Patients regularly ask us what they can do to keep their skin looking healthy and youthful. Many patients will choose to have procedures such as laser or injections, but many forget about preventive maintenance.
The best (and frankly, the simplest) things you can do to improve your skin are quitting smoking and regularly applying sunscreen. Mark Twain once said, “Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times.” It is never too late to quit, and if you do, within six months your facial skin will look at least five years younger.
Sunscreen is even more important. Before the age of 40, significantly more woman develop melanoma than men. After age 40, significantly more men develop melanoma than women. Caucasian men over age 50 are diagnosed with the most melanoma cancers. Overall, one in 35 men and one in 54 women will develop melanoma in their lifetimes.
Everyone should wear sunscreen every day, regardless of the season of the year. Many people say that their makeup has sunscreen in it, but that may not be enough. You should use a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 30. Reapply the sunscreen if you are exercising or swimming and have been outside for more than two hours. Finally, don’t forget about putting sunscreen on other parts of your body. Women especially tend to show a lot of skin aging in their décolleté area and on the back of their hands. Be sure to protect that skin as well!