When you were in your late teens or 20s, one of the last things on your mind might have been how your skin was going to look when you got older. Then, one day, you woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw a wrinkle or brown spot staring back at you. Although many people don’t think about the signs of aging until those signs are right in front of them, there are things you can do to minimize or delay those signs, and to significantly reduce them when they do start to appear.
The right age or time for considering certain treatments or routines depends on the patient, but in many cases, the answer can be the sooner, the better.
A Skincare Routine
You’re really never too young to have a good skin care routine going on. Even when you were a teenager, and your biggest concern might have been pimples, you most likely had a routine going to keep those pimples to a minimum. As you get older, you want to continue to focus on caring for your skin, but the direction of your focus might shift from minimizing pimples to minimizing lines and wrinkles.
No matter how old you are or how your skin looks today, there are two steps that are a must in every skincare routine. One is washing your face daily. Cleansing your skin removes any dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from the surface, reducing dullness and keeping your pores from becoming clogged.
The other must-do, no matter your age, is wearing sunscreen. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are one of the leading external causes of the signs of aging (another major cause is smoking). Doing what you can do reduce the time you spend exposed to the sun, from limiting the time you spend outdoors, to applying an SPF of at least 30 everyday, can go a long way when it comes to protecting your skin.
When you should start skincare treatments in an office setting, whether those treatments are chemical peels, injectables, or laser skin resurfacing, depends on the degree of aging you have on your skin. For example, plenty of people might be good candidates for a superficial or light chemical peel when they are in their 20s, or might benefit from a mild type of laser treatment, such as intense pulsed light (IPL).
Even if you didn’t start getting chemical peels or other types of treatments at a younger age, you can still see good results when you’re older and have more extensive signs of aging, with a deeper treatment. When you have more dark spots or more deeply etched lines and wrinkles, a deeper chemical peel or a more intense laser treatment, such as Erbium or Fraxel lasers, might be appropriate.
There’s a lot of debate about when the best time to give injectables a try is. In the case of treatments such as Botox or Dysport, starting the process early on, in your 20s or 30s, can be somewhat preventative, as the injections keep the lines from forming or from becoming more deeply etched. The best answer to the question of when you should consider injectables is most likely when you feel most comfortable with the idea and when your surgeon agrees that it’s a good treatment option for you.
Anti-aging facial surgery, such as a facelift or eyelid lift, is often reserved for older patients, and for good reason. While non-surgical treatments combat the initial signs of aging, such as a few spots or wrinkles, surgery is designed to deal with the sagging and loose skin that comes along later in the aging process. In some cases, people don’t have a significant amount of sagging or drooping skin until their late 50s or even older.
But, if a person hasn’t been taking care of his or her skin, sagging can occur earlier. For example, if you’ve not been using sunscreen, you’re more likely to be a candidate for anti-aging surgery at a younger age. The same is true of having in-office treatments or not. While Botox or laser skin resurfacing treatments won’t stop the clock, they can push back the age at which you’d be a candidate for surgery.
If you are concerned about the signs of aging on your face and are wondering what the best options are for you, getting the opinion of a surgeon who specializes in the aging face can be your best bet. Dr. Jessica Kulak is a board-certified, aging face specialist practicing at the Naderi Center, which has offices in Virginia and Maryland. She can help you put together an effective at-home skincare routine and evaluate the different treatments, surgical and non-, available to you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulak in Virginia, call (703) 481-0002. For an appointment in Maryland, call (301) 222-2020 today.