January has come and gone as have New Years resolutions for thousands of people. There are the usual goals of eating better, working out more, and getting better sleep. These are all excellent goals, and can improve your life tremendously if you stick to them, but have you considered making a resolution for your skin? Stick with me and I’ll outline some common tips that can keep your skin healthy, and have you looking even younger as the year goes on?
I am asked this question dozens of times a day. A patient is usually seeing me for acne, a wart, or a concern about skin cancer when they seek additional advice to make their skin look healthier.
There are thousands of products on the market, many making outrageous claims of taking off years in sometimes only minutes. These claims are usually too good to be true. Like any resolution, consistency is the key and gradual change is the rule.
Let’s touch on some of the most common questions I hear, to get more specific?
How can I look younger?
The short answer is, “The one you like to use.” The long answer is more nuanced. I shy away from recommending one particular brand or type of sunscreen, because it’s not the right fit for every person. Just as people select a makeup brand because of the color, texture, feel, or stability, choosing sunscreen is a choice based on preferences.
There are two types of sunscreen; Physical blockers, and chemical blockers.
Physical blockers are sunscreens that use minerals like zinc and titanium as the active ingredient to reflect UV rays away from the skin. Traditionally these sunscreens have left a white residue on the skin making people dislike them. However newer technology in the market has made the sunscreens blend in better while offering excellent protection from the sun.
Chemical blockers use ingredients like avobenzone and oxybenzone which absorb UV rays from the sun and dissipate them as heat away from the body in order to protect the skin.
I personally use the UV Clear sunscreen by Elta MD on my face every day. I apply sunscreen daily, even on overcast days. I recommend the same for my patients. For the rest of my skin I use a number of brands including Aveno, Neutrogena, and Kirkland brand. I frequently use spray sunscreens as well as creams, depending on what I have available. The most important principle is that I have sunscreen readily available and apply it frequently.
Sunscreen remains the best thing anyone can do to protect their skin, and we have addressed that above.
However, there are additional steps one can take to protect their skin. There are a number of antioxidants now readily available on the market that act as an adjunct to your sunscreen to protect your skin. The most well known these is CE Ferulic made by SkinCeuticals. CE Ferulic, and other antioxidants are designed to provide skin cells with an increased ability to protect themselves from free radical damage, and repair when damage does occur.
There are many vitamin C serums on the market, but they are not all created equal. Vitamin C by itself is not stable and degrades quickly. Just because a serum may have vitamin C does not mean it is active once applied to the skin. CE Ferulic is stabilized with ferulic acid which helps to stabilize the compound. It has been shown to remain active in the skin for up to 36 hours. Studies have shown that a high quality antioxidant like CE Ferulic can decrease skin redness from sunburn even without sunscreen.
When combined with a high quality sunscreen, a potent antioxidant will significantly enhance your skins protection from UV damage and limit the onset of early signs of aging.
I love having this conversation with patients because there are so many options. It is important to understand your skincare goals and know the areas that bother you. Some are bothered by wrinkles, or large pores while others are bothered by brown and red spots, or sagging skin.
A retinoid or retinol is a topical medication, that when applied to the skin each night can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. They may also provide subtle improvement of brown spots. Many over the counter anti-aging creams include a retinol. A retinoid cream is a more potent version that is only available by prescription. During a skincare consultation I can help you incorporate a retinoid or retinol into your skincare regimen.
Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin are all considered “wrinkle-relaxers”. These are well known beauty treatments that relax muscles on the face that contribute to wrinkles. Over time, wrinkle relaxer treatments can fade the appearance of lines around the forehead and eyes. For the best results your wrinkle relaxer treatments should be performed by a board certified dermatologist.
Fillers are natural substances like hyaluronic acid that can be injected below the skin to add volume to an area. Fillers are commonly used to make lips look more full and soften smile lines around the mouth. There are many ways fillers can be used to make you look younger, less tired, and more refreshed. There are more risks to using fillers, which is why you should again have your treatment with a board certified dermatologist. At Treasure Valley Dermatology, I frequently see patients who have had complications from injections performed at a Medi-spa with poorly trained injectors who were unable to manage the complications of their work.
Laser treatments or cryotherapy can be used to decrease the appearance of brown and red spots on the skin and can improve the appearance of scars from surgery, or acne.
Regardless of your current skincare habits, we can each resolve to treat our skin better. If you haven’t seen a dermatologist to discuss your skincare or have your moles checked, make 2019 the year where you make, and stick to your resolutions for better skin health. Call for an appointment at 208-519-4333, or request an appointment on www.dermatologyboise.com. We’re excited to help you reach your goals.