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Don’t you wish your skin had a reset button? Just press it and go back to your childhood skin. I look at my daughter, who is just 8 years old, and I am awed by her pristine skin. It’s perfection! I know I won’t ever capture that beautiful baby-faced look, but I do know it’s possible to get a youthful glow, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and improve tone and texture.

There are three main areas to address when focusing on anti-aging. The first is speeding up the keratinization process (shedding of dead skin cells), the second is slowing down melanocyte production (pigment producing cells), and the third is preservation of facial structure through collagen and elastin stimulation (structural protein and connective tissues). Let me break it down for you.

Speeding Keratinization

It’s actually fairly simple. The faster your skin sheds dead skin cells, the faster it produces new healthy cells. That’s why we love to peel. Keeping the keratinization process moving improves the health and appearance of skin over time. Good options for physical peeling, or rapid exfoliation, are dermaplane, microdermabrasion, laser, and plasma. Chemical peeling is another fantastic way to turn over cells. Chemical peels can be mild to aggressive depending on their formulation, and many can only be used on specific skin types, so be sure to consult a professional.

Suppressing Pigment

Hyperpigmentation, or the overproduction of melanocytes, shows up in skin either as a result of sun exposure, inflammation (PIH-Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation) or hormonal changes. Most pigment can be controlled with in-office treatments like BBL (Broad Band Light) photofacial, but hormonal pigment known as melasma is a tougher nut to crack. Melasma is exacerbated by heat, sun, and, of course, shifts in hormone levels. Many women see the onset of melasma when starting birth control or during pregnancy, commonly referred to as the mask of pregnancy. Melasma shouldn’t be treated with heat-based therapies. I know there are lots of heat producing devices that claim to be effective for melasma, but in my experience, the pigment clears for a short while then comes back with a vengeance. My personal preference is to utilize micro needling to drive a special cocktail of pigment- suppressing ingredients and peel solution into the skin for optimal results with no heat.

Preservation of Facial Structure

As stated above, facial structure preservation involves stimulating collagen and elastin, often using radio frequency (the gold standard for collagen stimulation). For years, radio frequency was used to stimulate collagen, but there wasn’t a way to address the connective tissues in the reticular dermis known as elastin. With newer technologies, we can treat both collagen and elastin at the same time. If the architecture of the face is already damaged to a certain degree, then you are looking at repair versus preservation. This could be as simple as fillers or as complex as surgical intervention. A good aesthetician will recognize when you’ve reached that point and refer you to a plastic surgeon or nurse injector.


Before and 5 months after multiple treatment modalities


Ideally, you should look for ways to address all three areas of concern for the best outcome possible. Devising a plan that fits your budget and lifestyle will help you to have realistic timelines and expectations. Whether it takes 6 months or two years is up to you as you can opt for a series of less aggressive treatments or one or two high impact procedures. Whatever you choose, make sure you are working with a seasoned professional. There is no substitution for experience. If you'd like to explore your options more thoroughly, I am available for complimentary online Zoom consultations by appointment. You can message me here via chat or email me directly at erin.cooper@bealsmd.com to schedule.


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