As a dermatologist I see many women (and men) who come to me concerned with the appearance of their skin as they age. Basically, they don’t want their skin to make them look their age – or older. The aging process is inevitable. Although not everybody starts showing the signs of aging at the same age, everybody will at some point show signs of aging.
I believe that every person should be allowed to age in whatever way they want. Aging with grace – in my opinion – means that women take action to lift themselves up and strive to live a confident, healthy, and meaningful life. This could be taking measures to physically reduce the signs of aging (things like coloring grey hair, using Botox to minimize appearance of wrinkles, etc), eating well and exercising to maintain health, or even taking advantage of learning and social opportunities to keep the mind and body active. If Botox and Filler make a woman feel better about herself, then I support that 100%.
When patients come to me looking for advice and treatment for the signs of aging we discuss a number of possible treatment plans. I like to focus on making minor adjustments to simply minify the signs of aging versus going overboard and changing the appearance of any one feature. For example, Botox in small quantities will simply help to reduce the appearance of the eleven’s – the lines that form between your eyebrows and the horizontal forehead lines. When you use too much Botox, the forehead will appear stiff and unnatural.
In an attempt to be authentic and honest, I think it’s important that I “come clean” with respect the anti-aging procedures that I have had. I am now in my late 30’s (although I know I don’t look it!!). I fuel my body and my skin with lots of clean, whole foods, starting the day with an antioxidant packed green smoothie. Since I started residency almost 10 years ago, I use a nightly retinoid. Retinoids are an anti-aging power house, helping to prevent fine lines and wrinkle. Now that I am well into my 30s, my skin care routine also includes an anti-oxidant serum and an eye cream. I also moisturize my skin twice a day (up from the once a day that I did in my 20s and early 30s when my skin was oilier), and I wear sunscreen daily.
Around the age of 32 I tried Botox. Let me tell you—once you try Botox, you’ll never go back!! Forehead lines are some of the first signs of aging
and all my patients feel so much more confident without them. This is a quick and almost painless procedure. Botox typically lasts 3-6 months, depending on your age and the amount of wrinkles you have. This year, I started exploring fillers. The next place that often shows age is the under eye area. People in their 30s and older often complain about dark circles under the eyes. Most of the time, this is actually coming from a loss of volume in the cheek area. It starts out subtly and becomes more pronounced with time. Last February, I had filler placed in my tear trough. It is a quick procedure, numbing cream made it almost painless, but there was significant swelling lasting about 5 days. I noticed an improvement to my under eye area, but still had a depression under my eyes and in my mid cheek when I smiled. So, this year, I took the plunge and got Sculptra. Sculptra is an amazing collagen stimulator. It is injected like filler but then stimulates your body to make its own collagen. It takes 3 months to see the full effect. I can’t tell you how happy I am after this procedure. While it was painful, it was so worth it for me. I now look about 9 years younger and feel more confident in pictures. The best thing about all of the procedures that I have done is that nobody knows. I make sure to do things in a way that will make me look like a natural, more relaxed, more youthful version of myself. No artificial faces here!!! The key to a natural look is to get a skilled board certified dermatologist to perform your procedures. They will sit down with you in a consultation, and help you map out a plan that makes you feel comfortable medically and financially.
In my Before & After photo above you can see darkness in the area under my eyes and my cheeks aren’t quite as full. In the image on the right, the area below my eyes is smooth and bright and my cheeks are fuller. These images were taken from video footage from two video’s that I published on my Facebook page (link).
As a woman, I want to break down stereotypes that say that women should appear flawless without any help. That is a lie. I work hard to keep my body healthy and I work hard to keep my face looking youthful. There are a number of non-invasive procedures that, when used correctly, can make a subtle difference in the appearance of signs of aging. I am not ashamed to share what I have done to age gracefully. However, nothing replaces a healthy lifestyle. I exercise 4-5 times a week, eat right, and meditate daily. Even though it can be challenging to find time to take care of myself with a busy practice and with small children, I know that the greatest gift I can give my family and my patients is a happy, healthy mommy and doc. Check out the blog to see what treatments I recommend for your age group and stay tuned to my next blog on nonsurgical fat loss techniques… yep. I’ve tried that too!!
My top tips for anybody that wants to master the fight against aging.
General health is the first step in fighting aging – eating healthy, nutritious foods and exercising offer many benefits towards healthy, vibrant skin.
SPF is your best friend. Every. Single. Day! UV rays cause wrinkles and premature aging along with skin cancer. Also, invest in a good pair of sunglasses and wear them anytime the sun is out (even in the winter) to help cut down on wrinkles caused by squinting.
It’s never too early to begin the fight against aging. Check out this blog post where I share anti-aging tips for every age (link to blog post).
Facial Creams and serums can only do so much and there is no magic solution to make wrinkles disappear.
If you are concerned with fine lines and wrinkles and want to get back on track with your skin care and health routines, check out my FREE Clear Skin Challenge. This e-book provides 30 days of tips and recommendations that will set you on the path to clear skin.
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