You don't have to accept every little age spot and wrinkle. Do something to stop them in their tracks. Debra Jaliman, M.D. and author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, says many anti-aging tips really do work. If you're ready to take on Mother Nature, let these top medical experts help you start your anti-aging skin regimen today.
The earlier you begin caring for your skin, the better. "Prevention is important," says Houtan Chaboki, M.D., a board-certified facial plastic surgeon with George Washington Medical Faculty Associates Department of Surgery in Washington, D.C. "Start a skin care program with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon when you're younger to help reduce the signs of aging when you're much older."
Never forget the sunscreen
Sunscreen is essential. "Apply it daily," advises Chaboki. "Even on cloudy days."
Dr. Jaliman, who prefers "zinc oxide, as it is broad-spectrum and anti-inflammatory," says you should always use at least SPF 30. Some of the higher numbers of protection, though, aren't worth the money. Sun protection factors of 70, 80 and even 90 aren't necessary.
Use good skin care products
The shelves of every beauty department are overflowing with product. So how's a lady supposed to choose? Know which ingredients work the hardest, as well as what ingredients solve the issues you're dealing with.
For years now, retinol has been (and still is) the anti-aging buzzword. Retinol (retinoid) is a derivative of vitamin A that promotes an increase of collagen and elastic production. Retinol is used to treat fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. Chaboki advises you to wash off makeup and let your skin dry before applying any product containing retinol. Without that step, you're just asking for irritation.
Remember the skin of your youth? Soft, supple and smooth? That, my friend, is collagen hard at work. As we age, we tend to make less and less of that good stuff (hello, wrinkles!). Products made with effective peptides can stimulate collagen production and cell repair to lead to healthier, younger-looking skin.
OK, let's face it. There's no magic pill to help bring back the skin of your youth. Vitamins C and E come pretty close, though. Not only do these two antioxidants protect your skin from the sun, they also speed up its natural repair system, possibly reducing the appearance of some of those pesky age spots.
We're a culture of immediate gratification, but it's important to note that some things take time. "Most dermatology products take several weeks or months to demonstrate skin improvement," says Dr. Chaboki. Trying different products for only a few days or a couple of weeks doesn't give the product an ample chance to work.
Live a good life
"Lifestyle choices have more impact on skin quality than any treatment the dermatologist or plastic surgeon can provide," says Chaboki. "Stop smoking, drink plenty of fluids, restrict sun exposure, get plenty of sleep, eat a balanced diet with vegetables and start a skin care program with your skin specialist."
Know what you're doing wrong
No matter how hard you try, there's a good chance you're doing something to sabotage your skin care. Jason Steffan of Richard Steffan Skincare in Switzerland says these are six of the most common skin care mistakes women make:
- Going to bed without removing your makeup
- Using too many different skin care brands at once
- Not allowing enough time for your skin to adjust to a new skin care regimen
- Living an unhealthy lifestyle consisting of poor food choices and lack of exercise
- Exfoliating excessively
- Not looking at ingredients in food and skin care products