In a world obsessed with anti-aging products, can we rely on them to save us from an early Leather Face? Not totally, according to local dermatologist Brian Williams, M.D.
"As the proverb states, 'an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,' Dr. Williams tells Beauty Buff in an email interview. "So what's the ounce of prevention? What can we do today to look better tomorrow?"
Luckily, Dr. Williams knows the answer, and that's ditching the bad habits that accelerate aging. So here's his naughty list of habits to stop so you can have a cosmetic surgery-free future.
1. SKIPPING THE SUNSCREEN
"It's estimated that up to 85 percent of aging comes from ultraviolet rays. Whether from the sun or from an artificial light, you are getting the UV-A rays that break down the collagen and elastin in your skin that leads to wrinkles, and you produce the pigmentation that give you sunspots. A tan is just your body’s way of protecting the DNA in your skin cells that is already being damaged. Once you see the tan, the damage is already underway. Also, sun protection starts with clothing, not sunscreen. Sunscreens wear off over time; the sun protection from clothing is only removed when you remove it. Wear wide-brimmed hats, shirts and rash guards. Sunscreen is for the areas where clothes are not practical: Face, neck, sometimes the arms and the legs. Unless the sunscreen says differently on its package, only count on a sunscreen for 90 to 120 minutes (and look for how long it lasts in water). That's why 'My sunscreen is in my makeup' still leads to afternoon problems if sunscreen is not reapplied. Physical sun blockers, such as those with zinc or titanium dioxide, tend to last longer and work better than the chemical sunscreens. And remember that peak sun exposure is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m."
"If you needed the 112th reason to stop smoking, this is it. Statistically, long-term smokers are more likely to develop that deep wrinkled look. Another study showed that facial wrinkles, while not visible to the naked eye, can be seen under a microscope in smokers as young as 20 years old. The more you smoke the faster you age."
3. PILING ON ANTI-AGING PRODUCTS
"There are many products and many promises. Not all products can substantiate their promised results. Unfortunately, most of them take months or even years of use to see the difference. And, price does not always equate with efficacy. Managing expectations are key when getting into this market."
So when it gets down to fighting facial divets, it's time to look at your behavioral patterns before turning to those promise-all wonder potions.