A Top Dermatologist's 5 Best Anti-Aging Tips

How to slow down the changing look of the skin you're in
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Wish your skin looked younger? Aging can change skin's appearance as early as your 30th birthday or by later in midlife, depending on your habits. You can't control certain factors, like falling estrogen levels that lead to sagging skin or the genetics that give you a particular bone structure. But there are also plenty of external influences on how your skin ages -- and the right anti-aging care can help blunt their damage.

"When people first see signs of aging -- fine lines, brown marks, smile lines, crow's feet -- is when they become better about anti-aging care," says dermatologist Diane C. Madfes, assistant clinical professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology. "The good news is that it's never too late to respond to what you see."

Her best anti-aging tips:

Skin anti-ager #1: Focus as much on what you put in your body as on what you put on your skin.

You might expect a dermatologist to emphasize only skin-care products and techniques, but Madfes says that younger skin starts with the nutrients that reach it from inside the body. The skin is the body's largest organ, after all. So diet directly affects how you visibly age.

How to do this:

  • Take a vitamin D supplement. Madfes recommends 1,000 IUs per day.

  • Eat plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Ideally they should come from natural sources, including olive oil, ground flaxseed, and fish such as salmon. Fish-oil supplements are another source of these important fats, which help protect the moisture barrier. This is the protective top layer of skin that keeps moisture in but tends to thin as you age, causing dry skin.

  • Drink water -- in all its forms -- all day long. A liter a day is a good minimum start, Madfes says. Different body types, such as athletes, need more. Count green tea and coffee in your daily total, but go easy on the alcohol. Red wine does contain beneficial antioxidants, but it can also dilate blood vessels, contributing to the ruddy-faced skin inflammation called rosacea that tends to strike women in midlife.

  • Cut way back on processed foods and sugars (another reason to watch the wine intake). They promote inflammation, a biochemical process that damages the normal production of dermal cells.

Skin anti-ager #2: Halve your sun exposure.

If you've heard a version of this one before, it's because dermatologists agree that UV exposure is the number-one skin-ager out there. Sun damages elastin and causes a loss of collagen, which translates to drooping, a lost jawline, and wrinkles. It also adds discoloration and roughens texture. Not least, UV rays are the main cause of skin cancers, an aging risk that goes beyond the mere cosmetic.

"Simply saying, 'Stay out of the sun!' isn't practical, though," Madfes says. "So I tell patients to just try to cut your exposure in half -- that seems more doable."

How to do this:

  • One word: sunblock. Use a full tablespoon of sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 on your face, spreading it to your neck and ears. Know that older skin tends to be more vulnerable to the effects of the sun than younger skin.

  • If you tend to forget sunscreen, try the newish makeup bases and moisturizers with UV-protection built in. On the downside, you might not get the optimum amount of SPF, but Madfes says that the plus for many women is that at least they remember some protection every day -- which is better than going without.

  • Walk on the shady side of the street. "You really can decrease your exposure with little things," Madfes says.

  • Wear UV-protective clothing. A host of new apparel blocks UV rays while wicking away moisture, making these clothes especially good for outdoor exercise.

  • Exercise outside in the early morning or late afternoon. If you can, avoid sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most potent.

More anti-aging tips for your skin

Skin anti-ager #3: Use a retinoid.

Yes, there's a vast medicine cabinet full of anti-aging "cosmeceutical" products out there. But the very best kind of topical cream to repair the aging process, Madfes says, is a retinoid. Retinoids are vitamin-A derivative compounds that have been shown to boost collagen production and cell turnover, as well as to unclog pores and stimulate blood vessels in the area. This reduces oil and acne, smoothes skin, and gives you a brighter, healthier appearance. Retinoids have been around since the 1970s. Depending on the formulation, users typically see results within a month or two.

How to do this:

  • Ask a doctor about prescription-strength retinoids, which are generally most effective, Madfes says. These include tretinoin (Retin-A, Renova, Avita) and tazarotene (Tazorac, Avage). Some insurance plans cover the cost.

  • Follow directions carefully. Usually, starting a retinoid involves a gradual introduction of the product to avoid irritation. Eventually, most people apply it just once a day.

