The Real Story: Skincare in your 20’s
By: Jill Koetje-Aesthetician
I don’t know about any of you, but as a teen I totally failed in the skincare department. I had breakouts constantly & just when I thought they were going away a new one would start. I couldn’t fight the urge to pick at the blemishes (seriously how hard is it to not pick at them though?!), which always made it worse. What’s even worse than that? I went tanning all the time with no sunscreen on to try to clear it all up. Not good. At the time I always looked forward to being in my 20’s – “The age where I would have perfect skin”. Ha!! Flash forward to today & my skin still is not as I dreamed it would be (as I now know many women my age can relate to). I still struggle with the random breakouts I thought I would leave behind me. Plus, not only do I have to worry about breakouts but I also have to start thinking about fine lines, wrinkles & the sun damage that causes age spots & hyperpigmentation.
A great benefit to working in the aesthetic industry is that I have been trained well & exposed to a number of products & procedures that have helped me on my journey to “perfect “skin. So where does one start on their journey? My number one recommendation for ANYONE at any age would be to make sure you are wearing a sunscreen EVERYDAY! Yes, EVERYDAY-even if you are going to be inside all day, even if it isn’t sunny out – wear it. Wearing a sunscreen is your best defense against the sun’s damaging rays. Fun fact – they can even penetrate through windows & clouds. Not only does it help to protect you from more serious illnesses like skin cancer, it will also help to prevent hyperpigmentation & the breakdown of cells that causes fine lines and wrinkles. I wish I would have known this when I was younger. I used to lie out in the sun with baby oil on! Believe me, even at 28 I’m paying for it. One of my favorite sunscreens carried at CPS is SkinMedica’s Total Defense and Repair SPF 34. I love that I am getting the kind of protection my skin needs along with the anti-aging benefits from the advanced antioxidant complex in it. And did I mention it goes on wonderfully under makeup? Yes, a sunscreen/ anti-aging product that really works under makeup!
The next thing I would recommend is using an antioxidant. As I mentioned above in reference to TDR, antioxidants are a very important part of any anti-aging regimen. They protect your skin from environmental factors that cause your cells to break down. When cells break down it translates to the appearance of fine lines wrinkles, lack of elasticity, & hyperpigmentation. While there are many antioxidants to choose from one of my favorites is SkinCeutical’s CE Ferulic. It is a phenomenal serum that you apply in the morning under your sunscreen for additional protection.
Now that we’ve covered daytime protection, let’s talk about night time products. The single most impactful product you can use at night is a Retinol. A Retinol’s main function is to help with cell turnover. Speeding up cell turnover translates to smoother looking skin, decreased breakouts, minimized pores, minimized fine lines and wrinkles, & lightened hyperpigmentation. Yes, one product really does all of that! Because Retinol increases cellular turnover & is an exfoliating product, initially your skin can look red & dry. For anyone starting a retinol regimen, my suggestion is to start applying it 1-2 times weekly slowly increasing the number of applications until your skin builds up a tolerance for it. You can also start with a “lower dose” like SkinMedica’s Retinol 0.25 & move up to 0.5 or 1.0 when you are ready.
Want to go beyond the products in your medicine cabinet? A wonderful treatment to start off with is the SkinCeuticals Micropeel. It will help to give your skin a healthy glow, while working to combat the early signs of aging. It is a very light chemical peel with no downtime that can be done on a lunch hour! Micropeels have helped my skin significantly since I started having them done. I find that I have fewer breakouts & that my skin is smoother, healthier, & brighter. It’s also helped to reduce the appearance of some of the sun damage from my sun worshiping days. I recommend coming in every 4-6 weeks & because it is a lighter chemical peel, it is safe to do so. Another great option would be Microdermabrasion which has similar effects on skin to a Micropeel. The difference is that Microdermabrasion is a physical form of exfoliation versus the chemical exfoliation you get in a Micropeel.
Another hot topic is Botox. Lately, my younger patients are often asking “when is the right time to start?” While it’s not part of my job to inject patients, I do feel that I have a great insight on the topic. Neuromodulators like Botox & its newer competitor Dysport work by relaxing the facial muscles that we use to make facial expressions. It’s true that an expressive face will lead to wrinkles! Earlier use of neuromodulators will actually stop the lines from forming to begin with, in essence slowing down the aging process. My advice is to see an experienced & trusted injector before you decide to start injections. While it may seem like it’s worth it to hunt down the next best coupon offer your face is too important to risk! An experienced professional will be able to properly evaluate your skin & determine an appropriate course of treatment. Lucky for you, we just happen to have two highly trained injectors in our office😊.
Although my skin is still a work in progress, by using medical grade skincare products and skincare treatments, I have been able to correct much of the damage caused during my teens. It is never too early to start caring for your skin & I wish I would have known what I know now when I was younger. If you have questions & concerns it never hurts to have a consultation. My colleagues & I are committed to providing the best level of care with each individual patient’s needs in mind.