By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
June 5, 2020
A good skin care routine is something we all need in order to keep our faces looking younger and more vibrant.
Personally, I take great care in tending to my skin. Each night I wash away a day’s worth of dirt using a skin-safe cleanser. Then, I apply my Vitamin C serum before going to sleep.
In the mornings, I wash my face and then use a botanical serum with antioxidant polyphenols to make my skin shiny and beautiful. It even plumps things up a bit!
All things considered, I’m quite happy with how my own face has aged over the years.
But many of my patients don’t like what they see in the mirror. They obsess over wrinkles, age spots, blemishes, or bags under their eyes.
That’s when they come to me looking for a few tips on how to diminish these physical signs of aging.
Now remember, I can’t wave a magic wand and make you appear decades younger than you are.
It doesn’t work that way. There is no “magic” cure for aging skin (even though the internet would have you believe there is).
Ultimately, the healthier your lifestyle, the younger you are likely to look. But there are other habits that play a role as well.
Give Your Skin the Right Amount of Attention
One thing I notice about patients with skin concerns is they often over-care for their skin.
People with the deepest wrinkles tend to slather on the greasiest lotions. And they don’t look any better for it. Those with oily skin and large pores are constantly washing their faces, then fail to moisturize. Their skin often looks dull and flaky.
The ones with age spots apply bleaching creams the way other people apply sunscreen. It shows in the form of flaky red patches.
So here’s the deal.
I recommend washing your face only once or twice daily with an extremely gentle cleanser, followed with moisturizer, then a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide sun blocker.
Why only once or twice a day? Because over-washing your face strips away all of the good oils and moisture that protect against wrinkles and keep your face supple, glowing, and healthy.
And, of course, under-washing it leads to a build-up of dirt and sebum that block your pores and leads to dull skin that is prone to blackheads.
Make sure to use a high-quality NATURAL moisturizer containing organic oils (avocado, coconut, olive), antioxidants and super-moisturizing hyaluronic acid.
All of these ingredients work together to revitalize your skin’s moisture levels for a healthy glow, improved firmness and the natural turnover of healthy skin cells.
Exfoliating once or twice a week can help brighten your skin. It removes dead skin cells, promotes collagen production and brings out a glow. (Don’t exfoliate more than a couple times a week or it can lead to dry, flaky skin.)
And what about all of those creams, lotions and “magic homemade concoctions” you read about on the internet?
Well, they might sound exciting and make your skin feel good for a few minutes, but chances are slim any of them have a true impact on the condition of your skin. In fact, some of them may actually promote an inflammatory response which literally ages your skin faster.
Your Best Options for Ultimate Skin Renewal
I’ll bet you’ve thought about fillers and plumpers like Botox, Juvaderm and Restylane. These have even become popular among men. But they aren’t cheap, and they’re dangerous.
I’ve seen patients come in with lumps, bulges, drooping eyelids and lop-sided faces when these treatments go wrong.
And chemical peels, well… they’re full of chemicals! And those chemicals can be absorbed by your skin and get into your bloodstream.
Laser resurfacing is also a common option these days. It works well for most people but, depending on your skin, it may leave scarring or cause dark areas on the skin (hyperpigmentation).
This makes microdermabrasion one of the safest and least invasive options for skin renewal. These are skin resurfacing treatments available through your dermatologist.
Microdermabrasion is basically a super-charged exfoliation process which uses a device to gently “sand down” the outermost layer of skin cells. Those cells are then quickly replaced with new, healthy ones. These treatments increase collagen synthesis and improve the thickness of your skin.
They work extremely well to diminish fine lines and wrinkles on your face. Plus, this technique helps to minimize large pores, reduce shallow acne scars and get rid of age spots.
As many as 40% of patients who receive treatment every two weeks for 16 weeks see their age spots completely disappear!
Microdermabrasion can even help reduce dark circles under your eyes if they are caused by hyperpigmentation.
However, in many cases dark circles and bags under the eyes are a result of poor sleep habits, allergies or eye strain. So unless you know the exact cause, it’s hard to treat them.
In this case, while they will not cure the underlying condition, tried and true remedies like cold teabags, cucumber slices or cool compresses can temporarily reduce symptoms.
Fernandes M, et al. Effects of microdermabrasion on skin rejuvenation. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2014 Jan;16(1):26-31.
What can get rid of skin spots. American Academy of Dermatology. Copyright © 2018.
Shah M, Crane JS. Microdermabrasion. StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Mar 3.