Or is it too late? Many of my older clients claimed that they only came in for facials for the relaxation it provided. The damage had already been done. But interestingly they were still willing to follow an at home protocol that I had recommended for them.
And, boy did it pay off. No, their skin didn’t look like they'd had a face lift (which may have been a good thing) but their skin would become smoother, brighter and take on a youthful glow. It was not uncommon for friends and husbands to comment on how much better their skin looked. That was enough to keep clients faithful to our science based skincare program and enjoy the results.
The simple step of adopting a proper cleansing routine made the most obvious change for their skin. Many clients were using soap or even just splashing their skin with water at night and many didn’t do anything in the morning. I just assumed everyone knows this, but soap strips all the moisture from your skin. Depleting skin of moisture is even more damaging for a mature skin who’s protective surface barrier has lessened over time. Just making the simple change from soap to a light milky cleanser and a hydrating toner makes a huge difference. Skin takes on that fresh glow that lets people know you are youthful and vital.
A toner you ask? Yes, a non alcoholic toner that includes humectants (like glycerin or sodium PCA will grab onto moisture and infuse it into those drier skin cells, leaving them fresher and plump. The act of wiping that toner over your face following cleansing not only removes excess cleanser residue but is important for removing drying minerals that are found in tap water.
I have to tell you. I get so frustrated when reading articles about mature skin. Remember More magazine? It was supposed to be a revolutionary beauty and style magazine created for the mature woman. I dutifully purchased it every month hoping I would address my fifty year old self, but mature skin back then meant you were forty something years old. At forty most women haven’t even reached menopause. Post menopausal skin is when true intrinsic aging really kicks in. The drop in estrogen is like letting the air out of the mattress. Skin becomes loose and flacid. Dark (age spots) which were once repressed from showing themselves (by the presence of estrogen) suddenly appeared. Even if you recently decided to ward off the sun with diligent use of sunscreen, you might wonder why you are suddenly getting mottled pigmentation spots.
The reality is that both intrinsic and extrinsic aging starts in your twenties. This occurs from the accumulation of DNA damage from pollution, stress and the sun. Energy that is required for DNA repair starts to slow down as well. This is the best time to adopt an energy boosting strategy. Moving slowly from your daily application of sunscreen to adding a Vitamin C serum in the morning improves the efficacy of your sunscreen. Most clients start using a Vitamin C serum in their late twenties. Make sure the formula you choose is based on the ester versions of Vitamin C (like my favorite, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate). The ester versions are much more stable and less irritating than the more commonly used L-Ascorbic Acid.
By the time you're in your 30s your skincare regime should also include a retinoid product to help reprogram damaged cells in both the dermal and epidermal layers of your skin. They work because of the special receptors for retinoic acid in the lining of your skin cells. Retinoids come in different versions. Retin-A or tretinoin is the strongest. This is the prescription version of this vitamin A derivative. Retinoic Acid works well for some thicker skins, but is often irritating and can lead to inflammation which may actually promote aging. Retinaldehyde requires only one chemical conversion to turn into retinoic acid. This non prescription retinoid is the closest to the prescription version: Retin-A. Retinaldehyde is a great choice for someone who's been using a weaker retinoid for a while and wants to explore the next level up. If you choose retinol, it requires two chemical conversions once its applied to the skin to turn into retinoic acid. This is the most widely used form of retinoid because it is effective yet remains gentle. Although it takes a bit longer to get results. The mildest form is a retinol ester, like retinyl palmitate. This very gentle version is a good starter retinoid for sensitive skin types, or for novice users of retinoids. Later you can move on to retinol or retinaldehyde. Retinol increases the thickness and elasticity of your skin, stimulating collagen and reorganizing epithelial cells. It slows the production of melanin, reduces inflammation and prevents clogged pores.
You may also want to consider using an alpha hydroxy acid a couple times a week to exfoliate away dull, dead, dry cells and to keep your pores clean. AHAs not only exfoliate away dead cells but hydrates the skin and helps to jumpstart proliferation of new cells. Like retinol, it should be applied only at night, when you're not going to be exposed to sunlight. AHAs (like lactic and glycolic acids) will help you achieve smoother more translucent skin. This should be done on nights when you are not using your retinoid serum. AHAs offer nearly instant gratification. When you wake up the next morning your skin will feel super smooth, fresh and glowing.
