Dr. McGee’s Top 5 Anti-Aging tips
Many of my patients tell me, “I want my skin to look like yours”, or ask me what they should do to keep their skin looking young. There are so many products out there (that promise so many things), it can be seriously overwhelming. Here are my top 5 things to do and what brands I use. There are many other good brands available, if you are unsure of the quality of what you are using, ask me at our next appointment.
1) Sun avoidance and Sunscreen is my top anti-aging defense. My mom passed away from skin cancer when I was 20, so I have worked hard to protect my skin from the sun. Not only will sun screen prevent future sun damage that can cause aging but, most importantly, it will help decrease the risk of skin cancer. I usually recommend a mineral sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen. Beauty counter makes a nice sunscreen, Link. I also like Skinceuticals mineral based sunscreen Link. Mineral based sunscreens aren’t goopy like the old days, they are micronized and silky smooth.
2) Retinoids are the gold-standard of anti-aging ingredients. Vitamin A boosts skin’s collagen production to minimize fine lines, speeds up cell turnover to reduce dark spots, and helps unclog pores. Retinoids can be irritating at first, so start by applying a product with them every other night. Note, it’s a myth that you can’t use retinoids in the summer, I use them all year round. I will prescribe retinoids and these can be picked up at Pure Integrative Pharmacy. Retinoids are covered by all extended benefit plans.
3) Vitamin C Serum boosts up collagen to help with wrinkles, inhibits melanin to help with hyperpigmentation and it’s a powerful antioxidant to help brighten your skin. What does this mean for your skin, it’s a powerhouse to prevent skin aging. Use it under your moisturizer or retinoid. I purchase Rosehip oil (naturally high in vitamin C). Link. Vitamin C serum is very unstable, do not use it if it has discoloured, and make sure it’s in a dark bottle when you purchase it.
4) Moisturizing Cream, I think this is where the most confusion occurs. As well moisturizers have a huge potential to be exposed to unnecessary chemicals. Unfortunately skin care lines are not well regulated and can contain many ingredients that are not good for you. I purchase my moisturizer from Flora’s Bare. Their creams have absolutely no preservatives, and a short shelf life so you need to use it with in 6 months of purchase. But they feel lovely on the skin, and it’s important to me minimize chemical exposure when possible. Flora Link.
5) Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells promoting softer, smoother skin. Exfoliation can increase circulation and assist the body with its natural regeneration process. All of which result in brighter, firmer, more healthy-looking skin. I like a physical exfoliator and keep it in my shower, I exfoliate about 4 times per week. I like the ElaSpa gentle Bamboo Exfoliator, Link. Which is available at Pure Integrative Pharmacy. There are other ways to exfoliate, such as glycolic acids (fruit acids) but it’s not my preference.
Bonus Tip 1:
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant (a.k.a. type of moisturizer) that draws water to the surface of your skin to give it a firmer, plumper look. I keep this on hand, for traveling or the summer, when my skin can get very dry, due to heat, sand, sun, chlorine, or sunscreen. It’s meant for temporary use! Apply to damp skin, eg after you wash your face. Once it’s absorbed some of the water from your damp face, then apply your moisturizer on top. This keeps my skin feeling great during dry periods. I get my Hyaluronic acid from Pure Integrative Pharmacy, by prescription. It’s inexpensive and some benefit plans may cover it.
Bonus Tip 2:
Makeup Some of the ingredients in beauty products aren’t pretty. U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). Imagine what that does to your skin, and to the environment. David Suzuki reference Link.
I use a mineral based makeup line from Jane Iredale. They promise to use high quality minerals and organic ingredients when possible. The line is cruelty-free and free of parabens, talc, phthalates, synthetic fragrance and GMO ingredients. I think the makeup is beautiful and I feel good using it. Jane Iredale Link.
If you would like to discuss these tips further or explore other opportunities for anti-aging and overall health, give us a call: 604-888-8325.
Dr. Karen McGee ND
Integrated Health Clinic