Deep Dive: How to Prep Skin for Ablative & Non-Ablative Skin Procedures

beautiful woman with blue eyes and dark hairPopular Ablative & Non-Ablative Skin Procedures like Microneedling, Microdermabrasion, Fillers and Injections & How to Get Your Best Skin

It’s that time of the year… you can just feel it! Fall is here which means the kids are back in school, and the holiday parties are just around the corner.

And if we're being honest with ourselves, it's very possible that you haven’t been taking great care of your skin the way you know you should during all of the hustle that comes with summer travel and leisure. In fact, your mirror is not telling you, "you are the fairest of them all".  

Friends might even be telling you, “you look tired.” (That is their nice way of saying, you don’t look so great).

Or, perhaps, you just celebrated another birthday, with more candles than you care to count.  Does anybody else hear that siren going off?

If some of this sounds familiar, you're ready to take the dive.  You want to get something done to your face but you’re not sure where to start.  

Welcome, my beautiful friend, you have come to the right place!

I know our attention spans are short these days (squirrel!), but please keep reading. 

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned user of skincare procedures, these suggestions will help guide you down the right path.

Let’s dive right in.

The First Step When Considering an Ablative or Non-Ablative Skin Procedure

Bright skin procedure research on laptop

Step one: you must, and I mean it is imperative, do your research.

And I don’t mean scanning your favorite beauty blog or your friend’s posts on social media.  Heck, I don’t even mean reading the reviews and articles in the magazines while you wait in your doctor’s waiting room.

Before I go any further, let me be clear:  there is nothing wrong with any of the above. I do all of these myself as well!

However, you must go beyond this type of research and dive deeper.  What do I mean by that? I thought you would never ask...

Here are a few important terms that you should understand before going further. And I encourage you not to skip over this part. Maybe even copy them to your “notes” app on your phone.

Ablative: In simple terms, this means some, if not all, of the top layer of skin, will be removed in some fashion.  (This is one of the important questions you’ll want to ask during your consult which I’ll review later in this article.)

There are hundreds of procedures that do this; some popular ablative procedures include microneedling, microdermabrasion, and other laser resurfacing procedures

The goal for all of them is the same: younger-looking skin by way of signaling the body to make new collagen.  

Collagen is the protein in the lower layer of our skin that gives us the plump, healthy skin we all took for granted in our twenties.

Non-Ablative: These procedures don’t “break open” the skin.  

An example of this type of skin procedure is a chemical peel.  However, chemical peels can be aggressive. Again, do your research and make sure the procedure will correct your concern.

Speaking of your skin concern...

Assess Your Skin for the Real Problem Areas & Consider Your Skin Concerns

girl hiding face behind sheet in bed

I want you to stand in front of the mirror. Go ahead, I’ll wait...

Now, take your time, and look at yourself in the mirror. No, I mean really look; with no makeup, and consider: what are your skin concerns? What is keeping you up at night?  What do you want to correct?

You need to know, without a shadow of a doubt, what you want to correct before you walk into your doctor’s office. Yes, for once, this is really all about you!

Notice I said correct here. I did not say you need to know which procedure you want to have done at this point. DO NOT leave this decision to anyone else. When it comes to what you want to correct on your own skin, you are your own expert!  You know what’s keeping you up at night, own it.

Also, notice I said before you walk into the office.  

The last thing you want to do, especially when you’re already uncertain, is to randomly walk into an office and let them start talking you into procedures they think you should get done.  

Note to self: A reputable skin expert will always ask you what you want to correct. If they don’t, run for the door!

Okay, so now that you’ve stood in front of the mirror way longer than was comfortable) and have decided what you want to correct, now what?

Ask Your Friends for Honest Advice & Input

two ethnic women taking a selfie

Ask your friends, colleagues, acquaintances, random strangers - anyone who seems to take care of their own skin.  

Even consider asking people you don’t know that have beautiful skin… but for the love of all things beautiful… ASK!  

This isn’t the time to make the proclamation #IndependentWoman.  You need some objective input, so don’t be afraid to ask the question.

What are you asking them? Simply ask them which doctors or practices they go to, and who takes care of their skin? Ask them which skin procedures and treatments they've tried and about their experiences. This is a great opportunity to learn from their mistakes as well - don't just ask for the good, ask for the bad too! 

How To Find the Best Skincare Experts

open agenda notebook with pencil

Research the office. Research the skincare specialists.  Research the skincare they recommend and the procedures they perform in their office.

Take it a step further, and visit the websites of the manufacturers who make the procedure equipment, tools, and skincare.  If the equipment is cleared or approved by the FDA, they are required to report the good, bad, and ugly of the procedure.

Make sure the practice you're considering offers procedures to correct the specific concerns you identified in the previous steps.  

Once you’ve identified at least one practice that has the services and quality of care that you’re looking for, you should always request a consult first.  If they “don’t do consults”, I strongly suggest you head for the door.

Consults are generally free of charge, (and if not, don’t be afraid to pay for this very important part of the process).

It’s an interview for both of you. You are about to make an investment in your skin. Take the time to ask questions to try to understand every part of the process.

Don’t hesitate to get more than one consult, or to more than one practice!  

One final tip I’d encourage you to consider is to attend an “open house” held by the practice you're considering.  

Take advantage of the opportunity to get a sense for the “vibe” of the practice by attending these events.  Open houses are also a great place to talk to other patients and get input about the practice, the procedures they’ve tried, and ask them questions as well.

If you're looking for a good place to start, use our Location Finder to search for skincare experts in your area.

Prepare Your Skin Before Your Ablative or Non-Ablative Skincare Procedure 

Regenerating Skin Nectar with TriHex Technology

Once you've found a skincare expert, and have decided which procedures you're going to use to address your skin concerns, you'll want to do your part to ensure that you get the best results from your investment. 

In the weeks leading up to your procedure, it is imperative to use professional skincare products that are specifically formulated to elevate results from your ablative and non-ablative procedure while strengthening your fragile, compromised skin in order to minimize the risk of complications and support your recovery process. 

Consider a procedure enhancement skincare system or a top-rated skincare product like the ALASTIN Skincare Regenerating Skin Nectar with TriHex Technology® which is designed to support the skin before, during, and after skincare procedures.

I hope you feel better informed about how to prep your skin for ablative and non-ablative skin procedures. I am confident that if you follow these steps, you will walk away from your next appointment feeling great, and your skin glowing!

About Our Author

Karen Ragaini, Registered Nurse, Licensed Aesthetician, National Education & Training Manager | ALASTIN Skincare

This article was prepared by Karen Ragaini, Registered Nurse, Licensed Aesthetician, National Education & Training Manager for ALASTIN Skincare.

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Article Reviewed by Wendy Johnson
Wendy Johnson

Vice President, Marketing

Wendy Johnson brings to Alastin Skincare over 22 years of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and aesthetics industry experience in various sales, training, marketing and thought leader development roles.

After spending 10 years in gastroenterology at Tap Pharmaceuticals and Prometheus Laboratories, with sales and marketing oversight for in-line and pre-launch products, Mrs. Johnson transitioned to an aesthetic career at SkinMedica in 2004. While there, she was responsible for marketing one of the top 2 branded prescription hydroquinones, launching a leading branded low potency steroid, and oversight of the acne franchise line extensions.

In 2010, Wendy joined Merz North America where she developed and managed the Physician Relations department in support of injectable, topical and device business units under Medical Affairs, before transitioning into managing a Regional Aesthetics Marketing team.

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