The pursuit of eternally young-looking skin is pretty intense. Everybody craves baby skin: tight, firm, even, and bouncy. But in a world where we encounter so many skin aggressors daily, premature skin aging is a thing. Lots of stuff can speed up the aging process. I suppose you’re familiar with them already, but for starters, these are sun, excess sugars, carbs, alcohol, cigs, sleep deprivation, and a sedentary lifestyle. From avoiding these culprits to a diligent skincare routine, it all influences how your skin ages.
Many believe having tightened, and firm skin for as long as possible requires too many resources, such as time and money, but the reality is that it mostly takes knowledge. From the very start, I want to point out that by no means I’m encouraging you to look like 20 years old when you’re 50, but to look and feel like the best version of yourself at all ages.
What dermatologists use to wrestle premature aging signs
And what’s the best way to learn how to prevent premature skin aging if not from dermatologists? Hence, to get the scoop, I turned to four derms and asked them how they fight aging signs, which are their favorite allies, and what’s their must-do advice for whoever wants to prevent early aging signs. Curious what they said?
#1 Dr. Simon Zokaie
Dr. Simon Zokaie is a Cosmetic and NHS Dermatologist, a Medical Director at Linia Skin Clinic in London, and an up-to-the-minute Instagram personality. Also, he gained membership to the Royal College of Physicians and practices cosmetic dermatology offering his patients various non and minimally invasive treatments to improve their skin’s look and minimize the visible effects of premature skin aging.
- Favorite anti-aging ingredients: “Sunscreen, retinol/tretinoin cream (prescription), vitamin C serum 10-15%.”
- Recommended treatments: “IPL rejuvenation, chemical peel rejuvenation, dermapen rejuvenation, PRP rejuvenation.”
- Advice: “To delay signs of aging, start medical-grade skincare early and have a good dermatologist look after you and recommend the proper treatment.”
#2 Dr. Adebola Dele-Michael
Dr. Adebola Dele-Michael is an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist specializing in skincare for people of color, Medical Director of Radiant Skin Dermatology, and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She’s a successful entrepreneur, speaker, and beauty expert who uses her experience to empower and educate others about skin because she says, “…what people do on their skin has an impact on their health.” You can follow her up on Instagram for dermatologist-grade content.
- Favorite anti-aging ingredients: “The ingredients that I use in my anti-aging skincare routine are L-ascorbic vitamin C for its antioxidant properties and retinoids, which help with collagen production to reduce wrinkles and lines on my face. Third, I use low molecular weight hyaluronic acid that absorbs into my skin to hydrate it, enhance its ability to retain water and increase its plumpness over time. Last but not least, I use peptides that signal the skin to form more collagen, and elastin and therefore improve the firmness of the skin.”
- Recommended treatments: “I receive yearly maintenance laser skin rejuvenation treatments using LaseMD. This treatment stimulates collagen and improves my skin complexion. Also, I use adm skincare products, a collection of expertly formulated skincare products that I founded in 2015. Specifically, I use the Regeneration (purple) line because of its youth-restoring ingredients. I start with the cleanser, followed by the serum, then the day or night moisturizer, and finally the mineral-based sunscreen.”
- Starting age: “I started at 24 when I was thinking more seriously about a career in dermatology. I was in med school, and I had just started my dermatology rotation. All the dermatology residents had amazing skin, and they swore by retinoids such as Retin-A micro.”
- Advice: “Apply mineral-based sunscreens routinely whether or not you think it is sunny outside. Visit a board-certified dermatologist for preventative procedures like laser skin rejuvenation, use expertly formulated skin care products for the best value. In summary, the age you start is the age you stay.”
#3 Dr. Charles Puza
Dr. Charles studied evolutionary biology at Harvard while conducting cancer biology research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Currently, he is a dermatology resident at UT Southwestern, Dallas. Passionate about skincare, science, and minimalism, Dr. Charles creates lots of informative content on TikTok and Instagram — you should see it! He also wrote a book called 1-Day Journey to Becoming a Skincare Expert.
- Favorite anti-aging ingredients: “There are two foundational ingredients critical to anti-aging skincare: SPF and retinoids. Every single day, start with SPF 30 (30-50 is fine, greater than that is overkill for most days). If you’re sensitive to the sun (i.e. have any sort of PIH, melasma), then a repeat application during lunch is ideal. Similarly, retinoids should be regularly used to help with skin texture and collagen remodeling. Some people can’t tolerate a retinoid daily, and that’s ok. If so, regular use (1-3x weekly) will suffice.”
- Recommended treatments: “I’m constantly trying new formulations of skincare products. My current retinoid is a prescription-strength cream called Tazorac or Tazarotene. My two current favorite sunscreens are Supergoop and CeraVe AM lotion.”
- Starting age: “It is never too early to start using sunscreen. Nowadays, parents are much better at photo protecting their kids (either with SPF products or UPF clothing). Most people start a retinoid in their teens and continue into late in life.”
- Advice: “Sunscreen and diligent photoprotection. Don’t forget your hands, arms, and neck. Those places also get a ton of sun and develop signs of aging.”
#4 Dr. Meg Sison
Dr. Meg Sison graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, UP Manila, and is now a PDS Board-Certified Dermatologist and a Fellow of the Philippine Dermatological Society, specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. She offers online consults, and you can also follow her Instagram for derm-content.
- Favorite anti-aging ingredients: “Retinoids and a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.”
- Recommended treatments: “I’ve tried many sunscreens, and I really like using Korean and Japanese sunscreens lately because they are lightweight and cosmetically elegant. I also use prescription tretinoin at night because it is well-studied for its effectiveness in stimulating collagen production in our skin.”
- Starting age: “I started in my 20s when I was assigned to an island municipality as a community doctor before I did my derm residency. I wish I started way earlier than that, though!”
- Advice: “Aside from using sunscreen and retinoids, choose to live a healthy lifestyle. Do not smoke, avoid binge drinking, aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week, and eat a healthy balanced diet. It also helps to manage stress and take breaks whenever we need them.”
So far, all dermatologists rely on sunscreen daily (as in 365 days a year!) to delay aging signs and protect their skin. Retinol is a star ingredient for preventing and diminishing skin aging, the one that derms praise for increasing collagen synthesis and increasing cell turnover. Last but not least, stabilized versions of vitamin C (aka L-ascorbic acid) are a gold addition to your anti-aging skincare routine — it induces collagen production, fades dark spots, retains moisture, and protects against free radical damage, a fantastic multi-tasker! Besides, laser treatments like IPL rejuvenation and LaseMD are the most recommended by derms to even skin tone and improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Without a doubt, it’s always better to have a dermatologist to go to since they advise you according to your skin type and needs, always tailoring the proper regimen for you.
To end, dermatologists agree that not even a steady skincare routine can pay off without healthy lifestyle choices, so besides your twice-daily skincare routine, weekly exfoliation and regular rejuvenating treatments, try to make as many healthy lifestyle choices as possible.