The better question is probably, who doesn’t? While in my 20’s, I used to come home each month with the newest edition of Shape or Fitness magazines. My husband would tease and say, “Let me guess. The secret to being thin is eating less and exercising more.” Although this is an overly simplistic view, it is not that far from the truth.
Taking care of your skin is very much the same. The answer to prolonging your youth can be summed up in two words…EARLY MAINTENANCE.
If you think about it, this idea is very familiar to us in healthcare. We have yearly physicals, screening mammograms and colonoscopies and many companies now have in-house health maintenance programs for their employees. The idea behind all of these modalities is that it is much easier to prevent a disease process or to catch it early than it is to treat it once already advanced. Well, your skin is another vital body organ. In fact, it is the largest. So why would we not treat it in the same way??
So, what are the most important things that we can begin doing early to maintain the look of our face and skin?
I know…this is nothing that we haven’t heard before, but how many of us leave the house without SPF on a daily basis. Sunscreen is not just something that we need for a day at the beach. It is something that should be incorporated into our daily regimen. And no, the diluted SPF 15 in our makeup does not count. There are however many good combination products out there that combine an SPF of 30 or even 45 with a moisturizer. Some of our favorites are Intellishade SPF 45, by Revisions that provides a universal tint and comes in regular or matte finish and ZO Offects SPF 30 + Primer.
As we advance into our 20’s and 30’s the rate of exfoliation slows. Our skin may begin to look dull, our pores larger and more clogged and our makeup does not go on as smoothly. You can help to speed your rate of exfoliation at home either manually (with the use of scrubs or devices such as the Clarisonic) or chemically. The gold standard for topical exfoliation are alpha and beta hydroxyl acids or Retin A/Retinol products. These help to increase the cell turnover rate in the dermal layer, stimulate collagen and increase the rate of exfoliation.
In office treatments include: deep pore cleansing facials, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and chemical peels.
Maintain a Healthy Volume
The role of volume loss in the aging face has been proven and very well documented over the past several years. Beginning as early as our late 20’s, we start to lose the fat that acts as a support structure and also light reflector in our faces. And so begins the shadowing and sagging in certain areas that makes us start to look more tired or older than we feel. People fear that fillers will cause their faces to look too fat or unnatural. But with small amounts of filler used early and in strategically necessary locations, you can look as if you have naturally frozen time. And no one will be the wiser.
As we reach our 40’s and 50’s most of us begin to notice some loosening through the jaw line or “jowling” and changes in the texture or tightness of our necks. This is often a combination of volume loss and loosening of the collagen fibers or muscles. Recently there have been many advances in non-surgical treatments of these areas, which help as to maintain a more defined jawline and tighter neck without the need to go under the knife. Ultherapy, to me, is one of the most exciting. This is the only FDA approved treatment to “lift” the tissue using non-invasive ultrasound waves. Other available treatments include radiofrequency-type devices and fractional lasers, which tighten the skin and stimulate collagen with minimal “downtime.”
So, while it is NEVER too late to look your best, why wait until you feel that you NEED to do something. It is not hard to be one of those people that has everyone wondering, “How does he/she stay looking so young?” It just takes a little maintenance.