Prevention: get an early start! - Toronto Dermatology Centre
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Call Us Today:416.633.0001

Prevention: get an early start!

We hear a lot about prevention when it comes to skin care, and for good reason: If we can take care of our skin early on, we can help to prevent the signs of aging for as long as possible. Most skin aging starts at a young age.  A sprinkling of freckles is often a child’s first visible sign of sun exposure, an early sign that the skin isn’t being properly protected. The commitment to sun protection needs to start early, often with a parent providing proper sun protection for their young ones. When exposed to UV radiation, the skin begins producing pigment to protect itself against sun damage, which leads to the formation of hyperpigmentation and sunspots.  Photo damage appears as the first signs of aging. Frown lines between the brows, fine lines and crow’s-feet start to become visible. The thin skin around the eye area tends to age faster, as collagen breaks down easier where there are no oil glands.

The mid to late 20s is the time to start thinking about preventative aging. An early approach to skin care is easier and more cost effective than correcting problems later on down the road. It may save a lot of money in later years trying to reverse the signs of already damaged skin. To maintain the long-term health of the skin, use a regimen that incorporates topical antioxidants, retinol and growth factors, in addition to sunscreen.  These ingredients are tried-and-true, effective and provide solid research to back up their claims. First and foremost, a medical grade SPF is the number one anti-aging product available to us today. It protects against the damaging effects of UV rays like fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and sunspots. Topical antioxidants continue the blocking process by preventing the oxidative damage that causes collagen breakdown. Products with vitamin C are recommended. They are protective and there is extensive research to support its role in collagen formation. As well, topical retinoids (e.g. retinol or tretinoin) help to generate new cellular turnover and aid in the production of collagen. Growth factors can have a profound effect on aging skin too. These regenerative ingredients can even help in the restoration of previously sun damaged skin cells.

Botox may seem too extreme for some to consider in their early 20’s, but it can be a great preventative treatment. Botox is a neuromodulator, meaning it temporarily freezes the dynamic facial muscle contractions that cause wrinkles to develop (e.g. on the forehead, frown lines, and around the eyes).  Wrinkles form when the muscles contract repeatedly over time. By preventing the muscles from building up, you can prevent the wrinkles from developing. It is the only way to actually prevent dynamic or movement wrinkles from forming. Though good preventative skin care practices are mandatory to slow the progressive signs of aging, it’s never too late to start taking care of your skin. Find a professional skin consultant to develop a regimen that’s best suited for your skin type, and lifestyle. They are trained to educate and help navigate you towards the healthiest, most youthful skin you can obtain…..at any age!

~ Sheri, Medical Esthetician at Toronto Dermatology Centre

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