Look Your Best at Any Age

A Decade by Decade Beauty Guide

When it comes to health and the rate of aging, we used to think that our choices were limited—it’s in the genes. Today, however, the aging process no longer mirrors that of our parents and grandparents.

With modern scientific modalities and recent advancements in medical aesthetics, there often exists a vast difference between a person’s chronological age and biological age. It can be hard to distinguish a woman in her twenties from a woman in her forties. Unfortunately, the hands of time swing both ways; we may be 45 chronologically, but biologically, our cells may make us appear 55.

Approximately 36 percent of aging is due to factors beyond our control—our genes and heritage—but the rest is up to us. So, what’s the secret to achieving beauty at any age? Good health, quality of life and, of course, great skin care.

20s

Prevention is crucial during this phase of your life. If you didn’t have good habits in your teens, now is the time to start. Sunscreen should be a part of your daily skin care regimen, applied in the form of an SPF moisturizer, in order to prevent premature aging. The body and skin show little change in our twenties, but external factors such as sun exposure, alcohol consumption, poor dietary habits and smoking can have adverse effects on skin down the road. If you prevent damage and protect your skin while in your twenties, your complexion will thank you for the decades to come.

30s

Between career moves, busy lifestyles and starting a family, our thirties can bring on a variety of different stressors. Many women at this age are plagued by adult acne and inflammatory skin con-ditions due to hormonal fluctuations and work-related tension. More evidence of internal change begins to surface as age spots, crow’s feet and fine lines appear around the eyes and mouth, but signs of aging can be curtailed with professional correctives. Undergoing a series of non-wounding peels in conjunction with an at-home treatment regimen of resurfacing products can dramatically reduce the look of blemishes, wrinkles and sun spots, helping you to hold onto your youth.

40s

As we enter our forties, noticeable differences occur as skin begins to lose elasticity. There may be slight sagging around the neck area, and lines that were only visible when you smiled or laughed in your thirties may now be etched into your complexion. Because skin cells take longer to migrate to the surface, encour-aging cellular turnover and stimulating collagen production is central to promotinghealthier, more youthful looking skin. Incorporating antioxidants into both your diet and skin care routine will assist in preventing further free radical-induced damage. Look for cleansers, exfoliants and serums infused with vitamins A, C and E and load up on fruits, green vegetables, seeds and nuts.

50+

After 50, the skin’s abilities to retain moisture and heal properly are significantly weakened as the body experiences internal changes. Hormonal oscillation and diminished natural reserves in mature and menopausal skin can cause the complexion to appear dry or flaky. Skin care treatments containing essential vitamins, emollients and hormonal regulators such as soy isoflavones and pregnenolone—also believed to play a role in skin immunity and hydration—will aid in replenishing the skin’s lipid barrier to repair tone and texture, and firm sagging skin (now found around the forehead, mouth and eyes) to rebuild definition.

FAREWELL TO FLARE-UPS

Stop infammation before it starts, and live flare-free, yet full of flair

Meet the Expert: Tatum Hunter
Expert Julia Tatum Hunter, MD, dermatologist and founder of Skin Fitness Plus in Beverly Hills

When our bodies are exposed to infection, irritation or injury, inflammation is a natural defensive response. The redness, warmth and swelling we experience are our bodies’ attempts to heal and repair themselves when they feel overwhelmed by outside threats. In addition to taxing our internal organs, such reactions have a direct effect on how we age externally, giving way to wrinkles, puffiness and sagging skin. Julia Tatum Hunter, MD, a dermatologist and founder of Skin Fitness Plus in Beverly Hills, explains the basics of this reaction, as well as ways to better control it. At last, get ready to say farewell to flare-ups!

Q: What is inflammation?

A: Inflammation—the cause of all disease and aging—is triggered by the following:

  • Diet (prepared foods that contain no living ingredients can cause inflammation, such as hydrogenated fats, sugar, cow milk dairy, carbohydrates and some grains)
  • Sunlight
  • Radiation (sunlight is a form of radiation, as are X-rays, microwave ovens, cell phones and computer screens)
  • Stress, which deranges hormone levels in men and women and initiates the inflammatory response in the body.
  • Pollution (i.e. the air we breathe, the food we eat, chemicals in cleaning products and even dry cleaning)
  • Genetics (can contribute, but can also be minimized)
  • Products for the skin, hair and nails, which often contain ingredients that cause inflammation, such as glycolic acid, parabens, synthetic propylene glycol, acrylates and ureas.

Q: How do I know if I am suffering from inflammation?

A: Inflammation means “to set on fire” in Latin. When a disease name ends in -itis, it is an indicator of inflammation (i.e. arthritis, dermatitis, gastritis, tonsillitis and hepatitis). Inflammation results when the immune system is activated by infection or any of the aforementioned causes, and begins long before disease or skin conditions are detected.

Inflammation leads to high blood pressure; Alzheimer’s disease; cancer; diabetes; gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, indigestion and heartburn; impotence; weight gain; heart attack; and stroke. Additionally, acne is an inflammatory disease, which is why skin becomes red and plagued by pustules. A strong indicator that inflammation is present includes any abnormal blood tests, acidic tissue or blood pH, thickening of blood vessels and trouble losing weight, as well as aging symptoms such as wrinkling, brown spots, abnormal tiny red veins, general skin redness and skin sensitivities.

Q: How do I treat—and attempt to cure—inflammation?

A: You are what you eat and drink—eat organic, fresh, raw and green (the darker, the better) foods as much as you can, including onions, garlic, fruits, raw cilantro and parsley, fresh herbs, seaweed and organic whole leaf aloe juice. CosMedix’s Balance, Restore, SKINamins line, Neutralize and Clarity Supplement are excellent ways to detoxify and combat inflammation.

Drink at least one liter of water a day. While drinking sodas is highly inflammatory, smoking of any kind is worse. Be cautious in consuming cow’s milk products. Get your heart pumping for at least 30 minutes, 2–4 times a week, and strength train on the other days. Stop weight gain early; fat cells store and produce chemicals, which increase inflammation and thus, make it difficult to lose weight. Do not put inflammatory chemicals on your skin, hair and nails, including various makeup products.

I recommend using CosMedix products to my patients because they contain no inflammatory chemicals and produce desirable results. Have your thyroid gland checked for optimum function as you age, and educate yourself on bio-identical hormones to keep all organs operating youthfully. Don’t be overwhelmed—take one step at a time and you’ll walk up the staircase of success. Remember, you are in control of your health and beauty.