  • Know that you can still get lesser, but noticeable, benefits with an over-the-counter product, according to Madfes. Look for the ingredient retinol, or retinoic acid.

  • Apply at night on a clean face; that's when retinoids work best. They're also sensitive to sun, which is why night is a good application time. (But if you use a sunscreen by day, you won't be hypersensitive to the sun by using a retinoid.)

  • Use a moisturizer on top of the retinoid, or use a moisturizer that contains retinoid.

  • Know that retinoids aren't recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Skin anti-ager #4: Spend time -- not necessarily money -- on a smart morning-night routine.

Skin care doesn't have to be complicated, but it does require the right basics, Madfes says. By day, that mostly means adding UV protection. But night care is equally important. "Your skin is amazing in how it can be exposed to so much all day and still regenerate," Madfes says. "But as you get older you need to help it do that."

How to do this:

  • Start every day with sunscreen, even if you'll mostly be inside. "You don't want the sun to kill all the new collagen you grew overnight," Madfes says.

  • Remove all makeup and wash your face before you go to bed. All day, your skin is assaulted by chemicals in the air that break down collagen and cause other damage. If you don't clean your face, your exposure to these pollutants will continue all night long, too.

  • After cleansing, apply a retinoid and then a moisturizer -- and sleep on a clean pillow (don't go weeks before you wash it).

  • Know that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get effective products. Look for companies that do a lot of safety testing, Madfes says; reputable manufacturers tend to invest more in this. Trust your instincts -- if claims sound improbable, they usually are. Because everyone's skin is unique, you may need to tinker until you find products that work best for you. Ask a dermatologist for recommendations if you're stumped.

Skin anti-ager #5: Pick cosmetic procedures that also help skin regenerate.

A host of skin products and procedures that are available over the counter or from specialists such as spas or dermatologists can give more than the illusion of youth -- they can actually help regenerate cells. While they can't turn the clock back forever, these choices may slow the rate of changes that cause deep wrinkles and a dull texture.

How to do this:

  • Try peels. Exfoliating (through facials or microdermabrasion creams applied at home) can make skin look brighter. This is because the turnover of cells grows slower as you age. A chemical peel is a deeper process that does the same thing while also stimulating collagen growth, Madfes says.

  • Find out if you're a candidate to resurface your surface. If the top layer of skin is looking brown, with a rough texture -- hallmarks of sun damage -- a relatively new procedure called fractional resurfacing can actually reverse some of the damage by increasing collagen production. Done with lasers in a doctor's office, resurfacing can improve skin texture while minimizing wrinkles, sun spots, and acne scars. This procedure can create visible improvements in patients who have significant skin damage.

4 months ago, said...

Everyone dream to look younger even if it’s their 30th birthday. There are certain factors that we cannot control but with the help of dermatologist and skincare experts we can make our skin look younger. So many anti aging products are available in the market but be careful when choosing. Your tips are really amazing. Thanks for sharing. Thomas Balshi Everyone dream to look younger even if it’s their 30th birthday. There are certain factors that we cannot control but with the help of dermatologist and skincare experts we can make our skin look younger. So many anti aging products are available in the market but be careful when choosing. Your tips are really amazing. Thanks for sharing. Thomas Balshi Hide

6 months ago, said...

My precious daughter has real ba dsd sun damage and she doesn't have the money to go see a doctor. So what can she do? Or use? So young but she love's the sun ..I just don't know what else can I do to help her .please help My precious daughter has real ba dsd sun damage and she doesn't have the money to go see a doctor. So what can she do? Or use? So young but she love's the sun ..I just don't know what else can I do to help her .please help Hide

6 months ago, said...

Do you have to put moisture On after applying retinoids Do you have to put moisture On after applying retinoids Hide

10 months ago, said...


 Aging is not just appearance, it is also the way you feel. In spite of the fact that there are old souls with young spirits and so the metabolism is no longer the same one as it was before, of course. Therefore there are several things you can’t do to change that effect.
 
