In our youth, it’s easy to think that fine lines, crow’s feet, and overall aging skin is something that happens to our moms, not us. Once the first signs of damage or lines start to appear however, it is a major wake-up call for a lifestyle, and hopefully not cosmetic, readjustment. We sat down with Dr. Stephen P. Bracci, who specializes in non-invasive medical cosmetics, and has several Verve Laser / Med Spa locations in the NYC area to learn more about what we can do (or stop doing) to prevent aging as well as fielded some of our other questions when it comes to caffeine intake, diet, and exercise.
Below are some of Dr. Bracci’s most important takeaways when it comes to skincare:
- There are three major things that you can actually avoid to fight the signs of aging. “The things that are most detrimental to the skin are sun exposure, smoking, and birth control pills,” Dr. Bracci explains. The former are relatively obvious, as repeated sun exposure expedites photo-aging and smoking can hurt repair mechanisms in the body to heal and recover. With birth control pills, the hormonal changes can cause pigmentation, known as melasma, occur,which can cause patches and splotches on the face. “Aside from these three negative things, there’s no doubt in my mind that lifestyle issues contribute; your skin is an organ, and lifestyle, such as diet and exercise effect it.”
- Caffeine may not actually be as bad for your skin as you may think. “Caffeine, we know is a risk factor as a diuretic,” says Dr. Bracci, “but when you are chronically on caffeine, your body adjusts to it. You skin wouldn’t be any more dehydrated than others and in some ways, it is good because it is an antioxidant.” In addition, many products these days include caffeine as an ingredient, to stimulate and enhance the antioxidant properties, in order to better fight free radicals.
- Anti-aging creams, serums, and moisturizers can’t be a substitute for bad lifestyle choices.“But they can still help (fight aging),” Bracci elaborates; “The best time to apply creams and the like is after the shower, as the skin has been de-oiled. I think people can start using these products in their 20s.”
- Exercising really can help save your face. “A relatively healthy diet; calorie-restricted, as well as rigorous, regular exercise, without going overboard, will help to keep the foundation in your face, in your skin, that we naturally lose a we age,” Bracci verifies. “
- The sun doesn’t have to be your enemy. “You do need some sun, but you can get it on your body and save your face,” Dr. Bracci reasons. Use products that contain SPF on a daily basis for your face, or combine your current moisturizing/makeup routine with sunscreen so that the protection of your face is a seamless, daily occurrence.
Dr. Bracci just launched a line of products that include high grade cosmetic ingredients as well as a more affordably-priced line, dubbed Verve Firm Commitment and Verve Daily Squeeze (available online at FuturisticBeauty.com at the end of May, 2011). Some of the products include Antioxidant Face Cleanser, Antioxidant Face Moisturizer, Eye Bright Clinical Dark Circle Treatment, Age-Reversing Serum, Solar Shield SPF 30, and a Peptide Formula Wrinkle Treatment Kit.