Can you get younger-looking skin?
There’s plenty of anti-ageing products on the market that claim to give you noticeably younger-looking skin in just a week or a month. Yet, this seldom happens – the (false) promises don’t reduce wrinkles or the appearance of dark circles, among other claims. But there are a few options that do work. We spoke to top medical experts who share their personal picks.
A doctor who takes her own medicine
Cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Tess Mauricio, uses the treatment her clinic offers – the Time Machine Procedure. The process incorporates a combination of cosmetic procedures, including microneedling, growth factors and laser resurfacing. “This induces our own body’s natural healing process and creates a permanent reset of the ageing process. It can address all signs of skin ageing like wrinkles, saggy skin, eye bags, droopy eyelids and pores,” she says.
A smoothing effect
“As a plastic surgeon and someone who is in his early 50s, I do everything that I can to slow down the ageing process, but do so in a way that makes me still look natural,” says plastic surgeon, Dr Gregory Buford. Like Dr Mauricio, Dr Buford relies on something he offers: “ThermiSmooth has been a lifesaver for the loose skin and wrinkles around my eyes. I combine a series of treatments with microneedling and platelet-rich plasma to help tighten and firm this delicate tissue and keep me looking my very best.”
“One of my trade secrets is argan oil, the Moroccan fountain of youth, which I recommend to all my clients and I use every night,” says naturopath, Gabrielle Francis, who helped Steven Tyler and Bruce Springsteen retain their youthful vigour. “This multipurpose anti-ager is derived from the argan tree of Morocco. This oil is coveted because of its high level of essential fatty acids which protect and repair skin and hair. Argan is also loaded with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant in neutralising free-radical production and protecting cell membranes from lipid peroxidation.”
A night cream
“I like to incorporate a good over-the-counter retinol-based night cream into my skincare regimen,” says Dr Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe. “Retinol can really be a big game-changer for the appearance of your skin. Collagen and elastin are proteins that help maintain the integrity of the skin and keep it firm, plump and vibrant. As we all get older, the production of collagen tends to slow down. Retinol creams may help boost collagen production.” A 2015 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology concluded that after one-year of topical retinol use, patients’ photodamaged skin showed a significant improvement overall, decreasing the appearance of crow’s feet by 44 per cent.
“Personally I would say the most important thing for me is good clean living,” says dentist, Bill Dorfman, who cares for many Hollywood celebrities. “I exercise daily, I don’t eat junk. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. Also, for the last 30 years, I have used a nightly regimen of a light Retin-A cream and a little Botox around the eyes and on the forehead. And, of course, tooth whitening to keep my teeth looking their best.”
Treat and repeat
Variety may be the spice of life, but a routine of anti-ageing treatments is what keeps cosmetic doctor, Dr Antoni Calmon, looking and feeling his best. For the basics, he applies a Vitamin C serum to his face each morning, along with SPF 50+ sunscreen three times a day, and caps things off with a repair cream at night. Twice weekly he applies a Vitamin A cream. For in-office treatments, Dr Calmon receives Mesolift (used to tone and tighten sagging skin) every two months and Botox injections between the eyebrows and eyes every six months.
Cardio isn’t only good for the heart – studies show it’s also great for reversing the signs of ageing. In fact, research published in Cell Metabolism suggests that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts can reverse the signs of ageing right down the cellular level. Dermatologist, Dr Jody A. Levine, uses her sweat sessions as one of her preferred anti-ageing treatments. “I love a hard cardio work out,” she says. “The relaxation I get after a challenging aerobic activity and a good sweat provides for me the ultimate stress relief and comfort.”
Food for thought
Good health at the cellular level is crucial for ageing gracefully, says naturopath, Laura Stix. “Clinical nutrition is key,” she says. She chooses supplements such as glutathione. “One interesting fact is research looking at how our foods and microRNA are actually altering our genetic expression, so we have the opportunity to make wise decisions on how we wish to have our health advance in a positive or negative way.” In other words, eat better to age better!
For cosmetic surgeon, Dr Renalto Calabria, anti-ageing treatments are more than just topical products, they’re a way of life. “In the morning I drink Bulletproof coffee with grass-fed butter and MCT oil [medium-chain triglycerides],” he explains. “That gives me a lot of mental and physical energy, and allows me to do intermittent fasting.” That means he avoids eating between 8pm and 12am. “I sleep between eight and nine hours a day and drink three to four litres of alkalinised water. That is the key to skin rejuvenation along with a NAD [nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide] supplement, a compound that’s responsible for the regulation of cellular ageing and for ensuring the body is functioning properly. Loss of sleep is definitely damaging the skin.”
Prevent and protect
“The most effective anti-ageing treatment I undergo is Botox injections,” says plastic surgeon, Dr Joshua D. Zuckerman. I have developed deep furrows in my forehead due to ageing, sun damage and concentration, and within one week of treatment, Botox smooths these out. Botox is used in many areas of the face and neck to smooth out, or prevent wrinkles. It’s close to a ‘miracle drug’ for anti-ageing.”
“I love ashwagandha, theanine and rhodiola as supplements that can help improve feelings of well-being and decrease feelings of stress,” says internist, Dr Charlie Seltzer. A 2018 study in Biomedical Reports provides evidence that anxiety and depression specifically can speed the ageing process by shortening the length of telomere, or DNA strands. However, the researchers note further studies are needed to understand the impact other factors have on telomere length.
Dermatologist, Dr Rhonda Q. Klein, is a huge fan of the treatments offered by her office: “I have been loyal with botulinum toxin [Botox] since residency at age 27, other than when pregnant. I’ve also had some filler under my eyes and in my cheeks and temples a few times.” Botox paralyses facial muscles to help reduce signs of ageing.
“I never leave the house without a big slather of sunscreen – the sun is probably the most ageing element when you are outdoors,” says Dr Anna Guanche. “I will take a tablespoon of coconut oil three times a day, the oils are then released onto your skin through your pores and it keeps your skin moisturised and very soft.”
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