This journey we call life often manifests itself on our face
OK, in retrospect, maybe you should have foregone the third cup of coffee this morning, but who knew a quick trip to the potty could be so demoralizing? Yes, you had to stop to wash your hands on the way out, but a quick glimpse in the mirror is a reminder that the roadmap of this journey we call life often manifests itself on our face. Well, you’ve got a few fine lines and wrinkles, it’s not the end of the world, but simply a reminder that your skin takes care of you, so you have to take care of it.
Protect that which you hold dear
First, are you using a good sunscreen? I always ask my patients this question as the intro to Skin Care 101. Invariably, I get the response, “yes, it’s in my makeup”. But it’s important to note that an SPF of 15 in the daily morning makeup simply isn’t enough to win the battle in the war on facial aging. A good sunscreen will have a minimal SPF (skin protection factor) of 30 and should be applied every 4 hours or so in heavy sun exposure, and even when indoors for much of the day. Not much does more harm to the skin than sun exposure and will lead to long-term pigmentation issues (sunspots) and wrinkles. The summers in the Central Valley of California can be brutal with days, weeks, and months of heavy sun exposure and virtually no cloud in the sky. Additionally, while many tobacco users feel picked upon in today’s natural, organic world (yes, we have brought this issue to the forefront on the west coast), the simple truth is that nicotine and especially smoking is toxic to the skin. When combined with sun exposure, the results are disastrous. So it’s time to put down the cigarettes, pick up some sunscreen and start protecting that which you hold dear.
A little magic can take you a long way
Let’s start simple. A few good skin care essentials can go a long way to preserving a more youthful appearance. While not everyone can tolerate daily exposure to Retin-A, this is one simple way to increase skin collagen (which is abundant in youthful skin and diminishes with age) and fight pigmentation and wrinkles. It can be used every other day or even a couple of times a week and strengths can be varied to accommodate sensitive skin. Add hydroquinone for a “bleaching” effect to get rid of hyperpigmentation and sunspots and if you prefer to use a natural product that is nonprescription, Lytera 2.0 by SkinMedica is an excellent option. It goes without saying that properly moisturized skin is going to have a natural plump and glow that is going to make the skin more radiant. Current topical HA (hyaluronic acid) formulations work very well for this purpose such as TEOXANE RHA or HA5 by SkinMedica®. This is where an esthetician can be essential in recommending a skin care regimen that can help protect the skin from aging including cleaners, toners, moisturizers and growth factors. Growth factors, such as Neocutis BioSerum or SkinMedica® TNS Serum, can be human-derived or plant-based and can restore a smoother appearance to the skin. These basics should be applied daily or at least as often as your skin can tolerate. While it is tempting to purchase products online, please be careful that the source is often unknown and the formulations could be altered or expired. While people spend millions of dollars per year on skincare, it is important to realize that medical grade products are often much more effective than over the counter formulations and often have been subjected to extensive research and studies to ensure that results can be achieved.
Time is precious. Waste it wisely.
Speaking of a good esthetician, let’s talk about some of the options for treating fine lines and wrinkles as well as age spots that can be done in under an hour with minimal to no downtime. A light chemical peel acts to remove the top layer of skin and induce the body to produce a new, fresh layer of skin. SkinPen® acts to create tiny holes in the skin which stimulates the skin to contract and form new collagen, which can help with acne scarring, fine lines and wrinkles, and pigmentation. Microdermabrasion has a similar effect to a light peel. Any of these things are easily tolerated in the office and may lead to a day or two of redness of the skin, which can be covered with makeup. Over the next few weeks, the skin will repair itself and tighten, smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and sloughing old skin along with pigmentation.
The best wrinkle is the one you never get
Collagen and hyaluronic acid occur naturally in the skin but decrease with age, which leads to thinning of the skin and contributes to wrinkling. With new dermal fillers on the market such as Allergan’s Volbella® which was just achieved FDA approval for fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, sometimes a dermal filler can actually help to plump the skin. This can work in coordination with Botox® to prevent the wrinkles and filler to plump the wrinkles and smooth the skin.
In the end, don’t fear the mirror. With a few simple steps, your skin can look rested and rejuvenated and can glow with the same intensity as your inner spirit. You feel young on the inside, so let your skin glow on the outside. At J. Sweat Plastic Surgery in Sacramento, we are here to help with your Skin Care Sacramento needs.