Skin Care After 30!!

Oh I am so excited to write this post… something I’ve been thinking about writing for awhile now!  I just had 2 appointments this week with my beloved and long-term dermatologist, one for a normal yearly checkup (mostly for skin cancer full-body screening since I’m so white), and then another to go over my skin regimen and anti-aging “plan.”  LOL  As if you can really have a plan to not age!

I was pleasantly surprised at how pleased she was this time when viewing my skin under her sun damage lens (special lens that can see UV ray aging and damage underneath the top layer of skin – basically early aging before it appears).  Apparently the two most important things I’ve been doing have been:

  1. Using a high SPF sunscreen fairly regularly (and every day in the Summer)
  2. Using a little bit of brightener in the form of a very very low percentage Retinol cream and Vitamin C

She exclaimed that my skin was looking YOUNGER and “glowing”… as though I was 25 again (and this lady don’t lie).  But, the signs of coming wrinkles underneath the visible skin were “just barely” starting to show, and it was time to go with a little more retinol %, as well as to maybe think about including alpha hydroxy acids into my routine.

This is WORLDS away from what happened when I saw her back when I started this blog in 2013… I was only 27, but she thought Botox was in order for my visible fine lines LOL!  Apparently that’s how bad I was aging (and admittedly, I had neglected seeing her for years at that point)!

So again, let me reiterate how important using even the lightest retinol 2x a day and SPF sunscreen as much as I can:  The constant cell-turnover and brightening the retinol was doing, as well as the protection from further damage the sunscreen was doing, literally rewinded my skin cells back 6 years (and maybe more if I was aged older than 27 back then -which I’m guessing I was due to her horrified reaction lol).

This is one of those important lessons I want to impart to my daughter about beauty (and how sweet that my doctor is more than likely going to be the one taking care of her skin, too… *tear*).  I hope she learns from me that taking care of your skin throughout your lifetime is SO worth it to feeling healthy.  In other words, if you eat healthy, exercise, and yet you’re not taking care of your skin, there’s something missing 🙂

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So let me give you some tips I just got this week before I forget 😀 these are things that are straight from my dermatologist, who is considered “World Class” and one of the best in our city!

  • You need to be cleansing your face 2x a day with a stronger cleanser (than the grocery store brands I used to use and wrote about) that has some kind of acidic quality to it, especially if you’re fair skinned (glycolic or salicylic acid).  This will be your basic exfoliant, as it literally will make the dead skin cells “slough off.”
  • When skin cells slough off through cleansing with glycolic acid cleansers, it increases cell turnover, which helps prevent early aging.  From Google: Glycolic acid is part of the group of active compounds known as AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids). Derived from cane sugar: It has the smallest molecules in the group so is able to penetrate skin deeply and easily, making it the most effective for treating fine lines, acne, blackheads, dullness, oiliness etc.
  • Now that you’re over 30, scrubbing with exfoliants, like I was so avid about doing before, is no longer really that beneficial (yea I was shocked :/ ).  In fact, since my skin is getting thinner (she held up a rubber glove and pulled it taut and told me THAT was how thin my skin was getting!), that scrubbing is going to do more damage than good for my skin.  So like the first point states, a stronger acidic cleanser will become your exfoliant.  Go with gentle chemicals to get the dead skin off, instead of rough grainy beads.
  • Get serious about using Retinol a couple (or more) times a week.  Your face has to build up to get used to it.  And if you’re fair skinned, you’re more than likely also sensitive to Retinol (other shades of skin can be really sensitive as well though – always check with your doctor to see what strength they suggest for your specific skin type, sensitivities, and thickness, etc.).
  • Now is the time to start getting acid peels (medical grade facials – not the kind at the spa, but medical grade ones) every now and then – but only during the Winter months since they make your skin EXTREMELY vulnerable to more sun damage.  My dad actually had something like that done recently with their UV machine (that literally caused layers of damaged skin to peel off and left his skin so beautiful and smooth and 10 years younger looking).  His is to prevent skin cancer, but the effects are still nice to see and feel.  Doing something like that just once or twice a year “resets” your skin and helps your regular regimen to keep improving it (and be able to penetrate deeper).
  • You’re now at the stage of “Maintaining.”  They explained to me this week that although my skin looks beautiful and even “glowing,” it is now the time to get serious about maintaining that glow and youthful baby softness.

It’s really fun to get into the science of all this stuff, and feel relaxed in knowing you’re taking care of yourself.  I went ahead and got a glycolic acid/ azelaic acid Brightening Creme to use 2x daily (Glytone from France), along with a 0.5% Pure Retinol Creme (Skinceuticals brand USA) to use only at night and only a couple of times a week (should not use during pregnancy).  The Retinol is a high potency product and using it more than 2x a week would make my skin just peel too much.

