As the cool weather slowly makes its way in and the jeans and jackets come out, proper skin care can mean the difference between supple, healthy skin to dry, aged skin.
However if the sun has already done its damage, there are steps that help reduce the appearance of ageing, without the need for surgery.
The world of non-invasive and minimally invasive lasers is playing a major role in anti-ageing photo rejuvenation. Effective non-invasive options such as Fraxel laser resurfacing can reduce photo-ageing with little downtime.
Fraxel laser resurfacing is an excellent way to improve wrinkles, pigmentation and abnormalities, whilst also being an effective treatment for pre cancerous lesions (Actinic Keratosis).
Both patients and dermatologists are aware of the long healing process and associated downtime as well as the occasional irregularities in skin lightening associated with the more invasive ablative carbon dioxide and erbium traditional lasers.
Fraxel is a non-ablative skin procedure that represents both a novel, promising approach to less aggressive, minimal downtime skin rejuvenation.
The technology behind Fraxel
The technology behind Fraxel represents a bridge between the more transitional ablative sources and the somewhat unpredictable results associated with the non-ablative technologies. That is, it causes skin contraction and remodeling associated with the more ablative laser, but with minimal downtime and no evidence to date of pigment alterations in the skin, thus representing an intermediate approach in both results and post-laser course between the non-ablative and ablative technologies for wrinkle reduction and skin tightening.
Fraxel treatment uses patented fractional technology to target damaged skin with microscopic laser columns that penetrate superficial skin layers.The laser treats only a fraction of tissue at a time, leaving the surrounding tissue untouched, promoting rapid healing. This stimulates your body’s own natural healing process, replacing the old and damaged cells with fresh, glowing, healthy skin.
Investigators have also found this technology helpful in the management of hyperpigmentation and scars.
Desired outcomes are typically reached in multiple treatments. The specific number of treatments is tailored to your goals and desired results, as well as your lifestyle.
There are also a multitude of skin-tightening devices that improve skin laxity, as well as injections that will replace lost volume that occurs with ageing to lift the face non-surgically and reduce lines and wrinkles.
How to prevent sun damage
The sun is one of the most common causes of premature ageing – inducing sun lesions, unevenness, pigmentation and wrinkles. Maddeningly, the damage can take years to show – meaning bands of pigmentation can develop years after those days of baking at the beach.
Experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offer advice on how to slow down an ageing complexion.
“Photo-ageing – or the changes induced by chronic UVA and UVB exposure – is responsible for accelerating the skin’s ageing process.” Says Marian Northington, M.D, and Director of UAB Cosmetic Dermatology.
“Daily incidental sun exposures – running out the car, going to the mailbox and exercising – add up and result in wrinkles, sun spots and potentially cancerous lesions,” Northington adds.
“The number one way people can prevent photo-ageing is by wearing a 30-plus SPF sunscreen – containing zinc oxide – every day.”
The right formula of sunscreen, suited to your skin type, can be vital in achieving adequate protection and anti-ageing benefit – you can’t necessarily use the same sunscreen at 40 as you did in your 20s.
Choosing an SPF product
It is advised to choose an SPF product suited to your age.
20s – during our 20s, oil production is still in full swing and may be breakout prone. Look for a daily SPF formula that doesn’t clog follicles. This means that fragrance, colour, lanolin and mineral oil should all be avoided.
30s – multi benefit products with a wash of colour, hydration and built-in broad spectrum SPF are ideal. Look for the a product that acts as an emulsifier and allows for a higher concentration of sunscreen ingredients without the irritation
40s – signs of ageing and hyperpigmentation become more apparent in your 40s. Opt for a SPF 30 or higher as this will best address firmness, elasticity and age-related triggers such as reactive oxygen species.
50s+ – in your 50s, skin becomes significantly drier and more sensitive, so a chemical SPF might not be an option. Ultra-sensitive SPF30 or higher that has physical sunscreen ingredients like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, as well as built-in calming complexes to sooth skin are great options.