Aging is a natural part of life, but that still doesn’t keep us from trying to resist it as much as possible. In the more than twenty years that I have been a board certified plastic surgeon, thousands of men and women have come to me looking for ways to alleviate the various signs of facial aging, but most are also interested in learning about ways that they can keep those signs from ever manifesting in the first place. Although there is no way to prevent aging entirely, keeping your skin healthy is a great way to keep it looking young for as long as possible. Here are some helpful things that you can do to keep your skin looking its best.
Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure
Although it may seem obvious to many, some people still don’t realize that ultraviolet light from the sun is perhaps the single largest contributor to skin damage. Not only does ultraviolet (or UV) light break down the skin’s natural collagen and elastin, which make it possible for the skin to “bounce back” after being stretched and folded, but it can also damage the sebaceous glands, leading to overly dry and sensitive skin. When going outdoors, I recommend protecting your skin, either with “sun safe” clothing or with cosmetic products that contain sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or greater. The progressive damage from years of sun exposure can also often be treated with chemical peels and Sciton® laser skin resurfacing treatments, which help to stimulate the body’s own natural collagen and elastin production.
Mind What You Put Into Your Body
Harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco products can have an adverse effect on circulation, skin elasticity, and healing factors. Cigarette smoking in particular can seriously compromise lung function and blood flow to the skin’s surface, effectively impairing the skin’s regeneration and accelerating the aging process. Maintaining a healthy diet that includes sources of lean protein like fish, chicken and turkey, as well as eggs, beans, nuts, quinoa and even leafy greens can be a great way to keep your skin looking youthful. In many cases, the hollow eyes and sunken cheeks experienced by many long-time smokers can be alleviated with injectable facial fillers, like Juvéderm®, or natural fat transfer techniques.
Make Sure to Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the only times that the adult pituitary gland secretes growth hormone is during the deepest stages of sleep, and growth hormone plays a vital role in maintaining and renewing the various body tissues, including the skin. Therefore, failure to get enough sleep can accelerate the progression of facial aging, particularly dynamic facial wrinkles like crow’s feet and frown lines. Because these facial wrinkles are the result of repeated facial movement, they are best addressed with Botox® injectable cosmetic treatments, which can soften dynamic wrinkles and prevent their formation for an average of three to six months with a single fifteen-minute treatment.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, with a nutritious diet and regular exercise, is the best way to keep yourself looking your best. If you are interested in more Mind the Body health tips, or if you would like to learn more about any of the cosmetic plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please feel free to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for all the latest plastic surgery news and updates. If you are interested in discussing what plastic surgery procedures might be able to specifically do for you, please contact me, Dr. James Namnoum, to schedule a consultation today.