The Anti-Aging Epidemic

By Mildred (Millie) Bell

The request for “younger looking skin” is at the top of the list for both men and women who seek professional skin care services.

Heredity or “good genes” can play a large part in how quickly we begin to age, however excessive sun exposure, smoking, poor diet, drugs, alcohol and stress –all contribute to the inflammation that dramatically accelerates the aging process.

If your skin appears older than your years, committing to simple but effective skin care regimen can help to prevent further damage and it can actually help to reverse some of the damage that’s already done.

  1. Cleanse your skin morning and night… and be sure to rinse the sweat from your face after workouts as salts from sweat can be drying and irritating.

  2. Select a cleanser and moisturizer for your specific skin type and if you’re not sure, seek out an experienced esthetician (skin care professional) who can analyze your skin.

  3. Look for moisturizing products with antioxidants like green tea, grape seed extract, Vitamins and botanicals.

  4. Avoid products with fragrance, alcohol, lanolin, dye or propylene glycol- all are major irritants.

  5. Cool the burn. While aggressive peels, brushes and exfoliating acids can remove dead surface cells, and help with rejuvenation, the irritation from overuse can lead to stubborn dark marks and/or scars.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is an amazing anti-aging ingredient, especially for ethnic skin or ‘skin of color’. Unlike emollients, oils and waxes, hyaluronic acid doesn’t block or plug pores. HA is the most powerful natural moisturizing ingredient known to science. It works by lying on the surface of skin and pushing moisture in to hydrate and plump skin cells so that they appear younger and healthier. HA also helps to soften and loosen dead cells so that they release more naturally- leaving skin clearer, softer and healthy looking. The trick is to find products that have enough HA to really be effective.

When it comes to skin and overall health, prevention is truly the best cure. To look and feel younger you have to include a lifestyle change. As someone once said, “When you keep doing what you’re doing --you’ll get more of what you got’. That means more dry, dull skin, wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots and dark circles. Here are a few easy steps to get you started on the rejuvenating process:

  1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night to allow your body to repair itself.

  2. Drink 8- 10 glasses of water a day. Water promotes healthy bowel function, energizes muscles, decreases appetite and is essential for healthy brain function.

  3. Exercise and/ or walk whenever possible to improve your body and your mind. Don’t use it and you’ll lose it.

  4. Don’t smoke. It decreases oxygen –a major factor in building healthy new cells.
    (I’ve found marijuana use to be a contributor to increased acne breakouts in some of my younger clients.)

  5. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.

  6. Omit sugar, sodas and excessive carbs from your diet.

  7. Keep your thoughts positive. Keep an open mind and believe that all things will work for your good.

  8. Smile as often as you can. Smiling lifts your mood… and it’s an instant stress-buster!

Mildred (Millie) Bell is a licensed aesthetician working hands-on in clinical skincare. Millie has over 30 years of experience in the skin care industry. She is President of dermHA and Skin Health Solutions, formulator and manufacturer of dermHA in Downingtown, PA. Skin care products from her exclusive dermHA line can be purchased at ‘Like’ dermHA on Facebook and follow dermHA on Twitter.