About Face: Demystifying Your Anti-Aging Options

About Face: Demystifying Your Anti-Aging Options

Looking to reduce the signs of aging? Here's an overview of non-surgical options available today.


For many skin treatments, you'll want to consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine which procedure is right for you. Your dermatologist will discuss what kind of results you're looking for and guide your course of treatment. Your doctor will also take a complete medical history, examine the area to be treated and give you instructions about how to prepare for the procedure you agree upon. Here's an overview of common options:

Retin-A®
Originally used to treat acne, Retin-A is a vitamin A-enriched cream that can help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage. Retin-A is topically applied every day for up to a year, after which your dermatologist may switch you to a maintenance schedule. Because Retin-A thins your skin's outer layer, you'll need to use sunblock to help protect your skin from UV rays.

Glycolic Acid Treatments
Glycolic, or "fruity" acid treatments, cause outer layers of skin to slough off, revealing smoother, younger-looking skin. These treatments also are applied topically, usually in a cream or face wash form, in concentrations of about 12 percent glycolic acid. But some dermatologists offer in-office treatments of higher concentrations to begin a course of skin care. As with Retin-A, you need to be vigilant with moisturizing and sunblock use when using glycolic acid products.

Microdermabrasion
Sometimes called a "lunchtime peel," the microdermabrasion procedure usually lasts 15 to 30 minutes, and is performed in your dermatologist's office. Anesthesia is not necessary. Using a handheld device, your doctor gently removes the very top layers of damaged skin, which helps correct rough skin texture and uneven coloring. Afterward, your skin will grow pink, but that should fade after a couple of hours. A typical microdermabrasion regimen consists of four to eight treatments.

Photo Facials
Relatively new noninvasive procedures, photomodulation and photorejuvenation use pulses of light energy to activate new collagen production and help regenerate aging skin. As with microdermabrasion, treatment spans multiple sessions, involves no downtime and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Over-the-Counter Options
If you prefer over-the-counter skin treatments, now is the time to take advantage of what's available. Scientifically developed formulas, such as Olay® Regenerist, don't give equivalent results to procedures, but do give significant improvement. They help regenerate your skin's appearance at the surface cellular level. The result is skin that looks, feels and behaves more like new skin.

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