What Causes Premature Aging and How to Reverse It

Hi, I have moved to New Zealand 4 years ago and have now noticed that I have received a terrible amount of sun damage compared to when I first arrived here. My skin has become full of pores and is leathery. Is there anything that can be done to get back my smooth peachy skin that I had before, or at least improve my skin a bit to fix the damage, or is my skin just permanently aged now?
Thanks a lot in advance, Michael, Male 33

Oh I love your question! Because it speaks to “quality” of skin, not just the drape, tightness or individual features. Those other aspects are important too of course. But …if we look around us, you’ll see my next point. We all know and have seen very face lifted people who are tight, but somehow look just as old. In my opinion, it’s because the quality of the skin isn’t young, and our eyes intuitively know the difference.

First things first:

  • You gotta stop tanning. This is harder than it sounds because most people go through about a 6-9 month period where the skin looks worse without the tan happening. There’s some chronic inflammation in the skin with sun exposure, that manifests as temporary plumping. But at the end of the day, that inflammation and damage to the cell DNA and collagen, etc. has to stop to repair skin.
  • Work hard to find a sunless tanner that you like, so you don’t have to go “cold turkey”.  Try our MadisonMD Sunless Tanner Golden Glow, and others until you’re happy.
  • Depending on how much you’re outdoors, the first key is sunscreen with 10-20% zinc oxide 1-3 times a day. Tinted sunscreens are even better because it blocks some of the blue light.

Next steps:

  • Improve your skin’s “nutrition” by adding really being consistent with a great regimen. For sure the basics are gentle cleanser, vitamin based serum like our Niacinamide +Copper, then a vitamin C based antioxidant, moisturizer if you need it, and then sunscreen. At night, repeat the first 2 steps, then moisturizer, and retinol over that. Please see our Black Friday Essentials special promotion.  Consider adding a growth factor serum or moisturizer under the moisturizer after a month or two.
  • Pay attention to your nutrition. Skin requires plenty of protein and veggies for micronutrients. Get organic if you can.
  • Get your heart rate up to improve circulation at least 4 times a week for 20 or more minutes.

Lasers and devices:

  • After at least 3 months of the above, at your age, consider lasers like Fraxel, Clear & Brilliant (a baby Fraxel) and gentle radiofrequency.
  • My pick for gentle radiofrequency would be full face Thermage or Exilis. Both are pretty comfortable and with no downtime. Just remember it takes 2-6 months to see full results.
  • The lasers and RF will gradually help with pore size and get that glow back.
  • If you’ve never been to a clinic before, start with the least expensive, most gentle procedure and see how they do before you invest in more.

Hope this helps!
Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD
Founder of SkinTour & MadisonMD Skincare
Follow my skin tips and travels on Instagram!

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