Believe me, I too wish that I could purchase a small glistening tube that would stop the aging process. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Instead, we have fallen into the never-ending pursuit of “Anti-Aging” to turn back the hands of time and its effect on our skin. But is this also the wrong way to go about it?
Our bodies are aging every second, and there is no way to stop it; but what if we were SMARTER about it? What if instead of trying to stop wrinkles from happening (when we all know they will as we get older) we start a skincare regimen that will give our skin the nutrients that it needs now so that it will maintain its elasticity, collagen, and moisture? If the skin is maintained in a healthy state, fine lines and wrinkles will not develop as quickly.
Smart aging is a lifestyle. It takes patience and practice, but following the S.M.A.R.T. acronym guide provides the building blocks you need:
S: SPF – Sun damage is the number one cause of aging (think leathery skin, wrinkles, uneven complexion). That is because A LOT of things happen when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Sunlight travels in rays – we are all familiar with Ultraviolet (UV) rays. UVA (think aging) and UVB (think burning). UVA rays are longer waves and penetrate deeper into your skin and break down your skin’s elastin, causing wrinkles and sagging skin. UVB are shorter waves and do not penetrate as deep, these rays cause your skin’s outermost layers to go through several chemical processes. First, it produces Vitamin D and allows our body to absorb it. Second, the cells start to send signals to produce more melanin and darken to protect the deeper layers from the UV rays. All exposure to the sun will cause damage to the skin, and as we age, our skin will have a harder time repairing itself. When the connective tissue cannot repair itself as well and you keep exposing your skin to the sun, fine lines and wrinkles will develop.
M: Maintenance – Always make sure you are seeing your esthetician monthly. Your skin sheds every second, however, your entire outer layer of skin is shed about every 28 days. As we get older, the time between cell renewal gets longer. Our skin cells are held together by interstitial fluid that we like to call “glue”. Without proper exfoliation and facial treatment maintenance, the skin can build up and appear to have wrinkles, create a dull complexion, and can lead to other skin conditions.
A: Assess – Everybody is different and at a different aging stage in life, your esthetician will guide you in your at-home routine every month and pick a monthly treatment schedule that best suits you. A complete skin analysis and consultation are key during your monthly visits and are personalized to meet your skin goals. If your goals change, that’s okay! Every visit should touch on your goals and communication is key.
R: Routine – I always like to use the 80/20 rule when it comes to a skincare routine. Your home care routine makes up 80%, and your monthly visits to your esthetician make up 20%. A consistent at-home skincare routine can be simple to keep your skin healthy and ready to absorb and respond better during your monthly facials. At home, you do not need to be worried about the latest devices and technology, this time should be reserved for maintaining skin’s natural moisture barrier, (think healthy skin barrier = healthy collagen and elastin = fewer wrinkles) so that when you go to your monthly facials, your skin is ready for a workout!
T: Technology – This is a great time for skincare, there are so many devices available both commercially and professionally. Depending on your esthetician, who may already be in a medical spa, you want to choose one that will integrate their facials and treatments with any outside procedures you get. Laser treatments, like the BBL or Halo, are a great way to keep your skin in check. Regular facials, mixed with laser procedures or injectables will decrease your chances of developing age spots, wrinkles caused by expressions or age, and can reduce the prominence of pores. The key to this is ensuring your esthetician will integrate with the Med Spa, they may already have a professional relationship with one that they will recommend for you.
Along with developing healthy eating habits and exercising regularly, stick to wearing SPF every day, maintaining your facials monthly, assessments with your esthetician, having an at-home skincare routine, and considering exploring lasers and injectables will help meet your goals. Start this today, and you will set yourself up for healthy, glowing skin in years to come.