Posts Tagged ‘crows feet’

older and younger womenWhen I started  No-Nonsense Beauty Blog I expected  that most of the people who would be  would  be like me and over 40– way over 40.  I was  pretty surprised  when site analytics  showed that over 30%  of  No-Nonsense visitors were in their 20’s and 50% were under 40.  In fact   the majority of comments and questions  were sent in from smart resourceful  thirtysomething women. Its human  nature to  avoid issues  until they on top of us, but these bright young women are asking all the right questions  years before they  actually have to face them in the mirror. 

Different Answers for Different  Aging

Like everything else  in the body, skin changes naturally over time and its not surprising that anti-aging skin care differs over time.  Under  age 30 our skin is rich in estrogen and natural hydration.  The challenge is not to mess it up.   To prevent aging, women often use overly rich cleansers and night creams which  can provoke the reappearance  of teenage style acne.   Called acne cosmetica, its the trigger in over half of   adult acne problems.  Not only  are breakouts   just not necessary, acne scars  tend to become lines and wrinkles as  we get older.

Rather than drowning still  youthful skin in   heavy anti-aging products ,  good skin care starts with gentle  but through cleansing,  and regular exfolitation with microdermabrasion brush.  At night  use an oil free   glycolic acid or lactic acid lotion.  These ingredients  are like a baby step Retin A.  They shed dead dry skin, hydrate the surface and encourage  collagen and elastin growth. 

Its during the day that  thirtysomethings can take major  steps  to prevent aging. Up to age 60,  between 80-90% of skin aging is due to UV damage– but  using  effective sun protection  will short circuit environmental aging. 

After age 40, the good times and bad leave their mark on your  face. Sun filled vacation days  reappear years later as dark patches, red spots  and crows feet around the eyes. Work and family stress show-up as deepening  lines on  the  forehead  and along the sides of the mouth and chin. That’s the bad news.  The good news?  All of the signs of living can be reversed. But before buying a buffet of creams and serums with  a boatload of anti-aging claims, think about what you skin actually needs.    Before you  swipe your credit card at a store  or make an appointment at a doctor, identify what your skin issues.  Brown spots  and splotches?   IPL, Clear and Brilliant  and Fraxel lasers are different ytpes of lasers that quickly zap discolorations.  Lines around the eyes?  Botox will erase them in moments. Dull pale skin color and fine lines? Retin A will deal with both by reving up  circulation and  boosting   healthy collagen.  And when you’ve done with all the heavy lifting repairs, be sure to protect your investment  with a 30-50SPF sunscreen  to prevent new  UV damage.


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Question:  If I can’t use Retin A ( aka retinoid) on my eyes,  what  can I use?

Answer:  I answer every email  that I get at  No-Nonsense Beauty Blog, but this one  is so relevant for all of us, I wanted to  put it in my Q& A.  While its  true that you can’t use  straight retinoids around the eyes,  a combination product of retinoids, a steroid and hydroquinone  known as Triluma can  deliver anti-aging benefits.   Triluma’s claim to fame is its ability to erase  dark spots and patches, but the retinoids  also  may build collagen and reduce wrinkling.  For reasons that are not clear, Triluma is  no longer available commercially, but a  full-service pharmacy can compound it specially for you.  I  did just that and uploaded up post about the process on March 28, 2012.

Triluma (  branded or custom made)  can only be used for  three  months at a time.  After a three month holiday, you can use it again.  Some people  don’t react well to Triluma  while others are turned off  by the steroids or hydroquinone, but there are other options.  Vitamin C, growth factors  or peptides  like Matrixyl   have shown to  at least reduce  lines around the eyes, but  its not always clear how much of these effective ingrdients are in a commercial product. Home lasers  like Palovia are approved by  the FDA for smoothing  crows feet and their before and after  pix are impressive.   And then there  always is Botox for instant results.

