My specialty training at Albert Einstein Hospital and Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship prepared me for every surgical eventuality, but I have come to believe that cosmetic lasers, BOTOX® and a regular program of daily care are the future of anti-aging skin care.
If we begin proper care young enough, we may never need cosmetic surgery. These are promising times!
But right now the vicious bite of New York winter is close at hand and we’ll all be tightly clamped in its frigid jaws when this column appears in print. Icy wind will whip particles of dirt
and soot into our pores like microscopic bullets and rip soothing moisture from our skin.
Not a pretty picture, but it begs the question, “How can I protect my skin against the cold?”
First, Exfoliate every month. Removing dead skin and awakening fresh new surface cells will maximize the effectiveness of any other skin treatment. There are more ‘exfoliants’ at the cosmetics counter than anyone can count, but real exfoliation is accomplished by trained aestheticians using a Vibraderm™ system or specially compounded facial masks.
Vibradermabrasion™ is truly unique. Traditional crystal dermabrasion is very much like using a sand-blaster to remove dead cells… a harsh and irritating process. But Vibradermabrasion infuses healing compounds such as Copper Peptides into freshly exfoliated skin, the gently vibrating paddles stimulate collagen production and Vibraderm feels absolutely wonderful on your face or entire body!
Secondly, Cleanse and Moisturize twice a day and never, ever, go to sleep wearing makeup. When do you expect your skin to breathe? No matter how late you arrive home from holiday reverie, and how warm and inviting your bed appears, deep clean and moisturize your face before it touches the pillow… especially if other party guests were smoking? Do you really want to spend the night with cigarette smoke trapped in your pores by accumulated oils and old makeup?
Whatever your skin type, your physician or his aesthetician can help you select the best cleansing and moisturizing options. Avoid whatever is sold as the “magic ingredient du jour.” These heavily advertised products are terribly expensive and usually not as effective as doctor-recommended products which cost about 1/2 the price of commercial products… the ones that are modeled by lovely young women barely past puberty who have never actually experienced either a wrinkle or a blemish.
And don’t just moisturize the surface of your skin. Winter air is much dryer than summer air and heated indoor air is even dryer than that. During the winter, moisturize your entire body by drinking two extra glasses of water a day and use a cool-mist humidifier in the bedroom at night.
Did we forget your lips? It takes only a moment to stay kissable with Chapstick™, but it can take weeks to heal cracked, bleeding painful lips.
Finally, Protect your skin.
Winter may seem less sunny, but until they rebuild the ozone layer or build a dome over Manhattan, winter sunscreen is absolutely essential. Use SPF 30-45 every day. Sun damage is cumulative. “I’m only in the sun ten minutes between the apartment and the taxi,” is not an excuse. Ten minutes a day is 50 minutes a week… 3 hours a month… not counting weekends. “Cumulative” is the operative word.
Exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize your skin, apply sunscreen generously, drink lots of water and Santa will bring you a great complexion for the New Year.