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SKINspiration With Marta Paul, Founder of Nova Aesthetics

As an endurance athlete and fitness instructor, my skin takes a beating. Especially last year when I spent 7 months training for a half-Ironman. By the time the competition rolled around in October, I was in the best shape of my life, but my skin paid the price. Between the sun damage from all the time spent running and cycling outdoors, the chlorine from the pool causing excessive dryness, the lack of body fat causing my cheeks to fall like a soufflé, and the fact that I’m dangerously close to turning (gulp) 50, I realized it was time to get serious about skin care.

At the recommendation of a friend, I started using the Nova Skin line from local Aesthetic Practitioner and founder of NOVA Aesthetics, Marta Paul. An athlete herself, Marta understands the toll an active lifestyle can take on the skin and her products are designed to keep it looking and feeling hydrated and youthful. After just a couple of weeks of using her line of scrubs, cleansers, serums, and moisturizers, I saw an immediate improvement. One co-worker even asked me what I was doing to look so “glowy.”

I caught up with Marta (who, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve also begun using for Botox and fillers) and asked her for her tips when it comes to addressing the skin issues that can accompany an active lifestyle. Check it out—she will ship to you during isolation.

What special issues do athletic women face when it comes to their skin?

I think the #1 issue I see with women who exercise on a regular basis is low body fat. As we age, we need that fat, particularly in our faces to maintain a youthful look. Another problem is hyperpigmentation (sun spots) from years of sun exposure—especially in my runners. Finally, if you are an avid exerciser, you tend to sweat more, which can lead to more clogged pores and acne if not addressed properly.

What are your biggest skincare tips for women who sweat it out a lot?

My biggest tip is, wash your face! I recommend keeping a face wash in your gym bag and immediately washing post workout. As we are working out, our core temperature rises. As we heat up, our pores open. The sweat mixes with any makeup, oil, dirt and debris on the skin and immediately gets into the open pores leading to congestion. It is important to wash that out before your body cools down and the pores tighten up again.

A favorite product amongst our athletes is our Nova Skin Refining Pads. These are medicated pads that are quick and easy to apply post workout. They are infused with salicylic acid for exfoliating and glycolic acid for hydrating. They both also help to tighten the pores.

We know sunscreen is a must, but doesn’t it clog pores?

Not if you use the right kind. Drugstore sunscreen is not meant for every skin type. I recommend Elta MD. It is the #1 dermatologist recommended brand, and there is a formula for every skin type and concern. It absolutely will not clog the pores or create breakouts. They even have a tinted option for subtle coverage. Protecting our skin from the sun, especially in Texas is so incredibly important to maintain healthy, youthful skin. If your workouts are outside, sunscreen should be reapplied every 30 minutes as you sweat a lot of it off. Even if you don’t work out, sunscreen should still be part of your daily routine—just like brushing your teeth.

When it comes to deeper treatments like lasers or peels, what do you recommend?

There is not one particular treatment I recommend, but what I DO recommend is doing something, anything on a monthly basis! Regular deep treatment of your skin, offers several benefits including deeper exfoliation, an increase in cell turnover, collagen stimulation and, most importantly, healthier skin! We have many lasers and skin devices in the clinic that can penetrate deep into the dermis where all the cells that create collagen, elastin fibers, lymphatic vessels and oil glands lay. When we are able to regularly interact with these deeper layers, we can achieve healthier skin from the inside out. Who doesn’t want constantly glowing skin?

The catch 22 when it comes to being athletic (or undergoing a significant loss of weight) is that loss of fat can result in sagging or a gaunt-looking face---what treatments do you recommend considering that women who are athletic tend to burn through Botox and fillers more quickly than those who are more sedentary?

My absolute favorite treatment for this issue is Sculptra. Sculptra is not a filler, but rather a bio stimulator that, over time, helps stimulate your skins own collagen and restores lost facial volume. One of the major benefits of Sculptra for athletes is that you cannot “burn through it” as you would a dermal filler. Because Sculptra is forcing your own collagen production, it is not something your body can absorb or break down rapidly. The results tend to last 2-3 years, as it’s your own collagen maintaining the results for you.

As far as neuromodulators go, I recommend Dysport. Dysport is a better option for people that burn through their Botox quickly due to a fast metabolism. It has a quicker onset than Botox and it will last a bit longer.


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