Perfect Skin at Every Age
Your skin is not static; it changes with hormonal and environmental shifts. Nutrition, stress, and sleep deprivation also show up on your skin. As the years march-on, your skin’s needs continue to evolve. The youthful glow that you had in your twenties may not come so naturally in your forties and fifties. Let us show you how to best address your changing skin at every age.
20’s: This is the time to develop good skincare habits. You have it simple: basic washing/exfoliating and sunscreen.
Starting with a skincare routine now makes it second nature in later years. For most individuals, washing with a gentle cleanser (adding an exfoliant twice a week) in the morning and at bedtime, followed by a sunscreen/moisturizer is all that you will need to slow down the aging process. You’ve heard it before, but UVA/UVA exposure (and now more recently-recognized visible spectrum of infra-red light) is the biggest contributor to prematurely-aged skin. Most skin damage is caused at a young age, and by incorporating sunscreen into your routine, you are protecting yourself from skin cancers, collagen degradation, discoloration, large pores, and poor texture. As long as you use at least a 30 SPF sunscreen product (and it can be in your makeup or moisturizer), you are in good shape for daily maintenance. Don’t forget to put it on your neck, hands, upper chest, or any other place that is exposed to sunlight. Five minutes of exposure here-and-there adds up; there are no “free calories” in the tally of photo-damage.
Over-the Counter (Walgreens, Target, King Soopers)
Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser – best for sensitive skin types.
Cetaphil Oil Control Face Wash -the Cetaphil with the purple cap, best for acne-prone skin.
Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Face Wash in Pink Grapefruit – smells terrific and has salicylic acid to help remove surface oils (may make your skin dry).
Our picks (available in-office)
SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser – this elegantly formulated exfoliating cleanser gently scrubs away dead skin, improving the appearance of skin tone and texture and is appropriate for all skin types).
As long as you are using an SPF 30 UVA/UVB sunscreen, you can pick one of your choice. We like many of the Neutrogena, CeraVe, Cetaphil, and Elta MD products (over-the counter).
Newer research shows that our skin reacts to infra-red rays (visible light and heat). Some cutting-edge companies (SkinMedica, Colorescience, and SkinBetter) are now hip to this and are incorporating components to protect against this spectrum.
Some of our favorites (in-office) include:
SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair Sunscreen – comes in clear and tinted and has infra-red protecting technology.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen – Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Brush-on sunscreen that works on all skin types and tones …and won’t clog your pores or get in your eyes when you sweat. Available in Fair, Medium, and Tan shades. Chemical-free and gentle enough for every skin type. Easy to apply and reapply throughout the day.
By the late thirties, many of us start to notice frown lines. Those individuals interested in skin preservation may think about a botulinum toxin to erase lines or use a little filler to enhance lips and cheeks. Chemical Peels and Microdermabrasion also become popular, enhancing exfoliation, reducing early fine lines, reducing abnormal pigment, and producing a fresher glow. These early interventions should not, however, take the place of great skin care. Starting in your late twenties, early thirties, we all start to lose collagen at a rate of 1% per year. Sun and smoking only accelerate this process. It’s crucial to continue with your sunscreen.
At this time, you should seriously consider adding a moisturizer and a retinoid/ol.
Retinoids first arrived on the scene in the 70’s as Retin-A and were originally designated for comedonal acne (blackheads and white tiny bumps under the skin) treatment. In more recent years, these prescription medications have proven to have potent anti-aging properties; chronic use results in an increase and preservation of collagen. A retinoid successor, Retinol, available without a prescription, tends to be less-expensive and gentler on the skin. Traditionally weaker in years past, newer Retinols show comparable efficacy compared to more irritating retinoids and at a lesser cost. What’s more is that these vitamin A derivatives go hand-in-hand with sunscreens in slowing down aging, as they cause you to retain your collagen in your skin: more collagen = fewer wrinkles. Warning: not all retinols are created equally, and because of this, I strongly recommend you consider the ones we offer.
Nia 24 Skin Strengthening Lotion – contains Niacinamide, which is great for skin barrier repair, pigment irregularities, and inflammation.
Skin Medica AHA/BHA Cream – Exfoliates and improves the appearance of skin tone and texture, revealing brighter skin. Appropriate for all skin types.
CeraVe, Cetaphil, Lubriderm, Eucerin, Vanicream, Neutrogena, and Aveeno are just a few of the most reputable and cost-effective moisturizers that work well for most. The “thickness of a moisturizer (oil -> lotion -> cream -> ointment in ascending order) contributes to how well a product retains moisture/hydration in your skin.
Skin Medica Retinol Complex – An advanced, antioxidant complex that maximizes retinol delivery and minimizes irritation with dramatic results within 90 days. Available in three strengths (in-office).
