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  • Dr. Jean-Paul Azzi

Restoring Aging Skin

Just like the rest of the body, our skin suffers natural wear-and-tear as we age. The good news is, you can prevent aging…at least to a certain extent. As you age, your skin isn’t able to shed and renew itself as quickly as it once did. It starts to thin, lose moisture, and grow loose. UV damage, lifestyle habits (like smoking, drinking and diet), facial expressions, and gravity are all factors that contribute to the aging of your skin.

While we’ll never be able to naturally stop the clock completely, there are some things we can do to slow down the aging process and repair some of the damage that’s already been done. Below are some anti-aging skin tips for doing just that:

Stay Hydrated: We know you’ve heard it a million times, but we can’t stress the importance of drinking lots (and lots!) of H2O. Water flushes waste out of the system and keeps skin hydrated, acting as an internal moisturizer. You should shoot for 64 ounces per day.

Exercise: Want to know the number one anti-aging medicine? It’s exercise! Exercise increases blood flow, thus improving circulation, which nourishes skin cells and keeps your skin healthy and vibrant. Blood transports nutrients and oxygen to working cells in the body, including the skin. So get up and get moving!

Avoid Overexposure to the Sun and Wear SPF: Exposure to UV is the number one cause of premature wrinkles. Sun deteriorates elastin and reduces collagen, which equates to drooping skin, a diminishing jawline, and wrinkles. It also discolors your skin and roughens texture. Not to mention, UV rays are the primary cause of skin cancers, which goes far beyond the mere cosmetic.

Don't assume you're impervious to photodamage just because the sun is barely up on your morning commute and is setting on your drive home. UVA rays travel through windows in the office, home, and car. UVA is carcinogenic and induces the grayish/yellow tone you notice on the skin of elderly individuals. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, 365 days a year, rain or shine. Dr Azzi recommends choosing a sunscreen that lists metal as the main ingredient (ie: zinc or titanium) regardless of the SPF.

Exfoliate: Exfoliation removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells. It enhances the appearance of the skin and acts as a gentle resurfacing agent. Regular exfoliation can assist the skin with cell turnover and increase the production of collagen. As such, exfoliation can aid in removing fine lines and wrinkles. Dr. Azzi recommends exfoliating with a scrub in the shower every other night and moisturizing immediately afterward. And don’t forget to exfoliate your lips! They age and wrinkle just like the rest of your face. Dr. Azzi advises you see an expert like DeeLisa Sacco in Palm Beach Gardens for skin care and microdermabrasion.

Healthy Diet: You should focus as much on what you put IN your body as on what you put ON your skin, as a healthy diet promotes healthy skin. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

At the grocery store, search for red and green vegetables. They’re packed with natural nutrients and antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals. In addition, vegetables generally contain a high water content, helping to moisturize your skin from the inside out.

Fish is a important dietary component in the process of restoring aging skin. The natural oils in fish act as an anti-inflammatory agent, which provide countless benefits to the skin. Fish also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce the risk of heart-disease and stimulate the immune system. We recommend supplementing your diet with 12 ounces of fish every week.

It’s also crucial to incorporate oils (like extra virgin olive oil and fish oil) into your diet, and limit your intake of sugars, which have the opposite effect of an antioxidant.

Retinoids: The best type of topical cream to repair signs of aging is a retinoid. Retinoids are vitamin-A derivative compounds that minimize the appearance of wrinkles, bolster the skin’s thickness and elasticity, reduce the breakdown of collagen (which keeps the skin firm), lighten brown spots caused by sun exposure, as well as unclog pores and stimulate blood vessels. Retinoids are known to smooth skin, reduce oil and acne, and give you a more radiant, healthy appearance. If you decide to give retinoids a try, you can expect to see results in a month or two.

Moisturize: Our skin naturally becomes drier as we age, and fine lines and wrinkles appear. Moisturizer traps water in our skin, giving it a more youthful appearance by keeping it hydrated and supple. For best results, use a facial moisturizer, body moisturizer, and lip balm.

If you’ve tried the methods listed above and still aren’t satisfied with your skin, you may want to consider microdermabrasion or a chemical peel to restore a more youthful, beautiful appearance.

If you’re interested in a more permanent solution, we recommend a face lifting procedure. Dr. Azzi uses the most advanced techniques in deep plane and extended sub-SMAS facelifting to ensure that the skin is not “pulled tight,” giving a “plastic” or “windswept” look. Dr. Azzi simply repositions the deep structures in the face, which have succumbed to the effects of gravity and time, to the position they were located years earlier. We’d love to talk to you about your aging concerns. Dr. Azzi offers free consultations to discuss recommended treatment options. Call The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery at (561) 429-5403 or contact us here.

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