Why does our skin age?: The six secrets to having youthful, beautiful skin
Secrets to Having Beautiful Skin
Who doesn’t want healthy, beautiful looking skin? I am always running into family, friends, and acquaintances here in Colorado who ask me for tips about having age-defying skin. What I have discovered is that there is a tremendous amount of misinformation and confusion about how to look youthful.
The hard, cold truth is our faces will age. We will lose volume in our face. Our skin will sag. We will accumulate brown spots on the skin. We will get ever-deepening wrinkles.
Why? There are three reasons:
#1: The sun is continually damaging your skin. You are accumulating sun damage which damages skin cells, breaks down the collagen that keeps our skin vibrant, and accelerates the development of melanin or pigment.
#2: The fat pads in your face shrink over time which causes deep set lines. You lose bone in your face, causing your face to lose structure. Learn more.
#3: The collagen which keeps our skin looking firm and full breaks down.
These three things are a fact of aging. Fat pad loss, bone re-absorption, and the breakdown of collagen accelerate as we age. A lack of collagen causes our skin to sag. Fat pad loss causes deep set wrinkling. Bone reabsorption degrades the structure of the face, especially in the temples and jawline. The accumulation of sun damage breaks down skin cells and causes us to develop dark spots on the skin.
So, what can we do about it? How can we turn back the hands of time? What can we do to maintain our skin’s health?
Keep reading for 6 key, anti-aging secrets.
#1: Adding Volume to the Face
We all lose volume in the face (and hands) as we age. Collagen breaks down. Fat pad shrink. And we re-absorb bone. Filler can add back in that lost volume. Volume loss is a huge part of why a face looks older. What fillers can do, injected by an experienced and expert physician, is to give you back the volume and structure you’ve lost over time. The injection of filler is a true art and your want a physician, an expert, and an artist to restore your beauty. Dr. Janowski uses both shorter-term fillers, like Juvederm, and the longer-term filler Bellafill in our Broomfield, Colorado office. Fillers are most commonly used to smooth wrinkles in the parenthesis lines around the mouth, to add volume to thin lips, to reduce the hollows under the eyes, and to add lift and volume to the mid-face/cheeks. Fillers not only restore volume and fullness to the face. They also stimulate new collagen growth in the skin.
#2: Promoting Healthy, Rapid Cell Turnover
As we age, our skin cells not only become damaged, they don’t regenerate as quickly as when we were young. We accumulate these damaged cells, causing our skin to appear dry, flaky, saggy and/or dull. We have to help our bodies rapidly produce new, healthy skin cells. By forcing our skin to constantly regenerate new, healthy skin cells we are cuing our cells to stay young and vibrant. There are many ways to do this.
We all love Chemical Peels because they trigger a deep exfoliation and leave your skin looking vibrant. Ideally, getting a chemical peel 4 times a year keeps your skin at its best. Other treatments, like dermaplanning, microneedling, and microdermabrasion also help with skin cell turnover.
In Denver, our most powerful treatment to promote rapid cell turnover is a Laser Skin Resurfacing or Laser Peel treatment. The laser causes small micro-injuries to the skin and rapidly accelerates skin cell regeneration on a massive scale. Most patient find a laser treatment makes their skin look 5-10 years younger.
#3: Stimulating New Collagen Growth
Collagen in a protein found in the connective tissue in our skin. As we age, collagen breaks down. Imagine the skin of a baby – it is supple, vibrant, and bounces back to the touch. That is the effect of collagen. When we lose collagen, our skin begins to sag and wrinkles form.
Almost every treatment we do, and almost all the skin care products we carry, promote new collagen growth. Collagen growth is best stimulated by causing tiny micro-injuries to the skin. It may be antithetical, but causing tiny injuries to the skin causes the skin to heal itself. From the laser treatment to microneedling to the injection of fillers, all of these treatments trigger the formation of new collagen.
Our best collagen stimulator is Bellafill, the long-acting filler. Bellafill actually creates a structure in the skin to promote the rapid generation of your own collagen – acting as a natural filler.
One place many people notice skin laxity is in the neck and jawline. Ultherapy is our absolute best treatment for restoring skin firmness. Ultherapy uses targeted Ultrasound to create deep micro-injuries in the dermis. As these tiny injuries heal, new collagen is formed and skin tightens. Ultherapy also works fantastically well for lifting the skin of the brow (who likes saggy brows?) and tightening lose, thin skin on the chest.
#4: Removing accumulated pigment
The sun causes us to accumulate pigment on our skin. A great place to notice this accumulated pigment is on the hands – which are often unprotected in the sun. Freckles, sun spots, and dark spots are all caused by sun damage. Additionally, you may have noticed the uneven, freckled appearance caused by melasma, which is often triggered by hormonal events, such as pregnancy. This accumulated pigment can make our skin look uneven and old.
The great news is, there are many ways to remove pigment. The two best ways are: Laser Resurfacing, which sloughs off surface skin cells, leaving you with more even skin tone, and IPL, which uses light to bring pigment to the surface that then literally flakes off.
We also love the Vi Chemical Peel for targeting pigment and leaving you with a more even skin tone. Topically, your best bet for removing pigment over time is to use a hydroquinone (4%) product as offered by Obagi.
#5: Preventing wrinkles
Wrinkles have many causes – the loss of skin volume, the loss of collagen, damage caused by the sun – but all of us will get wrinkles. The most common complaint of our patients is the deep wrinkles in the brow and forehead. These wrinkles are caused by the natural expressions of our face. Some of us have stronger facial muscles than others, and we tend to get deeper furrows in our brows. We also wrinkle in the crow’s feet area where we lose volume, and create wrinkles by smiling or squinting.
The best way to prevent these wrinkles in the upper face is to use Botox®. Botox® relaxes the muscles that cause the expressions that lead to wrinkles. Used consistently (every 3-4 mos.) over time, Botox® can actually prevent these upper face wrinkles from forming.
Good skin care, sunscreen, and avoiding sun exposure will also help keep wrinkles at bay. However, we will all wrinkle, it is just a question of when and how severely.
#6: Prevent future skin cell damage
No matter what your age, taking charge of your skin health will help you to look your best and most youthful. Why not fight the aging process with the best tools available? We recommend six key skin care ingredients that can help you have your best skin ever and also assist you in wading through the complicated skin care marketplace.
The number one way to prevent future skin cell damage is to wear a good sunscreen with a Zinc Oxide base every day, and to reapply frequently.
We also recommend you use an antioxidant serum like Obagi’s Vitamin C serum, or the TNS essential serum from Skin Medica, which has both growth factors and anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants stop the breakdown of skin cells before they happen.
We can’t stop the aging process or slow the hand of time, but we can turn back the hands on that clock by harnessing the power of medical grade skin care and skin treatments.