Why is my skin aging so fast?

It happens to almost all women. One day you look in the mirror and are happy with how you look. Your complexion calmed down from its previous breakouts, your skin seems smooth, bright and has a youthful (but wise) glow about it. Perfect! Then all of the sudden as quickly as that happened you look in the mirror and see someone looking back that you don’t recognize. You have dark circles under your eyes you swear weren’t there yesterday, your skin has lost it even tone and is starting to look dull. You might even ask yourself why is my skin looking this way when I see my friends who still have a luminous, youthful complexion?

Facts of aging

The aging process accelerates with time. At the age of 18, the average person loses 1% of their collagen and elastin per year. By the time we reach our mid-thirties that rate doubles to 2%. In your fifties, we will see that rate double again and is now at 4%. Many people will not notice their skin aging until they hit a certain point. Yet their collagen and elastin has been breaking down since their late teens or early 20’s. However, like the patient I described above most women will not notice until it suddenly creeps up on them. This is why taking care of your skin early, before the signs of aging start, is so vital.

What can I do about it?

Experts suggest that only 40% of your aging process will be in the hands of your genetics. The other 60% will be the result of lifestyle factors, like nutrition, not smoking and keeping hydrated, as well as your skin care regimen. That’s huge! Yet women are still turning to poor beauty products and waiting to treat their skin until surgery or injectables seem to be their only option.

The majority of women are picking up their skincare at the drug store and are using products that have no real benefit to them. In fact, many of the synthetic ingredients in this type of skin care do nothing to support collagen and elastin production, and will actually degrade your skin faster. On top of that most women have never gotten their skin assessed by a professional and are using all the wrong products.

I know that changing your regimen can be overwhelming, so where should you start?

  1. If you have never had your skin assessed by a professional, start there. Go get a facial, or see a physician who knows how to assess your skin. Ask them why they recommend the products they do. Ask them if they use these products themselves.
  2. Start with the basics. Get a great cleanser, a serum for at night and a moisturizer for during the day. If your makeup does not contain SPF consider getting a moisturizer that does double duty, sun protection with hydration and anti-aging benefits.
  3. If you really need anti-aging help, go with a line of products that specializes in that. Also, consider treatments like micro-needling or laser treatments to promote collagen production and encourage skin cell turnover.
  4. Hydrate your skin! Even in my acne patients hydration is so important. Super drying products will only make your skin worse and make you age faster. Skip the super drying lines and go for something better.
  5. Start now. Even if you are not struggling with aging skin, the earlier the better. Get a good skin care regimen. I would even recommend doing some treatments that promote collagen production before you notice your skin going downhill.
  6. Give your products time to work. I recommend using a product for at least a month or two before you decide if it is really working.After that, however, if you are not seeing benefit from your skincare, get rid of it and move on to something better. Don’t waste your money on something you do not notice any benefit from.
  7. Treat your skin from the inside. Drink lots of water and get a good skin supplement regimen. A high-quality multi-vitamin, probiotic and fish oil supplement is a good start. Again, not a drugstore or health food store brands, please!

If you start with great products and still need some help with your skin there are many great treatments out there. In some women, products like Botox and dermal fillers can be exactly what they want. In others, the maintenance of those products and risk for looking unnatural has them looking in other directions for procedures to help their skin. As mentioned above, micro-needling and lasers can be very beneficial. Also, consider using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to help naturally restore the face. Finally, a combination of the treatments I just listed can be the perfect treatment plan for many patients. Using a small amount of Botox to soften the static wrinkles on the forehead, while using micro-needling with PRP to restore collagen in the rest of the skin is a common choice among my patients. The options really are endless and can be tailored to your needs, so go get a good consult and get back to feeling great!

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