By Aubrey Houchin
At Modern Women’s Health, we believe that aging is a privilege, and we can help you age gracefully. Our approach is not a one-size-fits-all solution because each person has a different goal in mind. Some of us do not want wrinkles at all, and some just want them to be less dramatic. Some of us want a perfect pout, and some of us want a subtle enhancement. Whatever your goal, we can help you put your best face forward.
Anti-aging seems like an elusive topic because marketers keep it that way, but it’s not. It is quite simple. Anti-aging is preventing and repairing the damage that has impacted your appearance in one way or another. There are many causes and many ways it can present. For example, wrinkles, age spots, and loss of elasticity, firmness, or plumpness are caused more often by over-exposure to the sun without adequate protection. Smoking, stress, and various other factors that can contribute to your skin’s health and youthful appearance also play a role. Another great example is side sleepers. Those who always sleep on one side will lose more volume on that side over overtime which results in an imbalanced profile (one cheek being fuller than the other or half of the face with more wrinkles than the other). Not all the blame can be attributed to the inevitable passing of time, though it clearly plays a huge role, as does genetics and lifestyle.
Have you ever wondered what the difference between all of the anti-aging treatment options is? What makes one better than the next? Well, simply put, all anti-aging treatments have a common goal. To create a mild, controlled wound, in turn creating a wound healing response that stimulates your own natural collagen and elastin production. It’s not a glamorous explanation, but it is what drives all anti-aging treatments.
To better understand what that means, think of a chemical peel. It can do a great job of stimulating superficial collagen, and peeling off discoloration, or minimizing pores, but a Morpheus8 can stimulate more collagen because of the depth of skin penetration. Additionally, the heated pulse of radiofrequency from Morpheus8 further contracts collagen fibers (think of a steak on a grill) much more than just a plain needle penetrating the skin as in traditional micro-needling.
This brings me to the art of skincare. If you are on the correct combination of medical-grade skincare products, it will make a tremendous difference. I like to think of treatments and skincare like exercise and diet. Good skincare will enhance treatment outcomes, the same way diet and exercise work together. The simple truth is that not all skincare products are created equally. Over-the-counter (OTC) skin care is not regulated by the FDA. For example, if an OTC brand says a product contains Vitamin C, the product can have just one drop of vitamin C in a 10-gallon bucket and their claim is valid. Medical grade skincare is regulated by the FDA, so if it says it contains Vitamin C, it will also tell you the percentage. The potency and ingredient quality is exponentially different so choose wisely. We carry ZO Skin Health and iS Clinicals for this reason. ZO is a more aggressive, medical-grade line, and iS Clinicals is a clean medical-grade skin care line.
Although it’s never too late to start, the earlier you start, the better your skin will be. Collagen production starts to slow down in our mid to late 20’s and dramatically declines by age 30. From there, it drops 1-2% each year on average. As you can imagine, it’s easier to prevent than it is to correct, so check out the general guide below to help navigate what is right for your skin at your age.
Your 20’s: prevention is key- good skincare is everything right now! Staying hydrated, having a good diet and exercise routine is too. Protect that youthful glow with topical antioxidants, sunscreen and an appropriate cleanser and moisturizer. Monthly facials, dermaplane or light chemical peels keep your healthy skin turning over. If you have prominent 11’s (line between your eyebrows), it’s time to start Dysport or Botox for prevention. The sooner you get that muscle to relax, the less your wrinkles will be. Do not sleep in your makeup. It ages your skin 7 days for each night you sleep with make-up on.
Your 30’s: stimulate that collagen! Things are starting to slow down. Cellular turnover is not what it used to be, so fine lines are appearing and so is visible sun damage. It is time to start a neurotoxin to prevent dynamic (due to muscle motion) lines from becoming static (imprinted in the skin). Skin tightening with our non-invasive modalities like Evoke Cheek and/or Chin will help strengthen collagen and keep skin fresh. More exfoliation is a must and filler can be appropriate as fat pads start shrinking.
Your 40’s and 50’s: step it up! We need to ramp it up & protect it with healthy skin care habits. Reduce your skin cancer risk by wearing SPF 30 or higher every day combined with a photoprotective antioxidant like iS Clinicals Pro Heal serum or ZO Vitamin C. Reapply your sunscreen every two hours and supplement your body’s collagen creating capabilities with Collagen Factors. Unlike taking collagen orally, this supplement we carry at Modern Women’s Health has been proven to improve skin laxity and collagen production. Combination therapy is appropriate in this decade because we are now facing more than one issue. Example: Lumecca (IPL) for brown spots and/or Morpheus8 for retexturizing with a Botox treatment every 3 or 4 months to prevent wrinkles and filler for volume loss. We all have different issues, so we have consultations available to help guide you on your journey. Ongoing, monthly, professional exfoliation (facials or chemical peels) are a must in addition to medical-grade skincare. This is the age group that will need to start doing an annual series of Lumecca (IPL). IPL Lumecca improves skin tone and decreases hyperpigmentation (dark spots) caused by sun, aging, rosacea, and even post-acne hyperpigmentation. It is done in a series of three treatments, spaced one month apart, and is best done in the fall when we don’t have as much time in the sun. Morpheus8 is also a good idea, so we can stimulate that collagen and hold on to it as long as possible.
Menopause has its own set of issues, but they tend to differ from person to person. We have an amazing repertoire of solutions to choose from. Example: Morpheus8 Body tones and tightens tissue anywhere on the body and can reduce the size of a fat pocket. It’s popular for c-section scar remodeling. Also, Sculpsure is a non-invasive and effective fat reduction treatment. Topically, ZO Body Emulsion helps firm the skin. We have skincare to target all skin issues and collagen factors that can improve the decline of collagen that menopause brings. We have more non-invasive options for tightening facial and body skin as well. A consultation with me would be best so we can develop a plan to address the issues that concern you most. Because we all age differently, the late 40’s and early 50’s might also bring more than the desired laxity of the lower face. In that case, FaceTite or Accutite are great options to get ahead of “jowls” or “tech neck” for a longer-lasting result with more dramatic outcomes than Morpheus8 alone. You get around 30% tightening with one FaceTite or Accutite treatment, whereas with a Morpheus8 series alone, you get about 18% tightening. It is wise to get a series of Morpheus8 and FaceTite or Accutite to get the most out of your regimen. It is not a facelift, but it does deliver non-invasive, face lift-like results while allowing to look like a more refined version of yourself. It is also stimulating collagen for the later years when collagen really slows down and as you know, prevention is key!
60’s and beyond it’s time to ramp it up and protect with daily healthy skincare habits. Reduce your skin cancer risk by wearing SPF 30 or higher every day combined with a photoprotective antioxidant like iS Clinicals Pro Heal serum or ZO Vitamin C. In this decade, the skin naturally becomes more sluggish, so you guessed it! More exfoliating and adding peptides and growth factors are appropriate if you haven’t already. Peptides and growth factors help to topically supplement your skin in producing thicker and firmer skin. Again, FaceTite and Accutite are popular treatments in this demographic for a good reason. You get around 30% tightening with a FaceTite or Accutite treatment, whereas with a Morpheus8 series alone, you get 18-26% tightening. It is wise to get a series of Morpheus8 and FaceTite or Accutite to get the most out of your regimen.