Young patients are constantly asking me about when they should start an anti-aging skin care routine, and this is one of the few questions I get that has a very simple answer: TODAY.
Taking a few simple actions when you are young can have a major impact. Here are a few easy interventions I recommend for people just getting started.
In the morning, the simplest act is to apply sunscreen daily (including on cloudy days.) It is the cornerstone to any anti-aging routine because it prevents UV damage that is a major cause of wrinkles and skin discoloration. The most effective way to do this is to apply a facial moisturizing cream that contains SPF.
In the evening, I recommend applying a product that contains a retinol (or retinoid), because this family of compounds has been clinically proven to prevent lines and wrinkles from forming. Often, the best way to start is by choosing over the counter products such as AlphaRet Overnight, made by SkinBetter Science, or SkinMedica’s Retinol .25. Stronger retinoids, such as tretinoin, require a prescription. Tretinoin is extremely effective, but may be more irritating to the skin than non-prescription products. Important note: Retinols/retinoids are not considered safe in pregnancy and they can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight. Be sure to speak with your dermatologist when using retinols.
My other favorite products for the prevention of skin aging include antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E and resveratrol. These often are made in easy-to-apply morning serums. Gels and serums that contain hyaluronic acid can also help to plump and soften skin and are especially useful in the winter months.
Yes! In fact, Botox may be the most effective way we know to prevent wrinkles. This neuromodulator (and other similar products such as Dysport) work by relaxing muscles whose movement causes wrinkles. These include lines on the forehead, between the eyebrows and crows’ feet, which can start to become noticeable in some individuals in their 20s and 30s. These wrinkles may be entirely preventable with Botox.
Advanced techniques allow us to achieve that main goal of a youthful look while maintaining a natural appearance.
Unlike the items above, which are generally applicable to anyone, lasers are best for patients who have a specific or particular skin concern. For example, we have some lasers, which are quite helpful for treating color such as unwanted redness or brown sun spots, freckles and melasma. We also have resurfacing lasers that are helpful for improving the texture of the skin. Resurfacing lasers, such as the Fraxel Restore, are helpful for people who are bothered by many types of scars such as acne or traumatic scars. They can also be helpful for stretch marks.
For patients who are interested in freshening and brightening the skin at any age, I frequently recommend the Clear + Brilliant laser, which is done by our colleagues at SkinCare Aesthetics. Clear + Brilliant may also lead to the prevention of fine lines and wrinkles when done with some regularity. It is a quick procedure, which leaves the skin pink for about one day, and can significantly improve skin tone and texture.
If you are considering the start of an anti-aging program for yourself, don’t delay, start TODAY. Please contact us at SkinCare Physicians near Boston, so that our dermatologists can help you create a long term anti-aging plan for your skin health. The younger you start, the more successful you will be at preventing signs of skin aging.
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