For the last 26 years, Environ has been at the forefront of vitamin A innovation, continuously creating world-pioneering products that create real results in our skin. Before summer kicks into gear, it’s important to take advantage of the colder months for advanced skin treatment modalities while the harsh effects of the sun are not as much of a post-treatment hazard. Dr. Des Fernandes, Environ Founder and Scientific Director, enlightens us on what in-salon and at-home treatments are available to us and the latest releases from the prestige powerhouse.
The Lowdown: Peeling is a process of removing excessive, dry and hyper-keratinised superficial cells from the surface of the skin. While it is an important step in the treatment of congestion, rosacea and thick sun-damaged skin conditions, peeling is also very effective in reducing fine lines and beneficial to dry skin.
Here’s the catch – peeling before or after sun exposure is not recommended. Therefore, these winter months are an ideal time of the year to consider a series of peels. First and foremost, your skin should be in its optimum condition before you commence with peeling treatments as skin that is well-primed with Vitamin A will be stronger, healthier and respond safely to peels. By accustoming your skin to vitamin A and strengthening your overall skin function, the texture and appearance will be improved, but so too will the results of your chosen skin peel.
There’s a lot of confusion around peeling with some believing, ‘the heavier the peel, the better the result’. Traditional treatments are based on the destruction of the skin’s cells – however, Environ’s technology does not put a strain on epidermal cells but rather supports the natural processes of healthy skin. Take, for instance, their Cool Peel Technology; it is a revolutionary approach, which preserves as much of the epidermis as possible and offers a selection of cool peels that range from micro-level to noticeable peeling.
Dr. Des Fernandes, Environ Founder and Scientific Director, advises us to opt for very light peels frequently. “This will sterilise the skin and remove an excessively thickened horny layer that promotes acne,” he says. For those with fine skin, peels are not a treatment that is recommended. He continues, “I prefer to treat only people with rough, thickened horny layers. These are the people who have a chronic deficiency of vitamins A and C, as well as the other antioxidants.” For in-salon peels, your trained skincare professional will be able to advise the right treatment that will suit your skin type. However, for those who are wishing to try out peeling treatments in the comfort of their own home, Dr. Fernandes recommends the Home Peel Kit ACM 1, $96, or the Environ Home Peel Kit LACM 1, $182. As a prepping system, use the step-up moisturisers in the Skin EssentiA AVST or Youth EssentiA range for a minimum of three weeks before a peel. “The true Environ philosophy of skin care is best served by light cool peeling, iontophoresis and sonophoresis, and the Roll-CIT (home needling) whenever possible for the rehabilitation of cells,” says Dr. Fernandes.
Sonophoresis and Iontophoresis
The Lowdown: Iontophoresis involves the use of an electrical current to facilitate greater penetration of vitamins into the skin; Sonophoresis involves the use of sound waves to transport vitamin molecules through the skin. The dual-combo treatment aids in the essential vitamins used in the salon serums to not only penetrate deeply into the skin but also penetrate into the cells themselves to create physiological changes and visible improvements in your skin.
Sonophoresis blended with pulsed Iontophoresis in Environ’s DF Machine facial is for those who are yearning for serious results. Designed to help stimulate the maximum thickening of the skin and the normalisation of collagen and elastin, you can expect smoother and softer skin. For those who suffer from undesirable redness such as rosacea, flushing, sun exposure, stress, alcohol or general ageing, the DF Machine treatment has an ability in restoring healthy blood flow and proper oxygenation to the skin, which incredibly beneficial in improving skin tone.
When a combination of modalities are used, or combination therapies of good home-care; you should aim to go as high as your skin can tolerate with Vitamin A, choose a course of skin peels and medical needling in winter and incorporate the Environ STEP-UP SYSTEM into your treatment routine.
The Lowdown: The skin’s main function is protection – keeping the ‘good’ components in the skin and the ‘nasties’ out. The natural lipid barrier envelops the skin’s surface cells, creating an impermeable protective layer, which locks in hydration and prevents the penetration of harmful microbes. It is important to keep the skin’s barrier ‘in check,’ however, by doing so, this impedes the efficacy of topical active skin care, which is only applied to the skin’s surface. So the big question becomes, how do you simultaneously preserve the barrier and make our skin more permeable to products?
The answer is in a pioneered technique by Dr. Des Fernandes called skin needling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). An exciting treatment that visibly improves skin texture, smoothes wrinkles, fine lines and scars, needling promotes the natural production of collagen and elastin.
The principle behind home-needling is to create micro-channels in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of the epidermis). This, in turn, aids the transportation of vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene contained in adjunctive skincare products into the skin much more effectively than by simply applying the products to the skin’s surface. To gain the best results, you should ultimately conduct home-rolling at least five times a week. Start slowly and build your way up, making sure your skin is well acclimatised to active skincare ingredients first. Environ have three home rolling devices: the Cosmetic Roll-CIT, $209, for face, neck and décolletage; the Focus CIT, $52,for smaller areas such as the upper lip, frown line and crow’s feet; and the Cosmetic Body Roll-CIT, $292,for large surfaces of the body such as the stomach, arms and thighs.
Medical skin needling, conducted in a salon, is the next step up and is generally performed with a longer needling apparatus, which creates micro-injuries to the skin. These micro-injuries induce a natural wound healing response, which includes the release of growth factors and the deposition of new collagen and elastin to rejuvenate the skin. If you’re worried about the pain scale of this, medical skin needling is usually performed under topical anaesthetic. Depending on the skin condition, it may be repeated weekly to monthly and it can also be a treatment that is used in conjunction with home needling.
The combination of needling, followed by the targeted topical application of vitamins into the lower layers of the skin, then assists with collagen and elastin formation. To enhance the results of salon skin needling treatments, the Apres-CIT, applied post-treatment in salon, delivers a combination of three powerful peptide complexes that help to signal ageing skin to produce healthier collagen and elastin, resulting in a faster and more impressive improvement. It’s important to note that needling is not suitable for use by persons who have active acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis or raised moles or warts.