I was recently asked to write something about the “Best Beauty Treatments in Chicago.” This is a huge topic that can include everything from hair to nails, and all the muscles in between, so I decided to focus on what I think is the best “bang for your buck” in the medical spa industry and why.
Broadband Light Treatments (BBL™)
A Sciton phototherapy BBL™ procedure can restore a healthy look to the skin. Here’s how.
Light, light, fabulous light. The reason we all love sunlight so much is that there are some wavelengths that the sun provides that are not damaging in the same way as ultraviolet light (UV). Without getting into really complicated physics, the sunlight radiates many forms of light including blue light (good for killing the bacteria that causes acne); infrared, which helps healing; and ultraviolet.
In a BBL™ treatment, we take advantage of the healing rays that are generated by the sun and shine them onto the skin. We are able to precisely pick several different filters, each of which is attracted by the pigment in the melanocytes and in the broken blood vessels. This results in a gentle heating of the area, causing a healing response. In addition, the light stimulates the DNA, turning it back on, allowing for the production of collagen and elastin again.
Treatments using various substances to polish the surface of the skin date back to the ancient Egyptians. Kings and queens used alabaster and pumice to remove blemishes and rough spots and make their skin soft and smooth. Such treatments were essentially unchanged until the mid-1990s when microdermabrasion, a skin-care technique using aluminum oxide powder, was developed in Italy.
In the original process, aluminum oxide crystals abraded the skin (a little bit like sandblasting) and then a vacuum cleaned out blocked pores. While highly effective, there were some disadvantages:
- Aluminum oxide was left embedded in the skin, hair and clothes, and floating in the air of the treatment room.
- There was a significant volume of material to dispose of after each procedure.
- The clinician had to wear a mask, and the client had to wear eye protection and remove any contact lenses.
- Aluminum oxide sometimes left the skin red and irritated.
Evolution of this process to what is now known as medical microdermabrasion has replaced the aluminum oxide with other mildly abrasive materials like baking soda.
To complete the procedure, we follow the dermabrasion with an application of one or more products, selected specifically for the individual and their skin concerns. Due to the fact that the skin has been resurfaced first, these products penetrate more effectively, providing a superior result.
Ice the Cake With a Spray Tan!
Once you have the gorgeous skin that you deserve, don’t ruin it with a tan. Tanned skin is unhealthy skin. When the skin is exposed to UV radiation, melanocytes create melanin as a defense mechanism and the immune system is depressed. This can even cause vulnerable individuals to develop “fever blisters.”
Spray tanning is the fastest, easiest way to achieve that radiant skin you love. How does it work? Amino acids in your skin react to products in the tanning solution to produce a beautiful and natural sunless tan. The result is a natural-looking glow without the harmful effects of UV radiation.