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Dermatologist Suzanne Friedler, MD, FAAD, with Advanced Dermatology PC Shares six tips for more youthful skin at any age

Dr. Suzanne Friedler

Caring for Aging Skin for a Healthy, Youthful Look

Healthy habits—and in particular those where your skin is involved—are like compound interest. The earlier you start, that greater the benefits later in life.”
— Dr. Suzanne Friedler
NEW YORK, NY , UNITED STATES, January 18, 2023 / -- Most of the characteristics of a person’s skin are inherited. But the way people care for their skin plays a large part in determining how well it holds up to the natural processes of aging. To that end, Dr. Suzanne Friedler of Advanced Dermatology PC shares six ways to help skin age gracefully.

1. Face washing should be done twice daily—but be gentle!

“Having a regular face washing routine is fundamental for healthy skin, regardless of age or skin condition,” says Dr. Friedler.

Washing removes any kind of buildup on the skin, some of which might be invisible to the naked eye. Face washing both in the morning and in the evening helps to clear away:
• natural oils and toxins
• dead skin cells
• bacteria and viruses
• makeup products
• pollutants and dirt

Face washing also makes other skincare products—such as moisturizer or serum—more effective, as they can get to work directly on the skin cells without having to get past a barrier of grime first.

“Cleansing is different from exfoliating. Face cleaning should be done gently, using warm water and a creamy, hydrating cleanser. Exfoliating can be done once or twice per week, but listen to your skin. If it’s getting irritated, dial it back,” Dr. Friedler says.

2. Use moisturizer every day.

“As skin ages, it tends to produce less sebum, which is an oily substance that can sometimes be responsible for acne. But sebum is also a natural moisturizer. As the skin’s glands reduce their sebum production, it’s important to apply moisturizer to keep skin hydrated,” says Dr. Friedler.

Skin should be clean before applying moisturizer, otherwise bacteria and toxins can get trapped beneath the moisturizer against the skin. Different moisturizers are specially formulated for use on the face or on the body. Lip balm shouldn’t be ignored either.

And if the air feels dry, running a humidifier can be beneficial as well.

3. Everyone’s skin is different; use what works.

“The products that work for your friend might not work for you. And our bodies are always changing, so the products that used to work might not be effective anymore. Our skin is remarkably dynamic, and it gives us feedback about the products we use. Listen to that feedback,” says Dr. Friedler.

Simple things to watch out for might include fragrances or dyes that can irritate the skin. Avoid using hot water on the skin, which increases dryness. Instead, opt for warm water, and then pat dry rather than rubbing with a cloth.

For drier skin, a creamier cleanser or moisturizer might be more beneficial, whereas people with more naturally oily skin might want to choose something foaming and oil-free.

4. Practice UV protection all year long.

“This one is so important. Exposure to UV light can cause wrinkles and patches of uneven pigment, but even more important than that it affects skin thickness and elasticity, and can even lead to cancer,” says Dr. Friedler.

Broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater should be used every day, even when it’s cloudy or in the winter. Try to limit direct exposure to the sun. When possible, stick to the shade, and wear clothing that shields the skin such as long sleeves or broad brimmed hats.

“The sun is by far the most abundant source of UV light we’re exposed to day-to-day, but it’s not the only one. Avoid any sort of indoor tanning beds or sun lamps. They’re directly damaging to skin,” Dr. Friedler cautions.

5. Watch for signs of precancer.

“Skin cancer can happen anywhere on the body and it’s not usually painful, so it’s important to check once a month for anything new or unusual,” Dr. Friedler says.

Spots such as birthmarks or moles can be checked using the “ABCDE” method:

Asymmetry: does one half look different from the other half?
Border: is the border irregular or poorly defined?
Color: is there more than one color?
Diameter: is it larger than a pencil eraser?
Evolution: has it changed in size, color, or shape?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, the next step is to make an appointment with a dermatologist. Also look for the ugly duckling sign, when one mole looks or acts different than all the others, get it checked out.

6. Healthier living leads to healthier skin.

“A healthy diet and good sleep practices are both important for healthy skin. And an appropriate level of exercise promotes blood flow which helps the skin regenerate,” says Dr. Friedler.

As for the don’ts?

“Stress is a known factor in aging, so avoiding stress where you can will help. And avoid smoking and secondhand smoke as much as possible,” Dr. Friedler suggests.

It’s never too soon to start proper skin care. “Prevention is easier than repair,” says Dr. Friedler. “Healthy habits—and in particular those where your skin is involved—are like compound interest. The earlier you start, that greater the benefits later in life.”

Suzanne J. Friedler, M.D. F.A.A.D., is a board-certified fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, with expertise in many areas of medical and cosmetic dermatology. She has been with Advanced Dermatology PC since 2002.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery has over 50 offices in NY, NJ, CT and PA and is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology, as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies.

Melissa Chefec
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