With 2010 already in full swing, a lot of our “of a certain age” clients are wondering how to improve their skin this year. So here are ten tips to help your body’s largest organ look and act more youthful:
1. Follow a skincare regime that is appropriate for your “stage” in life. Today’s professional skincare products are filled with active ingredients that, applied regularly, actually produce a beneficial effect, helping the ski’s cells to behave in a more youthful fashion. Talk to Afterglow staff about Afterglow’s own line of professional products to find a regimen that is tailored to you.
2. Need we say it again? Use your sunscreen every day and —just as importantly—make sure it is marked “broad spectrum.” The SPF rating applies only to UVB rays, however, UVA light is far more damaging to the skin in the long run. This is because it is all around us, even on a dull day, and can pass through a glass window pane. Broad spectrum sunscreens contain blocks against UVA light, protecting your skin from cumulative damage.
3. Get enough sleep. Although skin repair is an ongoing process, lack of sleep causes an increase in the stress hormone cortisol and this can slow the production of collagen. Between 7 and 8 hours a night is the appropriate amount of shut-eye for that youthful bloom.
4. Get enough exercise. By increasing blood flow, physical activity will bring blood and nutrients to the surface of your skin, encouraging a healthy glow.
5. Don’t smoke. Smoking damages the skin. Period. Not only will you develop dynamic wrinkles from all that puffing and squinting, but the blood vessels in the surface of your skin will constrict, resulting in a dull pallor.
6. Eat more fruits and veggies. Their antioxidants are good for your whole body. Fruits and veggies are also hydrating.
7. If you are past menopause, the reduced estrogen in your body will gradually cause breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in a thin, sagging appearance. Consider Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT). Dr. Ebrahim will be able to advise you on BHRT so you may wish to set up an appointment with her.
8. Treatment with the Pro-Fractional laser has been shown to improve the tone and texture of aging skin. You may also wish to discuss this with the staff of Afterglow.
9. Don’t forget to exfoliate. Exfoliating the outer layer of skin (epidermis) encourages cell renewal in the deeper layers of the skin. Afterglow offers a microdermabrasion treatment that will polish and refine your skin in a mere 20 minutes. It’s a great way to refresh your look for the coming year!
10. Last, but not least, hydrate! Drink lots of pure water or—if you can afford the sugar content—juices. Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, flax oil, flax seed, salmon, mackerel, sardines), also help keep water in the skin. At night, when skin loses moisture, use a humidifier in your bedroom and wake up to a plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
Is it true that you can always tell a woman’s age by her hands? Thanks to modern tools and techniques, this old adage is no longer the case. While your hands will never again look as young as when you were in your 20s, they can look a lot better— and more youthful — with the anti-aging treatments available at Afterglow.
Let’s take a look at what makes hands appear old: As our hormones wane in middle age, the skin and its underlying fat undergoes changes. On the face, arms and hands the skin becomes noticeably thinner, and much of the underlying fat is lost. These changes mean the skin no longer drapes tautly over the fat, and becomes looser and more wrinkled in appearance. With thinner skin and less fat, the underlying structures – bones, tendons and veins – become more obvious.
Another common change is the development of age spots (solar lentigines).
Many women respond to the aging of their hands by having the veins injected, and using makeup or a skin bleaching agent to temporarily disguise the age spots. These methods are usually ineffective as other veins of the hand tend to grow larger to ensure continuity of blood flow, and the age spots return as soon as the bleaching treatments are discontinued, or makeup worn off.
A better solution is to take advantage of our anti-aging program for hands, which will permanently remove existing age spots, and fill in the spaces between the bones, so that the bones and veins lose their prominence. We also recommend the use of retinoic acid to thicken the skin and restore some of the collagen that has been lost over time. (Using retinoic acid along with a sunscreen every day is also a good preventive measure for younger hands, or to help maintain a new, more youthful look.)
To fill in the spaces between the bones of the hands, Dr. Ebrahim carefully injects Radiesse dermal filler under the skin. Approximately one syringe is used per hand, and the results can last for over a year, making this treatment very cost-effective. The two pictures above are the before and after images of hands that have undergone treatment with Radiesse. Note the veins, tendons and bones are considerably less noticeable. The tiny calcium-based microspheres of Radiesse form a “scaffold” to support and stimulate the growth of your own collagen. (We do not recommend fat injection as experience has shown the fat is broken down and resorbed by the body in as little as a couple of months.)
Age spots are treated with Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) using Sciton BBL broadband light, which addresses melanin pigmentation. This light treatment also helps to regenerate collagen for a healthier, tauter and more youthful skin.
After your treatments, be sure to protect your younger-looking hands with sunscreen every day and a nightly application of a retinoic acid product. (Please ask Dr. Ebrahim for advice on the best product for your specific needs.)