When is it Time to Start an Anti-Aging Program?

The aging process is well underway before we begin to see changes in our youthful visage, and visible signs of age are the result of intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) factors. Intrinsic causes of aging are primarily due to cells becoming sluggish and less able to repair themselves over time. The external factors that age the skin include sun exposure and environmental aggressors such as pollution. While intrinsic causes of aging are predominantly out of our control, extrinsic skin damage can be prevented, but it’s important to start well before its effects become visible.

It’s never too early to take anti-aging measures, and this can technically begin with daily sunscreen use during childhood. But everyone can benefit from being proactive as early as the 20s. At this point, diligent sun protection should be part of every skincare routine, and over-the-counter retinol or prescription retinoids can maximize the skin’s production of youth-imparting collagen (and help minimize acne as well). Antioxidants also play a role in preventing extrinsic skin damage, and these three products comprise the ideal regimen for preventing visible signs of aging.

Park Avenue plastic surgeon Dr. Mark H. Schwartz also believes in the preventative power of Botox. When injected into areas that are subjected to repetitive facial expressions such as squinting and smiling, Botox can prevent the formation of etched-in lines by minimizing the muscle contractions that cause wrinkling in high-movement areas.

Since most of us don’t start thinking about anti-aging until damage becomes visible, a majority of patients first visit Dr. Schwartz to improve the appearance of age-related changes. By the late 30s, many women begin to see changes in skin tone, including unevenness and dark spots. Due primarily to accumulated sun damage, hormones and blemishes in the past, Dr. Schwartz offers two types of BBL (broadband light) treatments to maintain and restore skin clarity and minimize unwanted pigment.

Forever Young BBL can be used preventatively to delay skin aging by prompting the expression of the genes that are abundant in young skin. (It helps improve acne, too.) When the skin functions more youthfully, it continues to produce proteins such as collagen and elastin, and it’s more able to repair itself.

Dr. Schwartz also offers Corrective BBL for more advanced signs of aging and sun damage, such as age spots, freckles, broken blood vessels, enlarged pores and rough surface texture. This treatment is ideal for the face, as well as the neck, chest and backs of the hands.

Both BBL treatments are downtime-free, and you can get right back to your regular routine afterwards (including applying makeup and your usual skincare products). After two to three days, existing pigment begins to darken and rise to the skin’s surface. It sheds naturally after five to seven days (though this process can take longer on the chest, hands and other parts of the body).

By the 40s, the decline of collagen becomes apparent and the skin begins to lose volume. At this point, injectable fillers can smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles, restore definition to facial contours and even help improve early signs of sagging.

However, there may eventually be a time when non-invasive treatments and procedures are unable to address your concerns—and this is when surgery can help you achieve your goals. Whether blepharoplasty (eye surgery), a facelift, a neck lift or a combination of procedures, surgical intervention is a sure-fire way to turn back the clock when the time comes.

From skincare and non-invasive treatments to surgical procedures, Dr. Schwartz customizes his anti-aging approach for each patient’s needs and desires while striving to achieve the most natural looking results.

Call 212.737.9090 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mark H. Schwartz to learn more about the treatments and procedures that can help prevent and reverse visible signs of aging at any age.