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 Aging is not just appearance, it is also the way you feel. In spite of the fact that there are old souls with young spirits and so the metabolism is no longer the same one as it was before, of course. Therefore there are several things you can’t do to change that effect.
 
 This is why we can help ourselves feel better emotionally. I would like to share my experience since I tried injectable HGH. My life has improved a lot and now I feel more energetic, my skin looks better, I can exercise more and I can even eat what I like without worrying about the weight gain. 
 
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10 months ago, said...

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about 1 year ago, said...

I work far distance from my mother. I'm in the city and she is in the province. I can only visit her when there is an occasion or during holidays like Christmas and New Year. She's always asking me of what my secret why my skin became fair and very smooth unlike before. We booth laughed because we can still remember that I have a dark brown and dry skin when I was living there. So, I shared to her what makes me look sweet and fair. I used whitening and moisturizing products to help brighten... Show more I work far distance from my mother. I'm in the city and she is in the province. I can only visit her when there is an occasion or during holidays like Christmas and New Year. She's always asking me of what my secret why my skin became fair and very smooth unlike before. We booth laughed because we can still remember that I have a dark brown and dry skin when I was living there. So, I shared to her what makes me look sweet and fair. I used whitening and moisturizing products to help brighten my skin. I also change my diet like eating more veggies and fruits rather than processed food, and drinking more water each day to keep me hydrated. I'm also taking a skin renewal supplement like Phytoceramides to lighten my skin from within. By continuously doing it, my skin became lighter, smoother, and became more healthy. Hide

over 1 year ago, said...

I have tried some anti aging products, but they are quite expensive.. But beauty is beauty, isn’t it? So i did research, to find a working formula.. and a friend of mine showed me this cream that she was so confident in. I have to admit that is a relly good product. They will ship you a free trial, and if you do not like it, you don’t have to buy, but for free, why not? here is more infos http://juveliereantiagingreview.weebly.com , so i hope you will have same great results as i did. and... Show more I have tried some anti aging products, but they are quite expensive.. But beauty is beauty, isn’t it? So i did research, to find a working formula.. and a friend of mine showed me this cream that she was so confident in. I have to admit that is a relly good product. They will ship you a free trial, and if you do not like it, you don’t have to buy, but for free, why not? here is more infos http://juveliereantiagingreview.weebly.com , so i hope you will have same great results as i did. and share with us a good day Hide

almost 2 years ago, said...

what do you think of life cell what do you think of life cell Hide

about 2 years ago, said...

The article was very helpful but when you go out there, there are thousands of products offered in the market. What brands do you recommend for anti-aging? Also, chemical peels are expensive, do you know a brand/something we can try at home? Thanks, CC The article was very helpful but when you go out there, there are thousands of products offered in the market. What brands do you recommend for anti-aging? Also, chemical peels are expensive, do you know a brand/something we can try at home? Thanks, CC Hide

almost 3 years ago, said...

Hi. My name is ashley and I have oily skin. I have developed some pimples on my forehead and cheek area. I had a facial yesterday and then sores developed on the pimpkes. So I used warm water and neutrogena soap the next day. When I Used the water the sores came off? What am I suppose to do now, will that make my face break out again? I was going to use the aloe vera gel on my face to help fix the acne problem should I Use it! And if so should I sash it off with warm or cold water or leave... Show more Hi. My name is ashley and I have oily skin. I have developed some pimples on my forehead and cheek area. I had a facial yesterday and then sores developed on the pimpkes. So I used warm water and neutrogena soap the next day. When I Used the water the sores came off? What am I suppose to do now, will that make my face break out again? I was going to use the aloe vera gel on my face to help fix the acne problem should I Use it! And if so should I sash it off with warm or cold water or leave it on? This is irgent I need help Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

I'm a 'natural' girl who has exercised and eaten healthily for my entire life but, at almost 50 years of age, I have no wrinkling of my forehead, between my brows, and at the corner of my eyes because of 3x/yearly Botox injections by a physician. Sorry, folks, it works! I'm a 'natural' girl who has exercised and eaten healthily for my entire life but, at almost 50 years of age, I have no wrinkling of my forehead, between my brows, and at the corner of my eyes because of 3x/yearly Botox injections by a physician. Sorry, folks, it works! Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