Things I’ll be adding as well is a gentle alpha-hydoxy cleanser (Oil of Olay), and then Bio Oil which is INCREDIBLE as a moisturizer for aging-past-30 skin.

That’s it!  And now I’m going to go play with my retinol 😀

Stephanie

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Into The Gloss Does interview with Dr. Patricia Wexler… the Dream Doctor

Photo by Tom Newton

Photo by Tom Newton

My parents sent me to a semi-famous dermatologist in our city when I was at the young age of 11 or 12.  I had barely gotten the beginning of one or two pimples, yet they (and my pediatrician who was a wonderful, amazing man – now passed on 😦 ) wanted to make sure I didn’t ever have to go through acne or (more importantly, to both my parents and my pedi) have scars that would be left.  So off we went to the best dermatologist in our city, I think she still ranks in the top.  It began what has seemed like a life-long relationship (lol, well… so far over half my life and increasing) with her, and it’s been wonderful getting to feel like my face is taken care of.

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Photo by Tom Newton

Aside from getting a good dermatologist that your insurance actually covers and that you actually trust with your life skin, the best EVER advice that has ALWAYS been spot-on, has come from this woman, Dr. Patricia Wexler… the Dream Doctor that can answer literally any question that is thinkable, and with a scientific finding or study to back her up.

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Photo by Tom Newton

If you read beauty magazines, you’ve most definitely turned over a page with her expert advice doing a Q & A section.

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Photo by Tom Newton

So let’s find out what’s on her TOP SHELF (ie. the products she uses and her beauty routine)…

ITG’s interview,

“I was five when I told my mom I wanted to be a doctor. She never discouraged me—she never said, ‘Are you sure? Do you want to be a nurse?’ Nothing. She just went to my school and told all the teachers to give me the advanced science books in second grade.

CAREER
I went to New York University—I was pre-med but with an art minor. I’ve always had an interest in sculpture, particularly of the face. I love old faces, young faces, children’s faces, so that’s the focus of my collection. And that’s when I met my husband, too. He proposed on the third date…I had to break up with my boyfriend to say yes! [Laughs] We got married nine months later and have been married 42 years. That was during the Vietnam War, and we had difficult time getting into medical school together—we ended up in Brussels doing courses in French. They were quick to fail people and didn’t accept poor accents. So they would say, ‘Your knowledge isn’t bad, but your accent is terrible,’ and they’d fail you. But it was an experience, and it made us strong and close.

When we got back to this country, I did internal medicine and infectious diseases at first. But the body is all connected, and I’m not good with losing people, so I switched over to dermatology. Emotionally, I had to accept the fact that people might judge me for switching focuses, but I don’t really care about being judged. As long as my patients are happy, then I’m happy. I don’t care about the outside world. But I’m not just a cosmetic dermatologist. When every patient comes in, they get a cancer screening. If they come in for Botox, they are still going to get undressed and examined. Patients will say, ‘I’ve never had a skin exam,’ and they’ve been going to dermatologists for years.

If you’re going to work 10 hours a day, five days a week, you want to love what you do. Dermatologists tend to really love what they do. And I have to do what I’m good at—when you’re in a practice with five other doctors, you get to pick and choose what you work on. For me, it’s sculpting.. I’ve been doing full-body liposuction since 1986, and I do a French technique where patients are standing for the contouring. I play Carly Simon while I’m doing it—“You’re So Vain.” Such good music to do it to.

SKINCARE
My mother was very big on taking care of yourself. She always took me to the best hairdressers for the best hair cuts. When I got my first pimple, she took me to the head of the acne program at NYU—things like that. It definitely influenced how I continue to treat my skin. Get a routine and figure out which products you like. Nobody can use three retinols, three night creams, and two day creams. If you’re going to deviate from your core products, only do it one at a time. And I always tell people to exfoliate on a daily basis. This once-a-week thing is nonsense. But, I think you have to know your skin. You should never look red or irritated—you should look better after you scrub. I tell my patients to do it in the shower, because if you’re not doing it in the shower, it’s inconvenient, it’s messy, and you’re just not going to do it.

So every day, I exfoliate and shower with my Resurfacing Microbrasion System—it’s a tiny granule, and I file it with a very rich hydronic serum that has pigment. It also has mulberry, bearberry, and chamomile. Your skin will actually look more soft and less pink and afterward. Then I also wash my face with myUniversal Anti-Aging Cleanser With Olive Oil—it takes off makeup, too. Never go to bed with makeup on. It could be 3am—even if it’s just three hours of sleep—I never go to bed with my makeup on. It’s got pollution and free radicals in it from the environment so you should be taking that off and using an antioxidant to combat those effects.