Many of us start to feel chronically tired, or just look that way, in our forties. We start to see aging especially around the eye area. Our skin may start to appear blotchy and not as luminous. Nutrition, hydration, sleep, and proper supplements can most certainly make a big difference in your skin
One of the most innovative new products best started now is Lumity. Ten years ago, I was routinely asked which supplements improve the skin …Biotin. Now I have a better answer! Research has identified key components to slow-down aging, and these components work (otherwise, we wouldn’t offer them). Within three weeks, you will experience noticeably better sleep and energy; within three months: more luminous skin and improved hair/nails.
The area of the face that begins aging first: around the eyes. You need a good eye cream.If you are not already on one, you should start a high-quality eye cream: one that slows-down aging with growth factors, stem cells, anti-oxidants, or peptides.
Lastly, in your forties, you should add a topical anti-oxidant. These are multi-taskers, and I recommend them for most of my skin cancer patients as well, as they reduce oxidative stress on skin cells that tends to result in skin cancers. Within 90 days of using a topical, potent anti-oxidant, you will see:
-lightening of uneven pigment.
-decrease in fine wrinkles, due to an up regulation in collagen synthesis.
-more resilient, less inflamed skin.
Use these once daily in the morning under moisturizer/sunscreen/makeup. I’m not recommending any over-the-counters in this category, as most varieties are low potency formulations with minimal results.
Supplements for Skin Health, Energy, Sleep!
Lumity Anti-Aging Supplement – Healthier Skin and Nails/Fewer Wrinkles/Restful Sleep/Greater Energy Levels. All natural (no artificial colors, flavors, dyes, caffeine, dairy, gluten, melatonin, parabens, synthetics). Take three morning- and three evening soft gels daily and THAT’s IT …easy-peezy (in-office).
Best Eye Cream Picks:
Biopelle Tensage Stem Cell Eye Cream – helps assist the natural activity of stem cells. producing new, younger skin cells (in-office).
Oxytocin Eye Cream – contains powerful peptides to increase collagen antioxidants (over-the-counter).
IS Clinical Superserum – best for those prone to break-outs or who want a less-emollient formula.
IS Clinical ProHeal – more soothing, better for dry skin (both are in-office)
We continue to lose collagen, and we are most certainly noticing it at this point. A powerful and worthwhile addition that you can make at this point is a human-derived, growth factor. Growth factors are peptides that we all have; they are abundant in youth and lessen with age. Adding topical growth factors essentially “directs” your skin to act younger: better resiliency to stress, more collagen production.
Your skin is also showing more texture irregularity and more prominent pores. Using a superficial “plumper” gives you a more beautiful, flawless finish.
Change your makeup. One of the most disturbing things about entering my fifties is that makeup isn’t always a help; sometimes it makes me look older by accentuating skin defects. Using less is often more. This goes for foundations, powders, and eye shadows. With that in mind, my absolute favorite new multi-tasker is Colorescience’s Even-Up.
Skin Medica Essential Serum – High-potency human-derived growth factor grown in culture. This is a tried-and-true product that we always seem to come back to. The Essential Serum variant also has a separate chamber containing potent topical anti-oxidants, so this is two products in one(in-office).
Skin Medica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator – works to support moisture in the skin. Contains hyaluronic acid in 5 forms that synergistically work to provide instant smoothing results and continuous hydration. You may be thinking about/using hyaluronic fillers for facial augmentation: HA5 contains the same hyaluronic acids, only in micronized forms to plump the superficial layers of the skin: lessening pore size, filling-in lines, and making you look FLAWLESS!
Better than your Foundation:
Colorescience Even-Up – Broad spectrum sunscreen, Infra-red protection, primer, lightener (against brown spots), and color tint all in one. This product gives your skin a beautiful finish and minimizes irregularities.
Your 60’s …and beyond
As we continue to age, our skin becomes more sensitive and susceptible to insults. It’s important to protect your skin barrier with a thick moisturizer and avoid insult. Try washing your face with a gentle cleanser only at night to avoid over-stripping your skin. Use a mild exfoliant once or twice a week at night. To improve hydration and skin barrier break-down, you may want to invest in a humidifier to have in your bedroom while you sleep.
Discolorations on the skin, from cumulative years of sun exposure, also become prominent during this time.
Recommendations: Reach for a cream-based moisturizer or even an ointment in our dry climate:
Cetaphil Rich Hydrating Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid – This rich, nourishing night cream helps retain skin’s natural moisture, protecting it from dryness while gently soothing the skin.
Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector – contains retinol and vitamin C to help correct discolorations and build collagen.
Skin Medica Dermal Repair: the number one, best-selling moisturizer in the United States. It has such a high concentration of antioxidants, that it takes the place of your vitamin C serum.
IS Clinical Youth Intensive Crème: anti-aging/hydrating/firming. Helps to reduce he appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by providing powerful hydration. This transformative crème scientifically combines the purest and most effective botanically-derived moisturizers, antioxidants, resurfacing acids, and growth factor. Bonus: it smells amazing!
So here you have it: a comprehensive list of basic skin care to keep you looking your best at any age. If you have more specific needs or have questions about products here or anywhere else, come talk to us; we LOVE what works, and we LOVE to talk products!
-Susan Schroeder, MD