Kenneth Beer, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist in Palm Beach, Fla., and the director of scientificskin.com, an online skincare company. He is also the director of The Cosmetic Bootcamp, which trains physicians in best practices for cosmetic medicine. Dr. Beer is an instructor in dermatology at the University of Miami, and he is an A.B. Duke Scholar at Duke University. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and received his dermatology and dermatophathology training at the University of Chicago. Visit Dr. Beer's office at palmbeachcosmetic.com.
 
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Home Treatments for Aging Skin

Monday, 30 Jan 2012 10:18 AM


Everybody knows that it’s possible to look younger by getting professional cosmetic treatments such as Botox or a facelift. But what are things you can do every day at home to stay looking younger? The best thing to do to look younger is to avoid things that make you look old (sounds simple enough): These include smoking, being around people who smoke, and taking better care of your skin.
One area that I think may not be as critical as others is avoiding the sun once you are more than 30 years old. I believe that it is critical to minimize sun exposure when you are young, especially younger than 21. I highly recommend using sun protection to help look more youthful, but I think this is most effective when initiated early. For those over 30, I think it is important not to get sunburns and to exercise good common sense with sun — but not to the point of being a hermit.
The best way to reverse aging at home is to use either retinol or Retin A (tretinoin). Tretinoin is available in a prescription and is relatively cheap. When used daily for a period of nine months or longer, it will decrease the signs of aging including fine lines, pigment issues, and texture irregularities. For those of you who don’t want to use a prescription product, you can purchase products with retinol and your body will convert them to the active ingredients.
Many other topical products can also be used at home to improve the appearance of the skin. Among the ones that I like are vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, squalane, ferulic acid, and glycolic acid. Each contributes a different quality to making the skin appear better, and I have assembled some of the best ingredients in my skin care line (www.scientificskin.com). Other, less well-known products such as those from Neutrogena and Oil of Olay, incorporate a variety of ingredients including peptides (proteins) that can reverse fine lines.
Light chemical peels can also be done at home, and they can help to improve the tone and texture of your skin. While home peels tend to be very mild, they can help “jumpstart” your skin and may be used alone or in conjunction with an office-based procedure such as Fraxel or deeper peels.
One area that is becoming more popular is the use of home-based lasers and light sources. These are low energy so it is hard to get into trouble using them. These can also help you look your best by removing hair. They are available from a variety of sources, and while I think the hair removal device is pretty good, I am less convinced about the rejuvenation devices.
Products that can be used to improve the skin should be a part of any skin care program. In my practice, I complement the lasers and injectables with products designed to keep the skin as nice as possible. There are many products available to use at home, and it is important to find ones suited to you. If you have an opportunity to design a plan with a dermatologist, take the time once a year to review available products and put together a program that works for you.





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