We all know that living a healthy lifestyle is important to looking our best, but despite our healthiest habits, aging is inevitable. That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re stuck having to look less than your best. The more you know about how and why your skin and face change, the better equipped you are to take charge and age beautifully.

There are actually three separate processes that combine to make our faces appear aged, and it is the combination of these three things that we think of when we see age on someone’s face.

The Three Parts of the Ageing Process Are…..

  1. Lines caused by Muscle Movement
  2. Volume Loss
  3. Skin Changes

Today we’re going to tackle Skin Changes – which is probably the most complicated and underappreciate piece of the aging process. Read The Secrets to Looking Amazing at Any Age: Part I and The Secrets to Looking Amazing at Any Age: Part II to learn about the rest of the aging process.

 

Skin Changes: The Problems (Pigment Changes, Fine Lines and Collagen Loss)

We have talked about deep lines in our upper face (caused by muscle movement, fixed by using Botox to relax the muscles), and hollows and folds in our lower faces (caused by volume loss and migration, fixed by rebuilding and replacing volume with fillers like Juvederm). Now lets talk about the last piece of the aging process: pigment changes, fine lines and collagen loss.

There are a couple of things that change in our skin as we get older. Around age 35, our collagen production slows down, and the quality of our collagen diminishes, and our skin starts to act less like lycra and more like linen. Without our collagen, our skin does not have the elastic strength to resist gravity. Small “crepe-paper” wrinkles begin to form, and our skin begins to sag.

In addition to losing collagen over time, our skin also begins to accumulate broken capillaries and sun spots. I think about our skin like I think about a manicure. When you first get your nails done they are flawless, right? Then after a few days there are nicks in the paint and you lose that glossy new-paint shine. Our skin is the same way. When we are young, we have clear and even pigment, and flawless glowing skin. When the daily stresses of life (with UV damage being the worst) take their toll, they leave behind damage that shows up as brown pigment, broken capillaries and dullness in our skin.

Skin Changes: The Solutions (Pigment Changes, Fine Lines and Collagen Loss)

Generally speaking, most skin treatments are designed to deal with pigment problems, or to stimulate collagen growth, but very few do both. When picking a skin treatment, the best thing is to decide which problem you want to work on, and pick something specific for that problem.

The good news is that there are many ways to stimulate the skin to grow more collagen. Professionally administered collagen-stimulating treatments produce collagen in one of two ways: either by creating controlled wounds in the skin, which heals by creating new collagen, or by stimulating collagen production directly. Lasers, chemical peels and microneedling produce collagen through the process of creating a controlled wound. Retin-a, growth factors and PRP produce collagen by stimulating the body directly to produce more collagen without creating a wound. Which treatment is best for you depends on your age, skin type, and goals, but with regular treatments, collagen loss and not only be stopped, but reversed, giving you back the glowing and smooth skin from your 20s.

When it comes to pigment, we can either suppress the melanocytes (cells that make brown pigments in the skin) with good home care and peels, or remove them completely with IPL-type lasers. These is a lot of nuance to when you chose which type of treatment that depends on your skin type, sun exposure, and tolerance for downtime, but all of them can yield beautiful results to give you back the even and smooth pigment you once enjoyed.

In summary, I like to organize skin treatments by the problems they solve:

  • Lasers can be used for both problems, but generally speaking, any individual laser is only good at one of them. For example, a CO2 laser is very good at building collagen, but less effective at pigment control, where an IPL laser is fantastic for pigment and very poor at building collagen.
  • Peels and product are good for control of specific problems (such as melisma or acne) and for skin tone, quality and texture.
  • Microneedling –alone or with Platelet-Rich Plamsa (PRP) – is best for collagen regeneration.

No matter which treatment you chose, remember that when it comes to skin, multiple small treatments over time will lead to gradual regeneration with very little downtime or pain, where more aggressive treatments will get the job done faster, but with more downtime.

So in conclusion – keeping age at bay is simple, and follows some simple rules. In this post we covered Skin Changes. Read The Secrets to Looking Amazing at Any Age: Part I and The Secrets to Looking Amazing at Any Age: Part II to learn about the rest of the aging process. And remember to follow these basic rules:  to keep looking your best you need…

  • Muscle control for your upper face – Botox being most common
  • Volume for your lower face – either through replacing or rebuilding your lost structure.
  • Skin treatments to regenerate your lost collagen – resurfacing Lasers, microneedling and PRP
  • Skin treatments to remove any brown and red spots –IPL lasers and good topical home care

 

Not sure which tool is the right one for you? Come in to Restor for a complimentary consult!

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