may touch the skin with their fingertips to feel the texture,” Hermann said.
A protective balm is then applied to the most sensitive areas of the face, which include the corners of the eyes, nose and mouth.
The lighter version of a chemical peel is then administered, usually by applying alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) or a beta hydroxy acid (BHA).
This is left to dry on the skin for about five to 15 minutes.
“The therapist watches the skin’s reaction to the peel and removes it as soon as they see that the skin has reacted positively,” Hermann said.
“This is time sensitive and for healthier skin, the peel can be left on for longer.”
Once these peels are removed, a cold compress is then applied onto the skin, in order to cool it down.
A calming and hydrating mask can also be used to enhance the chemical peel. This is followed by an application of moisturiser as well as SPF.
It is vital to consult an accredited skincare specialist as chemical peels can have side effects.
For the lighter versions, there could be short-term redness, scabbing and swelling. But for the more intensive procedures, there is a risk of changes in skin colour, infection, as well as heart, kidney or liver damage.