Aging is difficult, but there are things you can do to keep that youthful glow
If only we could be like Peter Pan or the Lost Boys and stay young forever. Instead, we age and it shows on our faces—pun intended! As we grow older, our skin becomes thinner, less smooth and more wrinkled. And if you’ve spent anytime outdoors, the sun has also done damage, which is revealed in the spots and discolorations dotting your cheeks and nose.
Luckily, there are a few things we can do to reverse some signs of aging. A good daily skin care regimen is a crucial start, but dermatologists and dermatologic surgeons can offer a range of surgical and nonsurgical methods to treat skin conditions and help us maintain a youthful appearance. We can fight back and refuse to grow old gracefully!
Three key words: Protect. Restore. Nourish.
Anti-Aging Skin Care
—Protect with sunscreen (SPF 30) that you wear every day.
—A good cleanser is a must.
—Nourish with a serum.
—Moisturize with a product that’s right for your skin type.
—Apply a mask once a week.
Earth Savers, 5501 Magazine St. and 3301 Veterans Blvd.
What are the best ways to treat wrinkles?
Serums are vitamin treatments that target particular problems, like wrinkles and sun damage, and should be part of your everyday routine, particularly for women who are in their 30s and 40s. Vitamin A, or retinols, are anti-aging and should be used at nighttime; vitamin B hydrates the skin; and vitamin C is an antioxidant and that should be applied in the a.m. Vitamin E is also good for hydration.
What can an individual do to go a step beyond her daily routine?
It always helps to exfoliate. Salon facials, microdermabrasion and peels are options. Some people might have hyperpigmentation in areas of the face from sun damage—that can be lightened up with peels.
What are some of your favorite product lines?
DermAware is a really good line; their serums are awesome. Peter Thomas Roth is good because most of their lines and treatments have all the ABC’s and E—cleansers, lotions, creams, even their sunscreens. Dr. Gross MD Skincare is excellent. They have a home peel that you can use every day; it’s great for sensitive skin, rosacea, acne and sun damage.
Specialized noninvasive or nonsurgical treatments can reverse the aging effects of heredity, sun damage and environment.
Microdermabrasion—Removes the outer layers of skin to treat scarring, discoloration and sun damage.
Chemical peels—Removes the outer layers of skin to treat wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, discoloration, dull skin texture and mild acne.
Laser—Works beneath the skin to tighten, improve texture or stimulate collagen growth; targets scarring, discoloration, broken blood vessels, lines, blemishes and sagging skin.
Facial fillers and injectables
Protein fillers like Botox, collagen and Restylane reduce lines and wrinkles by plumping up furrows and creases.
Dr. Patricia Farris
Old Metairie Dermatology, 701 Metairie Rd.
What’s the difference between microdermabrasion and chemical peels?
Microdermabrasion is a superficial procedure. It removes dead skin cells and gives skin a radiance [and] reflectivity. A chemical peel is more of an aggressive technique. Chemical peels give us the opportunity to do light, medium or deep peeling; you can do what we call medium-depth peels where you peel for five to seven days after the treatment. You’re going to get more results from a more aggressive procedure.
How does Botox work? And when are facial fillers the best option?
Botox is used to soften the lines that come from moving muscles. For example, crow’s feet or frown lines. Botox is injected in tiny droplets, and you can selectively relax muscles that create lines and wrinkles. We use it primarily in the upper face.
In the lower face, we use fillers because as the face ages you lose volume. Think about a baby with little chubby cheeks, an aging adult is just the opposite. So we fill the face to make it look more youthful. The most common fillers are hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane. But we still use forms of collagen, and fillers like Radiesse, which are longer lasting and do a great job at volumizing.
How does laser resurfacing work to improve skin appearance?
There are different lasers that can be used to generate new collagen. We do it as an over treatment all over the face to boast collagen production. Lasers work because a specific wavelength of light [is] emitted onto the skin and absorbed by chromophores [a part of a skin molecule]. If I want to eradicate blood vessels, or get rid of brown spots, or generate new collagen in the skin, I’ll use a [different laser]. Of course you always use these treatments in combination with topical therapies like Retin-A or Retinol, Vitamin C or something that will help boost collagen production.
What’s the best way to attack wrinkles?
Overall wrinkling requires a combination approach. It’s really not one thing; it’s good topicals, good general skin care; it’s doing some of these procedures in combination with things like Botox and fillers that gives you that overall facial rejuvenation.
Facelift procedures are the most invasive treatments to improve the signs of aging in the face or neck.
Brow lift—Reduces severe furrows in the forehead or brow area.
Blepharoplasty (eye lift)–Removes excess skin and/or fat above the upper eyelid.
Rhinoplasty—Corrects or improves the appearance of the nose.
Facial implants—Enhances facial contours by improving the appearance of reduced bone structure in an aging face.