Monday, July 15, 2024

What ‘Anti-Aging’ Means to a Dermatologist

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Anti-Aging. It’s a phrase you’re likely used to seeing just about everywhere, especially in your skin care and beauty. But we all know that kind of marketing language is squishy, hard to pin down and even harder to attain. In a sea of skin-care claims and anti-aging promises, what can you achieve?

We spoke with Hopkinsville, KY dermatologist May Hall, DO of Jennie Stuart Health Aesthetic Dermatology to learn what results we can expect from a tailor-made anti-aging skin-care routine and treatment regimen. We dive deep on how far you can turn back the clock without surgery and the real deal on mature skincare.

What Does Anti-Aging Mean to a Dermatologist?

The term anti-aging is awash with marketing language, just vague enough to inspire our hopes to look better, firmer, younger. And Dr. Hall is no stranger to these expectations.

“I think anti-aging as a whole as become a rather pervasive term in our society,” Dr. Hall says. “Many patients who come in for a consultation, they have this idea that anti-aging means that they’ll look 20 again, or that they’ll look like a version of themselves that they’re not.”

Whether it is a fear of looking unnatural and unlike yourself, or unrealistic expectations for results, a dermatologist can help you fully understand what ‘anti-aging’ encompasses and what steps may be right for you.

“My goal is to really educate patients on the aging process and provide them with a long term plan and regimen that they love. Impactful, subtle changes can help you look and feel more confident,” Dr. Hall explains. “To me, a good result is when others can’t detect that you’ve had anything done, but they assume you’ve had a good night’s rest or that you came back from the spa.”

In this way, anti-aging stems from a strong foundation of skin care and then adding treatments and procedures based on your skin’s needs. As you might expect, that means that results won’t happen overnight; instead, the cumulative power of these treatments will help you look and feel your best.

“For me, the term anti-aging is not really a sprint, it’s more of a marathon,” Dr. Hall says.

Where to Start with Anti-Aging Skin Care

Dr. Hall begins with tailor-made skin-care plans for her patients for a reason.

“I use a 360º approach to skin health, and the foundation of that is a customized skin-care routine,” Dr. Hall says. “Because when you’re investing money in injectables, chemical peels, lasers or microneedling, it’s important to protect that investment with a solid skin-care routine.”

And because there are countless products and a million steps you can add to your routine, it’s important to keep the basics at the front of your mind.

“A solid skin-care routine encompasses a vitamin C serum or cream, a topical retinoid, a moisturizer and an SPF,” Dr. Hall explains. “After that, we set the goals for your skin texture, wrinkles and volume loss, which can be addressed with the multi-modality approach.”

It’s important to note that this process will take some time, so that neither you nor your skin are overwhelmed.

“We start out with consistent, spaced-out treatments,” Dr. Halls says. “But once we’re at our goal, we can continue to maintain your results at once or twice a year.”

Anti-Aging Skin Care for Mature Skin

These days, you’re encouraged to start anti-aging skin care around your 20s, when your collagen production levels first begin to drop. If you’re trying to get turn back the clock rather than prevent it from ticking in the first place, you may feel like you have a long road ahead of you. The good news is you can still get optimal results from anti-aging skin care when you’re starting later in the game.

“I always want to start with a foundational routine, so depending on what you already have in your rotation, I think there are some things you should really invest your money in when you have mature skin,” Dr. Hall explains. “If you’re dealing with tired or dull looking skin, you should have a vitamin C product that you use in the morning and a retinol product at night to give the skin an overall more youthful appearance that will also help build collagen over time.”

Once your routine is established, the door to in-office treatments fully opens.

“Treatments in-office that will help you look less tired include neuromodulators and injectables. And depending on where you’re seeing volume loss, we can replenish some of that volume,” Dr. Hall says. “I also really enjoy the patient results we see from chemical peels, which I think are underrated in our field. They’re impactful and don’t break the bank.”

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