Despite the number of products available on the market, there are only a handful of beauty innovations which have truly changed the way we care for our skin. The first is tretinoin, a vitamin A derivative which was the first retinoid approved by the FDA to treat wrinkles. Tretinoin increase the production of collagen, stimulates the formation of new blood vessels, and fades age spots. During the first 3-4 weeks, you may notice some dryness in the areas of application, which will gradually resolve. The best results will be evident after 6 months.
My second favorite product is Botox®, which has revolutionized the use of non-invasive modalities for the aging face. Botox® works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles, which reduces the activity of muscles that can cause wrinkles to form. It is approved by the FDA for use between the brows. The results are evident within a week, are subtle, and provide a relatively painless way to “refresh” the upper face without freezing all facial expression.
Next is the Clarisonic Sonic Skin Cleansing System, which uses a sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second to gently cleanse the face. I use the products from my own line, Anokha, but Clarisonic enhances the results when used with any skin care system. After properly cleansing the skin, toner, serums, and lotions can absorb more easily and produce better results. Within four days of beginning use, my skin was smoother, clearer, and more hydrated.
Finally, the importance of a good sunscreen cannot be overlooked. I recommend a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 for all of my patients, every day, rain or shine. There are many good sunscreens available, but our current favorite is PCA’s Perfecting Protection SPF 30 which protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays. This light and easily absorbed sunscreen also contains antioxidants, including milk thistle and caffeine, which can prevent and correct damage from free radicals. Five melanogenesis inhibitors, bearberry, licorice root extract, kojic acid, mulberry root extract, and lactic lcid are also included in the formula. These agents help to reduce existing skin discoloration and to prevent future hyperpigmentation.