Anti-Aging After 40

40s_womanBy the time that a person reaches the age of 40, the strategy of using sunscreen and antioxidants for skin protection needs to be supplemented.  As the skin ages, the skin also needs, and can handle, stronger ingredients to add back some of what has been lost over the years.

I will outline 3 major strategies to improve your skin if you are 40 or older.  Although, it is also important to note that these steps do not lessen the importance of skin protection (i.e. applying sunscreen) to prevent future damage.

#1- Work to lessen etched-in lines and wrinkles.

Lines and folds in the skin of the face are caused by shifts in the volume under the skin.  Loss of fat and collagen results in the skin folding in on itself.  For this process, dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Voluma, are best to replace lost volume and literally lift the skin.

crows_feet_manSome fine lines are also caused by repeated folding of the skin by facial muscles.  The most common areas of concern are between the eyes (scowl lines), around the eyes (smile lines or “crow’s feet”), and forehead lines.

For these areas, Botox is the best choice to relax the muscle groups that cause the skin folding and the lines.  The smoothing of the skin gives a much more rested and frankly younger appearance.

Skin-tightening procedures can also help for the general loss of skin tone sometimes seen with aging.  Non-ablative fractionated lasers such as Fraxel can speed repair of sun-damaged skin and stimulating collagen production which tightens the skin overall.

The newly-added technique of micro needling also tightens skin by inducing very small pinpoint injuries to the skin surface that quickly heal to also stimulate collagen.  Both of these procedures are considered resurfacing as the skin surface will look better in terms of tone, texture and even pore size.

#2- Rebuild collagen

retinol_applyAs we have discussed in the past, after age 40, collagen production tails off.  Also, the forces that breakdown collagen, such as the sun and (God forbid) smoking, do their part to decrease your subdermal volume.

The best collagen stimulators are the invasive treatments noted above.  The best noninvasive collagen stimulator is retinoic acid or retinols.  These products stimulate collagen superficially and aid in new and healthy collagen production.

Various versions of retinols are in multiple over-the-counter skincare products, and Retin-A is a prescription strength version.  You can order the strength I recommend for general use on our website.  If the stronger version of Retin-A is needed, we also offer that version at our Maine Laser Skin Care office for sale if needed.

#3- Moisturize

moisturize_cartoonAs our skin gets older, moisture levels within the skin drop.  This happens for several reasons, including decreased sebum or skin oil production and general thinning of the skin.

The slow but progressive drying of the skin over the years causes the texture and feel of the skin to change.  Generally, the skin will both feel and look roughened, dry and even scaling.

Many women especially note that when they find a good moisturizer, it feels as if their skin is “drinking it in”.  I usually recommend cream-based moisturizers to give an extra boost of hydration.  I also recommend lipid-based moisturizers, especially for photodamaged and older, previously untreated skin.

As your skin experiences more sun damage over time and the effects of the years set in, your skin does not regenerate or bounce back the way it used to do.  More potent anti-aging ingredients for products and more invasive procedures are needed to restore and rebuild what has been damaged and lost within and on the skin.

Click on the links above for more information about the various products and procedures discussed and recommended.  If you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss anti-aging tactics or to schedule a procedure itself, please call (207) 873-2158 to speak to Emily or Denise.

About Dr. John Burke

John Burke M.D. has practiced medicine for over 25 years, and is the founding partner of MidMaine Internal Medicine. He established Maine Laser Skin Care in 2004 after devoting years to learning the latest in laser and dermatologic technology. Dr. Burke has treated patients from all over the United States. He is one of Maine's busiest practitioners in laser treatments, and in the use of Botox for upper facial lines and excessive sweating.
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