Want to Look 45 at 60? Stop Doing These 5 Things Immediately

26 Jun 2014 at 4:00pm

By Steven F. Weiner, MD

60th Birthday Cake

There are thousands of articles on skin and beauty telling you what you should be doing to improve your looks and the health of your skin. I’m going to take the opposite approach. 

I see activities in our office that are plain counterproductive to what I’m trying to improve. If you just stopped these five things, your skin (and sometimes overall health!) would be significantly better:

1.  Stop strangulating your skin

Stop Smoking

Without a doubt,  smoking is the worst habit for the health of your skin. The nicotine causes the small vessels in the skin to contract, which “strangulates” the organs and deprives the skin of oxygen and its vital blood supply. Toxins from the tobacco enter the blood stream and are distributed throughout the entire body, as well. Those who are concerned about their appearance should be aware that smoking causes lip lines — a very difficult problem to fix.

2. Stop paying good money to exaggerate your age

Stop Tanning

I’m surprised that tanning beds are still legal. There is no doubt in the medical community that tanning bed use increases skin cancers: basal cell, squamous cell, and even melanoma. Looking beyond cancers, severe premature aging of the skin is also a result. Tanning beds cause breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers leading to loose, thin, and non-elastic skin... just case regular sun exposure does. Volume loss associated with aging is exaggerated.

3. Stop picking

Stop Picking

I see numerous scars related to acne, particularly deeper cystic acne, that the patient tries to “improve” by picking, poking, and needling. This can lead to a worse infection,  sometimes MRSA, that requires antibiotics and creams to improve. The end result is often scarring and hyperpigmentation, treatment of which often requires chemical peels and radio-frequency lasers.

4. Stop listening to your friend/neighbor/sister-in-law who recently became a skincare expert

Don't Listen to Your Friends and Family

Isn’t it funny that your friend now knows all about what’s good for your skin? And they want to sell you that perfect product that will work miracles? And, for additional convenience, they will also ship it you on a monthly basis?

Keep your guard up with these folks. Most often, these businesses are actually repackaging creams that are available over-the-counter. Only physicians can sell prescription strength products (and have peer-reviewed research behind them). Aestheticians spend months in the classroom to devote their livelihood to skincare, and are truly the experts when it comes to guiding your skin care regime. (Sorry, sister-in-law.)

5.  Stop thinking a facelift will fix everything

Stop Thinking a Facelift Will Fix Everything

I hear this daily in our office: ”I’m trying to decide if I should do skincare, peels, filler, lasers, Botox, Ulthera, Infini...  or JUST GET A FACELIFT." A facelift will help with laxity, improve the jowls, and soften some wrinkles, but there's so much more that won’t get treated. In most cases, some sort of neck lift must be done to improve the jawline and to "match the face." In addition, rejuvenation around the eyes is not part of a standard facelift and requires another procedure called a “blepharoplasty”. Volume loss is also not addressed by a facelift, unless a secondary procedure with fat grafting is performed. A facelift will do absolutely nothing for the skin damage that would benefit from lasers, skincare, and peels. Getting a facelift does not mean you can eliminate Botox.

The point is, it takes a multifaceted approach to improve all the aspects of the aging face, and a facelift only addresses a small part of the problem.

6.   (Bonus!) Stop with the straws. 

Stop Drinking Out of Straws

Frequently drinking from a straw leads to those  unsightly lip lines and wrinkles. (Yep, they're not just for the smokers!) In fact, drinking out of a water bottle can have the same effect. To minimize your risk of getting lines around your mouth, try to drink directly from a glass whenever possible.

Want to know more about anti-aging skincare? Click here!

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