Dr Rich discusses how we age throughout our 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond and how, more importantly, we can age well!
Most of us know the visible effects of aging:
- Wrinkles, lines and deeper folds
- Loss of elasticity and sagging skin
- Changes in skin texture and dryness
- Brown spots, freckles and pigmentation
- Gradual fat and bone re-absorption leading to
- volume loss and facial thinning
But what really happens to the skin as we age?
- The loss of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, reduce the moisture, suppleness, and elasticity of the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles to appear.
- The face starts to thin due to fat loss, as well as the movement of fat to other areas of the face, leading to thinning in the face shape (known as volume loss), and causing folds to appear (nasolabial folds and marionette lines).
- Due to a combination of factors, skin texture and colour also change. The skin becomes rougher and drier, and blemishes, discolorations and pigmented spots start to appear. Overtime, bone is reabsorbed, becoming thinner and more brittle. This causes your face to appear thinner, and results in a weaker-looking jaw.
- The skin can start to show more redness and broken vessels. Veins (particularly around the cheeks and nose) can also become more visible with advanced aging.
- With the progression of time, skin continues to appear looser, and begins to sag. The diminished elasticity of the skin reduces its ability to retain its shape and it does not conform as closely to the contours of the face. Gravity then pulls on both the skin and the underlying fat, and they move down your face. This results in sagging eyelids, bags under the eyes, and jowls.
- UV Sun Damage
- Hormonal changes in women at menopause
- The effects of gravity
- The natural breakdown of the components of skin and bone with age
- And time!
This is the decade when you may start to notice your skin looks ‘tired’ and less radiant.
Fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear around your eyes (crow’s feet), vertical lines in your frown, and horizontal lines in your forehead. Accumulated sun damage, freckles, brown spots and other forms of pigmentation begin to appear. You may also begin to see dilated blood vessels, particularly around the sides of your nose and cheeks.
As you enter your 40s, lines begin to appear around the lips (also known as smoker’s lines – but not limited to smokers). Be prepared to see deeper wrinkles in your forehead, frown and around your eyes (crows feet), plus a deepening of the smile lines. This is also the decade when
volume loss may become evident in the cheeks/mid-face, and well along the jaw line and chin (known as the pre-jowl area).
In your 50s and 60s you may be facing the cumulative effects of sun damage and aging, which include not only a deepening of lines and wrinkles, but also a greatly increased breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers, which are the support structures within skin. This results in a drooping of the face, with loose skin evident. Moreover, as we age, we lose some of the fat beneath our skin, which also contributes to the appearance of volume loss and structure. Skin also starts to appear thinner and more translucent. This can cause blood vessels just below the surface to look more prominent and your skin to look discoloured.
Pigmentation and brown spots that went untreated in the past, will now become more prominent, while new ones continue to appear. Further, a decrease in oestrogen levels that occurs during the 50s will cause skin to look and feel drier, making lines and wrinkles look deeper and more prominent.
How to combat the effects of aging:
At All Ages
- The use of proper sun protection is the single most important factor in preventing accelerated skin aging, as well as preventing skin cancers. A good UVA & UVB protection is mandatory for good skin.
- The use of products containing retinoic acid (Vitamin A), Vitamin C and AHA’s can help with collagen stimulation and general skin rejuvenation.
- Skin rejuvenation peels and laser treatments will also help to penetrate more deeply to where new collagen production occurs, directly at the fibroblast cell which is responsible for improved collagen production. There are many treatments with little or no down time.
- Most importantly have a PLAN. Talk to your doctor, or call us for chat and find out how you can best treat your concerns, whether by creams, lasers or deeper treatments.
In Your 30s and 40s
- In your 30s and beyond, you may start considering the use of anti-wrinkle injections (also known as muscle relaxants) to relax fine lines and wrinkles.
- In your 30s and beyond, individuals with deep hollows under the eyes (known as tear trough), or relatively small or disproportionate lips, can benefit from the subtle use of dermal fillers to address these issues.
- For those with diffuse redness and flushing of the face, or for visible vessels to the face and nose, the latest technology in vascular lasers will be of benefit, namely the Cutera Excel V Laser.
- For those with brown spots, freckles and pigmentation, the new Fraxel 1927 laser or Fractional Ruby are excellent treatments for clearing unwanted pigmentation from the face, with minimal downtime.
In Your 40s, 50s, 60s and Beyond
- In your 40s and beyond, you may start to consider volume replacement for the face in the form of dermal fillers. This can be particularly useful to the midface/cheek region, the prejowl sulcus area, along the jaw line, along the marionette lines, and in the temporal hollows.
- Individuals with deep hollows under the eyes (known as tear trough), which can artificially create a ‘tired appearance” can benefit from the subtle use of dermal filler to this area.
- Anti-wrinkle injections (also known as muscle relaxants) continue to be of benefit to lines and wrinkles in both the upper face, as well as the lower face (such as the platysmal neck bands, and the DAOs – the muscles that pull the corners of the mouth in a downward direction.
- Laser resurfacing and skin tightening can be achieved by a number of lasers including the fractional CO2 laser, the Erbium laser, and Portrait (for skin firming).
If you would like more information on treatments or to make an appointment for a skin consult, please call 9500 9500