Somewhere in your late forties (during perimenopause) your skin experiences a slow down of the repairative energy molecule of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the energy molecule that is vital to get cells to become metabolically active. It is like the gasoline that runs your car. The energy that's created in the mitochondria of cells is essential for healing and skin repair. ATP is needed to clear away old damaged cells as well as for the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. At some point you should consider including serums that bump up your reparative energy to keep skin looking young and healthy. In the skin, ATP boosts fibroblast function which in turn creates collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. ATP deploys antioxidants, growth factors, exosomes and peptides which are vital to better protect skin, metabolize nutrients better, help desquamation (natural cell turnover) and prevent water loss, so skin stays naturally soft, supple and well hydrated. Postmenopausally, look for serums that help boost ATP. Remember, ATP slows by 50% by the time you reach the age of sixty. We need all we can get.
These are my favorite energy boosting performance ingredients:
Vitamin C: Is the gold standard antioxidant, known for its ability to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has been shown to boost ATP production in the skin cells by improving cellular respiration. Vitamin C is a vital component for collagen production. Found in: C & E Antioxidant Serum
Retinoids: The purest form of Vitamin A, retinol is a cell-communicating ingredient and antioxidant that stimulates collagen, activates cellular metabolism to encourage faster turnover, fades dark spots and discoloration, and improves skin firmness. While it’s certainly not a quick fix, when used long-term, it can give remarkable results. Simply put, it’s an anti-aging powerhouse. Found in: Level Up , Retinol Resurfacing Treatment
Growth Factors: Growth factors stimulate collagen when consistently applied externally. It contains a stem cell media which are a collection of the perfect molecules to energize fibroblasts. (the cells that make collagen.) They also stimulate cell turnover, to help your skin look more refreshed. I would recommend using growth factors after you've already established a daily anti-aging routine beyond cleanser, toner, and sunscreen and have added Retinoids and Vitamin C. Growth factors work well when mixed with other energizing ingredients. Found in: Stem Stim Growth Factor Serum
Niacinamide: This Vitamin B3 derivative is a "miracle molecule" known for its multitasking ability to reduce redness and inflammation on the skin (good for acne as well as rosacea). It brightens pigmentation, improves skin tone and fades dark spots. It has been shown to boost ATP production in skin cells by improving cellular respiration and energy production which makes skin more able to repair DNA damage from the sun. Niacinamide is easily tolerated by most skin types and can be very calming to the skin. Found in AGELESS Longevity Serum, Regenerize Longevity Eye Serum, First Light Lotion
Peptides: These short chains of amino acids are known for their ability to stimulate collagen production and improve skin elasticity. They also have been shown to boost ATP production in the skin cells by improving mitochondrial function. Pay particular attention to Matrixyl® Synthe'6 which has the most research in assisting in restoring collagen and elastin, while strengthening the skin's matrix. This includes smoothing out the appearance of pronounced wrinkles. Increasing firmness of skin. Improving overall texture. Found in: AGELESS Longevity Serum
Ergothioneine: This is the cell’s principal energizing antioxidant, it restores power to cells, quenching age-producing radicals and supporting cellular activities from detoxification to the production of youthful proteins. Within days, visible redness is calmed, signs of repair are enhanced, and an even tone and clarity begin to return to skin. Found in: Revitalize Cell Therapy
Red Marine Algae: Algae supports mitochondrial function because red algae reduces cellular oxidation and restores mitochondria health. This makes it extremely useful for sensitive skin. It also has the highest concentration of SOD (superoxide dismutases) which is one of the few antioxidants that can penetrate and protect the mitochondria cell wall. Found in: Zen Zone, AGELESS Longevity Serum, Revitalize Cell Therapy
CoQ10: It increases the accessibility of cellular fuel. Translation? It helps provide energy to cells and facilitates the building of new tissues. Unfortunately, as we age, the amount of usable Co Q10 diminishes and the metabolism of the cells slows down. This ingredient positively influences cellular metabolism and enables us to combat signs of aging starting at the cellular level. The topical application of CoQ10 is extremely beneficial, especially for dull, sluggish skin. It plays a key role in keeping skin looking youthful, healthy, and vibrant. Found in: Brightening Peptide Serum, Peptide Firming Serum
Resveratrol: Resveratrol induces mitochondrial biogenesis in cells. That means that resveratrol is not only a good antioxidant, it can stimulate growth of new mitochondria. More mitochondria means a greater production of ATP for more repairative energy. Found in: Revitalize Cell Therapy