Our skin care needs change as we age and it is easy to be overwhelmed by all of the choices out there. This is a quick guide through the decades.
In our twenties we are generally enjoying the glow of our youth. This is a time when we frequently take for granted our smooth and plump skin. This can be a time when we do a lot of the damage we regret years later. This is a good time to be committed to a supportive skin care regime.
- Sunscreen is a no brainer. Ideally with zinc or titanium to assure long lasting, broad spectrum protection.
- A topical antioxidant to ward off additional UV and free radical damage. (Vitamin C for example)
- A retinol or low dose retinoid to keep those skin cells turning over and to help manage occasional breakouts.
- This is the time to introduce an eye cream. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. You will thank yourself later in life.
- For spot treatment of blemishes a product with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be applied. More is not better because you may replace your blemish with a dried scab which can then hyper pigment.
- By now you have probably made the correlation with diet and skin and are aware that a healthy, well balanced diet helps all of your organs, including your skin. (in addition to not smoking!)
Throughout our thirties we start to see subtle changes from exposure and repetitive muscle movement. In addition to a supportive skin care regime we might consider extra steps to help during this decade. We are producing less collagen and elastin by now and are starting to notice.
- Botox® can be introduced to manage lines from repetitive movement. (frown lines, crow’s feet, etc)
- Chemical peels can help to lift the outer layers of the skin diminishing pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles. Collagen is stimulated in this process.
- IPL’s can minimize pigmentation and redness in the skin.
- Some patients opt to introduce small amounts of filler in their thirties where they are seeing changes related to volume loss.
As we begin to experience shifts hormonally and as our estrogen levels drop we lose even more collagen, elastin and facial fat. Our bones are also shrinking under all of that creating more changes we may not love. Our sebaceous glands are producing less sebum and dry skin may become more of a concern.
- Continuing with a skin care regime involving sunscreen, antioxidants and a retinol/retinoid is a must. You may opt to increase the strength of the retinol/retinoid.
- Additional moisture is frequently needed. Look for products with ceramides, for instance.
- Facial volume loss can be managed with an expanding menu of dermal fillers.
- Botox® can be used to help “lift” when your injector relaxes the muscles pulling down (depressor muscles) allowing the elevator muscles to lift unopposed.
- IPL’s and more aggressive lasers (fractionated erbium and CO2 for example) can be utilized to manage skin discoloration and texture changes. Collagen stimulating treatments, like Ultherapy®, can be used to help combat the loss of collagen.
- Neck, chest and hands can benefit from all of the above!
THE 50’s , 60’s, 70’s and 80’s (and beyond)
In our fifties we are likely approaching menopause and are continuing to see age related changes. As we continue in to our sixties and beyond this becomes more of an issue as post-menopausal skin experiences more age related changes without the support of estrogen. We probably need to boost our moisture as our skin becomes drier.
- Continue with the three pillars in skin care: sunscreen, antioxidants and retinol/retinoid.
- Some find it helpful to cut back on the % of their retinol/retinoid to combat dryness.
- Increase moisture as needed.
- Continue to see your provider to determine if Botox®, filler and various laser modalities can help obtain your aesthetic goals.
- If surgery is appropriate, find a surgeon you trust and have vetted.