According to Dr. Robert Weiss, associate professor of dermatology at John Hopkins University, if you want to treat aging skin, you must “treat your face as a whole.” Don’t just obsess about your wrinkles. You must tackle these four areas: sagging skin, discoloration, redness, AND wrinkles. Only then will people tell you what great skin you have.
1. Sagging Skin:
Our skin sags, and our pores get larger, due to age (skin’s underlying structure breaks down), genetics, weight changes, and too much sun.
AT HOME TREATMENT
: Use a good moisturizer that’s not too heavy. Vitamin A in your moisturizer will also tighten the skin. Starting NOW, I will be adding Vitamin A to my Aloe Vera and Green Tea moisturizer
. And, according to Dr. Jeanine Downie, you can also minimize the appearance of your pores by keeping your skin clean and protected from the sun. I add Vitamin E to my moisturizer for this purpose.
WHAT A DOCTOR CAN DO: Infrared and laser treatments prove to be somewhat helpful for sagging skin, although they don’t replace a facelift. Dr. Weiss recommends a prescription for Retin-A if you are excessively bothered with enlarged pores.
2. Rough Texture and Wrinkles
As you age, your face produces less oil and your skin gets drier. Your skin is also not as elastic so it doesn’t bounce back like it used to. Results of this—fine lines, wrinkles, dry patches, crepey areas.
AT HOME TREATMENT
: Moisturize, but don’t stop there. Exfoliate your face with the strongest scrub your face will tolerate. Recommended use is only two or three times a week. Don’t over treat and make your skin worse. Use a gentle facial scrub if you want to exfoliate more often. I recommend my Cinnamon & Sugar Facial Wash
for daily use. I start each day washing my face with this scrub and my skin is very smooth. Facial scrubs exfoliate, which speeds up the renewal process so your skin looks smoother. Doctors also recommend trying to give your face time to relax (whatever that means—yoga?) and wearing sunglasses so you don’t squint. Also, have you had your eyesight checked recently? Do you need new glasses?
WHAT A DOCTOR CAN DO: Botox, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing. Multiple treatments needed as well as regular maintenance.
3. Discoloration & Dullness
It’s often facial spots and patches of darkness that make us look older. Pigmentation problems are often a result of sun damage. Skin dullness is a result of dead cells collected on the surface of the skin.
AT HOME TREATMENT: Use a gentle facial scrub, facial mask, or at-home peel. Dr. Weiss recommends a mask or peel at least four times a month. Use sunscreen to prevent further discoloration, and use bronzer to help disguise problem areas. NOTE: I’ve tried the bronzer route and it really does work. I have some darker patches near my ears, and the bronzer hides them quite well. My matte mineral makeup also does an excellent job of hiding flaws.
WHAT A DOCTOR CAN DO: Chemical peel or microderm-abrasion, which takes off the top layer of skin. For severe damage, Dr. Joshua Wieder, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles, recommends a series of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments. The improvement is gradual, but eventually dark spots will lighten or disappear.
4. Redness & Sensitivity
Skin gets thinner and more delicate as we age, blood vessels enlarge, so we get age-related redness. It’s more intense if you flush easily or have rosacea.
AT HOME TREATMENT: Find the gentlest cleansing wash you can find or a pure, gentle facial soap (homemade, not something at the store labelled “soap.”). Use creams or cleansing products with green tea. Avoid retinoids. Remember, handle your skin with care: no scrubbing, picking, and unnecessary roughness, especially in the undereye area.
WHAT A DOCTOR CAN DO: Prescription medications that might help include MetroGel and Oracea, which comes in a pill form. A doctor can also use a laser to zap blood vessels to alleviate redness. Dr. Wieder warns, however, that you must use sunscreen daily if you get laser therapy.
- Every morning, use a gentle cleanser if your skin feels dirty. Otherwise, put on moisturizer, then sunscreen.
- Every night, remove your makeup with a gentle cleanser. My makeup remover is very gentle and is made from green tea, glycerin, and sweet almond oil. Follow with a facial soap, scrub or wash. Always remember to NEVER OVERDO. Finish with a moisturizer to hydrate your skin. Moisturizer is key to keeping your skin plumped up and healthy looking, so use a moisturizer twice a day, in the morning and before bed.
- NEVER GO TO BED WITH A DIRTY FACE.
I hope this information helps. Please write me with any questions or if you need advice on which of my TimeOut4me products might be right for your skin type.
This is a summary of an article that appeared in Good Housekeeping in 2007 by Holly Crawford.