Sunday, September 26, 2010

Best Anti-Aging Tips

1) Retinoids
A cousin of vitamin A, retinoids are available by prescription. The best-known retinoid in the USA is tretinoin, sold under the brand name Retin-A. 

Retinoids are the fuel for skin regeneration. “They can reverse some of the signs of aging—fine lines, blotchy discoloration and enlarged pores,” says Dr. Lupo. Retinoids also promote the production of collagen (the skin’s essential support structure) and help the skin make more elastin (which gives skin its resilience), thereby making the skin look younger and fresher.
Retin-A  requires a doctor's prescription. Retinoids' milder siblings, retinols, which are available over the counter, can do all this to a lesser extent. 

Dr. Bell prescribes and dispenses Retin-A and other tretinoin formulations to her patients at Plush, depending on their skin type and needs. Call for your free consultation at 334-702-6869.

2) Topical Antioxidants 
Using a cream, serum or lotion that contains such antioxidants as vitamin C, green tea extract or ferulic acid can make your skin healthier. “Antioxidants really prevent aging by quenching free radicals, but they also decrease inflammation that can lead to wrinkles,” says Leslie Baumann, M.D., author of The Skin Type Solution. And if you apply them during the day, antioxidants can block damage from any UV light that gets through your sunscreen.

Obagi has a whole line of C-serums of varying strengths that can be incorporated into any skin care regimen. Talk to one of Plush Medical Spa' estheticians during your FREE skin care consultation.   

3) Out with the Old, In with the New
Exfoliating your skin once or twice a week with a facial wash, scrub or chemical peel that contains glycolic or lactic acid (both alpha hydroxy acids) removes dead cells from the skin’s surface and allows new ones to emerge. “This gives the skin a smoother surface that reflects light better and looks more radiant,” Dr. Baumann says. Skip this step if you have severe acne or very sensitive skin because the friction from exfoliating can aggravate these conditions. Medical (machine-based) microdermabrasion is recommended at least twice a year to improve dullness, reduce pore size and skin texture.
We suggest using Obagi cleansers with glycolic acid for daily use with the Clarisonic Pro system for face and body. Most can benefit from chemical peels and medical microdermabrasion twice yearly.

4) Hydration
Use a quality moisturizer to keep your skin looking supple and youthful. Anytime you increase hydration to the skin, you camouflage fine lines, protect skin against environmental assaults, and you can maximize the penetration of whatever else you’re putting on your skin. If your skin is dry, look for a moisturizer that contains cholesterol, fatty acids and ceramides. It sounds counterintuitive, but “the more water there is in a moisturizer, the less moisturizing it is,” says Ellen Marmur, M.D, author of Simple Skin Beauty

5) Botox and Fillers
Our skin loses volume as we age and slows the rate at which is replaces itself. Repetitive folding of the skin from muscle movements lead to permanent wrinkles in already-thinned skin. These effects can be reversed with botulinum injections with either Dysport or Botox cosmetic. These drugs lessen muscle activity and therefore stop the repeated folding of the skin. The treated areas have a chance to heal, leading to a long-term wrinkle reduction benefit beyond the expected 4 month reprieve from dynamic wrinkles. Fillers like Radiesse, Restylane and Juvederm replace volume loss with an immediate improvement that lasts up to 2 years.

6) Beauty Sleep
Your mother was right: You do need your beauty rest, so try to get plenty of quality shut-eye every night. “It’s during sleep when your metabolic rate is decreased that the body initiates the repair process,” Dr. Lupo says. For your face’s sake, it’s best to sleep on your back. “If you sleep on your face, your facial skin will age more rapidly,” Dr. Lupo warns. “It’s like wrinkling a pair of pants—in this case, you’re mechanically wrinkling the skin by deforming the skin’s collagen and impeding circulation to the skin.” So roll over if you’re a belly- or side-sleeper.

7) Omega-3 Fatty Acids

To make your skin healthier and more youthful, consider having salmon for dinner tonight. “Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, walnuts, canola oil, flax and supplements, can decrease inflammation in the skin,” explains Lisa Donofrio, M.D., professor of dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine. This is significant because chronic, low-grade inflammation can lead to loss of collagen and elastin, which, in turn, causes wrinkles and sagging of the skin.

8) Sun Protection
It’s never too late—in the season, or in your life— to start protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Use sunscreen every day and wear sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat whenever possible. “The single thing that ages the skin more than anything else is ultraviolet light, which damages DNA and breaks down collagen [the fibers that keep skin firm],” explains Mary P. Lupo, M.D., a dermatology professor at Tulane University in New Orleans. “The way I see it is: You can’t reverse a freight train until you first stop it.” Once you start protecting your skin you can reverse the damage that’s occurred.