In-Office Procedures to up Your Skin Care Routine

You already know a good skin care routine is essential if you want to preserve younger-looking skin. But sometimes, you need to step up your game for even more dramatic anti-aging benefits. If your at-home regimen isn’t getting the job done the way it used to, you may be looking for ways to take things to the next level. 

At Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa, we offer a wide variety of in-office options to help meet any skin care goal. Here are a few highlights from our extensive menu. 

Hydrafacial MD®

Go beyond the typical facial experience with Hydrafacial MD, a four-step process that leaves skin intensely cleansed, moisturized, and radiant. During your Hydrafacial, you will experience exfoliation and gentle extraction of surface impurities from your skin, while providing your skin with the essential hydration and nutrients it needs for a healthy glow. This unique treatment can address a variety of skin conditions, including acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage.

Injectable Treatments

There’s an excellent reason you have heard about injectables and fillers virtually everywhere for the past few years. These products have become many people’s secret weapon for minimizing wrinkles and fine lines and fighting back against volume loss, with zero need for sutures, scars, or recovery time. 

In an hour or less, injectables can have you looking naturally refreshed, providing long-lasting results. These options include the following.

  • BOTOX®® and Dysport®: These neuromodulators derive from a purified version of botulinum toxin, giving them the unique ability to stop wrinkles in their tracks. By blocking the chemical signals that cause muscles to contract, they relax existing wrinkles and prevent new ones from becoming a problem. BOTOX® and Dysport are ideal for lines like crow’s feet, forehead furrows, and the dreaded “eleven lines” between the eyebrows.
  • Juvéderm®®: Juvéderm® is a family of products that comes in formulations of various thicknesses, which are ideal for different treatment depths. These are excellent for minimizing wrinkles, as well as volumizing areas like the lips and mid-face.
  • Restylane®®: Like Juvéderm®, Restylane® is a hyaluronic acid-based filler that is available in different formulas. Since hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring compound in the human body, the side effects are minimal, and you can enjoy the effects of dramatically improved moisture and a noticeably smoother skin texture for months to come.    

Laser Resurfacing

Laser skin resurfacing can address a broad variety of complaints, including discoloration, sun damage, and freckles, while simultaneously encouraging the skin’s natural collagen production to create continued results after your treatment session. We recommend the South Beach Peel™, which combines the benefits of broadband laser light with a peel that targets the top layers of skin. 

Only one laser resurfacing session with the South Beach Peel provides outstanding results for the face, neck, décolletage, and hands. However, a series of in-office treatments can provide even more remarkable results. 

Microneedling

Microneedling is an innovative treatment that reduces wrinkles, stretch marks, and hyperpigmentation while improving the texture of the skin. The procedure relies on a unique device called the DermaPen®, which uses fine needles to create minuscule puncture wounds in the surface of the skin. 

As part of its natural healing response, your body will generate new collagen and elastin. Your result will be firmer, healthier, smoother skin with fewer wrinkles and a more even tone. As a bonus, your topical products will penetrate your skin better after getting microneedling, making them more effective.

Ultherapy

If you’re looking for a way to reverse common effects of aging, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a surgical procedure such as a facelift, Ultherapy might be an ideal way to bring your skin care to new heights. It is a gentle, in-office technique that uses low levels of ultrasound energy to create new collagen in the face, neck, and décolletage. 

One treatment takes between 45 and 90 minutes, and you will begin to see gradual results developing over the next several months as your skin tightens in response to the new collagen growth. Many of our patients report a marked improvement in the firmness of their skin, as well as a reduction in trouble spots such as jowls and nasolabial folds. 

Reveal Your Best Skin Ever

If you are ready to learn more about minimally invasive procedures to boost your skin care routine, contact us anytime. We are proud to be a leading provider of aesthetic medicine in Vernon Hills, IL, offering a range of cutting-edge services in our well-appointed office.  

The Benefits of Cryotherapy

The Benefits of Cryotherapy

 

At the Ritacca Laser Center, we’re constantly looking for safe, minimally invasive ways to reverse the aging process. In doing so, we often turn to established medical technologies. Many of the methods doctors use to heal injuries and manage chronic health conditions can also encourage cosmetic rejuvenation. This overlap exists because compounds used during healing, like collagen and elastin, are also essential for the maintenance of firm, smooth, and youthful skin. 

