It wasn’t that long ago that women had basically one option for reversing the appearance of aging: a face-lift. But with the hundreds of non-surgical options available today, how do you decide what’s right for you?
For many skin treatments, you’ll want to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine which procedure is right for you. Your dermatologist will discuss what kind of results you’re looking for, and guide your course of treatment. She also will take a complete medical history, examine the area to be treated and give you instructions about how to prepare for the procedure you agree upon. Here’s an overview of common options:
Originally used to treat acne, Retin-A is a vitamin A-enriched cream that can help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Retin-A is topically applied every day for up to a year, after which your dermatologist may switch you to a maintenance schedule. Because Retin-A thins your skin’s outer layer, you’ll need to use sunblock to help protect your skin from UV rays.
Glycolic Acid Treatments
Glycolic, or “fruity” acid treatments, cause outer layers of skin to slough off, revealing smoother, younger-looking skin. These treatments also are applied topically, usually in a cream or face wash form, in concentrations of about 12 percent glycolic acid. But some dermatologists offer in-office treatments in higher concentrations to begin a course of skin care. As with Retin-A, you need to be vigilant with moisturizing and sunblock use when using glycolic acid products.
Sometimes called a “lunchtime peel,” the microdermabrasion procedure usually lasts 15 to 30 minutes, and is performed in your dermatologist’s office. Anesthesia is not necessary. Using a handheld device, your doctor gently removes the very top layers of damaged skin, which helps correct rough skin texture and uneven coloring. Afterward, your skin will grow pink, but that should fade after a couple of hours. A typical microdermabrasion regimen consists of four to eight treatments.
Relatively new noninvasive procedures, photomodulation and photorejuvenation use pulses of light energy to activate new collagen production and help regenerate aging skin. As with microdermabrasion, treatment spans multiple sessions, involves no downtime and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
If you prefer over-the-counter skin treatments, now is the time to take advantage of what’s available. Scientifically developed formulas, such as Olay® Regenerist, don’t give equivalent results to procedures, but do give significant improvement. They help regenerate your skin’s appearance at the surface cellular level. Formulated with the exclusive Olay Amino-Peptide Complex, Regenerist beautifully regenerates skin’s appearance, without irritation, by renewing its outer layer one cell at a time. The result is skin that looks, feels and behaves more like new skin.
How to Turn Back the Clock on Wrinkles?
The most basic acts of living eventually catch up to us and cause wrinkles. If only there were a way we could turn back the clock and return to our former, smoother selves. Let’s take a closer look at the clock.
Let’s face it — wrinkles are going to happen. Fine, you say. But let them happen to somebody else. Unjust as they may be, wrinkles are going to visit you, too.
The hour hand: What causes wrinkles?
As our skin ages, several changes occur. The natural substances that help skin retain moisture are reduced. The rate at which our skin sheds old cells slows down. The network of collagen and elastin supporting the skin degrades. Wrinkles may form as a result of these changes, showing up around our eyes, as furrows on the forehead, as tiny creases around the lips and elsewhere.
The minute hand: What can we do about wrinkles?
Apply sunscreen daily, coating all exposed parts, especially your face. Wear sunglasses even in moderate sunlight to reduce squinting.
Apply and remove makeup gently. Rubbing and stretching skin can contribute to wrinkles.
Don’t smoke. Smoking can speed up the aging process, contributing to wrinkles.
Sleep on silk. Looking for a reason to upgrade? Silk sheets and pillowcases permit the skin to glide easily and are less likely to put pressure on creased skin.
The second hand: Regenerate without irritation.
Consider an at-home facial treatment. You get the power of a salon treatment right in your home. And on a daily basis, you can keep enhancing your skin’s appearance with skin regenerating cream to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Foods That Can Help Your Skin
What’s the secret to glowing skin? It’s not expensive creams or costly facials. It’s your diet. The following foods can be your greatest defense against problems such as dryness, wrinkles and blemishes. So grab a plate and fill up.
Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries pack high amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants help block “free radicals,” such as the sun’s rays, from damaging skin cells. But don’t toss your sunscreen. Eating berries is an extra step you can take to help protect your skin from damage and prevent premature aging.
Vegetables such as sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene and vitamins A and C — a good formula for beautiful skin. These nutrients can help retain skin moisture and prevent dryness.
Low-fat yogurt, cheese and milk are rich in vitamin A — an essential vitamin in skin health. Plus, the live bacteria in yogurt not only is good for intestinal health, it’s good for your skin. Normal digestion will be reflected in skin that appears healthy.
Salmon, tuna and mackerel contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids help maintain healthy cell membranes. The healthier your cell membranes are, the better they can hold moisture, essentially giving you softer, younger-looking skin.
Oils can give your skin much needed moisture. Just make sure you’re using healthy oils, such as olive oil. Adding just 2 tablespoons a day to your diet will help keep your skin properly lubricated and healthy.
Go ahead and enjoy some nuts. A handful of walnuts contains omega-3 fatty acid that can help reduce skin inflammation.
The mineral selenium is an antioxidant found in whole-grain products. Selenium can help control cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. Filling up on whole grains will help you avoid refined white flour and starchy foods that can increase your insulin levels. High insulin levels can induce inflammation and irritate your skin.
Water and Green Tea
Drinking water keeps your skin hydrated, which helps skin cells move nutrients in and toxins out. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce the risk of damage from ultraviolet light.