“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” — Betty Friedan
If you’re reading these words, chances are you already have a solid skincare routine or are looking for options to improve the one you currently have. Either way, we’re glad you’re here! Good skin is often thought to be genetic, but genes aside, aging is aging. Thankfully, you have amazing tools at your disposal when it comes to caring for your skin at home or with the help of the professionals. Since we often receive inquiries about cosmetic procedures, we created this mini-overview to help you learn about the options that are available when it comes to aging gracefully. The beauty world has much to offer, so join us for a quick but informative ride.
Skincare From Your Teens to Your 30s
If you’re lucky enough to still be in your teens, start your anti-aging routine right now by wearing sunscreen whenever you’ll be outside. Take it from us, sun damage (except for a sun burn) isn’t necessarily apparent until years later. What you do to your skin now will come to the surface eventually in the form of wrinkles, dark spots, and possibly even cancer. If you don’t want to spend your future in the dermatologist’s office, make sunscreen a permanent, non-negotiable part of your skin care routine at once.
For those of you in your 30s, this next point may already be obvious. The plump, resilient skin you had in the past may now be showing signs of stress. Collagen production decreases in your 30s, which means your skin may start to sag or look droopy. Lovely, right? Nope! Now’s the time to start incorporating medical grade serums and ingredient specific moisturizers into your routine to encourage your skin to pick up the collagen-making pace. And if, by chance, you don’t have a skincare routine, start now. While you can’t turn back time completely, you can certainly slow it down a bit by fighting back with proven ingredients.
Botox®: What It Is and When to Get It
Botox® injections have been popular for so long that we sometimes forget exactly what the drug does. In short, Botox®, onabotulinumtoxinA, is a neuromodulator that temporarily relaxes the muscles under the skin, which makes it appear smoother. If you’re less than fine with your crow’s feet or forehead or frown lines, then Botox® offers a short-term solution (approximately 3-4 months on average). Most wrinkles are caused by repetitive motions, like smiling, frowning, or squinting, so if you go this route, you’ll need to get regular injections to maintain your results. Caveat: There is no generic form of Botox®, so make sure you see the words Botox® Cosmetic on the vial before you let your technician do anything! And for those inclined to attend a Botox® party, just say no.
Fillers = Fullness
While Botox® relaxes muscle contractions, cosmetic fillers are injected under the skin and immediately plump up areas that have lost their volume. Such skin laxity is an inevitable part of aging, but it can also occur early in life if you lose a substantial amount of weight. There are a variety of different types of fillers (or volumizers) on the market, but hyaluronic acid is the most popular and can even be used to create fuller lips. The effects last anywhere from 6–18 months, and to get optimal results, choose a board-certified dermatologist and ask which type of filler best suits the area you’re treating.
Laser Treatments Galore
When considering a laser procedure, it’s important to remember that lasers are used to treat a variety of conditions. They can remove hyperpigmentation (aka dark spots from sun damage or healed acne), tighten and resurface the skin, and improve the appearance of scars and birthmarks. Laser procedures can be done at any time, but your skin will be hypersensitive to sunlight for many months after the procedure, so consider doing this during the fall or winter to minimize your sun exposure. While these procedures do deliver long-term results, they come with some side effects, and genetics, lifestyle, and your skincare routine will play a role in how long those results last.
Plastic Surgery: The Final Frontier?
When you’ve exhausted all your options, cosmetic surgery still offers the longest-lasting benefits. All procedures come with risks, and your best results will come from doing your homework BEFORE you go under the knife. Research surgeons, view their website galleries, and learn as much as you can about the procedure you have in mind. Plastic surgeons are artists, but they can’t work miracles, so being realistic about what you hope to achieve is crucial. There’s no specific age or perfect time to have this type of procedure, so be sure you enter into it fully informed.
Here’s to aging gracefully,
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