I recently had the pleasure of interviewing double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Shervin Naderi,MD, FACS, of The Naderi Center who is the magician behind some of the most youthful complexions in Washington DC. He offered some great tips for anyone who wants to obtain and maintain youthful skin.
Q What should an age-fighting skin care regimen look like?
Skin care in the thirties includes sunscreen, a good cleanser, a good toner as well as Retin-A. In the forties, the regimen is the same if you started skin care early on, but if you just started thinking of improving your skin in your forties then you still need sunscreen, a good cleanser, a good toner, and Retin-A but you also need a good moisturizer. To reverse some of the damage already done, a chemical peel (VI PEEL) or Fractionated CO2 laser (FRAXEL) may also be beneficial.
Q What skin products best combat existing signs of aging?
No skincare product fights to reverse the signs of photo-damage and aging like Retin-A does. It is the best and most useful anti-aging skincare product. Women spend millions of dollars each year buying products from department stores, TV ads and online, but none are as effective as Retin-A. However, other products may also be needed such as Hydroquinone to reduce hyper-pigmentation. Ultimately Chemical peels and lasers may be necessary but Retin-A and Hydroquinone are the first step.
Q Which foods should we include in our diets to improve skin?
Foods that hydrate and provide vitamins and minerals like (Vitamin C) are great. These include most fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately today, many people are avoiding fruits and vegetables, fearing their sugar content! Healthy nuts and seeds with essential oils are also important. Contrary to popular belief, not a single supplement in pill-form has ever shown clinical efficacy. These vitamins and minerals work best when we consume the actual whole raw product. For example, while beta-carotene are good for us, no study has ever shown a pill form to be as beneficial as eating an actual carrot. While Vitamin E is essential, recent studies have shown that Vitamin E pills can cause Prostate cancer in men!
Q What skin products best combat existing signs of aging?
No skincare product fights to reverse the signs of photo-damage and aging like Retin-A does. It is the best and most useful anti-aging skincare product. Women spend millions of dollars each year buying products from department stores, TV ads and online, but none are as effective as Retin-A. However, other products may also be needed such as Hydroquinone to reduce hyper-pigmentation. Ultimately Chemical peels and lasers may be necessary but Retin-A and Hydroquinone are the first step. The important thing to realize is that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true!” Try not to buy into the constant hype and barrage of ads from big name companies claiming their “new lotion in a tube” is as good as Botox or better than a laser. It’s not!
Q Are there any Non-Surgical procedures to correct loose facial skin that can help?
Loose skin occurs due to loss of elasticity of the skin and loss of volume. We lose volume in muscle, fat and even facial bones. This is ever so true in athletes with low body fat. A 35 year old lean triathlete can show more signs of aging than a 50 year old librarian! The volume must be replaced with Dermal Filler injections or Fat injections. The elasticity of the skin is improved with Chemical peels, Erbium lasers or CO2 lasers. These are usually in-office, minimal-downtime treatments. Make sure you know the credentials and experience of the doctor doing such treatments. These are not risk free procedures.
Q Dr. Naderi, what skin product line do you personally use?
I, like most men, do not like any heavy products on my skin. In the winter time I use a very light, non-greasy moisturizer by NeoCutis. In the summer time, I wear an IMAGE sunscreen if I am going to be at the beach. I avoid the sun as much as possible, which is better than any product or sun-block out there, but when I was younger I certainly was foolishly proud of my deep tan.
Q How can injectable fillers be used to give a more youthful appearance?
Like anything in cosmetic surgery, injectable fillers can be injected poorly and create a very fake puffy “pillow face” or it can be injected properly to create a youthful rejuvenated appearance. It takes an experienced Surgeon or Dermatologist with an artistic hand and aesthetic judgment to inject fillers in the proper facial zones and locations to create a nice three dimensional youthful face rather than a swollen fake-looking face. For example, most women look better with high cheek bones so injections of fillers to the “malar eminence” can create that while most men need volume to their mid-face to create strength and fullness, not high feminine cheek bones.
Q What is the best preventative measure to avoid fine lines and wrinkles?
Nothing is as good as “great genes” but a healthy lifestyle with an understanding of things that can help and avoiding things that truly damage the skin is important:
- good “healthy” diet
- good hydration
- sun protection with sunscreen
- sun avoidance is even better
- avoidance of tobacco and nicotine
- try not to sleep on your face. It does form lines! Try back sleeping and adjust your pillow as necessary to force you on your back.
- avoidance of excess caffeine or alcohol – which dehydrate the skin
- use of Retin-A and topical skin care products to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin
- start using Botox in the 20’s and 30s to PREVENT formation of wrinkles and lines.
- Athletes with lean bodies and less subcutaneous fat form wrinkles and lines faster so Botox is even more important for this group.
Q Are there any tips you would like to share regarding anti-aging that we did not cover?
The summary of my most important pearls of wisdom are these:
- Never too late to start taking care of your skin
- Never too early to start taking care of your skin
- The sooner you start the better. Don’t take your skin for granted
- Avoid sun exposure on your face
- Use sunscreen all the time
- Start Botox in your 20’s and 30’s to PREVENT lines and wrinkles because it’s much easier to prevent than to treat
- Athletes with lean bodies and less subcutaneous fat form and show wrinkles and lines more so than others. Therefore botox, fillers and skincare with possible added lasers are even more important for this group.