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Beautiful Skin Through The Decades

As we age our skin changes, as do the needs of the skin.


Each decade brings new challenges from acne in our teens, to blotchy discolorations in our forties and beyond.

Proper skin care and protection from the sun is imperative, if you want healthy skin. Taking these steps will help minimize wrinkles, age spots, blotchiness and poorly textured skin. More importantly, this will also decrease the risk of skin cancer. Did you know that one severe sunburn as a child can double the risk of skin cancer as an adult?

There are a myriad of products available on the market today, from cosmetics to pharmaceuticals. Seeking out the best skin care routine that suits your needs can be confusing.

Youre probably wondering, What is best for me??

The following are basic suggestions. If you are unsure of your skin type or need professional advice, it is a good idea to consult with an aesthetician, nurse specialist, or a dermatologist.





Teen age years are characterized by changing hormones and an increase in oil production causing a significant prevalence of acne. Proper care of the skin will not only give you beautiful, clear skin in your teens, but will also have a major effect on how good your skin will look for the rest of your life.


You are never too young to start taking care of your skin. A regular routine should begin at an early age.


Eighty-five percent of teens suffer from acne. At the onset of puberty there is an increase in androgen hormones. Androgens increase secretion from the oil glands. The residual of shedding skin cells combined with the production of oil creates a perfect breeding ground for Proprionibacterium, which is the bacterium that is responsible for most acne breakouts.

For more information, see the article on How to control acne in the newsletter section.

Occasionally, acne is a result of the beauty products we use such as hairsprays, gels, shampoo, or foundation. Be aware of this and try not to allow these products to come in contact with your skin. Try mineral cosmetic for coverage, such as those containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Minerals do not clog pores and provide some protection from the sun. Suggestion: Jane Iredale or Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics.


For any age group, taking care of your skin should not be time-consuming or expensive. Five minutes in the morning and in the evening should be all it takes to be free of acne and have healthy, clear, smooth looking skin.



1.) Cleanse every morning and every night. If you cleanse only one time per day make it in the evening to remove sweat, oil and environmental pollutants. Avoid cleansers with perfumes and deodorant soaps. These are too harsh for the face and can be an irritant causing redness, dryness and further breakouts. Suggestion: pure glycerin soap without color or fragrance.


2.) For treatment of acne, 2% salicylic acid or 5% benzoyl peroxide may be helpful.
Salicylic acid removes shedding cells from the surface of the skin and prevents the pores from clogging. Benzoyl peroxide delivers oxygen into the pore making the pore an unstable environment for bacteria. Start using one or the other every night then gradually increase to twice per day. Suggestion: Neutrogena Maximum Oil Control Pads which contain 2% salicylic acid. Neutrogena On the Spot Acne Treatment containing benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide 2.5%-5% is adequate. (10% may be too harsh and has not proven to be more effective.)


3.) Contrary to popular belief, the sun does not improve acne, and in fact can exacerbate acne by increasing the production of oil and causing free radical damage. So it is important to wear a daily sunscreen. The earlier you start protecting your skin from the sun the better you will look in later years. You will have less wrinkles, discoloration, and roughly textured skin. Look for an oil free sunscreen. Suggestion: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch, with SPF 30.




The twenties are typically the best years for the condition of the skin. Most are through the acne phase. And the skin has a supple luminous quality.


This age group will greatly benefit by starting a healthy skin care routine before the signs and symptoms of damage begin to manifest.




1.) Cleanse twice daily, especially at night to remove the surface oil, make-up and environmental pollutants. Purchase cleansers according to your skin type. Sudsy or creamy cleansers are fine as long as you feel your skin is clean after washing. A toner is not necessary. If you dont feel your skin is clean unless you use one there are plenty to choose from. Suggestions for cleansers: Cetaphil or Toms of Maine glycerin cleanser.


2.) The first line of defense includes over- the- counter products. I recommend starting with mild alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids or retinols. The purpose is to exfoliate the surface of dead skin cells and give the skin a polished and bright appearance. Use them at night after cleansing. Suggestions: Roc (retinol), Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion (alpha hydroxy acid).


3.) Of course, protect the skin with daily sunscreen. The most important and least expensive beauty treatment of all! Look for full spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Your sunscreen should contain either Parsol (avobenzone) or zinc oxide. Suggestion: Oil of Olay Complete Protective Moisture Lotion with zinc oxide.




