Timing is Everything
Whether you are fifteen or fifty, taking care of your skin should be a vital part of your daily routine. Each decade presents challenges that can be overcome with various products and practices discussed below. Please consult your physician for beneficial procedures specific for your gender, skin type and age.
Healthy habits begin now! Forget the bar of soap. Most teens have oily skin, so it is best to cleanse twice daily with a gel-based or foaming cleanser. (Soap can over-strip your skin, creating additional problems and causing more oil production.) In addition, use an alcohol-free toner, an oil-free moisturizer and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. For optimum results, incorporate an acne spot treatment containing salicylic acid as needed. See a dermatologist if you develop moderate-to-severe acne, as both topical and internal prescription medications can be prescribed to remedy breakout. And remember, do not pick at your skin! It will only make matters worse.
Focus on a comprehensive at-home skin care routine. Damage prevention is the name of the game in your twenties! If you have combination to oily skin, use a gel cleanser. If you have normal to dry skin, a milky cleanser is best. Continue to use a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 on the face, neck, and chest. Stick with an oil-free lotion and vitamin A derivative product, such as prescription Retin-A at night to complete this regimen. Also consult your physician about recommendations best for your skin type, such as using Retin-A near the eye area, eliminating the need for an eye cream.
In addition, no matter how long your work day is, do not neglect to wash your face before bedtime! Keep your makeup up-to-date, and brushes and sponges clean as well. Remember to avoid tanning beds and prolonged sun exposure too. While “anti-aging” products are not necessary during the twenties, taking these precautionary steps will ensure that your skin stays youthful and radiant!
Whether you are a career jet-setter or a stay-at-home parent (or somewhere in between), your schedule is probably packed. Who has time for skin care? Yep, you guessed it. You do! Skin care in your thirties needs to be part of your lifestyle. From taking vitamin and calcium supplements, to drinking a sufficient amount of water each day, to abstaining from unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive drinking, these all play a vital part in the appearance and health of your skin. Mole checks should be a part of your health routine by this point as well. Continue the religious use of sunscreen not only for yourself but for your entire family! You might be experiencing a variety of skin challenges from melasma (“pregnancy mask”), to broken capillaries and redness, to fine lines and acne scarring. (Some of you might still be experiencing reoccurring breakout too!) Begin an “anti-aging” skin care routine, using products rich in antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids. Consider in-office procedures such as a photofacial or TCA peel for acne scarring or other chemical peels to ward off breakout, to tighten pores, and to correct hyperpigmentation and melasma. Also add an eye cream to your at-home skin care routine.
With the roaring forties comes an increase of fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes and mouth. While instincts might tell us to camouflage as much as possible, actually lightening your makeup and using softer colors and techniques will lend to a more youthful glow. Both environmental and hormonal factors can be culprits; both non-invasive and invasive procedures are appropriate to correct such damage. Products such as Obagi's Refissa (Retin-A + moisturizer) and Clear (4% Hydroquinone) can be very beneficial in the correction process. Botox is another alternative that can lessen forehead and brow lines and create a softer, more youthful look.
Hopefully you are enjoying the benefits from faithfully caring for your skin, but do not stop yet. It is not time to retire from skin care! By the fifties, a loss of elasticity has occurred due to the breakdown of collagen and elastin. Cell turnover has significantly slowed, likely leaving your skin dry, dull and tired. While it is beneficial to continue a skin care regimen rich in antioxidants and alpha hydroxy acids, more invasive clinical procedures such as facial fillers, facial implants, or a facelift can be considered to achieve maximum results.
Visit your dermatologist at least once a year for a skin cancer screening. Post-menopausal skin can become very fragile, so use gentle, moisturizing skin care products. Add a serum to your skin care routine as well. Continue a healthy lifestyle by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis.
Regardless of your age, Maryland Medical Spa offers a variety of products and services tailored to fit your current needs. If you would like more information about treatment options available at the University of Maryland Medical Center or would like to share the secrets that leave your skin healthy, vibrant and youthful, please do so by accessing the “Ask the Expert” link found at http://www.umm.edu/medspa/skin-care-tips.htm. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
This page was last updated: July 15, 2013