`Retin A is safe and very useful. Why not mention that? And did you hear that people with strong bones have fewer wrinkles!?! I believe that when I look around at my friends that were not active enough to strengthen their bones. My father, who worked very hard as a farmer, did not have many wrinkles and I liked to work hard as a farmer too, (yes I am female) and I don't have any wrinkles at 76. Now maybe it is the "gene pool", but I am guessing that the strong bones have something to do... Show more `Retin A is safe and very useful. Why not mention that? And did you hear that people with strong bones have fewer wrinkles!?! I believe that when I look around at my friends that were not active enough to strengthen their bones. My father, who worked very hard as a farmer, did not have many wrinkles and I liked to work hard as a farmer too, (yes I am female) and I don't have any wrinkles at 76. Now maybe it is the "gene pool", but I am guessing that the strong bones have something to do with it. Now the rest of my body I can't say much for. I have the saggy upper arms and to big around the middle, but feel pretty good. Hide

over 3 years ago, said...

Please give some thoughts on women over 60. How can they invent a new life for themsevles If they let the good years pass them by. How to start over at 60 and up. Please give some thoughts on women over 60. How can they invent a new life for themsevles If they let the good years pass them by. How to start over at 60 and up. Hide

almost 4 years ago, said...

finding that I should use sunblock even if I'm inside most of the time. I was already using the other suggestions. Thanks! finding that I should use sunblock even if I'm inside most of the time. I was already using the other suggestions. Thanks! Hide

almost 4 years ago, said...

Information on arthritis & good exercises Information on arthritis & good exercises Hide

almost 4 years ago, said...

We all need reminders of what we basically know, but sometimes ignor. Eating a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil each day helps skin look young, also. We all need reminders of what we basically know, but sometimes ignor. Eating a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil each day helps skin look young, also. Hide

almost 4 years ago, said...

reinforcing that I can safely drink two cups of coffee each morning to start my day is always a plus to how I feel during the day. reinforcing that I can safely drink two cups of coffee each morning to start my day is always a plus to how I feel during the day. Hide

almost 4 years ago, said...

thanks ,useful article. thanks ,useful article. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

The "how to" listing. The "how to" listing. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

Smoking also makes a person age; it makes wrinkly skin around the lips. Smoking also makes a person age; it makes wrinkly skin around the lips. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

Hooray for Retin-A! Thanks for the tips! Hooray for Retin-A! Thanks for the tips! Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

Best to know and practice this at a younger age, .. tomatoes and or tomatoe juice is very good for the skin. Also excercise, as it contributes to blood circulation which is great for the skin. Regular massages to the scalp help blood flow to carry neutrients to the hair follicles and that contributes to a healthier scalp and therefore, shinier, heathier hair. Best to know and practice this at a younger age, .. tomatoes and or tomatoe juice is very good for the skin. Also excercise, as it contributes to blood circulation which is great for the skin. Regular massages to the scalp help blood flow to carry neutrients to the hair follicles and that contributes to a healthier scalp and therefore, shinier, heathier hair. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

Who do they think their kidding? Touching up a young woman's hair and trying to pass her off for older than what she is? I guess their not the only ones who under-estimate old senior citizens. Who do they think their kidding? Touching up a young woman's hair and trying to pass her off for older than what she is? I guess their not the only ones who under-estimate old senior citizens. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

I had an so-called "non invasive" IPL photo facial from Dr. Gross in Pasadena, and I now have a deep, damaging scar that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I had an so-called "non invasive" IPL photo facial from Dr. Gross in Pasadena, and I now have a deep, damaging scar that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. Hide

about 4 years ago, said...

Thanks for your most candid and invaluable information. The best things in life are said to be free, and this knowledge is certain to be treasured. Your sreen name "Caring" & Sharing, is already fantistic! Continued Blessings!!! Thanks for your most candid and invaluable information. The best things in life are said to be free, and this knowledge is certain to be treasured. Your sreen name "Caring" & Sharing, is already fantistic! Continued Blessings!!! Hide