Skincare + Aesthetics Q&A
With Dr. Julie Reil
Why is it important to take care of your skin at every/any age?
Taking good care of your skin improves confidence, health and wellness. It includes wearing sunscreen, avoiding sunburn and not over doing the sun. Sun damages skin’s elastin, the rubber bands of our skin, leading to wrinkles, sunspots and old looking skin.
What we want is glowing skin that is the result of internal nutrition and external hydration and sun protection. Glowing skin reflects an internal balance of hydration from drinking water, good lipid content from eating good fats called Omega-3’s and phytonutrients from healthy foods. A consistent external skin cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating routine and daily sunscreen completes the recipe for glowing skin.
Could you elaborate on how our skin care needs change from our 20’s and 30’s into later life?
Skin care needs change as we age, primarily as our hormones change. In our 20’s and 30’s when our hormones are in balance the skin is naturally abundant in collagen and elastin. The external care of the skin is important to optimize hydration and sun protection.
In our 40’s the skin has a slower rate of exfoliation so topical Vitamin C and Vitamin A are helpful. Also in our 40’s the body absorbs nutrients less efficiently so supplementing Omega-3’s is helpful for skin plumpness.
What happens to your collagen production as you age? Is there any way to slow that clock down?
From birth to age 25, we have our optimum collagen and elastin concentrations in the skin: approximately 84% collagen and 16% elastin. The quantity and quality of both collagen and elastin decrease as we age. By 45, we have approximately ½ of what we had at 25. At 65 we have 1/3rd or less.
Nutritional intake of Collagen is the main way to maintain your body’s collagen. This can be sourced from animals such as cows or fish. Knox gelatin is a good source as is the eating chicken wings or pork ribs.
Elastin can be improved with topical Vitamin A. Most importantly the elastin in your skin is damaged by direct sunlight. Sun damaged elastin is like a sun damaged elastic rubber band – the fibers become brittle and no longer stretch and this results in wrinkles and sagging skin.
Could you speak to skin types and how they play a role in aging?
Skin that is prone to sunburn, fair skin, typically has less oil glands and less tanning cells (melanocytes) which means less protection of the elastin fibers and potential for premature aging.
Skin that tans easily, bronze or darker skin, typically has more oil glands and more tanning cells (melanocytes) which means more inherent protection of the elastin fibers and less premature aging.
Could you explain, in layman’s terms, how Botox or other injectables work?
These neurotoxins are injected in microscopic doses into certain small muscles that are used in facial expression (furrowing the brow or frown lines between the eyes). The relaxation of the facial muscles softens the expression lines and with diminished use these muscle the habit is broken of making that frequent expression which creates the line.
What about caring for your neck and upper chest?
Your neck can really show your age. The neck is the second thinnest skin on your body. The thinnest skin is on your eyelid. The neck skin is unique in that it is thin, lacks oil glands, and is very hard to keep hydrated.
Tips for care of the neck:
Never cleanse your neck with soaps or harsh cleansers. You want and need to keep your own oils in your neck skin. Simply rinse the neck and use milky hydrating cleansers when necessary.
Sun protect your neck with clothing, scarfs and /or sunscreen. It is thin fragile skin like your eyelids and needs protection. It is prone to sun damage so protect your neck!
Hydrate your neck with a product that will absorb into the thin skin there. Your neck is special, like eyelid skin. You are better off using an eye serum to hydrate your neck than a face moisturizer. There are moisturizing formulations specially designed for the thin skin of the neck.
Tell me about the importance of hydration in relation to your skin?
How hydrated your skin looks really matters. Your skin doesn’t lie. It is either hydrated or it is not. Hydration is a reflection of how much water you are taking in and of your skin oil content (omega 3 level) and of quality of the external hydration applied to the skin – meaning how good of a match your moisturizer is for your skin. Optimizing exfoliation will optimize absorption of nutrients and hydration of skin externally. Hydrated skin tells a lot about what you are doing right!
What changes do you start to see in a woman’s face as they reach their 50’s?
At 50, changes in elasticity show as dark circles under the eyes, corners of the mouth turning down like a frown, deeper smile lines at the midface, deeper crow’s feet and some sagging of the brow and the upper eyelid.
What’s happening as menopause begins and hormones decrease?
At the time of menopause the body no longer produces estrogen. The skin is very dependent upon estrogen for plumpness and without estrogen being produced the skin begins to wrinkle and sag at an accelerated rate.
What is a good age defying regimen at this stage?
Vitamin C and Vitamin A were studied in the 1950s and both showed good anti-aging effects. Vitamin C when applied topically and when taken orally as a supplement aid in production of collagen and also help the skin to exfoliate and also help skin pores to tighten. Vitamin A when applied topically can help the skin create brand new collagen and brand new elastin leading to plumper looking skin, tighter skin and decreased depth of wrinkles.
What anti-aging skincare products would you recommend for a woman in her 50’s?
ColoreScience dual sunscreen primer (spf 50/chemical free/dual sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide/hydrating by trapping your own moisture in the skin/excellent because it cools the skin naturally and is preventative and treatment for rosacea/looks great as the minerals create a soft glow/the highest quality minerals in the world)
Retin A (concentrated vitamin A) cream applied topically (by physician prescription)
Vitamin C – 10% applied topically – must be kept in a dark place in blue or brown glass jar as the sunlight will break down the potency
GMCollin skincare – cleanser/toner/moisturize – developed in 1952 by French physician Dr Latiner, he won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his skin formulations used on burn victims
What procedures can women in their 50’s benefit from?
Toning is the biggest concern in women in their 50’s – low face and upper neck. I offer Triple Tone Treatment, which tones the sub dermis/dermis/epidermis in a single treatment. It is customized and our satisfaction is very high.
Ulthera is a popular ultrasound treatment for deeper toning of the face, neck and décolleté.
Botox is popular for crow’s feet, brow and frown lines.
Juvederm is popular for the lip lines, corners of mouth and lip border.
Fotofacial is popular for treating rosacea, red vessels and brown sun spots of the face, neck, upper chest, arms and legs.
YAG Vein treatment is excellent for spider veins and blue and purple veins of the face, legs and thighs.
CoolSculpting is very popular as an option for the menopausal stubborn fat: Abdomen, flanks, waist, arms, thighs, back and under the chin.
UltraSlim i medical far infrared lights for slimming the abdomen and waist and hips
Genityte is for women who are aging and experiencing urinary leaking when the cough, sneeze or with activity. This is an infrared light treatment that tones the pelvic floor muscles and skin and greatly improves or eliminates leaking. It also treats prolapse and helps gas holding.
Femilift is a CO2 laser specifically performed by gynecologic doctors (like myself, Dr Reil) and is a non-surgical option for treating vaginal prolapse.
Cliovana is a sound wave technology for women as they age who are experiencing decline in libido. Through sound waves the blood flow and sensation of the pelvic floor is heightened and helps in desire, arousal, lubrication and climax.
PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) comes from your own blood sample and is processed into approximately 9% Stem cells that can be injected into knees and hips to relieve pain.