What changes happen with normal aging ?
With aging, the skin becomes thinner, can develop “liver” or “age spots” often related to sun damage, has decreased ability to retain moisture and elasticity. The affects of the sun and smoking accelerate the aging process.
What is a good anti-aging regimen ?
1. Use sunscreen daily on days when leaving the house, as well as protective clothing (e.g. a wide brimmed hat). Choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum (protects against both UVA and UVB) and has SPF of 30 or above.
2. Use a product with retinoic acid at night, e.g. one containing retinol (over the counter) or tretinoin (prescription). These can be irritating to the skin so you may need to use a very small amount with the addition of a moisturizer to spread them, particularly when first using them or if you have dry skin.
3. Moisturize frequently, as this can trap water in the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines.
4. Can also consider creams or serums with vitamins and antioxidants, e.g. those containing vitamins C or E, which may protect against sun damage and vitamins A or B3, which may be able to correct existing sun damage.
5. Avoid tanning indoors or outdoors, as this can accelerate aging. Getting a tan from the sun or a tanning bed exposes you to harmful UV rays that can accelerate aging, causing wrinkles, age spots, a blotchy complexion and even skin cancer.
6. Insure that your skin is not getting irritated by products. The use of too many anti-aging products may irritate the skin, which can make wrinkles more visible. Therefore, consider limiting the number of products you use, using those labeled hypoallergenic, and or testing a new product on your inner forearm twice daily for 4-5 days before applying it on your face.
What are other lifestyle changes I can do for healthier skin and to decrease the signs of pre-mature aging ?
You can eat a well balanced diet with fresh fruits and vegetables (these contain antioxidants), reduce alcohol intake (this can dehydrate the skin), do moderate exercise which can boost the immune system and affect skin health, and avoid repetitive facial expressions (wearing sunglasses can help reduce lines caused by squinting).
What are non-surgical options for reducing the appearance of brown spots and wrinkles?
For brown spots there are several techniques that may reduce these, depending on skin tone, including bleaching creams, liquid nitrogen, and certain lasers. For decreasing the appearance of fine wrinkles, creams, chemical peels, dermal needling, and certain lasers can help. For bothersome wrinkles that come about with a facial expression (e.g. frown lines), neuromodulators such as Botox work very well. For bothersome deep lines that are present even when the face is at rest (e.g. the cheek folds or area around mouth), dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, can be used to fill and smoothen these lines. Additionally, some stronger peels and lasers may improve the appearance of these. If you have further questions about these, please inquire with your dermatologist.
American Academy of Dermatology