And the majority of women believe that beautiful skin is important—but not because it makes them feel young or sexy, but because it makes them feel good about themselves. A national survey trying to determine women's feeling and beliefs about their skin concluded that 96 percent of women are striving for radiant skin.
However, as we get older, maintaining healthy skin and a clear, youthful complexion becomes harder and harder. Especially when it comes to the face. As the most exposed part of your body, your face is vulnerable to the destructive rays of the sun, acne, rashes, allergic reactions, and a whole range of injuries that can leave visible scars. Smoking, yo-yo dieting, nutrition and proper hydration also play pivotal roles in how your skin looks and feels.
As a woman ages, the collagen network that supports her skin can weaken and cause facial lines to form. Collagen gives skin strength and suppleness as well as an inherent ability to retain moisture, so as skin matures it may also become dryer.
The good news is science has made dramatic inroads into skin care formulations. Breakthrough advances are bringing rapid changes to the skin care industry. Women now have many options when it comes to choosing an individual skin care regime.
Using moisturizing skin care products that contain exfoliating glycolic acids can help keep the skin looking fresh and decrease the appearance of fine lines. Retin-A is also useful in working to eliminate fine wrinkles, sun damage and age spots by continually sloughing off the outermost, dead layer of skin and increasing collagen production. Retin-A can be even more effective when used in combination with other treatments, such as glycolic acid or bleaching cream.
One of the safest and best choices are products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). Functioning as chemical exfoliators, AHAs help shed older, top-layer skin cells, unclog pores and step up circulation leaving skin with a fresh, glowing appearance.
AHA's can also improve acne. Lotions or cremes that contain AHA's, in addition to salicylic acid, have been known to effectively unclog blackheads and whiteheads.
Another skin care product available today is Renova, released on the market in March 1996. Similar to Retin-A and manufactured by the same company, Renova contains the active ingredient tretinoin. Tretinoin, a Vitamin A derivative, increases dermal thickness by increasing collagen production.
Since Retin-A was generally used for the treatment of acne, Renova has been formulated in an emollient base, with less drying effect. This product, much like Retin-A, can be used to improve fine wrinkles and to reverse some skin changes related to photoaging (sun damage).
In the past, vitamins were not widely used in cosmetics because it was believed they could not penetrate the skin. New formulations have made this possible and as a result, vitamins are now being used extensively in skin care products. Vitamins of particular interest in a skin care program are Vitamin A, E, C, D and Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5). Although topical vitamins may have some anti-oxidant properties, they can not replace or substitute for a healthy diet!
Whatever skin care treatment you choose, protecting yourself from harmful UVA and UVB rays emitted by the sun (or tanning booths) is the most important way to take care of your skin. There is no substitute for this type of protection, and of all the options, this is the most important. Be sure to protect your skin by using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more.
Much like exercise, a personalized skin care program you will use on a consistent basis is important. I recommend Aesthessence, a line of skin care products that combines effective levels of alpha-hydroxy acids to stimulate cell rejuvenation with luxurious botanical ingredients to moisturize, replenish and clarify the complexion. Different formulations can be used to benefit your unique skin type.
— by Diane Gibby • M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S
About Dr. Gibby
Diane Gibby, M.D., P.A., F.A.C.S Licensed in Texas, Dr. Diane Gibby is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) and the founder of The Women's Center for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), American Medical Association (AMA), Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons (TSPS), Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS) and the Board Certified Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons of Dallas. She is also a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.). Dr. Gibby's office is located at Medical City Dallas, Building C, Suite 820, (972) 566-6323. Individuals interestedin brochures or names of qualified plastic surgeons in their area may call the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons at 1-800-635-0635.