by Amanda Russell
I’m all about owning your age, feeling confident in your skin – and let’s face it (pun intended), if you look in the mirror and are bothered by an aging, sagging face and want a little help – it is 2016 and there are options!
However, that is also the problem, the vast amount of options out there are overwhelming! From fancy skin care products to Botox, peels, and crazy named procedures (i.e. ‘The Vampire Facial’) – how do we even begin to know where to start?
I decided to do my own research, and after reading COUNTLESS conflicting articles and claims, I decided to go straight to an expert - Dr. Sanaz Harirchian. Dr. Harirchian is a plastic surgeon who has devoted her entire career and life mission to THE FACE!
So, I asked her to give us the truth on anti-aging secrets: What works, what doesn’t.
Here’s what she shared:
It is never too early or too late to take care of your skin. Prevention of aged skin is the best cure, but there are good skin treatments at any age.
I like my skin care routine to be simple, but effective. You don’t have to use a lot of products, but it is important to use the right products. Three must-haves: sunscreen, an antioxidant, and a retinoid*.
Note: make sure the antioxident you choose includes vitamin C, vitamin E, reservatrol, alpha lipoic acid, green tea, and ferulic acid. Apply the antioxidant every morning to your face & neck after washing your face.
*Make sure not to use retinoids if you are pregnant or nursing.
Botox™ is amazing at preventing and treating wrinkles. Botox™ temporarily relaxes muscles, and can be used to treat wrinkles of the face that are from muscle movement. This includes the wrinkles around the eyes (“crow’s feet), forehead, glabella (between the eyebrows or the “11s”), around the mouth, and neck.
Why is it a great anti-aging procedure if the results are temporary? By relaxing the muscles that create wrinkles, deep wrinkles will never form and the skin will stay smooth and wrinkle-free for much longer.
I often get asked what is a good age to start using Botox™. There is no magic number and it really depends on your individual face. I believe that the best time to start Botox™ for preventative purposes is when you start noticing that a faint wrinkle still remains after you relax the muscle. By starting Botox™ at that point, the wrinkles will be eliminated and will never get deeper. For some people, this happens in their mid 20s, and for others it happens in their 30s or early 40s.
I am frequently asked the difference between fillers and Botox™. Dermal fillers are used to lift, plump, fill lines and folds, and eliminate hollows and shadows. With aging, there is a loss of fat in the midface or cheeks, under the eyes, temples, and the smile lines around the mouth.
Dermal fillers can be used to restore this volume, resulting in a more youthful look. It is also believed that fillers stimulate collagen production. This means that you may need to use less fillers over time. I have used fillers in all age groups. Typically, those in their 20s don’t have significant volume loss, but they may want bigger lips (think, Kylie Jenner), fuller cheekbones, or to fill hollows under their eyes.
Skin resurfacing treatments
Young and healthy skin undergoes constant skin cell renewal, as new cells are brought to the surface, older cells are shed. There are many procedures that help this process of skin renewal, helping maintain fresh glowing skin. There are many skin resurfacing treatments, ranging from superficial to deep. In general, the deeper the treatment, the more redness and downtime, but the better the results. Chemical peels, laser procedures, dermabrasion and microneedling are examples of skin resurfacing treatments I recommend.
Although changes in your skin are inevitable with aging, you can control how fast and to what degree these changes occur. While genetics and good skin care play a large part, your lifestyle choices are also very important in helping you look and feel your best.
I cannot stress enough how bad smoking is for your skin and overall health. Nicotine causes narrowing of the blood vessels, which impairs blood flow to your skin. Consequently, your skin receives less oxygen. In addition, nicotine increases free radicals in your skin, leading to inflammation and the breakdown of collagen and elastin. All these changes lead to premature and accelerated skin aging.
It is also very important to protect your skin against ultraviolet radiation by consistently using a good sunblock. This will decrease your risk of skin cancer and prevent premature skin aging.
Last, but definitely not least, it goes without saying that a healthy and well balanced diet is also important to skin health. Antioxidants in food can reduce inflammation and help neutralize free radical damage from the environment. General rule of thumb: anything good for your overall health is good for your skin!
Super thank you to Dr. Harirchian for sharing these tips. Whether you are looking for solutions to prevent aging, or looking for advice, Dr. Harirchian is one of America’s top experts in the field of all things the face, and neck - something you don’t want to skimp on!
About Amanda Russell
Every girl has a relationship with her body- and Amanda’s was the skinny girl who looked like it was really easy to stay thin and be fit. But the reality is that her relationship with her own body and her experiences with it have given her the perspective, knowledge and compassion to become a female fitness icon. Above all, Amanda understands that feeling that we can all relate to; where you don’t know where to begin, because you feel trapped in your body, and uncomfortable in your own skin. Learn more about Amanda and her fitness program at FitStrongSexy.com
About Sanaz Harirchian, MD
Dr. Harirchian is a board certified; Ivy-League educated facial plastic surgeon. Her practice is dedicated to aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, with a focus on rhinoplasty, eyelid, and facelift surgery. In addition to her skills in plastic surgery, Dr. Harirchian is an avid author, educator and researcher. Her practice is located in Houston, TX. You can follow her work via her website: SHfacialplastics.com and consistently updated social platforms.