How to take care of the skin and look young at every age.
First, my article was supposed to be about the harmful rays of the sun. But as my conversation with Dr. Vicki Belo progressed, it shifted to how to take care of one’s skin at every age. I was very happy with how this interview turned out. It came out better than expected and would be helpful to readers of every age.
Because the sun is the number one anti- aging factor, using SPF everyday is the most common ingredient when taking care of one’s skin from wrinkles, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. Here was what skin expert Dr. Vicki Belo said about the aging process of the skin, and how to keep it at its best shape:
This is the peak of most women’s beauty. Estrogen is at its highest level and this results in beautiful, plump, and hydrated skin that is soft to the touch. Cheeks are rosy while lips are plump pink and inviting. Since women in their 20s spend a lot of time outdoors, they have to use a broad- spectrum physical sun block and reapply every three hours. The best sun blocks are greaseless, not pore- clogging and are made of refined titanium oxide. Since these sun blocks have no oils or chemicals, they will not cause acne breakouts.
Oily skin is also a common problem at this age. It’s best to use an oil- control face wash and toner at least twice a day. Using a facial scrub can be done daily or only twice a week depending on your skin’s oiliness. If you have blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples, make sure to have a cleaning done by trained aestheticians from medical clinics. This ensures proper extraction and avoidance of scars.
Power Peels (which use magnesium oxide crystals to exfoliate and brighten the skin), laser hair removal for armpits, legs and bikini areas, and Botox of the armpits. Botox of the armpits keeps a person “sweat- free” for six months and
helps whiten the armpits.
At this age, women’s metabolism usually has started to slow down. Production of collagen and elastin also decreases, which makes the skin look less fresh and dewy as women in their 20s. The first signs of aging begin to appear around the eyes because of frequent squinting, rubbing, and smiling. The best eye cream I’ve used is the Obagi Elastiderm. With constant use, I have seen the skin around my eyes became thicker and firmer, with less fine lines. Since the skin regeneration cycle slows down, it would be good to add an AHA or BHA in the morning. The best- proven antiaging cream is retinoic acid because studies show that it regenerates glycoaminoglycans, elastin fibers, and collagen. Unfortunately, it also causes redness and peeling for a long time. Dr. Zein Obagi has come out with new creation called the ZO line that uses retinol at one percent (retinol is a form of vitamin A, and when converted to retinoic acid, it is essential for skin health, and plays an important role in anti- aging.– Eds). He has been able to encapsulate retinol in miniature spheres that are slowly released throughout the night. By gradually releasing the retinol in small amounts, you avoid the irritation and redness while still reaping all the benefits of retinol. The product is called Radical Night Repair. Recommended treatments: Botox, especially for crow’s feet, to lessen lines found around the eyes, Fraxel for any scars, hyper- pigmentation, and stretch marks, and Firm Plus monthly treatment to lift the face.
This is the beginning of a noticeable breakdown in a woman’s skin. A good analogy would be a sofa, where the upholstery (epidermis) has begun to look torn, smudged and dirty, the foam (collagen) is flat and thin, and the springs (elastin) fibers are broken. If we are going to delay or try to stop aging, we have to act quickly and consistently. It’s best to consult a certified aesthetician about having injectable dermal or subcutaneous fillers to add volume to sagging face, and Ulthera or Thermage to tighten and lift the face. Meso Botox and the Nefertiti lift, on the other hand, counter the downward pull of our facial muscles. Recommended treatments: Moisturizers with hyaluronic acid, the “Obagi System” or Cosmelan to get rid of melasma and increase collagen and elastin, as well as Peptide creams that can provide the protein building blocks to tighten our skin. One should also use exfoliating scrubs daily to get rid of dead skin cells and stimulate the skin to keep renewing itself, and of course, use retinol twice.
This is the age when one must make a decision on whether to have some eyelid surgery or not. Because the skin around the eyes is thinner and more prone to irritation, the upper lids usually sag and cover the eye, making you look tired. Meanwhile, eyebags become more prominent in the lower lids. Recommended treatments: Blepharoplasty, wherein a carbon dioxide
laser is used to remove excess skin bloodlessly and painlessly. The lower eyebags are also removed without scars or stitches. Ulthera and Thermage are done every 18 months or a facelift can be done that will last from seven to 10 years. Stem cells and growth factors can also be harvested from your own blood to increase the collagen and elastin in
the skin. For skin care consultation and other treatments, you may visit the Belo Clinic located at the 1/ L of The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City. For more information, you may call + 63( 32) 234- 2356 and + 63( 917) 552- 6986, or log on to www. belomed. com.