Over the years, adjusting to facial changes can be unsettling–especially for women. Moving away from those youthful years when glowing facial skin was a given (something we often take for granted), we’re forced to come to grips with the aging process. Unkind as it may seem, though inevitable, aging does not have to be gloom and doom. The mature years ahead can be comfortably met if you know the right steps to take and the best procedures available to you.
Here are some of the most popular in the anti-aging category. Your dermatologist is your best source for selecting what’s right for you.
Fractional CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing
The antiaging breakthrough of the decade, according to many doctors, is a skin-resurfacing treatment known as CO2 fractional laser therapy. Laser resurfacing uses short beams of energy light to bore tiny holes in the skin, which works to put the body’s natural collagen production on fast-forward. It does this in a way that prevents damage to the top layer of skin, offering maximum results with minimal recovery time.
Fillers and Wrinkle Injections
Wrinkle injection adds volume to the skin anywhere on the face, making it possible to sculpt a lifted, youthful look without surgery. Unlike a traditional facelift (which pulls the skin taut), creating volume plumps up the skin, so the look is youthful and more natural. Collagen production is also enhanced, and breakdown is slowed.
Antioxidants top the list of over-the-counter anti-aging ingredients. These skin care nutrients fight aging by destroying free radicals, the unstable molecules that occur from sun exposure or pollution and that can diminish your skin’s collagen supply.
Small proteins that stimulate the production of collagen, peptides have been on the edge of antiaging skin care for a while. The excitement began several years ago with NIH-backed research on the ingredient Matrixyl (palmitoyl pentapeptide-3), showing its ability to stimulate collagen production in skin. Today, further studies on additional peptides continue to generate research news.
Among the most medically studied topical antiaging treatments are the retinoids–derivatives of vitamin A. They are offered as prescription treatments such as Retin A or Renova, but also available in weaker strengths in over-the-counter products, listed as the ingredient retinol. Retinoids are thought to work on aging skin by increasing collagen production and decreasing collagen breakdown.
UVA rays cause the deep collagen and elastin damage that contributes to aging skin. While most sunscreens effectively protect against UVB rays, protection from UVA has been limited to the “long” waves, with ingredients that were unstable and frequently degraded in the sun. Ecamsule is a UVA-blocking sunscreen, and Helioplex is a technology created to stabilize traditional sunscreen ingredients avobenzone and oxybenzone. Both work against the damaging short UVA rays and provide longer-lasting protection.