You’ve been humming along with your skincare routine, but you’re just not seeing the anti-aging results you want: wrinkles that seem to be getting deeper by the day, brown spots too big to be called freckles, capillaries that look like a route on Google Maps. Despite all the advances in at-home skincare, there are simply some things you can’t do at home with lotions, masks, and the like.We asked New York City dermatologist Doris Day, MD, author of the new book Beyond Beautiful, when an off-the-shelf solution won’t cut it and it’s time to see a professional.
1. You look angry or worried (even when really, you’re not!).
A furrowed brow is fine when there’s cause for concern; but there’s cause for concern when that furrow doesn’t go away when the worries do! “The lines between the brows and across the forehead are multidimensional,” says Dr. Day. “They're a product of collagen breakdown due to sun exposure and genetics.”
The repetitive motion of pushing your brows up and together breaks down that collagen further, Day explains, “and unless you do something to minimize that motion, fighting against those wrinkles is like spitting into the wind.”
So what stops you from scrunching your skin? Wrinkle reducers can be injected directly into the expression-making muscles to reduce their activity, which temporarily minimizes and softens the lines on the face. The lines will return, so retreatment is usually recommended no more frequently than every three months. Of course, as with any prescription treatment, there are risks involved so be sure to talk about these with a provider during the initial consultation.
2. You have red veins and brown spots that just won’t go away.
Once a broken blood vessel or an ‘age spot’ takes up residence on your face, “it’s usually too big or deep to be cleared with topical products,” says Day. To target unwanted marks on the skin, the experts love lasers.
“Different wavelengths target different colors in the skin known as chromaphores,” explains Day. “Pulse-dye lasers target hemoglobin, the protein that makes the vessels red; Q-switched lasers go after melanin, which makes the spots brown.”
Once you’ve zapped ’em, Day recommends that you use sun protection and a topical treatment containing retinol, a vitamin A derivative that helps skin exfoliate more effectively, to minimize the likelihood they’ll come back.
3. Your face has lost its plumpness
What the experts call “volume loss” is a result of aging, genetics, and lifestyle. If you have very low body fat, like weight trainers or triatheletes, you’ll lose fat all over, including in your face where fat helps makes you look youthful.
“Fillers, injections of hyaluronic acid, can temporarily correct lost volume in the face,” says Day. Injectors have a number of different fillers to choose from with different viscosities and consistencies to add volume back to different areas, including the cheeks, lips, and the parentheses lines that go from your nose to your mouth. Have more questions? Chat with a trained aesthetic specialist now.
Now you’re ready for your close-up!