The best skin of your life may well be ahead of you. Sure, with each passing decade, you face fresh challenges in your quest for a radiant complexion: There are the newfound crow’s feet in your 40s, the postmenopausal dryness in your 50s, and the sagging that sets in by your 60s. But the right products and procedures will prepare you to meet these challenges head-on.
“These days, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect your skin to get better as you age — no matter what the date on your driver’s license,” says Dr. Ranella Hirsch, president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery and a cosmetic dermatologist in Cambridge, Mass.
Still, knowing what’s right for you — from the most potent creams to the latest lasers — can be confusing. That’s where this decade-by-decade guide comes in. It’s filled with everything you need to know, including exactly what to use when. Follow along and your skin’s future will look very bright.
Your 40s: treat, tone and texture
Best home treatments
Embrace retinoids: These vitamin A derivatives boost collagen production (which softens fine lines and minimizes pores). Retinoids rev up sluggish cell turnover, so skin becomes smoother and more radiant, and dark spots fade. Prescription versions such as Renova yield noticeable changes after about eight weeks; retinol, the strongest over-the-counter option, takes 12 weeks. Choose a product formulated with up to 1 percent retinol, the highest amount available OTC, depending on your skin’s tolerance. Try Remergent Advanced Retinol Therapy ($56; remergentskin.com) and Roc Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Serum ($20; drugstores). Ease in by using a retinoid every third night for at least two weeks. Apply it every other night for the next two weeks, ramping up to nightly application. Summer’s the ideal time to get started on a retinoid — the increased humidity tempers dryness that might occur as your skin acclimates.
Exfoliate regularly: Once you’ve built up to a nightly retinoid application, boost its benefits by substituting in an alpha-hydroxy acid twice a week. “Both ingredients exfoliate, leaving skin brighter and smoother,” says New Orleans-based dermatologist Dr. Mary Lupo. “But because they stimulate cell renewal in different ways, you’ll get maximum improvement using both.” If skin is dry, choose an AHA formulated with moisturizing lactic acid.
Consider hydroquinone: This agent, which inhibits the production of melanin, is one of the most effective ways to fade blotchiness, says Hirsch. OTC creams contain 2 percent HQ, which lightens subtle discoloration over several months. Rx versions boast 4 percent, and daily spot treatment can diminish dark patches in six to eight weeks. “Keep in mind, though, that a single afternoon spent unprotected in the sun can undo all that hard work,” says Wechsler. Use HQ only for three months. After that, maintain results with a skin lightener that contains kojic acid or licorice extract.
Turn to the pros – Abloom Med Spa
Reduce brown spots: Intense pulsed light (IPL) employs a broad wavelength of light to target brown spots and red areas, destroying them without damaging the upper layers of the skin; you may look a little pink for an hour after treatment. Four to six monthly sessions at about $400 each should be enough to even out your complexion; a maintenance session every 6 to 12 months keeps up the results.
Restore your glow: A series of LED (light-emitting diode) treatments, either on their own or in conjunction with IPL, uses painless light energy to minimize fine lines, reduce pore size, diminish dark spots, and give skin a smoother texture. There’s no downtime: You sit in front of a panel of 2,000 tiny pulsing lights for up to 40 minutes; results become more noticeable after three weeks. “LED thickens the skin, so it looks more luminous when light bounces off it,” says Dr. David Goldberg, a clinical professor of dermatology and director of laser research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. A recent study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology also showed that the device promotes new collagen formation and decreases inflammation that causes collagen to break down. Six monthly treatments at about $100 each and twice-yearly touch-ups are recommended.
Erase lines: BOTOX is the surest way to smooth creases you’re already noticing and prevent more. It temporarily relaxes facial muscles so they can’t move and create wrinkles. “BOTOX retrains your muscles, so the effects last longer and longer,” says Goldberg. “Some patients who start when they’re 45 are coming in only twice a year by the time they’re 50.” Each treatment costs approximately $400, and results last about 4 months.
Stay Tuned . . . Our next post will be for your 50’s. Abloom Med Spa can help you fight anti-aging in your 40’s and beyond. Set up a free consultation by calling us (623) 891-8319.
Source: Aesthetic Medicine News