When I’m out of the shower, the first thing I put on my skin is Patricia Wexler Acnescription Overnight Acne Repair Lotion [ed note: currently unavailable]. I use a retinol three times a week—right now it’s the Natura Bissé Diamond Extreme. I think that it’s great, but you have to know how much your skin can tolerate. I have a lot of red in my face, so I’m careful. If you’re not so red, you can use it a little more, especially because a lot of the new formulas are non-irritating. I also love the Natura Bissé Diamond Ice-Lift. A day before a red carpet event, you put it all over your face, leave it on for 10 minutes to dry, and it peels off like cellophane. It looks like you had a facelift. I try to keep two jars around at all times. If you have puffy eyes or lip lines, it’s like a miracle.

Then I put on Nia 24 Eye Repair Complex all over my face because it strengthens the barrier of your skin, so if you’re dry, it keeps the moisture in. After that comes my Intensive 3-in-1 Day Cream orIntensive Night Reversal and Repair Cream. The day cream has sunscreen, the night cream doesn’t—but I like to use my night cream twice a day because it’s more reparative. It gives more oomphto your face.

But at the same time, I’m also very lazy. I haven’t done any lasers. My last filler was two years ago…and I haven’t done Botox in two years either. The things I am OCD about doing are habits that are just generally better for the skin. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life. If I’m somewhere sunny, I wear a t-shirt backwards, so it’s more like a boatneck, stand under a tree, use a parasol—I really try not to be in direct sunlight because I’m sensitive to it. And I need to stay hydrated all day long. I think being dehydrated is the worst thing for your skin so I have an 8 oz. glass of some liquid in every room that I work in, and if it’s not there, I get really testy.

MAKEUP
I don’t always wear makeup. In fact, there was a period this year where for about three months I didn’t wear makeup to the office. I just was in a phase—I wanted to look like Tilda Swinton or something. People said I looked so young and this and that. It was a conversation piece. Then I got tired of it.

During the day, I use ColoreScience Sunforgettable Face Primer. It makes your makeup go on really smooth and has SPF 35, which is fine for the winter. I use SPF 45 in the summer. After my primer, I use my new Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 5.75—It’s really nice. I use my fingers to apply it, not a brush or sponge. I know makeup artists do it with tools, but I don’t have the time or the patience for that. And afterward, this is the best blush—Giorgio Armani’s Cheek Fabric Sheer Blush in 306. After that, I go for my eyebrow pencil—the Vincent Longo Eyebrow Micro Pencil inAuburn one is the only one that goes with my red hair. I bought 40 at a time because you can use this pencil, and in a week to 10 days, it’s literally a micro pencil—but it’s the only one that doesn’t look like you’re penciling it on, which is good because my brows are totally blond. I dye them, and it only takes two minutes. Then I highlight under them with Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Duality inCamille Sand.

Stila Eye Shadow in Kitten is the only eyeshadow I’ve worn for 20 years. I bought a ton of those, too, because I’m scared they’re going to discontinue the color. It adds a brightness to my eye. Smoky eyes aren’t my thing—I like a fresh look. I just started wearing eyeliner for the first time in my life this year. I feel like it makes my face pop. I like to do it in a straight line with Eyeliner Baby Doll by Yves Saint Laurent. It stays all day.

I like to put my lipgloss under my lipstick because it’s moisturizing but not too sticky that way. I just got the Chanel Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer in 93 Pailettes. Then I’ll put Lipstick Queen Sheer Lipstick in Saint, which is a pinky-nude, on top. It’s really a pretty color but still neutral. I never do a bold lip. I think I’m bold enough. Even the eyeliner is pushing it for me.

HAIR
I’d never say I’m very playful with my makeup, but I’m very bold with my hair. I change the shape a lot. To me, hair is hair—it’ll grow back, and I can change it again.

I love Terax Crema Ultra Moisturizing Daily Conditioner andKérastase Bain Miroir, which I don’t think they’re making now, but you can go on eBay and spend a fortune on whatever is left. I’ll useSerge Norman’s Meta Lush Volumizer at the roots because I have thin hair—it’s curly but the texture is still really fine. The Shu Uemura Fiber Lift is necessary in my life. I use it two or three times a week. And then when my hair gets very dry looking, Nevo by Pravana Hydra Pearls Drops of The Amazon is amazing. It’s an oil in a little capsule or a pump bottle, and you put so little on through the ends. Occasionally I’ll do Kérastase mask, but that would mean I have 10 extra minutes in my life.”

—as told to ITG

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Photo by Tom Newton