Yes, your skin can be younger, softer, lighter, less wrinkled, and less likely to tear or bruise. The following six easy steps to Ten Years Younger skin can make your skin healthier, more radiant, and decrease your future risk for skin cancer (for details, refer to my Ten Years Younger book, Chapter 9).
Step 1: Don’t allow sunlight to age your skin
The first step to skin rejuvenation is to stop damaging your skin with excessive sunlight exposure. Tanning is a sign of skin damage and is not healthy. 80% of facial skin aging is attributable to sun exposure. Sun tanning produces vitamin D, but you can easily get your vitamin D through a supplement without aging your skin. You can safely enjoy 15-20 minutes of sun before 10 am and after 3 pm, but if you plan to stay out longer, or go out during the 10 am to 3 pm time, wear some form of sunscreen.
Sunlight contains two types of ultraviolet rays that damage your skin. UVB are the burning rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer. UVA rays don’t burn, but instead age your skin, in particular by damaging collagen which is the protein that gives your skin elasticity, support, and structure. Many sunscreens provide adequate UVB protection (preventing burning) but not enough UVA protection (leaving your skin wide open to accelerated aging).
The Ten Years Younger Program has elected to use skin care produced produced by Skin Medica. The sunscreens produced by Skin Medica block UVA and UVB rays and are made with high quality ingredients that don’t harm your skin and are not greasy.
Step 2: Increase your antioxidants
Surprisingly, your food choices can rejuvenate your skin. Lycopene, the orange-red pigment in tomatoes and watermelon protects your skin as do many other plant pigments. Enjoy at least five cups of colorful fruits and vegetables daily to protect your skin. For example, during a typical day have a bowl of blueberries, a big green leafy salad with sliced red tomatoes, an apple, and a double portion of sauteed broccoli, yellow peppers, and red onions.
Avoid oxidants, such as tobacco which greatly accelerate skin aging. Have you ever noticed that smokers have twice the wrinkles they should? Each puff approximately doubles their rate of skin aging.
You can also add antioxidants to skin lotions, with agents like CoQ 10, green tea extract, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Keep in mind that many less expensive brands are not designed to actually penetrate into the skin.
Step 3: Hydrate Your Skin
Moisturizing your skin won’t make it physiologically younger, but it will clearly make it look and feel better. Top end products do more than moisturize as they often include anti-aging hydrating agents with antioxidants to repair skin damage noted below, plus SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun.
Moisturizers help your skin by trapping the moisture within your skin.
- The cheaper and most common lotions help the outer skin layer retain fluid, they don’t really provide much skin hydration. Good examples are lanolin and paraffin.
Hydrating agents include alpha hydroxy acids, propylene glycol, tocopheryl acetate and urea. These agents penetrate into the skin and diminish the appearance of wrinkles making your skin feel younger and softer.
In contrast, avoid soaps and detergents that dry and chap your skin. The more you bathe and expose your skin to soap, the worse your skin becomes. Much wiser would be to use a cleanser, made especially for your face. A high quality cleanser should remove dirt and environmental pollutants without harshly drying your skin. The best cleansers contain hydrating agents.
Step 4: Add Vitamin A to Your Skin
Vitamin A (also known as retinol or retinoid) skin creams have been used for decades to improve skin appearance and to treat early signs of skin cancer. If you add Vitamin A to your skin on a regular basis, it will be shinier, smoother, less wrinkled, stronger (with more collagen), will show less irregular discoloration plus, will reduce your risk for skin cancer.
Retinol is used in high prescription medications to treat acne and the early forms of skin cancer, but these pharmaceutical products are often greasy and cause redness, peeling, and irritation.
Milder forms of retinol creams can be used daily long term, usually providing the vitamin A benefit without the side effects of Vitamin A prescriptions. The challenge is finding an over the counter product that contains enough retinol within to actually work. The best product I have found for this purpose is Tri-Retinol Complex, which is gentle on your skin. If you need a little more powerful agent, which for gentle skin may cause modest peeling, I like Tri-Retinol Complex-ES.
Step 5: Use Natural Hydroxy Acids on Your Skin
Hydroxy acids are natural compounds found in fruit juice, wine, milk and willow bark. They speed the skin cell cycle encouraging your skin to shed the rough surface cells. Cleopatra applied sour goat’s milk to her skin, while Marie Antoinette used wine; they knew their skin would be more radiant with regular use.
High potency concentrations are used by spas and doctors to induce chemical peels. But regular lower dosage lotions are safer and over the long term provide the same type of benefit.
One caveat to remember. Using hydroxy acids will make your skin younger looking, but it will sun burn more easily as well. If you do not use sun protection from hats or sun block, then do not use hydroxy acids on your skin.
Step 6: For Skin Damage, Apply Skin Cell Growth Factors
Burn research has made tremendous progress over the years with burn centers growing skin from human stem cells that can be used to treat severe burns. Stem cells used for burn patients release skin cell growth factors that promote skin healing, collagen formation, and when applied to the skin in a gel or lotion will truly reverse skin aging and fine wrinkles.
A worthy question should be, “Where do they get the stem cells?” The good news is that they do not come from embryos or infertility clinic cell lines, rather they come from foreskins that are discarded after a circumcision.
This technology does not come cheap but if used twice daily for six months, can reverse past skin damage especially if combined with retinol and hydroxy acids. One of my reasons for choosing the Skin Medica skin care product line is that they have a patent on TNS, which contains these stem cell growth factors.
3 months after TNS Recovery complex
SKIN CARE SUMMARY
To have success at rejuvenating your skin, you need to choose a plan that is simple and realistic. Two suggested plans are listed below, the first is the minimum I would recommend for skin rejuvenation, and the second is more comprehensive.
If you want to aim for the minimum plan to save on expense:
- In the morning wash your face gently with a nondrying cleanser. Then apply a moisturizer with a mild SPF sunscreen . If you venture out into intense sun, add a 30 SPF sunscreen every 2-3 hours as needed.
- In the evening before going to bed, wash your face gently with a nondrying cleanser. Apply a retinol cream Tri-Retinol Complex or Tri-Retinol Complex ES. Then add a hydroxy acid cream at this time.
More comprehensive and beneficial long term:
- In the morning wash your face gently with a nondrying cleanser.
- Apply TNS Recovery Complex or TNS Essentail Serum to your facial skin.
- Then apply a moisturizer with a mild SPF sunscreen (10-20). If you venture out into intense sun, add a 30 SPF sunscreen every 2-3 hours as needed.
- In the evening before going to bed, wash your face gently with a nondrying cleanser.
- Next, apply TNS Recovery Complex or TNS Essentail Serum to your face, perhaps the backs of your hands as well.
- Over the TNS Recovery Complex, apply Tri-Retinol complex, or, the Tri-Retinol Complex ES (extra strength)
- Lastly, cover with a moisturizing lotion with hydrating ingredients, such as Ultra Sheer Moisturizer or Dermal Repair.