By Tara Ichelson, Licensed Esthetician, Owner Pretique SkinSpa
Skin undergoes a variety of changes as we age, and at times, these changes can even occur day to day simply by the habits we adopt. Yes, we all would love to have kept that baby soft skin from our youngest years, but unfortunately that’s not reality. Truth be told, changes in our skin and appearance can have many different effects on a person’s life, not just in the area of confidence, but more importantly, related to very real health concerns such as pigmentation, adult acne, and of course, skin cancer.
We are going to explore the importance of a skincare regimen related to different decades of life, and how we can not only combat these issues, but also take steps to prevent them in the first place. Many people can be put off by a regimen, citing that it takes too much time, or that it’s too confusing. My job is to not only educate my clients on how we can implement a regimen in the time that can be committed to, but to also educate on why it’s important. When that happens, it’s as easy as brushing your teeth twice per day, and it’s never too early to start. In this month’s edition, we will focus on the thirty-something years, and some effective tips to set the stage for later years, and prevention of premature aging and other breakdowns in the skin.
In our thirties, our skin begins to show the characteristics of aging, as the physiology of our skin starts to change. Our cell turnover has slowed to 28 days on average, and that also means, particularly for women, that hormones related to pre-menopause start to build up and show themselves, due to the decline of certain hormones and even metabolism. Combined with added stress from our multi-tasked lives, these negative effects can result in excessive dryness and rough feeling skin, adult acne, pigmentation, and fine lines becoming more pronounced.
As always, the daily routine needs to stay consistent as has been practiced in prior decades, with cleansing, treating, hydrating, and protecting the skin, no matter what type of skin you have. It’s essential to make sure that the products being used are specific to your skin type, which in all reality, may have changed in the past years as changes to the skin has occurred depending on age, how the skin has been treated or damaged and so on. Typically, skin will become drier starting in the thirties, due to the cell turnover slowing and the cells not being able to replenish as quickly. This can give a dull and dry appearance to the skin, and make the skin feel rough in texture or uneven. Using a mild manual exfoliating agent a couple of times per week, such as an exfoliating cleanser, or a homemade exfoliating mask like the recipe in last month’s article, can help bring new life to skin, and make the skin appear more radiant. For those that didn’t catch last month’s article, the recipe is as follows: 1 tablespoon of ground oatmeal, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of water or olive oil. Mix them all up, apply to the face gently in a circular motion, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Remove the mask with a nice warm cloth. Oatmeal provides awesome benefits to the skin, can be used even on acne and sunburned skin, and leaves the skin nourished and hydrated.
If that isn’t sufficient enough to help the skin appear brighter and fresh looking, you could instead opt for using a product that contains a mild chemical exfoliant, such as an alpha or beta hydroxy acid. For optimal results, doing a professional grade chemical peel once or twice per month with a licensed esthetician, in conjunction with a good routine, will provide excellent results that not only reveal a brighter complexion, but also combat the already existing signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, and acne, and also prevent future damage to skin cells that have not yet been affected. Note that exfoliation should not be done too much, as it can result in irritation and potentially accelerate the aging of skin.
Another tip for treating skin is incorporating treatment products. Treatment products are going to contain ingredients that penetrate at deeper levels of the skin to produce the results that we are really looking to accomplish, in either reversing or preventing specific signs of damage and aging. Ingredients that are clinically proven to accomplish this are the likes of vitamin A (Retinols), vitamin C and even peptides. As discussed last month, antioxidants are also extremely beneficial for combating the environmental effects of the skin. Most of these ingredients can be found in creams or serums that can be bought easily over the counter. If looking for a professional grade product, consult your licensed esthetician.
One step that must be emphasized in this decade is the importance of hydration. As mentioned earlier, skin can look and feel drier than usual as we age, and proper hydration will allow all the other steps in a skincare treatment regimen to work properly. As I always stress in these articles, it is best to choose a moisturizer that will contain the all important broad spectrum sunscreen. Protecting our skin with a broad spectrum SPF not only reduces the incidence of skin cancer, but will also play the biggest role in preventing premature aging, as the sun is responsible for 90 percent of the damage to our skin.
As we age, the necessary steps we need to take to prevent, repair, and protect our skin can be overwhelming or confusing with the numerous products out there that address different issues. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to your specific skin type or concern, and seek an effective treatment regimen, feel free to contact me for a free consultation to come in and discuss your individualized needs. My passion is to educate and help others to achieve the goals they have for their skin, and effectively take the stress out of knowing what and how to use products that will give the desired results, with each client’s individualized time and budget in mind.
Tara Ichelson is a licensed esthetician and owner of Pretique SkinSpa in Bettendorf, Iowa. She offers professional luxury facials and skin treatments at practical prices, and is available for free skin consultations. Tara is available Tuesdays–Saturdays by appointment only. Call 563-650-0290 to schedule an appointment or a FREE skin consultation. Visit www.pretiqueskinspa.com to view a service menu.
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