Collagen, which is the skins basic foundation and support, starts to diminish resulting in fine lines around the eyes and the mouth.


The turn over or shedding of the surface layer (stratum corneum) becomes sluggish making the quality of the skin appear dull and roughly textured.


Hormonal shifts are occurring, at this time, due to birth control pills or pregnancy. This often results in a condition called melasma which manifests as dark brown discolorations, typically on the forehead, cheeks or upper lip.


Prevention is the best treatment so exercise extra caution if you are pregnant or taking birth control pills. Protect your skin from the sun with the appropriate sunscreens, hats and clothing.


The thirties is a good time to introduce cosmeceuticals into your skin care routine. Cosmeceuticals are products that are more than your average over-the-counter moisturizer, yet not considered pharmaceutical grade. Typical cosmeceuticals include retinols, alpha and beta hydroxy acids.



1.) Cleanse twice a day. Purchase a cleanser that suits your skin type. If it is oily try foaming gels or Avon Clean Cloths Facial Cleanser for normal to dry skin.

2.) For home care try M.D. Formulations or Murad with glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid and is beneficial for exfoliating the surface layer if the skin. Purchase at a salon or skin care clinic.


3.) For the treatment of melasma, either hydroquinone or kojic acid are two ingredients available. These treatments are generally used two times per day.


For mild cases 2% can be purchased from a salon or skin care clinic. Stronger treatments, such as 4% hydroquinone, must be obtained with a prescription.

4.) As always, protect your skin rain or shine. Suggested sun screen: Eucerine Extra Protective Moisture Lotion, SPF 30 or M.D. Formulations has one with zinc oxide.


I also recommend light chemical peels or microdermabrasion to remove the dead surface layer and brighten up the skin giving it a luminous glow. Consult with an aesthetician or dermatologist regarding exfoliating treatments.




Skin damage that occurred in our earlier years, as children or teens, begins to manifest in our forties.


Women will begin to notice greater changes in their skin:

Decrease in the production of sebum (oil) lending to dryness.

Increase in dark discolorations of the skin including face, hands, and chest.

Red blotchy skin result of telangiectasia (spider veins).

Roughly textured skin.




1.) Cleanse twice a day with your favorite cleanser. Suggestion: Cetaphil cleanser.

2.) Vitamin A derivatives have proven to benefit the skin by reversing sun damage, regenerating collagen with in the dermis and fading brown spots. Ask your doctor about Retin-A, Renova, Avita or Tazorac.

3.) Vitamin A products will increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun. Protect with daily sunscreen. Purchase according to your skin type. Make sure it contains parsol or zinc oxide. Suggestion, Skin Ceuticals Daily Defense, available in salons, or a medical clinic or Oil of Olay Regenerist Enhancing Lotion SPF 15.

4.) Products, such as those containing hydroquinone 4%, can be used in conjunction with Vitamin A creams or lotions.


The lunchtime peels, discussed for the Thirties will also be of benefit, however 15%-20% TCA peels (Trichloracetic acid), providing a deeper peel, will benefit skin that has greater photodamage.




There is a greater loss of the skins elasticity (resiliency)

The collagen content decreases markedly.

Sagging skin and lack of muscle tone is noted.


1.) Skin care products will not affect the underlying tissue, as many misleading advertisements suggest. Give a product six to eight weeks to determine if it is working for you. As with any skin care program, remember consistency is the key.


If the lack of muscle tone is of concern to you it may be time to consult with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist.


Regardless, I believe you can still have beautiful, refined and healthy looking skin.

The skin care routine for the forties is also applicable in the fifties. However, you may want to consider deeper peels such as 35% TCA peels or even laser resurfacing, such as the CO2 laser or the erbium laser. Again, it is important to consult with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon regarding what is best for you.




Phone: (510) 435-6648

Fax: (510) 486-0518

Email: info@rn4beautifulskin.com
Appointments: 925-945-8656


Deborah is a registered nurse with over 17 years of experience helping thousands of women and men look years younger through the use of non-surgical skin treatments including Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Restylane, Perlane, Radiesse, and Fraxel laser. Deborah is well known in Walnut Creek and the San Francisco Bay Area both as an expert practitioner of her profession and as a teacher and guest speaker for various women's organizations.
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