by Kate Dee, MD
Many people first come into our Medispa for BOTOX® and Fillers. They have heard from friends how frown lines and sagging skin can be “fixed” fast with these simple treatments. Don’t get me wrong—BOTOX® and Fillers are great and make people very happy. But they are a temporary fix. There are some very important things you can do that are not expensive that can keep your skin healthy to reverse the slow deterioration that happens as you age.
I think of BOTOX® and Fillers as the middle layer of the cake. But consider the top and bottom layers, and you find that they are just as important, if not more so in the long run. The base layer of the cake is a Strong Effective Daily Regimen designed for your skin type. The top layer is Collagen Stimulation.
Let me back up here and discuss a little bit about how your skin ages and what can be done about it. As you age, you have a double whammy happening to your skin. First, your epidermis (the outer layer that sloughs off) is constantly turning over. When you are young, this may take around six weeks, from a new skin cell being born at the basal layer to being sloughed off as dead skin. As you age, this slows way down, so that you end up with a build-up of dead skin at the surface. This thick layer of dead cells is dull, leathery, and worst of all, does not absorb topicals very well.
The second whammy is that your dermis (the deeper layer under the epidermis) slowly thins out about 1% per year. This is where all of your collagen and elastin are, and those make your skin thick and springy, and resistant to gravity. As the dermis thins out, it starts to wrinkle and sag. So, left untreated, by age 80, the skin can be paper thin, dull, and draping off the bones. Yes, we all want to age gracefully, but if that were preventable, wouldn’t you want to do that?
Sounds bleak… I know. BUT!!! You can prevent this! This is where the bottom and top layer of the cake become SO IMPORTANT!
Base layer: A good skin care regimen will keep your turnover high with exfoliants and vitamins that stimulate cellular turnover. You will protect your skin from sun damage, stimulate collagen production, and decrease your risk of skin cancer. You can even out skin tone, and keep the skin bright and smooth. So, before you spend more money on the expensive stuff, consider a skin assessment, find out what your skin type is, and get the right products for your skin. This does not have to be expensive. We offer free skin assessments at Glow, and our products are all high quality and reasonably priced. We are part of the dermatologist-run SkinType Solutions program. Read more about STS here on our website.
Top Layer: OK this one is really important if you want to keep your skin thick and springy. You can reverse that 1% loss of collagen. The simplest way to do that is with microneedling with Growth Factors. How does that work? Microneedling creates multiple tiny channels into the dermis, about 2mm. The healing from that minor non-ablative injury is greatly boosted by growth factors, which stimulate the cells in your dermis to make collagen. If you start when your skin is still relatively healthy and thick, you can prevent that 1% loss each year. We highly recommend starting by age 30 and doing one series per year. You can read more about Microneedling with Growth Factors here.
Now we are back to the Middle Layer. Yes, I love BOTOX®, Dysport® and dermal fillers. In some ways, the neuromodulators are preventive, because if you start using them before wrinkles are permanently etched in your skin, you can prevent that from happening. BOTOX® and Dysport® are great for treating the lines between your eyebrows (the 11’s), crow’s feet and forehead lines. They can also be used for bunny lines, brow lift, downturned corners of the mouth and other areas. Dermal fillers can fill the cheeks and below the eyes, lift the lower face and fill lines and wrinkles and sometimes even scars. These middle-layer treatments can make a fast and dramatic difference. When used in combination, the three-layer cake approach to anti-aging can keep you looking fresh and healthy.
That’s why I see anti-aging as a three-layer cake. I hope you find this approach helpful. Still have questions? As always, consultations are free. Call us at 206-228-7281 or schedule online here.