I had the opportunity to interview Robin Perkins, a certified nurse trained in cosmetic dermatology. She’s worked for AVA MD for the past eleven years, and loves her job. I was completely shocked when I find out she was fifty-eight and a half, as she looks at least a decade younger. She’s lived in the sun and has been working in the industry for quite some time now.
Occupation: Registered Nurse and Esthetician
Where you can find her: AVA MD
Favorite skincare line: ENVIRON line, twice a day
Robin Perkins, RN, works at AVA MD in Santa Monica, CA.
❤ What’s your specialty here at AVA MD?
I am trained in working with about 15 different lasers that do a variety of cosmetic and anti-aging procedures. I treat laser hair removal, pigment, vessels, even out the skin color, I do skin resurfacing procedures, collagen rebuilding procedures, I inject fillers and Botox, etc. I also train a lot of the newer nurses on the lasers.
❤ What do patients come for the most?
I would say, with the exception of hair removal, all of the patients I see essentially are being treated for sun damage- whether it shows up in the form of freckles and broken blood vessels, to fine lines and wrinkles, to sagging skin, etc… it’s all related to sun damage.
❤ What is the age-range of your patients?
I would say typically the average is women in their thirties, however I also get much younger patients and much older patients. Sometimes first-time patients are in their seventies or even older when they come to see me! (laughs) I think it’s because most people still don’t know what’s possible in terms of correcting the damage, and in prevent it in the first place… you know? Most people think a facelift is the traditional way of dealing with the damage as they age, but there’s the color and the surface texture too, and that’s something facelifts cannot correct.
❤ What are the areas on the body that you notice the most sun damage to?
The face seems too obvious, but the chest, for sure, the arms and hands as well. But mostly the chest, because so many people forget about it, yet the skin is so thin there. Actually, during the day, most people might remember to protect and cover their face, but they forget their body. Maybe because they don’t want any sunscreen on their clothes, I don’t know, but most people tend to forget these areas. ❤ So what are the options patients have?
There are a variety of solutions: Photofacials, which is a light face treatment that treats pigment and blood vessels, it evens out the skin color. There are several types of skin resurfacing machines that we have, and those are in the form of fractional types of treatments. So we have e-matrix, which can treat all skin colors and types safely, which is great, that’s probably the only machine that will treat the darker skin types because they scar and burn so easily. We have fractional CO2, which is my favorite because it is nice and strong, that’s called active FX. I mean there are a variety of different treatments depending on your need and your skin condition. We also have treatments that are FDA cleared to treat cancer lesions. But with all of these you need to protect your skin properly.
❤ So all of these are anti-aging?
Well they’re corrective, so in a sense, yeah! The resurfacing machines actually can be preventative for some of the younger skins, because they’ll stimulate collagen, but again, that’s treating the skin at a deeper cellular level versus preventing the damage at the surface of the skin, where that’s where the teenager and the twenty/thirthy-somethings are going to be seeing their first signs of sun damage and aging. I mean it’s inevitable, it really is, but you can reduce the damage by protecting yourself right and with the right skin care and treatments. Like for example, Vitamin A (which you can find in retinoids and retinols) is an anti-aging vitamin, it helps prevent damage from the sun, and our bodies don’t make enough of it, we can’t eat enough of it to impact our skin, so the only way to really prevent aging is to start to use a topical source of vitamin A, honestly as early as in your twenties. However, because the retinoids and the retinol are sometimes irritating to the skin, they also make you sun sensitive, so you need to make sure to have the right protection. For young children, topical vitamin A is just too aggressive for their sensitive skin, so they need to be protected. And it’s not just about preventing sun damage and aging, but also about protecting yourself and preventing skin cancer.
❤ Other than topical vitamin A and the procedures you’ve described, what are prevention methods available to people?
I mean, sunscreen is it, truly. Wear it at least 15 minutes before going into the sun, reapply it regularly, limit your exposure to the sun… You know, but then I don’t want to scare people into staying indoors and never going in the sun at all, because it’s still an important source of vitamin D. And going outdoors, having fun, it’s all part of staying healthy. The problem is that, what most people don’t do is reapply their sunscreen, they don’t realize that it deactivates within a few hours. If you put it on in the morning, you are not protected throughout the day. Hats, sunglasses, SPF clothing, those are also great ways to protect yourself. Definitely invest in those, especially for people who are very outdoors-y. I mean here in Southern California, it’s really a year-round issue, because the sun is always out! We get reflections every day, all day, indoors, outdoors, while driving our cars, we’re always exposed. Even if we’re indoors, we are still exposed to the reflections of the sun.
❤ Is there any other advice or anything else you would like to add?
I hate sunscreen. (Laughs) For me the issue with a lot of the sunscreen is the smell, and I can always smell somebody who is wearing sunscreen. I think the important thing is to find a sunscreen you like, ideally one that is a moisturizer with some anti-aging elements as well. Search until you find the one you like. You know, there are sunscreens with tint, there are sunscreens with anti-oxidants, if you are athletic make sure it is water resistant because if not it gets in the eyes and then it burns. Reapplication is essential. Use anti-oxidants. For people who forget to reapply, especially on their bodies, protective apparel makes perfect sense, as long as it is fashionable! (Laughs)
Obviously, any age is a good age to start taking care of your skin! But for the younger audiences, definitely start your skincare regimen earlier, as early as your early twenties, don’t wait until you have significant damage. Prevention I believe is key. You’ll be happy you did later on, when there’s less work to do. For the older audiences, I would say it’s never too late to start improve and beautify your skin. There’s definitely more corrective work to be done the older you are, but it’s not impossible to turn back the clock at least five years, if not more, with the right treatments!
AVA MD is located at:
2021 Santa Monica Blvd #600, Santa Monica, CA 9040
(phone: 310 828 2282)
9915 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(phone: 310 843 9915)
Author: May Jabado