 

Cryotherapy has been used for decades to provide pain relief and prompt tissue regeneration, but it’s only recently been adopted by plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Today, this procedure is used to quickly and painlessly improve the health and appearance of patients.

 

What is Cryotherapy?

 

Cryotherapy is a system wherein patients are exposed to hyper-cooled vapors for two to four minutes. This exposure time is sufficient to stimulate the healing process and metabolism, while being too short to induce cold-related injuries. 

 

Cryotherapy can be applied to the whole body or just specific areas, such as the face. When applied to the face, cryotherapy is often called a “cryofacial” or “frotox.”

 

What are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?

 

The primary advantages of cryotherapy over other skin rejuvenation treatments are safety and convenience. No harsh chemicals or injections are used during cryotherapy, and patients can resume their normal activities soon after treatment. Furthermore, cryofacials do not cause the skin to crack or peel. Cosmetically, cryotherapy can grant all of the following benefits: 

 

  1. Instantly tighter skin.

 

Extreme cold causes a wide variety of materials to contract, and human tissue is no exception. When cold vapors are applied to the skin, the blood vessels and connective tissues below the epidermis are immediately constricted. This instantly (and painlessly) firms the skin, lifting the face and reducing the visibility of wrinkles. 

 

  1. No-contact exfoliation.

 

Under the right conditions, cold air can act as a powerful exfoliant. Cryofacials open clogged pores, induce the natural shedding of dead skin cells, and reduce the production of sebum (skin oil). This creates a radiant, glowing look and helps control acne symptoms.

 

  1. Increased collagen production.

 

When the body is subjected to extreme cold, it instantly goes into “panic mode” because it assumes that the skin is being injured (e.g., by frostbite). In its rush to repair potential damage, the body sends a surge of collagen and elastin to the skin’s surface. This collagen and elastin then gets to work, rebuilding and strengthening the epidermis. 

 

This healing process, which is a fundamental part of how laser and chemical peels work, effectively combats age-related collagen loss. In the weeks following a cryofacial, the skin gradually becomes fuller and healthier. 

 

  1. Better fat burning.

 

Our bodies have to burn a lot of calories to stay warm in cold conditions. In fact, being exposed to temperatures cold enough to induce shivering can burn 100 calories in just 15 minutes. Some people therefore use whole-body cryotherapy to enhance their weight loss efforts. The deep cold used during this procedure may burn up to 500 calories per session. However, it’s important to remember that cryotherapy is not a feasible substitute for a healthy lifestyle. Caloric restriction and regular exercise are necessary for weight loss, with or without the assistance of cosmetic treatments. 

 

If you’re interested in skin rejuvenation but don’t want to deal with downtime or peeling, cryotherapy might be right for you. To learn more about this treatment, contact the Ritacca Laser Center at 847-367-8815.

Skincare Habits to Adopt in the New Year for a Glowing 2019

Adopting better habits can be hard, but changing how you look after your skin has never been easier. Over the last decade, a number of cosmetic treatments have been developed to treat acne, sun damage, and the signs of aging—without discomfort or downtime. We also know more about how the skin works than ever before, so we can develop targeted, effective skincare habits. For radiant skin throughout 2019, check out the tips below:

Three Essential Skincare Tips for 2019

1. Diet Matters

When it comes to cultivating glowing skin, what you put into your body matters as much as the external treatments you choose. Though it’s a myth that specific foods (like chocolate) cause breakouts, research has shown that eating a diet high in processed foods and low in essential nutrients degrades overall skin health. A bad diet increases inflammation, which can in turn worsen acne. Likewise, when the skin is deprived of vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids, it can’t repair itself as effectively. This allows UV damage and environmental stress to accumulate, causing premature aging. To keep your glow gorgeous, eat a diet rich in whole foods, especially plant-based whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

2. Professional Exfoliation is a Must

We now know that exfoliating at home can, unfortunately, do more harm than good. Home-based exfoliation techniques, like scrubbing with abrasive crystals or cloths, can create tiny tears in the skin, allowing acne-causing bacteria to do more damage. These methods also tend to dry out the skin, without replenishing vital oils and nutrients. To really get the full benefits of exfoliation, you’ll need to try a professional treatment like the HydraFacial. The HydraFacial system uses hydrating serums and a special vortex extraction system to vacuum away dead skin cells without damaging the skin. Then, a series of nourishing serums are applied to the skin. These serums contain a number of antioxidants designed to help the skin repair itself and resist the effects of UV radiation and environmental toxins.

