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How to Keep Your Skin Youthful

Want to avoid aging skin? Start at infancy. Stay out of the sun, and your face will be almost as smooth as a baby's bottom.  "Ninety percent of the changes in skin appearance that people don’t like as they get older – the wrinkling, irregular pigmentation, bumps and growths – are due to sun exposure," says Lynn Cowie, licensed Clinical Esthetician and Founder of the Eastbay Acne & Skin Care Clinic.  “Aging, alone, does not cause these changes.”

Four components contribute to skin aging:

  • Sunlight (and Ultra-Violet [UV] radiation, in general), damages the skin. UV-damaged skin creates less collagen and is drier. Those factors lead to more wrinkles; 

  • Muscle Movements bring the creases associated with facial expressions, such as frowning or squinting; 

  • Sleep Positions etch lines into the skin, especially by lying on one side more than the other.

  • Gravity is responsible for sags, folds and furrows.

Anti-Aging Tips:

  1. Protect yourself from UV exposure, or stay out of the sun! 
    90% of the signs of aging skin are caused by excessive UV exposure.
  2. Maintain a stable body weight. As weight varies, the constant stretching and contracting of the skin leads to saggy skin.
  3. Don't smoke! Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin, thereby reducing the flow of nutrients and oxygen that are necessary for growth and healing. That's why smokers often look ten years older than they really are.
  4. Keep your skin moisturized to provide the moisture your skin needs to stay supple and 'wrinkle-resistant!' When skin is properly moisturized, cracking and skin infections are greatly reduced.
  5. Take advantage of the new skin care products, like Jan Marini's "Age Intervention" line of skin care products, that can actually heal and renew aging and sun-damaged skin.

Of course, we can't turn back the clock to reverse the effect our life and lifestyle have had on our skin.  However, in the last few years, powerful new medications and techniques have become available that actually reduce wrinkles, rejuvenate skin and wipe years off our faces.

The Latest Products and Procedures
Can Erase Years From a Person’s Face

Medications and Products

Vitamin A acid, also known as Retin-A or Retinoic Acid, is the only drug approved by the FDA for reversing skin aging due to sun damage. Extensive studies have shown that it improves fine wrinkling, uneven pigmentation and rough skin texture. Regular daily use of retinoic acid over a period of four to six months or longer not only improves skin appearance but also increases the amount of collagen, normalizes skin cells that are pre-cancerous and blocks the ability of the ultraviolet rays of the sun to destroy the underlying matrix of the skin.  Clinical trials show that improvements remain up to four years.  Vitamin A acid is now available in a mineral-oil base called Renova, which is less irritating to the skin than Retin-A.  Note: Pregnant women should check with their doctors before using these products, as each one can increase sensitivity to the sun.

In addition to Retin-A, a number of anti-aging 'cosmeceuticals' are rapidly gaining acceptance. Among the most popular are the Glycolic Acids or fruit acids (AHA’S), which peel off the damaged outer layer of skin. AHA’S give you the same benefits as Renova without the side effects and irritation.  The best results come from increasing the strength of AHA’s used over time.  While fruit acids are available in low concentrations over the counter, Estheticians use higher concentrations (20%-40%).

Also helpful are products with Vitamin C, which fight skin aging through antioxidant action and increase potency of sun blocks.  Products like Jan Marini C-Esta serum, Cellex-C and Skinceuticals retain their vitamin C potency for months, unlike earlier preparations that had no active vitamin C left after a few weeks.  Eastbay Acne & Skin Care Clinic recommends using a vitamin C cream in the morning along with a sunscreen, and Glycolic Acid lotion or cream at night.

Treatments and Techniques:

MICRODERMABRASION removes dead skin cells mechanically, rejuvenating skin tissue.  Micro-crystals are projected onto the skin, removing the topmost layer of dead skin cells.  The crystals and the skin cells are then vacuumed back into the microdermabrasion tool for disposal.  Microdermabrasion treatments have been used in Europe for many years.  Several years ago it was approved by the FDA for use in the United States to help men and women experience remarkable improvements in their skin texture, regardless of skin color.  Power Peels are a safe, non-surgical, comprehensive approach to skin care.  It is used very effectively to reduce acne scarring, large pores, brown spots, dry/oily and sun-damaged skin.  This is a popular therapy due to it's beautiful final result. This treatment is relatively inexpensive, and should be performed regularly every four to eight weeks for best results.

CHEMICAL PEELS offer a non-mechanical exfoliation to reveal a new layer of young skin beneath the surface. They can also be used to clean and purify the skin, creating a bacteria-free environment to help keep acne under control. Generally speaking, peels are based on a particular acid or blend of acids. Several varieties are available, including Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Alpha-Hydroxy-Acid (AHA), Glycolic Acid, and Retinoic Acid. The right peel for you depends on your skin condition and type, and your medical condition (considering allergies and medications you are taking) — your esthetician can recommend one that is appropriate for you. Peels should be performed regularly every 4 to 8 weeks for optimal results. Chemical peels are relatively inexpensive compared to alternative treatments. The CosMedix Peels we offer at EBAC are some of the most effective and cost-effective acne and anti-aging peels we've ever seen.

EXODERM LIFTUnlike conventional face-lifts, Exoderm is non-surgical — there’s no cutting or stitching.  In addition, skin quality is greatly improved by the Exoderm Lift.  Recovery is also much quicker.  For instance, patients are generally able to return to work after only eight days from the initial treatment.  The Exoderm Lift doesn’t produce toxic systemic reactions and loss of pigment, as are sometimes associated with other deep-peeling techniques. Post-op Oxygen and vitamin treatments following this procedure will rapidly reduce the redness in the skin associated with this peel. Although it is very aggressive and expensive, we have seen beautiful results from this peel.

HORMONE THERAPYReplacing the hormones that decline with age, such as estrogen and human growth hormone, appears to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin.  Women who have used estrogen some time in their lives are less likely to have wrinkled or dry skin.  Our skin gets thinner as we age.  Human growth hormone also has been shown in double-blind studies to increase the thickness of skin, which thins with aging, and to help skin retain water content.  This approach has recently come under fire for apparently raising the risk of cancer in some individuals, so please consider this option cautiously and with the advice of your physician.

LASER RESURFACING*  Lasers vaporize wrinkles, banish age spots, get rid of unwanted hair, remove acne scars and even lift droopy earlobes.  Because the laser shrinks collagen fibers, it tightens the skin.  The best results depend on careful patient selection and the skill of the doctor.  Scarring, redness or infection can result if it is not done properly. Laser treatments can be expensive, and we tend to discourage laser resurfacing because of the results we have seen where scarring and hard skin was the result. However, some advances have been made recently with new types and frequencies of laser.

Aging is inevitable, but now its effect on our skin can be reduced, even apparently reversed, with these skin care technologies.

* These treatments are offered for information only, and are not necessarily recommended for your particular skin condition or skin type. EBAC does not offer these treatments at our clinic. However, we do offer post-operative Oxygen Therapy.

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