A dermatologist explains what you can do to make your skin look younger.
Thirty years of studying people's skin gives me a good opportunity to find out what works and what does not with adult skin care. Common skin care mistakes can add years as you look. The most common age-related skincare mistakes I see are:
- Not exfoliating;
- Does not moisturize hands and feet; and
- Ignore and treat seborrhea.
The words “crisp” and “old” are all too well together for a reason. This is because our skin becomes crusted, rough and dry with age if we do not interfere. The intervention is easy and does not consume all the time when you can use dental floss, nor will it break the bank. Here is what you need to do in order to capture the appearance of your skin for years:
Mistake number 1: do not exfoliate
detachment becoming more important with age. Dead skin cells naturally peel off with age. The formed layer of dead skin cells is dull, chalky and layered. Have you noticed a “snow drift” when you take off your long pants in the winter? Young skin has shine and brilliance that says "youth is viable." It is soft and never peels off. Layered, dull skin of age occurs from head to toe. The skin of the face becomes crusted as the dead cells accumulate and enter the sebum. Hands and feet are peeling and look dry. Age mollusks (seborrheic keratosis) become thick, brown and crusty. The soles of the feet become thick, hard and rough.
Simply using a physically exfoliating shower fabric with gentle soap twice a week in the shower will help. My favorite is the Japanese salux napkin. You can throw it over your back to peel and polish the clams. You can fold it to your arms, legs, and feet — places that are easier to reach. Physical exfoliation of the face can be done with exfoliating scrubs or sponges. My best scrubs are bamboo and clay peeling scrubs, used twice a week, or a triple peeling scrub used in the morning. In addition, you can use your face sponge with your favorite face cleanser.
Adding an alpha hydroxy acid moisturizer to your skin care procedure provides chemical exfoliation to improve physical exfoliation for more impressive results. The best AGA for this is glycolic acid. This weakens the "glue" that prevents the breakdown of dead cells. It also seals the layer of dead skin cells, creating a young sheen on the surface.
In addition, it stimulates the skin to produce hyaluronic acid, a natural moisture-retaining compound that keeps skin moist. This is also lost with age. Finally, glycolic acid will reduce age shells and age spots. Options include glycolic acid face cream and my ultrafast triple-body smoothing kit. The combination of physical exfoliation and chemical exfoliation AHA takes years away from your skin.
I am 88 years old, but only recently asked about skin care products, and Dr. Bailey recommended a facial scrub (an exfoliating scrub for bamboo and clay) and a face cream with glycolic acid (a face cream with glycolic acid 15%). I thought I had noticed an improvement, but until my friends and my hairdresser began to praise me for my appearance, telling me that my skin looked radiant, I realized what the difference was. Thanks to Dr. Bailey for taking me off a few years. I hope you share this experience with others.
Florence B, Bodega Bay, California
Regardless of whether you add glycolic acid to your skin care or not, be sure to always moisturize freshly exfoliated skin to create a feeling of shine and moisturizing and prevent dryness – another problem related to the age of the skin.
Mistake number 2: does not moisturize the hands and feet
Moisturizing skin becomes more important with age. Skin structure and physiological changes lead to dry skin with age. By age 55, every adult notices this the hard way. Dry skin looks strong, flaky and dull. It is also prone to asteotic and numular eczema – an itchy red rash that occurs only in the “elderly”. Simply applying a moisturizing moisturizer after a bath or shower, or washing your face or hands will solve the problem. Skin will look wet, soft and young. You will also reduce the risk of age eczema dry skin. Great moisturizing foot creams for men and women include my natural face and body lotion and natural body cream.
Mistake number 3: Ignore and treat seborrhea
seborrhea becomes common with age. On the scalp, it is called dandruff, which everyone is familiar with. On the face, it manifests as peeling, "dryness", redness and even a crust in the eyebrows, along the nose, under the nose of the glasses, in the beard or whisker and along the chin. Seborrhea-like ears are scaly, crusted and itchy. The crunchy red skin of the face, ears and scalp looks less well-groomed and can make your appearance old.
Seborrhea is easily solved. There is no cure, but there are tricks to tame it. Using shampoo or cleanser for the face with pyrithione, zinc or ketoconazole will help. My patients had excellent results using high concentration green tea cream. Options include my face redness set (facial zinc soap with pyrithione and antioxidant therapy for skin with green tea) and foaming zinc cleanser with a scrub for the scalp for dandruff of the scalp and ears. Stubborn seborrhea responds to anti-yeast creams, such as clotrimazole. Your doctor may provide prescription topical medications for seborrhea that will not help with these tips.
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Enamul Haque Mojumdar, Quoc Dat Pham, Daniel Topgaard & Emma Sparr, Skin Moisturizing: Interactions Between Molecular Dynamics, Structure and Water Absorption in the Horny Layer, Nature, Scientific Reports; Volume 7, Article number: 15712 (2017) Published on November 16, 2017
Barry M. Popkin, Kristen E. D. Anchi and Irwin H. Rosenberg, “Water, Hydration and Health,” Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68 (8): 439–458.
Potts Russel O, et. al., Changes with age of the moisture content in human skin, Journal of Research Dermatology, 82; 97-100, 1984
James William D., Berger Timothy J., Fl. al., Andrews Skin Diseases, 12th Edition, Elsevier, Inc., 2016, pp. 76-77
about the author
Dr. Bailey Skin Care