3. Schedule Regular Laser Treatments

Laser skin rejuvenation treatments, like the BBL laser, use targeted pulses of light to painlessly dissolve skin cells. The laser essentially “peels away” the uppermost layer of the skin—much like a chemical peel does, but without the same potential for flaking, redness, or discomfort. Over a series of treatments, this process gradually smooths out lines and wrinkles while fading sun spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
Laser skin treatments also stimulate the production of collagen, a protein that’s necessary to build strong, healthy skin cells. Because declining collagen levels are to blame for many of the visible signs of aging, having laser treatments repeated each year can potentially delay the need for facelift surgery.

With winter in full swing, many of us are experiencing a range of skin woes, from dryness and dullness to acne (and everything in between). If you’re ready to take charge of your skin health, let us help you make 2019 a glowing year. Contact us today to arrange a consultation with our team of certified skincare experts.

HydraFacial is the Reset Your Skin Needs for Back to School

Problem skin often happens when we least expect it—like right in time for your first week back at school. There’s a reason for this though: Whether you’re prone to breakouts or dryness, summer heat and sun exposure can wreak havoc on your skin. By the time September rolls around, it’s had enough.

Unless you find a way to soothe your skin, you might be in for a bumpy ride of pimples, redness, enlarged pores, and irritation. This is why we frequently recommend the Hydrafacial system to our younger patients: If you have this treatment before the school year starts, you can heal and refresh your skin, preparing it to cope with late nights and stress.

Why Summertime Stresses Your Skin

Most of us blame dry winter air for our skincare struggles, but summer conditions are ultimately a lot more punishing. There’s UV damage from sun exposure, of course, which is hard to completely avoid even with the right precautions. Summer activities take a toll on our skin, too. Long days spent out in the hot sun cause us to sweat more than normal, and this sweat frequently mixes with oil, makeup, and dead skin cells. The resulting liquid clogs our pores, making us more prone to breakouts. Furthermore, when sweat (or water) evaporates, it takes some of the skin’s natural moisture with it. Together, these factors lead to the development of “combination skin” that’s both oily and dry. Treating combination skin with over the counter topical products can easily worsen either dryness or oiliness, depending on the products you’re using.

How a Hydrafacial Can Help

The Hydrafacial system creates noticeable results quickly while still being gentle enough for use on sensitive skin. Unlike other leading skin rejuvenation treatments, it won’t make your skin red or flaky while you recover. Most patients only experience a subtle rosy glow after having a Hydrafacial. It usually fades away after a few hours, revealing refreshed, radiant skin. Still, like more invasive procedures, the Hydrafacial is capable of treating a wide range of stubborn skin problems. It reduces the frequency and severity of acne breakouts, shrinks enlarged pores, and minimizes the appearance of acne scars. Likewise, those with dry skin notice that after having a Hydrafacial, their skin is smooth and hydrated. In mature patients, this procedure is often used to reverse the visible signs of aging.

The Hydrafacial system achieves this versatility by employing a unique multi-step approach to skincare: Every Hydrafacial starts with a form of deep exfoliation called “Vortex Extraction.” During this phase of treatment, a solution containing mild organic acids is used to dissolve excess oil, dead skin cells, and other pore-clogging debris. This debris is then sucked away with the aid of a powerful vacuum tool. Once the skin has been adequately prepared, another serum—this one containing powerful acne-fighting compounds, like salicylic acid—is applied to the skin. This serum eradicates acne-causing bacteria, penetrates into hair follicles to dislodge stubborn debris, and gently abrades the uppermost layer of the skin. This abrasion stimulates the production of a healing compound called collagen, while also removing blemishes and superficial scar tissue.

To encourage optimal healing, nourishing serums are worked deep into the skin during the final stages of Hydrafacial treatment. These serums contain a number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phenols—Everything your skin needs to bounce back, stronger and more lustrous than before.

