Using Anti-Aging Products in Your Twenties
That first fine line, wrinkle, gray hair... We expect that in our thirties, as life and the stress that comes with it begins to take its toll. But sometimes, those signs begin to appear earlier. Or, sometimes, we decide to nip those signs in the bud before they even occur.
A lot is said about the benefits of preventative anti-aging treatments. It sounds like an obvious tactic to stay young forever: Start preserving your youth before it starts to fade. But is it as simple as that? Can starting an anti-aging regime in our twenties keep us looking younger longer?
So when should we be getting started on our anti-aging regimen? It depends on you. “Patients can use products at any age. Obviously starting earlier with products that work is ideal. Such products include sunscreens, with SPF 30, to shield you from the harmful rays aging your skin. Examples of anti-aging products include Retin-A, formulations of retinol (a natural form of vitamin A) and home peeling agents,” says plastic surgeon, Dr. Mark Solomon “However, they work best in conjunction with a program prescribed by a professional, such as a plastic surgeon who incorporates skin care as part of their practice.” Additional aesthetic procedures such as neurotoxin injections and dermal fillers can be performed on patients who are starting to see the signs of aging as well.
Know the signs
A lot of us know people who look young well into the middle age years – I’m in my 30s and was asked for ID buying beer last week at Trader Joe’s! – but we also all had those friends who looked 30 at 18. "Premature aging from factors such as smoking or sun are best managed by first limiting exposure,” says Dr. Solomon. It is unrealistic to think that using anti-aging skin care products can reverse signs of aging if the negative factors persist. Once the changes have been made, then use of products and treatments can go a long way toward restoring and maintaining a more youthful look.
An ounce of prevention…
There is data to suggest that products such as Retin-A (tretinoin) do exactly that, says Dr. Solomon. There is less evidence for neurotoxins such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin to actually prevent aging, but it makes sense for patients whose muscle activity causes deep line formation to undergo this procedure to at least conceal line formation.
Are there downsides?
There is no evidence of harm in starting anti-aging treatments early, but there are minor side effects associated with neurotoxins and fillers, including redness, swelling and bruising at the injection site, and a risk of allergic reaction. The most common side effect to topical retinols is a skin reaction, which is in most cases, dose-related. Very high doses of retinoid (prescription retinoids) used to treat acne and psoriasis, can cause skin irritation such as burning, itching and redness among others.
Anti-aging laser treatments can shed the skin's outer layers to reveal a more youthful complexion. These procedures can also produce minor side effects such as redness, itching, sensitivity to the sun, changes in skin pigmentation and scarring.
However, all the above side effects are limited when performed by a board-certified physician with experience in this area.
Ultimately, when we start an anti-aging regimen is up to us, but the benefits are clear – the more complete and consistent our regimen, the better our results. So, why wait? Start taking care of yourself sooner; you may have less catching up to do. And maybe, just maybe, you will be asked for ID for those beer purchases well into your forties. (We can pray, right?)