Homecare - The Fourth Pillar
What is homecare?
Home care is one of the most important aspects of your treatment and makes up the crucial fourth pillar of Skin Health Management. It entails all the products and skincare protocols you follow at home pre and post treatment.
Depending on your treatment it may also be recommended for you to undertake some home care steps prior to the actual treatment. For example, in the case of NeoStrata ProSystem Peels, skin needs to be prepped a few weeks ahead to balance and strengthen it. This method delivers more successful treatment outcomes.
How do I receive homecare?
Homecare should be provided as a matter of course following any consultation or treatment. I make a point of sending every single client a follow up email within 48 hours of treatment. This time gives me a chance to make considered recommendations about your skincare, taking into consideration your diet and lifestyle.
Having written down instruction to follow any verbal advice means the chance of you getting muddled up are far reduced, which in turn means you are more likely to have a successful treatment experience.
Why is homecare so important?
In my opinion, home care products is an extremely important piece of the skin health management puzzle. Without it, visible treatment results are slow or very limited, never quite achieving healthy balanced skin.
Does my homecare always stay the same?
No. Once you start having advanced treatments and your skin function improve your product needs may change too. In addition, chronological and environmental ageing will impact on product choices through the years.
Conversely, your skin may disagree with a prescribed product, so it is important to bring this up so that the product can be changed. Brands recognise that consumers have different preferences so they provide the same ingredients in multiple forms - for example product can be presented as a cream, oil, gel, milk or powder. Choice can be endless, but with the help of a skincare specialist you can make the correct decision.
What happens if I don’t follow the homecare advice?
Without adequate homecare or following the advice (pre and post treatment), the results of the treatment will be compromised or at worst you can cause further disruption and damage to your skin. For example, if you have a chemical peel but not follow up with the recommendation to use sunscreen then your skin is vulnerable to sun damage.
Is homecare expensive?
There is a cost associated to quality professional dermatology products, but no more than products large high street brands. Some of these brands are actually more expensive than products sold in many aesthetic practices. The costs reflect the quality, the potency, active ingredients and sophisticated delivery systems that stimulate and effect positive change in your skin quickly.
For example – Vitamin C is crucial to the regeneration of skin plumping collagen, however it oxidises very quickly, so it needs to be stabilised for it to be useful and long lasting. This is a costly process for cosmetic scientists and the expertise is reflected in the product cost.
When you visit a skin specialist, expect to receive a home care prescription. Sometimes, due to the nature of the treatment you’re having, a complete overhaul of your skincare products may be necessary.
Where funding is a concern, it’s best to have a consultation to arm yourself with the knowledge and information with a view to booking your treatments at a later convenient date.
How should I budget for homecare?
I agree that homecare can seem expensive, but it’s best to have a long term view when making purchases. Used correctly, your products should last 3 – 4 months. Meaning your financial outlay in month one will appear high, but divided across the number of months, the spend is average.
Also do remember that cosmeceutical products are very potent and you only ever need a small amount for effective dermal regeneration. From experience I also know that you are less like to be heavy handed with cosmeceutical products.
You are also giving you skin the very best of ingredients and actives that actually play a role in dermal regeneration by penetrating the skin and supporting your treatment internally. If you have taken the time to seek a professional for treatments, then the assumption is that you also want the best products/ingredients to use at home and prolong the effects of the treatment until your next appointment. That is why you should always have a budget for homecare.
My Top 6 Homecare Tips
- Invest in the essential products first – cleanser, antioxidant serum, night treatment, sunscreen.
- Use the required amount in the way you have been advised.
- Use your products in the correct order with the lightest texture first.
- If money is tight, leave out the ‘nice to have’ products – masks, scrubs, gadgets.
- Don’t ever dilute your products with water or leave caps off. That quickly renders them ineffective.
- Ask for samples – they can either be complimentary or have a very small cost.