Your Skin and the Science of Aging Gracefully

This series on Women’s Health is brought to you by Tryon Medical Partners, an independent practice of nearly 90 physicians who joined forces because they share the core belief that the patient-doctor connection is the foundation for better health.

By April Boswell, MD

Board Certified American Board of Dermatology

Honors & Certifications American Board of Dermatology

Our skin is the largest organ in the body, but many of us don’t give it the attention it deserves. In early adulthood, our skin starts to show age and sun-related changes, such as brown spots, enlarged pores, facial redness, fine wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acne scarring. With a skin care regimen and noninvasive treatments, many of these changes can be significantly improved to yield a brighter and smoother complexion. But what works, what doesn’t and why?

How our skin ages depends on intrinsic factors we cannot control, such as hormones. With time, the decrease in production of estrogen and progesterone causes two key components of our skin to degrade – collagen and elastin. These substances create a network that gives our skin its firmness and smooth texture. When collagen and elastin break down in the skin, its appearance can be loose or crepey. Age-related hormonal changes also cause our skin to become thin and dry over time.

Choosing the right skin care products can slow the effects of aging. For the best results, look for these “must have” ingredients in your skin care products:

Broad-spectrum Sunscreen

While you cannot control what is happening inside your body, you can control your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation produced by the sun and tanning beds. 

Sunlight is a combination of different types of ultraviolet light. Both ultraviolet A light (UVA) and ultraviolet B light (UVB) contribute to developing skin cancers. UVA light also plays a role in premature aging of the skin, such as wrinkles and thinning. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen is an important factor in protecting the skin from these harmful light rays and should be included in any daily skin care regimen, rain or shine.

Topical Retinoid

Retinoids are compounds chemically related to Vitamin A. When applied topically, retinoids can increase the thickness of the top layer of the skin and remodel some of the collagen in the skin to diminish fine lines and smooth rough patches. Retinoids can also stimulate the production of new blood vessels, and fade or lighten dark spots to give the skin a brighter appearance. Topical retinoids should be used under the care of a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician to prevent dryness and irritation. 

Vitamin C 

Vitamin C supports the body’s immune system, but it is equally beneficial for the skin:

  • It works as an antioxidant protecting skin cells against UV damage.
  • It is a building block in the formation of collagen cells.
  • It offers mild protection from UV light (SPF4).

Taking vitamin C orally will provide some of these benefits, but for maximum effectiveness, it should be applied topically. Vitamin C also helps stabilize topical retinoids, so ideally those products should be used together. 

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that binds water, and it naturally occurs in your skin. Over time it disappears, depleting the skin’s ability to attract and retain moisture. A product containing hyaluronic acid improves skin dryness which helps to soften the appearance of wrinkles, and restore elasticity and firmness in the skin.

Where to Buy?

You can and should read labels and look for these ingredients, whether you are buying luxury high-end skin care or products from the drugstore. Tryon Medical Partners offers a private label of skin care products that contain these essential ingredients to protect and restore your skin. All of our products are fragrance-free, paraben-free and suitable for acne-prone skin. Every effort has been made to ensure the products are high quality yet affordable. These products have been formulated with personal involvement by the Tryon Medical Partners staff, where you will find five board certified female dermatologists

Beyond Products

Unlike many med spas, which are clinically managed by a dermatology-trained physician versus a board certified dermatologist, and who may or may not be on site at the time, TMP dermatologists personally manage the aesthetician who is performing cosmetic dermatology services such as lasers and peels. And dermatologists (the doctors themselves, not the NPs or PAs) do all Botox injections.

We also offer a variety of chemical peels and, if appropriate, we can utilize two noninvasive lasers to enhance the effects of your topical skin care regimen. Cutera Excel V is a versatile laser that reduces the appearance of both brown and red lesions on the face, neck, chest and hands caused by sun and aging. Additionally, we have the VBeam laser used to target facial spider veins and rosacea to rejuvenate your complexion.

This series is brought to you by Tryon Medical Partners, an independent medical practice dedicated to maintaining trusted patient-doctor relationships, providing excellent and personalized care, and giving you the choices in healthcare that you deserve. With eight convenient locations throughout Charlotte, Tryon Medical Partners specializes in primary care as well as cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, pulmonary, rheumatology and sleep medicine.

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This article was written by one of the many QC women who contribute to our website. They are out and about and around Charlotte digging up the latest & best scoop 🙂

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