In every decade of our lives, there are different things we can do to keep our skin healthy and vibrant. Over the next few months, we will delve into the particulars for each stage of life, starting in early adulthood.
Your 20s are usually when you notice the first signs of aging. This is the time for prevention! Keep your skin protected from the sun and by all means, stay out of the tanning bed. Using a sunscreen and retinol daily are the best topicals for prevention.
Early fine lines may have started to appear. When I was in my mid-20s, the horizontal lines on my forehead arrived. I asked one of my mentors in residency about it and was told Botox was the key. At first I was offended, but after having it, I realized how much I loved it. Fast forward a decade, and I have been able to keep those lines away with minimal Botox use.
If smile lines around the mouth are appearing, light fillers, such as Volbella, can be placed superficially in the skin and minimize their appearance. Also, lip augmentation is getting increasingly popular. If you choose to go this route, make sure you keep your lips in proportion with the other features of your face. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie have large lips but also have large eyes, so the two features look balanced. Even a subtle enhancement can be beautiful and look totally natural.
Other options for fine lines include resurfacing. It is unlikely you are ready for a CO2 or Halo resurfacing laser, but microneedling is a minimally-invasive procedure with very little downtime that can keep your pigment even and your skin texture smooth.
As you move into your 30s, you may be ready to get more serious about your skincare. Continuing sunscreen and retinols are important, but you may want to add antioxidants and a hydrator with hyaluronic acid.
Botox at this age can usually still be light to reduce lines and prevent further deepening. Volume loss may occur in the mid-face, which can deepen the nasolabial folds, also known as the parentheses, around the mouth. You may notice a slight downturn on your lips because of lower face fat loss. The temples and under eyes can also begin to lose volume, causing a “hollow” look. All of these areas can be addressed with various fillers, lasting anywhere from six months to two years.
You may have trouble with stubborn pockets of fat in your 30s, especially if you have had children. CoolSculpting and Kybella are great options for non-invasive removal of this fat. Tightening procedures can work on loose skin, and lasers can improve stretch marks.
Resurfacing options are great for improving the texture and tone of skin as well as smoothing fine lines. Unless there is deep scarring from acne, you probably aren’t ready for CO2. Halo and microneedling may be better for you. If texture is not the issue but you have developed reds and browns from sun damage, IPL could be a wonderful option. If you just want to maintain your current skin health without downtime, the Forever Young procedure with BBL could be a great starting point.
-Meg Cherry, MD