Strides in Skincare
Advances in Technology
Our skin happens to be our largest organ. Though we go through periods of re-growth, our skin stays with us throughout our lives. We must consider it each day of our lives; moisturizing it when we step out of water, protecting it in the sun and helping it to retain elasticity so that it remains youthful. Wrinkles are a natural concern for all people as aging occurs. Plastic surgeons have many ways to treat wrinkles, from Botox®
to laser skin resurfacing
to dermal fillers
and other anti-aging treatments
. But you can help yourself too. High-tech skincare science companies constantly develop new ingredients and new products that help us to keep our skin looking youthful and healthy.
Anti-Aging Ingredients to Look For
A new trend in cosmetic, medical skin care has surfaced--cosmaceuticals. Many cosmeceuticals promise to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, aging lines and may even throw in sun protection as well. These anti-aging products can rejuvenate your facial skin and neck or help keep it looking young after a procedure such as liquid facelift.
We list some popular cosmeceuticals and their effects below.
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, malic acid. These natural, organic acids are found in nature and act as an exfoliant. Lower concentrations are found in over-the-counter products, so there is a less risk of skin peeling, irritation, redness and flaking. Plastic surgeons use higher doses for chemical peels.
- Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA’s): As an antioxidant, ALA’s increase cell metabolism, aid in circulation and combat free radicals while reducing inflammation. ALA’s fat and water content makes them very soluble to cells.
- Beta Hydroxy Acids (Salicylic Acid): Rejuvenates skin by evening out the skin’s tone and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Salicylic acid can also treat dandruff, calluses and warts. In fact, BHA is an alternative to AHAs and works better for those with sensitive skin. BHA can be found in it’s simplest form in aspirin. In fact, you can make your own face mask at home with crushed up aspirin and citric juice or milk.
- Coenzyme Q-10: A naturally occurring enzyme in cells, damage by free radicals can be repaired through ingesting CoQ10 (fish, meat and vegetable oils) or by treating your skin with this easily absorbed compound. It repairs your skin’s damage from the sun and other environmental factors.
- Collagen: A vital protein, this anti-aging tool can help diminish gradual wrinkling of skin and thoroughly moisturizes your skin. Though it does not yet come in a topical formula, many ingredients on this list naturally stimulate the collagen production of your own skin when used.
- Estrogen: In the form of estradiol molecules, these compounds penetrate the skin for anti-aging effects.
- Hyaluronic Acid: Helps your skin to retain water. It diminishes wrinkles due to increased moisture and is available topically or by injection. Restylane is a non-animal form of hyalauronic acid and can reduce the appearance of wrinkles for months at a time. Many professionals beleive that hyalauronic acid may be better than collagen at skin rejuvenation.
- Kinerase and Kinetin (N6-Furfurladenine): Considered a gentle treatment and less harsh than Vitamin A, this product is usually used around the delicate eye area to retard cell aging, improve skin tone and increase moisture to lessen fine lines and wrinkles. Concentrations of 0.1% seem to be most effective. Not yet found in retail stores, you can possibly locate the product online.
- Progesterone: A hormone that declines during menopause, when found in cream at a level of 2%, anti-aging and skin firmness can be achieved.
- Tretinoin (Retinoic Acid/Retin A): A natural, organic compound - Retin A can be found in vegetables with carotene (carrots, spinach, pumpkin and other leafy greens). Retin A Smooths out skin texture, improves elasticity and diminishes mottled pigmentation. As the strongest version of Vitamin A, it could be harsh on your skin and cause dryness, flaking and redness. Be sure to speak to your plastic surgeon about recommendations. Most plastic surgeons sell creams that combine Retin A with other ingredients to help you stay young looking.
- Vitamin E (Tocopherol): An antioxidant that protects cell membranes and helps the skin heal. It also reduces and neutralizes free radicals in the body.
- Vitamin K: Binding calcium to proteins in the body, Vitamin K reduces dark circles under your eyes and minimizes the appearance of broken capillaries which lead to a ruddy facial appearance.
- Vegetal Stem Cell: Also known as placenta skin care, these products stimulate cell regeneration and originate from plants. VP comes from the bud of plants and provides a remarkable opportunity for rejuvenation of your skin. Some forms are derived from animals (sheep or cows) or via human donation.
Talk to Your Plastic Surgeon
Using skin care products will help you age gracefully, as long as you are choosing the right combination for your skin. Consult your plastic surgeon
because he will be able to tell you exactly what products will work on your skin. Ultimately, you will save time and expense by knowing in advance what you should use. You plastic surgeon can also help alleviate some of the misinformation you hear from the women at the cosmetic stand in your department store!