Where skin care can make a difference

Sunday Signal

It’s widely known that skin is the largest organ in the human body.

There’s a $382 billion global business circulating around skin care and beauty. And in 2017, there were 7 million wrinkle-treatment injection procedures, 1.3 million chemical peels and 656,781 laser treatments in the United States alone, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

“We do damage control,” said Dr. Kristine Hirschfield, a practicing dermatology physician at Valencia Dermatology and Los Angeles Laser Center for the last 15 years. “Exposure to the sun’s harmful rays can lead to skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, along with precancerous lesions and aging, wrinkles and leathery skin.”

There’s also another threat, outside of the sun, coming from something used daily by millions of people across the country: makeup.

Santa Clarita makeup artist Anne Baker, who has been featured in national publications, such as Covergirl, and in cosmetology industry expos, such as BeautyCon, says makeup can be a best friend, or a worst nightmare.

“There are a lot of different ways that makeup can affect someone’s skin,” Baker said. “Of course makeup can enhance the look of your skin, which is what it was created to do, but it can also affect your skin in a negative way if not used correctly.”

Skin care has become a multi-billion dollar global industry, but according to these professionals, solutions for Santa Clarita residents are right at their fingertips.

Health care

Your skin is related to cosmetics as much as it is to your health.

“Skin cancers are life-threatening but totally preventable or treatable if we catch them before they are severe,” said Hirschfield. “We have patients coming into our office in their 30s and 40s who are so traumatized by the aging effects of the sun exposure they had in their teen years.”

While Valencia Dermatology does offer a number of skin care treatments that are cosmetic and anti-aging, it also stresses the importance and understanding that seeing a dermatologist means not only diagnosing symptoms related to cancer, but a number of other issues related to skin care that a general practitioner might not be equipped to handle, according to Hirschfield.

“Our office specializes in anything skin-related such as skin cancer, lesions that could turn into skin cancers, rashes or skin irritations, hair loss, acne, rosacea, psoriasis, etc.,” said Hirschfield. “Very often, we have general physicians or family practice doctors refer patients to us for skin issues.”

Dermatologists in Santa Clarita, such as those at Valencia Dermatology, said those looking for the younger, healthy skin but are worried about how to pay for it — for things such as lasers, medical acid peels, Botox, fillers and facials — can oftentimes seek out a free, or relatively cheap consultation.

“We have many cash patients who do not have insurance,” said Hirschfield. “They usually pay an office visit fee and we guide the patient through any additional treatment fees.”

Regardless of what any one individual is seeking, however, Hirschfield stressed the importance of her field, and how it applies to everyone.

“Going to a dermatology office is so important,” said Hirschfield. “Every person should get an annual skin cancer screening check up.”

For more information about Valencia Dermatologist’s service, visit their website at www.lalasercenter.com/valencia.

Day-to-day care

Outside of visiting a dermatologist, there are a couple simple things you can do on a daily basis to help manage your skin care, according to Anne Baker, a Hart High grad and professional makeup artist with close to 118,000 Instagram followers and 931 posts all centered around makeup, cosmetology and skin care.

“One of the biggest myths about skin care is that wearing makeup is going to make you age faster,” Baker said. “But, in fact, a lot of makeup helps protect and nourish your skin; but it has to come off at the end of the day otherwise your skin will start to collect dirt and oil, which is what will cause aging.”

Baker said she learned this cardinal rule after struggling with breakouts herself.

“I basically only washed my face in the shower, which was causing a lot of problems; I was often times sleeping in my makeup,” she said. “When I realized that I needed to do something about it, I looked into skin care and realized simply washing my face made a huge difference.”

In addition to washing her face everyday, Baker said a key element to her skin treatment is moisturizing, through both applying product and drinking water throughout the day.

“I never go to bed or leave the house for the day without applying some sort of moisturizer,” Baker said. “To keep my skin clear, I try and stay in a routine of washing my face and then going through and using toner, moisturizer and some sort of oil.”

When asked if her tips and tricks apply purely to women, Baker said men should “absolutely focus” on the health of their skin.

“Not only for cosmetic reasons, like the prevention of wrinkles, but for health reasons like protecting your skin against harmful UV rays,” said Baker. “I would say at the very least guys should have some sort of moisturizer that contains SPF so that when they are outside they are protected.”

“But it is also important to remember that something that works for me might not necessarily work for someone else,” she said. “Everyone’s skin is different.”

For more information about Baker’s everyday skin care protections, visit her Instagram at www.instagram.com/glamnanne.

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