How To: Beautiful Skin at Any Age

I have been obsessed with skincare my entire life. I had horrible acne as a teenager and very dull skin in my twenties, and have spent the better part of my adult life researching, trying and experimenting with skincare products.

Now, fast-forward to my mid-forties and I am both thankful that I have been on a strict skincare regime, as well as terrified because I see my skin changing, yet again.

Thank you, Father Time. You. Suck.

I started my skincare regime about 14 years ago with the help of Dr. Marcia Fleming and her amazing team at Delta Laser and Skin Care Centre in North Delta. I knew I needed a professional because what I had been doing – cherry-picking drugstore-brand products – was not helping or improving my skin.

Dr. Fleming has been practicing in the Vancouver area for 14 years and she is the medical director of both the Delta Laser and Skin Care Centre and the Lougheed Laser Centre.

She keeps on top of the constant change in the field of aesthetic medicine and she is also a clinical preceptor (that’s a fancy word for saying she also teaches other physicians the fine art of aesthetic medicine).

In other words, she knows her stuff.

I interviewed Dr. Fleming for this column to get the lowdown on what we should be doing with our skincare regime with each passing decade and how we can get beautiful skin, at any age.

Delta Laser & Skin Care Centre and the awesome Dr. Fleming
Delta Laser & Skin Care Centre and the awesome Dr. Fleming

40s: In our forties, our focus should be on adding moisture to our skin and rebuilding the collagen that is slowly diminishing as we age. Two products Dr. Fleming recommends to promote collagen production are vitamin C and retinol.

In addition, we need to start protecting our skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen, minimum SPF 30, all year round. (Yes, all year, not just on sunny and bright days, or when travelling to a hot climate. Sunscreen 365 days a year, baby.)

PJ side tip: I have been using retinol for over 20 years. Not only is it great for collagen production, it is also awesome for wrinkles and acne. In the hierarchy of skincare, retinol reigns supreme. A tip if you are just starting out with retinol: begin with a low concentration, as it can be drying and irritating to the skin, and build up to higher doses as your skin becomes accustomed to retinol.

50s: In our fifties, the same rules as in our forties apply (adding moisture to the skin, sunscreen and boosting collagen), with a shift now leaning towards adding growth factors and peptides to your skincare regime.

Growth factors strengthen the skin, repair aging skin and protect the future of aging skin. But, alas, just like a cheap Coach knockoff, not all growth factors are equal.

To make a difference in the skin, you need a pharmaceutical product, compared to a cosmeceutical like those found in drugstores. Cosmeceuticals will not have the magical active ingredients needed for serious skin improvement. These skin-changing, fabulous products can be only be obtained by a doctor at a medi-spa.

Peptides (especially ones that contain retinol, antioxidants and specialized DNA-repairing enzymes) work around the clock to help minimize UV oxidation damage and uneven pigmentation while restoring skin function and elasticity.

60s: In our sixties, Dr. Fleming recommends higher concentrations of active ingredients such as retinol and growth factors with enzymes to prevent and repair photo-damaged skin.

These products will radically reduce wrinkles, uneven skin tone, fine lines, rough textures and sagging skin. And, of course, as always, sunscreen 365 days a year.

Beauty starts within.
Seeing Spots

One of the biggest skincare concerns women have (and the initial reason I first walked into Dr. Fleming’s clinic) are brown spots, otherwise known as age spots, and redness.

No woman likes these! They are the equivalent to that person in front of us at the checkout who has the exact change, somewhere in the bottom of their purse, and wants to count it slowly and methodically to the cashier.

Thankfully for us, though, we can easily do something about the spots and redness, and as for that person in front of us, just don’t use the express checkout. That is their natural habitat, the “under nine items or less” lane.

There are two services you can have to treat spots and redness that work brilliantly:

  • IPL/Photorejuvenation treatments will address age spots, redness and small broken capillaries (like those little buggers around the nose) in as few as three to five treatments. I have had IPL treatment a lot though the years and it does work, and with no downtime. I love this treatment and highly recommend it!
  • Fraxel or Venus Viva treatments work by resurfacing the skin, which in turn creates new collagen production, as well evens out the tone and texture, tightens enlarged pores and helps with pigmentation (aka age spots). This procedure is a lot deeper than IPL, so the results are bigger but so is the downtime. It takes about a week to get the redness and swelling down. But, no one ever said beauty didn’t hurt. In fact, I think I will try the Venus Viva this year. It is new on the market and the results I have seen are amazing

PJ side tip: If you plan to head to Delta Laser and Skin Care make sure to tell them that PJ sent you! This will get a 20% discount off of any service not performed by a physician. A great savings!

Beautiful Looking Skin Starts With Right Now.

Sunscreen tips

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