Best Kept Beauty Secrets Revealed for Spring

From products to procedures, local skin care specialists offer advice.
You’ll be smiling too once your skin looks as good as Tina Bothof and Kally Karjala of Skin Artisans in Edina.

It seems every month, we are faced with another round of skin care product and procedure recommendations from industry experts and health professionals around the country. But our skin faces its own brand of issues—from winter’s wrath to sundrenched days at the lake. Edina Magazine asked those who know us best—professionals right here in Edina—to offer their recommendations for healthy skin.

Kally Karjala, medical esthetician and manager with Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery; Michelle Poirier, vice president with Lili Salon Spa; and Patrick Connery of Blue Mercury offer their best tips.

What to know about procedures

Before any treatment, make sure you are aware of potential downtime, adverse side effects, potential for bruising, discoloration, peeling, etc.

BBL (Broad Band Light, photorejuventation, fotofacial) is a light-based laser that targets pigment and vessels. The treatment feels like rubber band snaps, and there are light flashes you’ll see, even with eyes closed and protective goggles on. After the treatment your skin will feel like it has a mild sunburn, and in the days following, pigment gets darker before it exfoliates off. Ask about recommended skin care options while your skin heals.

Botox and dermal fillers are wrinkle treatments involving injections to either freeze muscles or add fullness, contouring and volume. Nurse injectors should be highly trained and educated in all neurotoxins and dermal fillers and should explain all of the risks and benefits of Botox and dermal fillers.

Skin Pen, dermal needling or micro-needling, is an anti-aging treatment with little downtime. Collagen in the dermis of the skin is stimulated to smooth texture, reduce pore size and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Patients typically experience 15 minutes of numbing on the skin before the treatment is administered. Afterward, you may experience a mild sunburn heat sensation and some redness. Some pinpoint bleeding can occur during treatment, but is less likely afterward. Some patients experience purpura bruising (like a hickey) lasting a couple of days, but is easily covered with makeup, although no makeup or skin care products are recommended until the following day. Three to six treatments four weeks apart is typically recommended. Results are considered permanent but of course, the natural aging process will still continue.

Dermaplaning is a nonabrasive skin care procedure involving a special blade to remove the top layer of dead skin and any fine hair on the surface of the skin leaving a glowing appearance. Following this procedure, makeup can be applied easily and smoothly, and skin care products will penetrate more deeply making them more effective. This is a great option to include with facials or a chemical peel because there is no downtime or pain. Benefits can last up to four weeks depending on individual results and care regimens.

Chemical peels can range from superficial to medical-grade in depth that penetrates to deeper levels of the dermal layer. Peels consist of alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acids and some also include a retinol. Deeper-level peels with retinol will cause the skin to peel for two to five days. Superficial peels usually will not cause peeling but rather a healthy glow making them a great option to prepare your skin for special events. Peels help with pigmentation and acne scarring due to pigmentation, fine lines, skin texture and exfoliation. 

A warm or tingling sensation is common but tolerable. Recovery time depends on the depth of the peel ranging from no recovery to two to five days.

What to be thinking about at...

25: Tanning beds are “bad.” Start a basic skin care regime. In the morning, cleanse, tone, hydrate and use an SPF product every day. In the evening, cleanse, use retinol or some type of exfoliating cream, like a glycolic or lactic. A Clarisonic or something similar should be used to help with clogged pores and deeper cleaning. Regular facials help skin look its best.

35: Cleansing and toning is still an important part of skin care, especially if you’re still experiencing hormonal breakouts. Use a topical vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) along with eye cream and an SPF every day. At night, use a retinol-based treatment cream to help with cellular turnover, sun damage, fine lines and acne.

45: Be diligent about what’s tried and true. Vitamin C and SPF are still morning routines. Consider using growth factors or stem cells in serums. This helps regenerate or release new cells to the upper layers of the dermis and epidermis, bringing a more youthful appearance. Regular facials and exfoliation and retinol-based treatments help maintain balance in your skin as it goes through the natural aging process.

55+: Continue with regular skin treatments and regimes. Adjust treatments and products to reflect any changes such as dryness. Products that contain hyaluronic acid can be beneficial as it helps maintain a moisture balance in your skin.

Product Picks from the Experts

Our experts say products offered at major retailers are made for the mass market and are cosmeceutical, which means they affect the surface layer only. To get enough active ingredients to actually do what’s advertised is difficult. Medical-grade products will penetrate beyond the surface with visible, lasting results. The first five ingredients need to be the active ones. There can also be a lot of fragrance in over-the-counter products. Many higher-priced products last a long time, because a little goes a long way. Also, home remedies can cause skin reactions. Optimum skin care is best left to the professionals.

Kally Karjala, Medical Aesthetician at Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery

  • Daily face wash: SkinCeuticals LHA cleanser is great for oily or problematic skin. $40
  • Exfoliator: Defenage 2 Minute Mask is good for all skin types even sensitive skin. $55
  • Makeup remover: Micellar Water, “I love it for my eye makeup.” $7
  • Mask: Revision Black Mask is a charcoal mask to help unclog pores and minimize oil. $41
  • Serum: SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF, topical vitamin C for anti-aging is a must-have in all skin care regimes. $163
  • Body scrub: Skin Artisans Skin Brightening Scrub is great for face and body, alpha hydroxy acids and brightening agents. $40
  • Acne care: Skin Artisans BPO 10 percent Spot Treatment, a strong benzoyl peroxide to target large pustules with green tea polyphenols. $25
  • Moisturizer (face, hands, body): Skin Artisans HA Serum, this is an additional hyaluronic acid to layer with other moisturizers and great as a stand-alone hydrating serum during summer months. $75
  • Night cream: Skin Artisans Glycolic night cream is a 20 percent glycolic cream that helps with cellular turnover and dehydrated skin and is good for most skin types. $50
  • Sunscreen: SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion 50 is a pure physical block with zinc and titanium dioxide and is a lightweight sunscreen with a light tint. “Love this. I wear it 365 days
    a year.” $34

