On January 17th, our first lady, Michelle Obama, turned the big 5-0, and in an interview with PEOPLE magazine she admitted that she will not rule out the idea of Botox, fillers, or plastic surgery.
“Women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do to feel good about themselves,” she states. As a dermatologist, I could not agree more!
In fact, a study in the Journal of Modern Aesthetics reported that 69 percent of women ages 45 to 60 feel at least 6 years younger than their chronological age.
The women studied said that when it comes to reversing signs of aging, they want a natural result and want to be the best version of themselves they can be, without looking too different. So, in honor of the season of love, I’d like to challenge all my patients to work toward loving the skin that they are in.
Here are my tips for 4 Decades of Beautiful Skin.
In Your 20s:
The number one skin complaint of my twenty-something year old patients is acne. Yes, acne.
It’s a myth that acne is something that only teenagers deal with. Furthermore, many people inadvertently worsen their acne through the inconsistent use of prescription acne medicines and by using harsh products that strip the skin of natural oils.
– Use gentle skin care products, and work on acne prevention.
– Wash your face once or twice a day (if you have an oily skin type) with a gentle cleanser such as Cetaphil.
– Generally, if you have acne, only prescription medications or acne lasers really work. If you have a prescription, you must use that prescription even when your skin is clear.
Remember it’s all about PREVENTION. Most importantly, wear a moisturizer with sunscreen. It’s anti-aging and can soothe irritated, sensitive acne-prone skin.
In Your 30s:
Even if you have taken good care of your skin, you may begin to notice subtle signs of aging in your 30s. This includes fine lines and wrinkles, as well as hyperpigmented sun spots and melasma that give you a mottled uneven complexion.
- Continue with good skin care habits–gentle cleanser and sunscreen.
- You may want to consider asking your dermatologist to prescribe a topical retinoid, which is great for acne and is also anti-aging. (Every dermatologist uses one!)
- It’s also a good idea to consider twice yearly chemical peels, which will exfoliate the skin and help you to maintain an even complexion.
- If your skin is too sensitive for retinoids or peels, over-the-counter glycolic acid washes will gently exfoliate your skin and slowly help to improve unwanted hyperpigmentation.
In Your 40s:
Close-up portrait of happy faces of smiling friendly young famile with son
Many forty-year-old women feel even more physically fit than they did in their 20s. There is no reason your skin shouldn’t follow suit. However, those beach vacations, tanning, and years of not wearing sunscreen can really show up on your face. In your 40s, you have to work harder to maintain that youthful glow.
– Your dermatologist should be your best friend, with new state-of-the-art lasers such as the IPL photofacials and the Vbeam laser, your doctor can help you erase years of damage in a little as 20 minutes. What I love about these lasers is that patients experience little downtime—just minor redness usually—that can be covered with make-up.
– With respect to your home skin routine, I recommend using a gentle, creamy (rather than gel) cleanser morning and night.
– Supplement your broad-spectrum sunscreen with serums or lotions that contain antioxidants, such as green-tea and vitamin C.
Fifty and Fabulous:
Turning fifty does not mean that you can retire from your skin care game! It’s never too late to prevent sun damage, and skin cancer for that matter, with sunscreen.
However, in your 50s physiological changes slow skin cell turnover, and as a result you may notice significant skin dryness, and loss of elasticity. Expression lines may become etched into your skin, giving you a tired or angry appearance. You may also notice rough, scaly, precancerous lesions developing.
First and foremost, make sure that you see your dermatologist for an annual skin exam. With respect to anti-aging tips, neurotoxins like Botox® and Dysport® and fillers like Sculptra, Restylane, and Perlane, have completely revolutionized your dermatologist’s anti-aging armamentarium. You DO NOT have to go under the knife to replace volume loss and to address deep wrinkles. Many of these procedures have minimal downtown, and the results can last for up to 2 years with products like Sculptra!