Hello from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting in San Diego! The ASDS meeting is the most comprehensive educational meeting for procedural dermatologists; those that are experts in skin cancer surgery or aesthetic dermatology. And although the meeting was jammed with new technology and procedures to help improve the health and beauty of the skin, what struck me most was the health and beauty of the skin of the doctors at the meeting. Many of my female colleagues, whose age range from 45 to 65, continue to look luminous and youthful. Clearly these are women that know a thing or two about skin care! Their skin has a glow that radiates health and vitality. So why do they look so good? I asked my friends and colleagues about their own personal skin tips and tricks. Here are some common themes I heard over and over again:
Absolutely avoid the sun whenever possible. A good broad-spectrum sunscreen at least SPF 30 is a must to reduce the risk of skin cancer, but it’s not enough to slow down photoaging. Dermatologists know that it’s best to always wear a hat to protect the facial skin as much as possible from ultraviolet light. It is without question the most damaging factor that leads to premature aging of the skin.
They know the importance of good skin care. Excellent skin products are a must, but the routine does not have to be complicated. Most derms I spoke with are using a gentle cleanser, antioxidant serum then moisturizer with sunscreen in the morning and a retinol or glycolic acid containing cream at night. The overly complicated regimens that department stores emphasize are not needed for most women. For my own routine, it takes me no more than two or three minutes to complete.
Careful and conservative use of in-office treatments. Anti-aging treatments such as lasers, neuromodulators (like Botox) and fillers (such as Restylane and Juvederm) deliver beautiful results when used strategically and in combination. However, when someone is overtreated, the less-than-ideal results are easily noticed because the face is thrown out of proportion and looks artificial. Good cosmetic dermatologists know this and therefore will not let it happen to them. These doctors are beautiful examples of how a combination of treatments can yield results that refresh and rejuvenate an aging face without looking obviously “done.”
A healthy lifestyle is good for the skin. The fresh-faced derms I spoke with were women who cared not only about their skin, but general health as well. Most got at least seven hours of sleep a night, exercise regularly, don’t smoke, and try to limit excessive sugar and alcohol from their diet. Overall good advice for skin health and boundless energy (which they all seem to have).