Four Steps Toward Taking Charge of your Aging Skin

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By Dr. Corey Hartman

As we age, our skin changes. And everyone’s skin is affected by sun, wind, stress, gravity and possibly bad habits.

It’s common for skin to become rougher, more transparent and less elastic as we age. But there’s good news: There are steps you can take to help your skin stay supple and fresh-looking, even as you continue to have more birthdays.

My patients have benefited from following these four steps to reversing the aging process and keeping your skin clear and smooth:

  1. Follow a daily skin care regimen. If you’re concerned about maintaining younger-looking skin (or even if you aren’t yet), you need a daily regimen for taking care of the skin on your face and neck. I advise people to develop a regimen that is simple so they know they will maintain it consistently.

When you are choosing products for your skin care routine, look for items that are complementary to your skin type. And definitely use common sense. For instance, if you have dry skin, don’t choose a product that will make it drier. And if you have naturally oily skin, make sure you’re not getting an oily product. Most importantly, get a really high-quality hydrating moisturizer. I recommend a hydrogel-based product with sunscreen.

  1. Wear sunscreen every day. Sun protection isn’t just for the beach and the pool; we all need it every single day. Look for a daily moisturizer that includes SPF of at least 30. Even on cloudy days, exposure to sun can lead to age spots and breakdown of collagen. Consistent use of daily sunscreen is essential for maintaining younger looking skin. 
  1. Use a retinoid. I think everyone needs some kind of retinoid, because with one little medication, you can accomplish so much. Retinol creams help remodel collagen, firm fine lines and wrinkles, even out pigment and inhibit the formation of discoloration.

 For people with more severe needs, prescription retinoids, which are much more potent, can accomplish the same things. Both retinoids and retinols are Vitamin A-based, but the over-the-counter form is alcohol based and the prescription product is in an acid form.

  1. Take action to address specific issues. While everyone deals with aging skin, age will affect various people’s skin in different ways. If you have specific concerns about how your skin looks as it ages, you can take specific steps to correct the issues.

For instance, some people are concerned about dark spots on their skin, and we can address those with various lightening agents. Other people simply want their skin tightened, and sometimes taking Vitamins C and E can make that happen. If the vitamins aren’t enough, we have radiofrequency devices such as Exilis, a fractionated resurfacing laser, which delivers heat deep into the skin and helps erase lines and eliminate sagginess.

Rather than lamenting the evidence of aging on your face, take charge of your own aging process. And make sure you take the time to appreciate the wisdom and experiences your age reflects!