11-17-2007, 05:27 PM
Skin Care In Your 20's And 30's
- The most important thing you can do during this decade is develop good habits. Hopefully, you've been using sunscreen regularly since you were a child. (To any parents reading this: Teaching your children about sun avoidance and protection is one of the greatest gifts you can give them!) If you smoke, stop - and definitely don't start. Learn to incorporate skin-friendly foods into your diet, like berries and green tea for antioxidants, salmon and flax seed for omega-3 fatty acids.
- Start using a product, such as Olay Definity, that contains niacinamide. That will help prevent damage to your skin's DNA caused by whatever sun exposure you do get, and can "stop the clock" on several signs of skin aging.
- I also encourage patients in their 20s to begin using retinoids. Remember, "anti-aging" ingredients can almost always do more good as a preventive measure than they can as a treatment after the fact. Prevent lines from forming as long as possible!
- You may notice your skin becoming drier in your 30s, making proper hydration crucial! Well-hydrated skin repairs itself better and shows fewer signs of aging. If you have dry skin, avoid harsh foaming cleansers, skip the toner, and look for moisturizers with cholesterol, fatty acids (commonly listed on labels as "stearic acid"), and ceramides.
- Antioxidants are a good addition to your skin care regimen at any age - but if you're not using them by your 30s, it's crucial that you start! They are the best way to fight the skin damage that leads to lines and wrinkles. Add plenty of oral antioxidants to your diet (I, for one, drink three cups of green tea a day) and look for topical products with green tea or coffeeberry.
- I also recommend that patients consider starting a glucosamine supplement at 35 - there is strong evidence that glucosamine can help your skin generate hyaluronic acid, which is one of the dermal building blocks we lose with age. (Hyaluronic acid is also the main component of dermal fillers like Restylane and Juvederm.)
- By your 30s, you may also start to get the most benefits from Botox. By decreasing muscle movement, Botox can slow the formation of wrinkles, especially around the eyes. (Remember, it's always easier to prevent wrinkles than to treat 'em one they've formed!)
- It is also during this decade that patients generally start to benefit from IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments to minimize the appearance of sun spots or broken blood vessels. After these treatments, my patients are often surprised to realize that a spotty, uneven complexion contributes to an aged appearance as much as wrinkles do!
- As babies arrive, many patients start to ask me about the sagging tummy skin that pregnancy can cause. If that's a concern of yours, look into Titan laser treatments - they're an effective, non-invasive way to tighten skin with no downtime.
“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”