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Is Your Skincare Right for Your Age?

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Brandith Irwin, MD - Blogs
By Brandith Irwin, MDBoard-certified dermatologistJuly 01, 2016
From the WebMD Archives

Lotions, Botox, Dysport, Fillers, Lasers, Skin Tightening…it’s great to have so many skincare options, but how do you know when it’s time to start using them? At what age should you start thinking of adding one (or more) of these to your routine? And, is it ever too late to try to fix something?

Here are some good general guidelines:

In Your 20’s:

  • It is NEVER too early to start sunscreening your face, neck, chest and hands every morning. Start in your teens or 20s if you can. That 30 seconds you invest once in the morning will save your skin years of aging.
  • Establish (and stick to) a solid basic skincare routine – a good antioxidant under your sunscreen in the morning followed by a good moisturizer. At night, use a vitamin A cream like retinol (non-prescription) or Renova/tretinoin (prescription).
  • Don’t “fix” problems you don’t have. If you are 25, and have no frown lines, starting Botox/Dysport just wastes your time and money. Start only when you see problems developing; and who knows, you may get lucky and never have need.

In Your 30’s:

  • By their mid-30’s, most women and men are starting to show signs of frown lines, crow’s feet, or upper lip lines. This is usually a good time to start preventive treatments with small doses of Botox/Dysport 2-3 times a year– but only if you actually have these problems.
  • Almost everyone can benefit from photorejuvenation/IPL starting in their 30’s. There is a big difference in the power and results with different IPLs so please see the information on SkinTour.com on this laser cousin. It clears up small brown spots, dilated blood vessels, and generates a little collagen which improves skin texture.

Over 40:

  • Fillers can help with early signs of volume loss (sagging), which affects most women/men by the age of 40-50. Starting with a syringe or two of hyaluronic acid filler 1-2 twice a year retards the sagging. Everyone is very individual on this, so consult your doctor for an individualized plan for correction of existing sagging and then maintenance.
  • Laser treatments need to be customized at this age. You might be someone who can benefit from skin tightening like Thermage/Ultherapy, etc. or you might need more intense laser skin improvement like the Fraxel Dual or fractionated carbon dioxide laser – it really varies by the individual, so you will need a consult.
  • Over 60? Your skin can still be noticeably and safely improved with these technologies, it just takes a little more time, more treatments and more expense.

And, some good advice for all ages:

  • Don’t believe everything you hear from marketers or friends. Do your own web research (on reputable sites) and talk to your doctor, but also take into account your own skin and its reactions. We are all different, so what works for others might not work for you.
  • Don’t start more than one new skincare product at a time.
  • Remember it often takes 1-3 months to see a beneficial effect of a new skincare product.
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About the Author
Brandith Irwin, MD

Brandith Irwin, MD, is a board certified dermatologist and founder of Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle, Washington. She is also Co-Founder of SkinTour.com a website focused on accurate consumer education on nonsurgical, aesthetic procedures and products. Through her books and website, Dr. Irwin is dedicated to educating people about skin care in the context of a global conversation about beauty, self-esteem and inclusiveness.

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