Half of causes of ageing skin can be avoided, doctor suggests

Woman feeling smooth skinHalf of the way in which a woman's skin ages is caused by factors she can do something about. That's according to Dr Angie Song, a facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery expert, who has written a guide to helping women understand how their skin ages, and what they can do to mitigate the effects. Writing in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, Dr Song recommends a checklist of ways in which women should be looking after their skin as they get older.In her 20s, a woman's lifestyle has the biggest influence on her skin's condition. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising, and getting consistent amounts of sleep will all influence how the skin looks, Dr Song says. These healthy habits should be continued into the 30s, she adds, along with regular use of a skin cream containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs). But as skin can be affected by metabolic and hormonal changes, she suggests having bi-annual skin peels or laser treatments, to remove dead skin, revealing the younger-looking layers beneath. As a woman enters her 40s, she should contemplate at least one and possibly more of what Dr Song calls 'the four Rs' of surgical and non-surgical procedures. These are relaxing; applying injections to facial lines and wrinkles, resurfacing; achieved by a mixture of skin peels and laser treatments, refilling; to restore balance to the face; and re-draping, which is done by surgical means. Finally, when using anti-ageing creams and other products, says Dr Song, the ease with which they can be absorbed by the skin can be as important as the active ingredients they contain. "This is a key distinction between many over-the-counter products and those available in a [medical surgery]", she notes.