Prejuvenation: Stopping Signs of Aging Before They Start
Skin rejuvenation has been around for a while. Fillers, Botox, resurfacing laser treatments and skin tightening devices are among the tools used to “reverse the hands of time” But what if you could stop time in its tracks? That’s the concept behind “prejuvenation,” a series of thoughtfully planned steps to prevent the changes typically associated with aging skin, such as:
- Fine line wrinkles
- Deeper creases and wrinkles
- Brown spots
- Thinning, dry skin
The prejuvenation trend is being embraced by increasingly younger patients in their 20s and 30s who hope to avoid the onset of aging skin, but it’s really a way for people of all ages to look and feel their best. In fact, no matter what phase of life you’re in, Midwest Dermatology can help you learn more about prejuvenation and answer the most important question: when is it time to begin?
When Does The Skin Start To Age?
Let’s start this discussion by understanding how skin ages. The process begins in our 20s as production of collagen and elastin starts to diminish. These two proteins give skin its structure and ability to bounce back when it’s stretched, which is critical for the prevention of sagging and wrinkles.
By the time we’re in our 30s, fat deposits under the skin start to lose volume or sink, skin starts to get thinner and blood vessels get larger. Add in the cumulative effects of sun exposure and facial expressions and that’s when wrinkles start to develop. Those signs show up on the face as early as our 30s.
If we wait until the damage is done and wrinkles have surfaced, it may be too late to intervene without surgery. The idea behind prejuvenation is to adopt lifestyle changes and use proper skin care products and less invasive procedures to postpone wrinkles, sagging, discoloration and thinning skin.
So What are the Prejuvenation Steps?
Most dermatologists agree that prejuvenation is a multi-step process that consists of:
- Sun Protection – This is the heart and soul of skin health. The easiest, most effective and most inexpensive anti-aging regimen anyone can use is one that protects skin from the sun.-So get yourself a broad spectrum facial sunscreen and wear it every day. At Midwest Dermatology, we have physician grade sunscreen products for every type of skin. Apply in the morning and don’t forget your neck, décolletage and hands. We don’t want you to look like a mishmash of your mother and your prejuvenated self!
- Retinoids and Antioxidants – Retinoids such as prescription Retin-A or SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 are the most effective of the topical agents available for stimulating collagen. They also alter the way skin grows, diminishing photodamage. In adults, it makes sense to start using Retinoids at the first signs of photoaging, which is often in the 20s or 30s. Antioxidants are serums and lotions that focus on protecting against ultraviolet rays of the sun, soaking up damaging free-radicals. They protect our skin from pollutants in the air that cause irreversible damage and should be a part of every morning routine starting in your 20s. With retinoids and antioxidants, an ounce of prevention truly is worth a pound of cure.
- Botox and Other Neuromodulators – There is evidence that treating fine lines and dynamic wrinkleswith Botox and other solutions that soften wrinkles in the early stages can postpone the onset of deeper lines and static wrinkles later. Studies show treatment every four to six months over the long term prevents the deep creasing that results from repeated squinting and pursing and significantly minimizes forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet. When considering Botox, one suggestion is to begin treatment as soon as you notice your wrinkles linger while your face is at rest. Because everyone ages at their own pace, this could be mid age 24 for some people or age 34 for others.
- Skin Resurfacing Procedures – The next prejuvenation step is the modern laser. The newest generation lasers such as the Fraxel and FX lasers at Midwest Dermatology offer treatments that lift away surface wrinkles and sun spots and stimulate the growth of collagen. To battle loss of collagen that is part and parcel of the aging process, modern medicine has given us multiple tools to promote its growth. The result is tighter, firmer looking skin minus the bags and sags in your future. By resurfacing your skin in your 30s and 40s, you’re removing sun damage and maybe even preventing skin cancers from developing.
- Fillers – Another sign of aging is the loss of volume in our face. The natural loss of collagen, the restructuring of bone, and the subsequent movement of fat pads in our face are the culprits behind the formation of wrinkles, sagging, and hollows on the cheeks. Resilient Hyaluronic Acid Filler (RHA) is the latest advance in injectable fillers. RHA fillers work to plump the face, filling out areas of lost volume and smoothing lines and wrinkles. At the same time, RHA fillers adapt to your facial movements, maintaining the results as your expressions change. Using the concept of “prejuvenation,” Midwest Dermatology is able to keep up with the rate of age-related volume loss by gradually and slowly adding back what skin naturally loses in real time. Studies have not only shown that these changes can occur as early as your 30s, but that hyaluronic acid fillers can help stimulate the production of your skin’s own collagen.
- Skin Tightening – Circling back to collagen production, one of the most successful treatments is a form of Collagen Induction Therapy using combination of microneedling and radiofrequency (RF). At Midwest Dermatology, we offer Vivace RF that combines the power of the newest generation of microneedling with radiofrequency energy of red and blue light therapy. Thirty six gold-tipped, extra fine needles penetrate into the skin using radiofrequency to send energy directly through the outer epidermal laser all the way into the deepest layers of the skin. This results in boosted collagen levels, which in turn tighten and contour the skin. As an added bonus, if you have a little acne, the blue light therapy kills Propionibacterium, the bacteria that leads to breakouts.
One more prejuvenation tip is an all-around healthy diet. Anti-aging skincare is more than the products and treatments you use, but also the foods you eat. For example, bone broth and egg whites boost collagen, berries boost vitamin C, and spinach boosts vitamin A. Foods high in antioxidants also help protect skin from aging.
Preventive maintenance is a guaranteed way to avoid some after-the-fact rejuvenation down the road. Schedule a prejuvenation consultation with your Midwest Dermatology physician or aesthetician now by calling (402) 933-0800 or by visiting https://midwestderm.com.