Michelle Poirier, Vice President at Lili Salon Spa

  • Cleanser: Hexam, Vivier, is good for all skin types, contains hexamidine, prevents breakouts and works well with sensitive skin. $43.50
  • Exfoliant: Vitamin C Scrub, Vivier, is great because it contains vitamin C, which has anti-aging properties and antioxidants. The microbeads are degradable and it is gentle enough for everyday use. $43
  • Makeup remover: Hexam, Vivier, is good for all skin types, contains hexamidine, which is both antibacterial and antimicrobial, prevents breakouts and works well with sensitive skin. $43.50
  • Mask: Black Mask, Revision Skincare, exfoliates with salicylic acid and is purifying because it pulls toxins out of pores meaning results are visible after one use. $41
  • Body scrub: Body Buff, Moroccanoi, infuses immediate moisture with this scrub. $50
  • Fine line eliminator: TNS Essential Serum, SkinMedica, is dual chambered with human growth factors on one side and anti-aging serum on the other. $321
  • Serum: CE Peptides; Vivier, is an anti-aging serum with vitamin C, vitamin E for moisture and pigmentation, peptides that act as messengers for natural collagen and results will be visible after one week of continued use. $166.50
  • Cleanser: Hexam cleanser, $43.50, and Lexxel moisturizer from Vivier. $78.50
  • Moisturizer: Lexxel, Vivier, is great for all skin types because it is hydrating and good for treating redness. $78.50
  • Night cream: Dermal repair; SkinMedica. $129
  • Bronzer: Tropical Day or Tropical Night bronzer, Kevyn Aucoin, has a slight shimmer for a healthy looking glow. $48

Patrick Connery, Blue Mercury

  • Face wash: La Mer Cleansing Foam is for all skin types, is concentrated and has the classic La Mer scent all love. $90
  • Exfoliator: M-61 Power Peel Pads uses glycolic acid and salicylic acid to exfoliate and brighten the skin. $28–$110
  • Pore reducer: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque detoxifies, brightens and invigorates skin while minimizing the look of pores. $47
  • Makeup remover: Dermalogica Pre-cleanse Balm is a fabulous balm-to-oil cleansing balm to remove all traces of makeup before your usual face cleanser. $45
  • Mask: Trish McEvoy Triangle of Light Eye Mask dramatically soothes, plumps, brightens and firms the under eye area. $68
  • Serum: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic improves signs of aging and photo damage. $165

What’s Your Problem? Tips for Trouble Spots

Kally Karjala, Medical Aesthetician at Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery

  • Spot treatments: broad band light (BBL), or photorejuvenation or fotofacials
  • Unwanted hair: laser hair removal
  • Dark spots on hands and face: BBL
  • Crow’s feet and frown lines: Botox and dermal fillers
  • Skin tags: Lamprobe or Skin Classic
  • Scars: most likely Profractional, a laser treatment
  • Stretch marks (old and new!): Skin Pen, Profractional but dozens of treatments are needed.
  • Under eye dark circles: Dermal filler, “I have tried every eye cream and haven’t found any that really work,” she says.

Michelle Poirier, Vice President at Lili Salon Spa

  • Spot treatments: Peels, SkinPen, BBL Laser. Home care products to assist these services for optimal results include SkinMedica’s Lytera 2.0 ($154) and Vivier’s Skin TX skin brightening cream. ($100.50)
  • Unwanted hair: Dermaplaning (face) and/or waxing. 
  • Crow’s feet and/or frown lines: SkinPen treatments (a series of three to six treatments) or Injectable Services, including fillers and Botox are sure to assist any unwanted lines.
  • Scars: Depending on the type and location of scars (if it is dark in color and not raised) we offer SkinPen, BBL laser or a deeper peel as a treatment. “If it is white in color or raised, there is not much we are able to safely offer.”
  • Stretch marks: SkinPen and BBL laser assist with decreasing the visibility of stretch marks. The more aged the skin/marks, the less effective the treatment.
  • Under-eye circles: Reduce puffiness with a Nuvesse MD Puffy Eye Mask. This mask is phenomenal for a pre-event treatment. It can be paired with any of our facials or services.

The Bare Necessities

Screen Time: Recommended Sunscreens

KK: My go-to is SkinCeuticals. There is a big difference in chemical and physical block sunscreens. Also, SkinCeuticals is whispering that a body sunscreen is coming this year!

MP: A chemical/physical sunblock means it will block UVA/UVB rays, but the few rays that get through will be absorbed by your body and transform it into energy, so it is not damaging to your skin. Chemical/physical sunblock is available at drugstores, but should be medical grade. Intellishade (SPF 45) ($68). Revision Skincare is a chemical/physical sunblock that is tinted so it blends into any skin tone. It also offers a variety of antioxidants to help repair the skin. 

On the Go: You’re on a deserted island, besides sunscreen, what’s your one must-have skin care item?

KK: Phloretin CF or CE Ferulic (same product for different skin) with the natural SPF eight and all the benefits
of anti-aging.

MP: HA5 by SkinMedica ($178). It contains five forms of hyaluronic acid. The more it’s used, the more it teaches your body to produce more hyaluronic acid naturally. It will keep your skin looking hydrated and young with each use. The reason this product is so successful is that hyaluronic acid can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, giving you the moisture needed for especially dry weather.

PC: La Mer Concentrate ($180-790). [It] soothes irritation caused by surgery or burns and calms redness.