But whatever treatment you  choose,   prevention is not an option.  The first thing I do every  morning is to put on a sunscreen under and  around my eyes.  I smooth on a concealer fortified with sunscreen  that both hides dark circles and protects against sun damage.  THis is one of my favorite products and my current go-to concealers  is  Revlon Age Defying SPF25.  It’s less than $10, comes in a range of colors and  lasts for hours.   In warm sunny weather I keep one in my purse  for touch-ups. 

One last thought:  Wear   full size shades to both block UV rays and avoid squinting in bright light.  Over time, squinting  can etch deep wrinkles  all around the eyes.  In very sunny areas like Texas, doctors report  crows feet in  girls as  young as 15 due o  squinting in the  strong light.

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Big Girl Botox

I’ve already dipped my toe into Botox treatments with “baby botox” injections into the marionette lines on the sides of my mouth. I was very happy with the results, but not convinced that Botox could offer me more benefits. After all, my bangs hid any forehead wrinkles and I didn’t see crows feet at the corner of my eyes. But when Dr Marmur gently suggested that the Botox could make my eyes look bigger, I was in. First she had me make angry clenched faces to see where my muscles contracted. Then she pressed an ice bag against different areas of my face and injected selected areas. As before, I LOVED the feeling of relaxation that comes with Botox. In fact, I had been struggling with a headache for the past few days ( I get occasional migraines) and within seconds of the “tox shot” I could feel the pain totally fade away. Nice bonus.

It can take up to a week to see full results of the treatment, but I saw amazing changes within three days. I did not think that I had crows feet at the corners of my eyes, but I was looking in the mirror when my face was at rest. In the pre-shot photo (above), Dr Marmur had me smile and there they were, deep and numerous creases and wrinkles, also known as “crinkles” After Botox– no crinkles. (right)
I especially valued the fact that Dr Marmur did not point out all of my sags and wrinkles, but let me appraoch anti-aging at my own speed.
I also treated had the areas between my eyes and under my chin and will be sharing those results in the next few weeks.

The effects of Botox lasts 3-6 months. Its no surprise that good Botox results depend heavily on your doctor’s skills. Dr Marmur actually teaches physicians how to use Botox and fillers. One of the best ways to find a talented doctor is from recommendations of friends who have had good results. You can also check the credentials of a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon who is offering anti-aging options. Look at their education ( medical school, post grad training), hospital affiliations and publications.

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The first time I went for a Pelleve  treatment with Dr Prasad, I was  anxious that it would be painful. I’m  just  not  a “no pain, no gain” type of person. I was delighted that Pelleve was a very comfortable, even relaxing procedure– and was even more pleased  with  the improvements I could see. This time   I  was pretty mellow  when I went to my second Pelleve appointment.  It was  just as painless and I saw  even more improvement.    In the pair of photos   above, the profile on the left was before any treatment and the profile on the right was just after my second  Pelleve treatment. My  cheeks and chin  are clearly firmer and less flabby.  Its not  nearly as extensive a change as I would see with a surgical lift, but I don’t want to go there. What you can also see  is that my nose does not droop down as much.  It turns out that the loss of collagen in the face means it cannot support the facial features and the nose looks longer.  When the existing collagen is tightened, the nose is returns to a more youthful position. Sweet!

Pelleve does not affect the surface of the skin, so I didn’t have to interrupt  my Retin A useage.  Its also  one of the safest anti-aging tools for women of color.   You can do Pelleve in the afternoon and go  back to work or out to dinner and look  beautiful. Dr Prasad  often does IPL  for the surface of the skin and  Pelleve for firming facial contours in the same visit.  

This anti-aging tool is a beauty junkie’s ideal treatment– safe, effective, quick, immediate results and painless.  It is pricy, but unlike too many overpriced creams and serums, you actually get  the results you are paying for.

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Right now on the newstand the models on the cover of three top magazines are over 40– Julia Roberts  in Elle and the two Jennifers, Aniston and Lopez, in Glamour and Bazaar. Its not just that these women look great  for 40.  Ladies,  this is what 40  can look like today. 

