There are many procedures being offered today for medical and cosmetic reasons that involve wounding the skin. This article will focus on general approaches to reducing the potential of post-procedure scarring. The skin is a remarkable organ that relies on careful timing and proper skin nutrients to heal properly and there are not many wound repair accelerators designed to support the process and not interfere with it.
These are part of most surgeries to reduce the chance of infection. Unfortunately, they also impact wound healing since your skin and body are made up of 65 trillion bacteria that are helpful to wound healing. Probiotics are often taken but research shows that the body does better without them. Why? The body’s microbiome (probiotic population) is generated from our DNA and so we each have a specific set of bugs that work for us and that means that a random collection of probiotics slows recovery. Osmosis believes that there is an ideal prebiotic that encourages faster recovery of the microbiome and thus improves immune responses and healing times. It is called Recovery.
Topically, the skin is effective at managing its microbiome even with repeated insults like antibiotics, alcohol and other antiseptics used in surgery and/or heat damage from procedures. Restoring the barrier lipids is necessary to restore the skin’s probiotics. This is another case where a probiotic topical does not contain your DNA designed probiotics and is therefore unhelpful.
Simply focusing on the barrier is enough to encourage the skin’s recovery. Osmosis’s barrier repair products include StemFactor, our 600+ growth factor serum, Rescue, our anti-pathogen, epidermal repair serum, and Calm, our gentle A serum that provides temporary protection using phosphatidylcholine, what our cells are made of.
It is important to accelerate collagen manufacturing but it is important to read between the lines on how to do this in a helpful way. For example, burning your skin with a cigarette accelerates collagen but the process is not rejuvenating. In a similar way, most retinols are damaging the skin to generate collagen which is not helpful. Even retinoic acid is known to thin the papillary dermis by 18% over one year’s use because it wounds the skin more than it stimulates collagen resulting in a net loss.
The most holistic and effective way to stimulate collagen above and beyond what the skin is already doing to repair the recent surgical damage is by using ingredients that feed the process. This includes: niacinamide, which dilates the blood vessels, our skin’s food source, retinaldehyde, the most potent molecule of the retinol family that does not wound the skin, chlorella, research proven to provide big benefits, but the mechanism is still unclear, and asiaticoside, a fibroblast (collagen making cell) recruiter. All of these can be found in Osmosis’s Correct and/or Renew. All of them liposome delivered to reach the deeper layers where fibroblasts are found. Acids are a bad idea because they add to the wound healing burden. Very little else works without compromising the skin’s health.
You can put all of the above-recommended ingredients and products into this category indirectly, but some ingredients actually speed the process along. For example, making more collagen is good for the skin but that is often not the bottleneck for a more rapid recovery from surgery as the skin already increases its collagen production in the face of a surgical procedure.
The ingredients that I have found to be the most potent are hydroxyproline, hydroxylysine, hydroxyglycine and hydroxycysteine. Most of these are not available in any product and only exist in Osmosis’s patented Catalyst AC-11. You have to make these powerful actives in a creative way so that they are not cost prohibitive. You can see acne scarring reverse, facial capillaries disappear, wounds heal much faster, all by providing these ingredients which are often a bottleneck in wound repair because they are in such high demand. In older skin, the addition of growth factors also fits into this category with the aforementioned StemFactor, as growth factors diminish by about 1% a year after the age of 25.
Always remember that preparing your skin before surgery optimises the skin for the strenuous times it has post-surgery and is a good idea a month prior to it. Try to minimise anything that interferes with the natural, brilliant healing process of the skin. Most of the topicals will not be advised prior to the removal of sutures, your surgeon can provide advice based on your specifics.