Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some Good Basic Skin Care to Know: Yes, There is Always Time to Save Your Skin Part: 2

Okay, so now you have hit 30-40. Suddenly your body decides that it is going to play tricks on you and do things like break down more often. And you notice that your skin just isn’t the same as it used to be. Sun damage starts to show: brown spots, freckles and moles. You might notice that a little bit of elasticity is gone, when you pull on the skin it takes longer to bounce back. And acne? Oh yes it is still there. Usually it is just hormonal acne that is on the chin or cheeks, but sometimes it is that awful cystic acne that leaves large lumps under the skin. And acne scars do not heal well at this age.
  • The best thing at age 30-40 is exfoliation, anti-oxidants and yes, sunblock. Exfoliation, best in chemical form, helps to rid the skin of its dead cells and allows them to get out of the pores. This helps eliminate acne and gives an all around glow to the skin. Chemical exfoliation is the kind where one uses peels. Physical exfoliation is the use of scrubs or microdermabrasion. I also like microdermabrasion. It really scrapes away many layers at once, smoothing the skin and giving it a super glow. But it is expensive. There are lasers too. If you are interested in peels vs. lasers, I have covered this in another blog post ( ) I also love Retinol, which is a Vitamin A derivative. It acts like an exfoliant but is much gentler. Retin-A, another form of Vitamin A, is used for minor wrinkles and acne.
  • Anti-oxidants, like Vitamin C, are great to prevent free radical damage to the skin. This is essentially the molecules in the body breaking up because they don’t have the right bonds to prevent stability of the molecule. Various anti-oxidants can be taken internally or used externally to help this, especially for the skin. Vitamin C is one. Pomegranates have a lot of anti-oxidants. Generally it is known that fruits and vegetables that are darker have the most anti-oxidants. I love Vitamin C for the skin, it gives a nice glow and is relatively inexpensive.
As one ages into the 50’s, 60’s and on, collagen and elastin start to disappear and lines and wrinkles start to form. In the beginning the lines are very minimal, starting at the eyes, in between the brows and lips. Then they delve somewhat deeper, in what are called marionette lines that are the indentations of the lines going from the nose way down to the lips. Unfortunately elastin cannot be replaced, it doesn’t grow back. That is the start of saggy skin. Smoking increases the sagginess and deprives the skin of oxygen. Collagen can grow back but only by the use of extreme peels.
  • To increase collagen growth, peels that are in use by dermatologists are great for this. They take away the top and medium skin layers, forcing the skin to regrow them. One name of this type of peel is the Obaji. Peels are very good for fine lines too.
  • I am sorry to say this, but the best way to help get rid of sagginess is: plastic surgery. One can use Botox injections for minor wrinkles, lasers or mini facelifts in the beginning, and once one has reached a certain age and the sagginess doesn’t respond to these treatments, more radical surgeries are called for (total facelift, browlift, etc.). I agree. I think I will stick with peels as long as I can!
So, the best way to keep your skin in shape is: daily use of sunblock, no smoking, use moisturizers with antioxidants, use peels or exfoliants if needed. Also, if you see moles that look funny, see a dermatologist immediately please. Or any bump. Skin cancer is on the rise. I have had a precancerous lesion removed from my nose already!


  1. Excellent advice! You confirmed I am on the right track with my skin care. What is your favorite skin lightening product for hyperpigmentation? What is the best procedure for the most radical improvement of hyperpigmentation? (I got a lot with my pregnancy.)

  2. I used to always say straight up 2% hydroquinone, but that is just the regular stuff in Porcelana. If you go to a derm you can get a 4% script. However, the derm has other meds that are just as good as they hydroquinone. I cannot remember the name exactly, but it lightens skin AND helps with lines/wrinkles from what I remember.

  3. I'd been prescribed Tretinoin cream, 0.025% a while ago by a dermatologist. I used it for maybe a year and a half, but the rx expired about a year ago. I thought it was for acne, but then a "throw-away" comment by my regular doctor made me think that it was also for lines and wrinkles. Since going through surgical menopause 3 1/2 years ago, I've REALLY noticed my skin changing, and would like to retain as much of my younger looking skin as possible! So, I guess my question is, should I get back on the Tretinoin? It's around $50 everythree months or so, so not that expensive, and if it helps, why, that justifies the cost to me! Thank you!

    1. Yes. It is for acne and wrinkles. If it is helping for the acne and you have noticed a difference then go back on it. I think you are due for maybe a stronger dosage. Ask for one.


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