Hydrafacial treatment doesn’t have side-effects, and it can be repeated at regular intervals to ensure consistent results. To learn more about how this treatment can refresh your skin, contact the skincare experts at Ritacca to arrange a consultation.

 

 

 

Stuff Your Stockings With These Great Skincare Products

For many people, opening up a stocking is one of the most enjoyable parts of Christmas. After all, who doesn’t love digging to the bottom of his or her stocking, pulling out a bunch of wonderful little surprises along the way?

As fun as stockings are to open, figuring out what to put in them can prove challenging. After all, if buying one gift for that person who has everything is hard, it’s going to be even harder to choose several small gifts for them. Fortunately, if you feel like you’re running out of stocking stuffer ideas, there’s one option that has virtually unlimited potential: Skincare products. Not only is there an incredible array of different products to choose from, the appeal of skincare products is nearly universal. Everyone wants more radiant, youthful-looking skin.

The 4 Best Skincare Stocking Stuffers for Both Men and Women

Need some help creating the perfect skincare shopping list? We’ve compiled a list of four of our personal skincare “must haves”:

  1. The perfect pigment correcting serum.

Pigment problems, like sun spots and areas of skin discoloration, typically accumulate with age. That’s why almost everyone needs a professional-grade pigment correcting serum like Lytera® 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum. This serum, which can safely be used on all skin types and hues, has been specially formulated to correct even the most stubborn pigmentation issues. Better still, this serum has been designed to enhance the results of many popular dermatological skin resurfacing procedures, like chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing. It can even be used safely alongside some of the most commonly prescribed skincare products, e.g. hydroquinone.

Lytera is 100% fragrance-free and contains no harmful parabens, making it appropriate for use even on very sensitive skin. Lytera also does not bleach or lighten the skin in any way, so individuals with dark skin may use it without worry.

  1. An excellent anti-aging serum

Not all anti-aging creams are created equally. Many inexpensive drugstore creams contain ingredients that can actually dry out and irritate our skin. They’re also typically lacking in the kind of high-quality compounds that are needed to penetrate deeply into the skin and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin.

When picking out an anti-aging serum, look for a brand that is rich in natural oils, vitamins (like vitamins E and C), and antioxidants. Just like antioxidants can repair damage done within our bodies, they can help to rejuvenate skin that’s been harmed by the sun, environmental toxins, etc. You should also be aware that serums which contain natural growth factors found in the human body (like Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media) are especially good at restoring the skin’s natural radiance and suppleness. That’s why we love TNS Essential Serum: Not only is it rich in antioxidants and human growth factors, it contains special Hyaluronic Filling Spheres that supply the skin with hyaluronic acid. This acid, which is used in many popular dermal fillers, both traps water (keeping the skin moist and hydrated) and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.

  1. Neocutis Lumiere eye cream

Even if you regularly moisturize your face, as you get older, you’ll probably find that the area around your eyes needs a little extra TLC… And you’re not alone. Most people struggle with puffiness, redness, and the appearance of fine lines around their eyes as they age. That’s why the Neocutis Lumiere eye cream is the perfect skincare stocking stuffer for virtually anyone over thirty: This nourishing eye serum contains caffeine, hyaluronic acid, and bisabolol—all crucial ingredients that can keep the area under the eyes plump and bright. It’s also specially formulated to treat the very delicate, sensitive skin around our eyes without causing any irritation.

  1. Skincare gift cards

As useful as at-home skincare products are, the simple fact of the matter is that they can’t do everything. Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons have access to skincare technology that far exceeds the effectiveness of anything we consumers can purchase to use at home. Because dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons have the training and experience needed to use injectable treatments (like Juvéderm®, BOTOX®, Radiesse®, etc.), they can penetrate deep below the surface layer of the skin and correct the deeper structural issues that moisturizers and at-home exfoliation kits just can’t reach. Giving a friend or loved one a dermatology gift card therefore grants him or her access to a peerless rejuvenation experience.

If you would like more information on the ways cosmetic medicine can repair skin damage and reverse the visible signs of aging, feel free to contact us. In the meantime, happy gifting!