There's nothing more beautiful than healthy skin. Healthy skin over an entire lifetime does not have to be only a dream. Even though heredity plays a large role in the determination of your skin type, this does not mean that you are doomed to replicate your mother's wrinkles when you reach her age. Looking at your parents and grandparents may give you an indication of what your skin will look like in twenty years or so—but you can help alter your skin's destiny by improving its environment.
Did you know that people grow an entirely new body every seven years? Each and every cell throughout the body contains within it the intelligence and capability to reproduce. Of course, this includes the cells of our skin. Actually, our skin is our largest organ. It breathes and functions as a protective covering, a sensing organ, an oil producer, and an important means of elimination for the entire body.
Scientists are constantly discovering more of the secrets that may solve the mysteries of aging. If we were to combine the intelligence of science with the wisdom of nature, might it be possible to slow aging and enhance healthy longevity, while still allowing us to enjoy life in a vibrant and beautiful body? I believe it is possible, and only natural.
The first step in the antiaging process as it relates to skin care consists of a daily program of skin cell exfoliation, using glycolic acids from sugar cane, the AHA (alphahydroxy acid) known to be the most effective application for skin rejuvenation. Regular, gentle exfoliation not only reveals softer, smoother, and more even-toned skin, but also has proven to stimulate collagen growth deep within, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The second step requires the use of a vitamin C serum. Recent skin care research shows that aging skin is the result of more than just the aging process per se. Aging skin can be attributable to exposure to free radicals in sunlight, the direct and indirect effects of air pollution, and smoke. These free radicals break down the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles to appear. The process described here is called photoaging.
New evidence indicates that the ability of vitamin C to facilitate the production of collagen in the body may help reverse the visible signs of aging. As a result, vitamin C can promote younger-looking skin, as it helps to renew elasticity and firmness. When purchasing vitamin C, make sure that the vitamin C is L-ascorbic (not a derivative), at a ratio of at least 10 percent.
When using a moisturizer, look for one containing the freshest ingredients, and omit those moisturizers containing synthetic dyes and fragrances, petroleum derivatives, comedogenic ingredients, toxic irritants, lanolin, and other animal by-products. A moisturizer can help you rehydrate externally if you leave your skin damp after you wash your face and then lock in the water film by applying moisturizer. During the day, whenever you can, spray water on your face and reapply moisturizer.
Whether or not the sun is the only factor, most skin professionals are in agreement that excessive sun exposure is one of the major factors in premature aging. The sun destroys collagen by passing through the epidermis and attacking the collagen found in the dermal tissues. Total avoidance of the sun is not the ideal option for most; nonetheless, we can devise a plan that will protect our skin from sun damage when we are outside.
We can start by choosing an appropriate sunscreen. Many people do not realize that there are two different kinds of protection against sun damage to the skin. Chemical sunscreens penetrate the skin and absorb the sunlight. They are invisible on the skin, but they can cause irritation. The second type of protection, physical block (made of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide), lies on top of the skin to create a light-reflecting shield. Because blocks are not absorbed by the skin, they can be less irritating. Using a sunscreen with a level of SPF 15 or higher is the key.
Sun damage relates to the kind of rays reaching your skin. Ultraviolet B rays (UVB) are the longest ultraviolet rays. UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and cause most skin cancers. UVB rays are much stronger than UVA rays, even though UVA rays are longer rays that penetrate the dermis and the precious collagen and elastin fibers. UVA rays only burn in large doses, and this is therefore the type of UV ray used in most tanning beds and booths.
Finally, saving your skin requires you to take overall good care of yourself, and this includes drinking plenty of water to rehydrate internally. This may dramatically help the skin remain healthy looking and facilitate eliminative functions. Because moisture content is related to water, not oil or grease, oily-skinned women need to rehydrate as conscientiously as their dry-skinned counterparts.
You can replace lost skin-cell water internally by drinking eight ounces of water a day for every twenty pounds of body weight. Consider this a general estimate, because we each must find our own balance of fluid intake. This is a suggested average, but more water is needed with a rich, fatty diet than with a diet loaded with fruit and vegetables. High activity level versus a more sedentary lifestyle also impacts the intake of water needed for sufficient rehydration.
A diet that supports healthy skin is a diet that is balanced and includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
There is now an awareness of the importance of working with an esthetician in order to obtain superior results with cosmetic surgery procedures such as laser resurfacing.
Preparing the skin with Retin-A and/or glycolic acid home-care products, or in-salon peels prior to laser resurfacing, create an environment on the skin surface whereby the laser can pass more quickly and does not have to go as deeply into the dermis to achieve the same results. Preoperative preparations such as those mentioned result in the skin being less traumatized, and healing occurs much more quickly. A series of four to six glycolic peels brings excellent results.
Postoperatively, the use of natural pigment lightener, antiprurient (anti-itch) lotions, regenerative substances, and mild reacting creams will all but eliminate unwanted side effects and at the same time speed up the healing process.
Patients should begin a home-care regime for one week to ten days prior to the in-salon glycolic peel. Also, patients will want to begin the prelaser program at least four to five weeks prior to the last appointment.
Dr David Stephens MD, Plastic Surgeon - Providing services in Botox®, facelifts, liposuction and breast reduction, augmentation and implants to the areas of Bellevue and Seattle, Washington.
10687 NE 2nd St Bellevue, WA 98004
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