Americans spend billions of dollars on facial cosmetic procedures: lasers, light therapies, neuromodulators (think Botox), fillers, and surgeries.
The question, “What procedures should I do for my skin?” is one I receive from my dermatology patients daily. Most everyone wants healthy, great looking facial skin- and why not? It’s one of the first things that people will notice about us.
As a Dermatology Physician Assistant for over 22 years, I love the “tool box” of procedures available to enhance and correct patients medical and cosmetic concerns. However, often times patients are looking to do an expensive and/or potentially risky procedure without understanding the basics of skin health.
There are many aspects of facial skin aging, both visual changes (pigment, texture, fine lines, vascular changes) and structural changes (volume loss, bone resorption, fat pad loss). The earliest changes we see on our facial skin are typically the visual changes of the skin - sun spots, pore size increases, fine lines, wrinkles, and vascular changes. These are the EASIEST to prevent and correct.
Most changes are from sun and environment exposure. All of the stresses on our skin that include ultraviolet radiation, wind, pollution, and smoking puts incredible stress on the skin causing inflammation and breakdown of healthy skin structures and the effects are what we see as aging skin.
What can you do about it? Well, before you spend lots of money on the “tool box” of procedures, make sure you are doing the most important thing, and that is a focused, targeted AND consistent skin care regimen. If we are not protecting our skin from the harsh daily environmental exposures, we are really missing the boat.
Daily musts: (these are things we should be doing every day of every year, regardless of the season and regardless of the weather.)
- First a 20% topical Vitamin C will help protect your skin and correct your skin from environmental stressors. Anyone who has used a good topical Vitamin C will tell you it’s a liquid gold game changer to the texture, tone, and overall health of the skin. Personally, I like to apply to the face, neck, chest, and tops of my hands.
- Next, apply a broad-spectrum mineral-based sunscreen with at least an SPF of 30 EVERY DAY to exposed areas.
- In the evening, a retinol should be used to enhance collagen production, inhibit unwanted pigment, and improve textural changes of the skin.
These simple skincare tips will keep your skin looking and feeling healthy!