By James Moore, MD, FACS
Since working in the beauty industry for over 25 years, I have seen many changes. Still, the one question I’m frequently asked is, ‘what can I do to look as young as I feel?’ The great news is that skincare technology is ever evolving. We know so much more about how sun, stress, and lifestyle can affect your overall health, and especially your skin. While you can’t fight your DNA, there are a myriad of things to do to make you look as young as you feel.
A lifetime of healthy skin begins with establishing a skincare routine in your teens and twenties. To start, find an exfoliating cleanser with alpha hydroxyl acid for normal skin or a salicylic acid for oily skin. This can help address any hormonal breakout. I recommend an AHA/BHA exfoliating cleanser for daily use.
A daily sunscreen is healthy skin’s best friend. The earlier you get in the habit of wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen the earlier you can begin to slow down the aging process. 80 percent of aging is caused by UV rays. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Look for a facial sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. These ingredients, with an SPF 30 or higher, are best for effective sun protection.
As we enter our 30s, we begin to notice slight changes in our skin. Small lines around the eye, less oil production, but still some hormonal breakouts. We build on our regimen by adding a topical antioxidant, such as vitamins C and E. You should also add foods like cranberries, blackberries, and blueberries as they rank highest among antioxidant rich foods. The thirties is also a good time to start chemical and mechanical exfoliation facials. I recommend “lunchtime” peels and a series of Microdermabrasion treatments for cell renewal. Retin A is still the gold standard for anti aging. And, of course… Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!
As we enter our 40s, the aging process starts speeding up. We begin to see more skin laxity, dark spots and deeper lines. Some will experience a hormonal flux causing redness and blotchiness. It’s now time for more rejuvenation products and treatments capable of stimulating cellular growth, as well as hydrating and firming. Microneedling, a new more aggressive treatment to rebuild collagen, results in smoother, brighter of the skin and can also improve scars and stretch marks. Using a product that blends antioxidants, peptides, and growth factors, such as TNS Essential Serum, combined with mild to medium Glycolic or TCA peels helps to improve overall tone and texture. The skin requires more hydration as we age. It’s important to add a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, such as HA5, morning and night. Don’t forget your sunscreen!!!
The 50s and 60s, the decades of now or never. With hormonal shifts, weight gain, and sagging skin… This is when aging really begins. After menopause, oil production and cell turnover begin to slow down. Yes, this is even true for men. It is time to get serious about a healthier lifestyle. Sleep! It’s when your body heals itself. Take the time to reevaluate your skincare regime. Make sure to include a corrective cleanser, an anti-oxidant serum, as well as products to exfoliate and hydrate your skin. Sunscreen always. Everyday!
The 70s and beyond are our forever young decades. Embrace yourself! You have lived it and wear it well. No one to impress, you love where you are. Continue your healthy lifestyle, good skincare, and be happy. You’ll look and feel decades younger.
I’m often asked how I chose Plastic Surgery as a career path. During my residencies I became fascinated with the transformative capabilities of Plastic Surgery and how expertise on the reconstructive side complements the cosmetic and vice versa.