Skin Rejuvenation vs. Skin Resurfacing: What Is The Difference?
There are many different cosmetic treatments available that can help to improve the overall look and feel of your skin, whether wrinkles, age spots, acne, or a wide range of other imperfections are a concern for you.
If you’ve begun your search for the right treatment to fit your needs, you may have come across the terms “skin rejuvenation” and “skin resurfacing.” While these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a key difference between them. Here is an overview of what each means, as well as a few examples of both and some tips for choosing the right one for your skin.
Skin rejuvenation simply refers to anything you do to your skin to make it look better. Skin rejuvenation can occur from the inside by addition of healthy foods, beverages or supplements, or from the outside with topical products and cosmetic procedures. Topical skincare products that rejuvenate skin include retinol and vitamin C serum. I am often asked “What injectable products are best for skin rejuvenation?” I am sure you have heard of Botox, Restylane and Juvéderm but there are many new dermal fillers on the market. I did the FDA approval trials on many of the injectables on the market and it has been so gratifying to see the fillers get more natural and longer lasting over the last decade. Click here for a Youtube video about Volbella injections for lips. In addition to injectables, there are many nonsurgical skin tightening treatments such as Venus Legacy and Ulthera that rejuvenate the skin.
An important component of skin rejuvenation can also be establishing healthy lifestyle habits to improve your skin’s appearance. While cosmetic treatments can certainly help to erase signs of previous damage, such as sun spots and premature wrinkles, making the right lifestyle changes can help to prevent additional signs of skin damage from happening in the future. The most important lifestyle change to make to rejuvenate your skin is to LIMIT SUN EXPOSURE. This study showed that even the use of a low SPF of 4-10 daily will decrease your lifetime exposure to UV by 50%. That means 50% less sun damage to your skin, it’s genes, mitochondria and other vital cell components.
If you regularly lounge in the sun or play outdoor sports, you should realize that your skin will age faster and be at a higher risk for skin cancer. The only thing you can do to try and minimize the damage of sun exposure is to use sunscreen and sun protective clothing, avoid getting burned, and to use oral antioxidants such as Heliocare and a topical retinol. Using a retinoid like retinol in addition to skin rejuvenation treatments will not only be more effective but can make the results much longer lasting. Please don’t got to a tanning bed! Tanning beds use UVA which is much more damaging to the skin than UVB rays are.
Skin resurfacing is a specific type of skin rejuvenation that involves removing layers of built-up skin cells and debris, accelerating your skin’s natural process of desquamation. For example, a chemical peel causes this outer layer of skin to peel away, revealing the fresher and smoother layer underneath. Microdermabrasion uses tiny abrasive crystals to exfoliate dead skin cells for a brighter, smoother complexion. The depth of resurfacing determines the results, risks and downtime. Resurfacing that only removes epidermal cells such as a superficial chemical peel or microdermabrasion has minimal downtime and risk. These will make the skin appear smoother and more radiant. However, to get rid of wrinkles you need resurfacing treatments that go deeper into the dermal layer. These have more downtime and more risk. The trend today is towards microneedling which is form of skin rejuvenation but is not really considered resurfacing. Skin can be resurfaced mechanically with aluminum crystals, diamonds, and other coarse surfaces, or chemically with acids such as glycolic acid. In the past a chemical known as phenol was used but the scarring and downtime made this much less popular today.
Laser skin resurfacing uses pulses of laser light to remove the desired layers of skin. The precision with which lasers remove the layers of the skin gives the doctor the ability to adjust the treatment depth for each patient. Make sure you go to a doctor with many years of laser resurfacing experience. All resurfacing treatments can address a wide variety of skin imperfections, including lines and wrinkles, discoloration, acne scars, and uneven skin tone (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
How to Choose the Right Procedure for Your Skin
In many cases, there are various skin rejuvenation treatments that could help to improve your specific skin condition. Wrinkles can be smoothed away using topical creams, injectables, microneedling, and laser skin resurfacing. Acne scars typically respond well to dermal fillers, microneedling and laser skin resurfacing. For sun spots and other pigmentation issues, a high-quality skin brightening serum can help to brighten the skin’s appearance, and skin resurfacing treatments can help to even skin tone and texture.
The most effective method–or combination of methods–will depend on your Baumann Skin Type. The best way to determine which is right for you is to schedule a consultation with an STS Approved physician who can diagnose your skin type and offer professional advice and treatment recommendations custom-tailored to fit your needs.
If you’re looking to start with skincare products to help improve your complexion, you’ll need to know which of the 16 Baumann Skin Types you are in order to choose the most appropriate products. To find a doctor in your area who can diagnose your Baumann Skin Type click here.
Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through Derm.net.