Common skin types include normal, oily, dry or sensitive. Of course, in reality your skin is more complex than this and people often have a combination of types. It is important to have a consultation with plastic surgeon or aesthetic nurse to be properly assessed.
How and Why Does Your Skin Age?
There are two different types of aging in your skin: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic aging is from your genes. It is programmed into you. Extrinsic aging is from how you live and take care of your skin. The most important cause of extrinsic skin aging is Ultraviolet (UV). Other causes include smoking, stress, microorganisms, and air pollution. Extrinsic aging is preventable to some degree. Intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging occurs at the same time.
How Specifically Does your Skin Age?
One of the main ways intrinsic and extrinsic aging occurs is through something called “oxidative stress”. Oxidative stress happens when there is a buildup of something called “free radicals”. The problem with free radicals is that they can be toxic to your cells. They damage your DNA and other cellular structures which causes visible aging to occur. Our body does have a way to defend against these free radicals, but UV light stops our body’s natural defenses against free radicals.
Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can be used topically to help reduce free radicals and therefore slow the aging process.
What are Common Anti-Aging Skin Care System Therapies?
The most important component to you skin care system is a sunscreen. It is much easier to prevent extrinsic skin aging than correct it. Use of antioxidants such as vitamin C is important in ongoing anti-aging skin care. This needs to be used on a regular basis for a few weeks to see an effect. Finally the use of retinoids does help renew and refresh the skin and can be used on an intermittent basis. Often, the use of laser treatment technologies is combined with skin care systems to provide a comprehensive, powerful solution.
What are the Components to Good Skin Care?
There are seemingly millions of skin care products on the market. However, there are a number of steps that help to simplify a potentially confusion situation.
The first step in any good regimen is a cleanser. Having a cleanser that is gentle yet effective is important. Over-the-counter cleansers can be harsh and can damage the skin over time. This can lead to irritation and accumulation of aging-related free radicals. Over the past 20 years, cleanser technology has improved. We now use cleansers that are non-soap based liquid products (or “syndets”). This gives a pH balanced approach that is less damaging to the skin.
Corrective serums or lotions are also important to address specific problems with aging skin. The use of retinol, for example, helps cellular turnover and create healthier skin. The use of substances such as vitamin C help reduce free radicals in the skin.
Moisturizers are an important part of a skin care system. We typically use what are called “humectants” to draw water into the top layer of the skin, giving a healthier fuller look. This also decreases fine lines. Hyaluronic acid based moisturizers are typically used for this with good success.
Finally, the most important component to any skin care system is an effective sunscreen. As UV light is the main factor in extrinsic photo-aging and skin cancer, it is important to protect against it. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, E, green tea and reservatrol are all known to be photo protective. We have excellent choices for sunscreens that are non-oily and well tolerated.