And this is true despite the fact that 40’s  are the start of true aging.  Up to this time,  beauty problems were  pseudo-aging from external  factors such as  sun exposure, cigarettes, alcohol use, stress and diet.  Now there is internal aging that affects how we look.  Our skin is getting drier and losing the ability to hold onto moisture. Fat pads under the eyes are shrinking which can increase under-eye shadows.  As the circulation starts to slow down, there is a decline in natural radiance.  Smile lines  appear when you are not smiling and squint lines frame the eye when its not sunny.

Stress seems to play a big role in aging in the fabulous forties.  Problems in a marriage, children, aging parents, a mid-life career crisis, and even real health issues are part of  the forties  landscape.  Its not uncommon to  look in the mirror and literally  feel older overnight.

Now is the time to introduce your skin to Retin A.  Start slowly with  a gentle formulation like .o4% Retin A  Micro and work up to using it 3x/ a week at bedtime.     The other four nights use a moisturizer with soy, green tea or peptides. As effective as they are,  AHA’s and vitamin C  may be too irritating  in the first six months on Retin A.

 Prescription retinoids restore radiance and healthy pink color. Different types of lasers will  make quick work  of other sudden signs of aging.  I used a YAG laser to vaporize large freckles and the IPL  ‘lunchtime laser”  to clear up dark patches and enlarged pores. Fraxel is among the newest lasers which has a big impact with a short healing time. The goal here is to mop up signs of aging that have appeared as well as prevent further problems.   According to noted derm, Dr Neil Sadick, Fraxel lasers   reduce  the appearance of fine  lines,  age spots and best yet, stimulates new  flexible collagen. This slows down the appearance of  sagging and wrinkling.  Nice!  Fraxel laser treatment is  near the top of  my anti-aging to-do list and I’ll post my experiences.

Sun protection continues to be important.  Try to routinely use  a broadspectrum 30-50 SPF sunblock.  If you are having  laser treatments, you need to switch to a mild  physical sunscreen  with zinc oxide like Neutrogena for Sensitive Skin SPF 30. Lasers also require stopping Retin A  days before and 3 days after  the treatment.

Next:  Daily skin care and a few  homemade products for the Fabulous Forties

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Teenagers are still growing, so active aging is just not happening.  But changes during these years can affect how the skin  behaves in the years ahead.  Teenage skin is  inherently firm and healthy and its a shame that it can be plagued by excess oil and break-outs.

For beautiful skin in the teenage  years there are  are two key words to remember– oil and free.  To avoid enlarged pores and scarring that can become a permanent part of the beauty  landscape, select oil-free products.  This means oil free soaps and cleaners, oil- free moisturizers and acne fighters, and  perhaps most importantly, oil-free sunscreens.

Excess sun exposure before age 20  can led to premature aging.  For example, dermatologists in Arizona and Texas report seeing  crows feet around the eyes in girls as young as 15– the result of squinting in constant bright sunlight.  Best protection?  Just wear shades– the bigger the better.  Oversize sunglasses will protect your whole eye area, but even little granny shades will prevent squinting.  Early unprotected sun exposure also causes freckles, broken  blood vessels and even saggy breasts and knees.  Who knew?

Interestingly  several  anti-aging  strategies are also helpful for teenage skin.  Retin A, the foundation of  skin rejuventation, is a turbo-powered treatment for oily/acne troubled skin.  It shuts down oil gands  to stop breakouts at the  source.  I have  often wondered if using Retin A  for teenage acne will prevent skin aging.  Wouldn’t that be an interesting study?

Teenage skin also benefits from monthly glycolic peels– another  well established  anti-aging tool.  These peels will  clean -out clogged pores and encourage  healthy skin growth.   They are available from dermatologists as well as in milder yet still effective home versions.

Tomorrow:  How these guidelines translate to daily anti-aging skin care during the teenage years.

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