Different Keys to Youthful Skin

As we grow older, cell turnover becomes sluggish. The same skin cells that renewed themselves within 21 to 28 days in our youth now take more than double that time. By the time you are 50+, it can take anywhere between 42 and 84 days for cells to renew. The result: dull, dry skin, lacking radiance and freshness. A far cry from the  youthful skin we once had.

Simply put, we lose our “glow”. Pigmentation marks get darker, and lines and wrinkles are more pronounced as old layers of dead skin just sit there. What can we do then to keep our glow?

Skin Cells

Dr Maureen Allem

“The skin is continually undergoing natural exfoliation. As one ages, the epidermal cell turnover slows down and one’s skin becomes dull because the topmost layer consisting of dead cells becomes too thick,” explains Founder of Skin Renewal, a GP specialising in aesthetic medicine, Dr. Maureen Allem.

The purpose of regular exfoliation at home, be it with a facial scrub, cleansing brush, wash cloth or an enzyme-exfoliating formulation, is to get rid of dead skin cell layers, exposing the fresh new cells underneath. “If one exfoliates regularly, new healthy skin cells are exposed to nutrients from the air, water and daily skin products,” says Allem. “These nutrients are then transported to the deeper skin cells where they are needed, improving circulation, texture, healthy collagen and elastin production, and evening out skin tone and colour.”

Yet, often, DIY simply cannot do the job effectively, especially in cases of stubborn pigmentation and other marks or scars on the skin. Time for the big guns: chemical peels and microdermabrasion at the doctor’s rooms. You will be doing yourself and your skin a favor – these treatments not only assist in skin rejuvenation, but also in preventing premature aging.

Chemical Peel. A Youthful Solution?

What it is: A facial peel is a procedure that renews the skin by chemically lifting dead cells off the surface of the skin, and stimulating the regeneration and renewal of the cells underneath. Acne scars and enlarged pores become less noticeable, and acne breakouts may be reduced. It is important that a programme for skin renewal is firmly built on patient-specific-evaluation, says Allem. Before any treatment process is started, a doctor should assess the patient to ensure that the best programme is worked out for optimal results. Depending on the result you need, there are different levels (and depths) and types of peels. With peels you can quickly achieve substantial improvement in the appearance of superficial lines and uneven pigmentation, while making your skin look and feel softer, smoother and more radiant.

What happens: After an initial consultation, a client will be given a pigment-lightening gel, cream or serum, which must be applied to the entire face daily for 10 days before the peeling process can begin. This down-regulates the enzyme that produces melanin and will prevent the possibility of post-inflammatory pigmentation (PIH), which can occur after any exfoliation procedure.


  • Fine lines and wrinkles become less apparent;
  • Skin tone evens out;
  • Texture becomes more refined;
  • Oily or acne-prone skin is improved;
  • Enlarged pores appear smaller;
  • Superficial scars appear reduced;
  • Skin appears healthier and more youthful;
  • Pigmentation is reduced in all skin types; and
  • The skin itself starts to “behave younger


A mild redness of the skin occurs following the procedure. In most cases the skin may feel a bit tight for up to 48 hours after the procedure. Depending on the type of peel, this is followed by dark scaling that appears and then sloughs off after several days. There are peeling options available where the peeling is hardly noticeable and can be easily covered with treatment foundations. Mild peels such as the 10% to 15% TCA may be repeated at four-week intervals until the desired clinical effect is achieved.

Suitability for different skin types: Superficial peels are usually suitable for all skin types, including patients with:

  • Acne or sensitive skin;
  • Sunspots, hormonal pigmentation or sun-damaged skin;
  • Dry, aging skin;
  • Oily skin with enlarged pores; and
  • Acne scarring.

Note: All exfoliation treatments make skin more sensitive to the sun. A sunscreen of SPF30 should be used daily, and sun exposure avoided, no matter what the skin type.

Microdermabrasion for a more youthful looking complexion

What it is: Microdermabrasion is a quick, no-downtime procedure that renews the skin by lifting dead cells off the skin’s surface by means of a gentle polishing with crystals. It is a modern, painless, non-invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure using a combination of a fine abrasive tip or crystals and vacuum suction applied to exfoliate the skin.

youthful skin | Longevity Live

The treatment is aimed at treating dull or sallow skin, mild acne, acne discoloration, very superficial acne scars and fine lines.  Studies have shown that microdermabrasion facilitates the absorption of some topical medications through increasing the permeability of the skin. In this way sun damage and photo-aging may be partially decreased, and hydration improved.

“With a series of microdermabrasion procedures, you can quickly achieve substantial improvement in the appearance of superficial lines, poor texture and uneven skin tone, while making your skin look and feel softer, smoother and more radiant. Acne scars and enlarged pores may become less noticeable,” adds Allem.

What happens: Microdermabrasion is often compared to the feeling of a cat licking the skin – a rough, but gentle, texture. The vacuum pressure and speed are adjusted depending on the sensitivity and tolerance of the skin. Sessions can last anywhere from five to 60 minutes. Minimal to no recovery time is required and most patients return to work or their normal activities immediately after a session. Make-up and non-irritating creams can usually be applied after microdermabrasion.

Note: Since there is often an increase in minor skin sensitivity immediately after a treatment, irritating products such as glycolic acids, retinoid products or fragranced creams should be avoided for 24 to 48 hours after a microdermabrasion.

Pros: As microdermabrasion causes only superficial skin removal, complications such as scarring and pigment changes are very rare. The treatment has the advantages of rapid recovery and low risk, and has little or no impact on a patients’ lifestyle. It is an ideal treatment for patients varying from the busy corporate woman looking for a “nofuss” skin-rejuvenating treatment to the young adult male treating superficial signs of teenage acne.

  • Fine lines and wrinkles become less apparent;
  • Skin tone evens out;
  • Texture becomes more refined;
  • Oily or acne-prone skin is improved;
  • Enlarged pores appear smaller;
  • Superficial scars appear reduced;
  • Skin appears healthier and more youthful;
  • Superficial pigmentation is reduced in all skin types;
  • Benefits include a fresher, brighter-looking skin and better penetration of active ingredients of skincare products;
  • There is no significant pain or downtime; and
  • All skin types can be safely treated.


  • The skin may appear red and sensitive directly after treatment, lasting up to 24 hours.
  • Microdermabrasion is generally suitable for all skin types, but it is not advisable for patients with active acne or very sensitive skin.
  • The treated area can feel tight and dry for about 48 hours after treatment (this is easily reduced by using the appropriate after-care creams); and
  • The skin will be sensitive to the sun, so the use of a good facial sunblock is absolutely vital (as it is for anyone, every day).

youthful skin | Longevity Live

Suitability for different skin types: Microdermabrasion safely treats all skin types without significant pain or downtime. It can improve acne, stretch marks, pigmentation, texture, pores and surface irregularities in only six to eight treatment sessions, two to four weeks apart. If the area of concern is severe, more treatments may be necessary.

People who have sunspots, sun-damaged skin, dry, aging skin, oily skin with enlarged pores and superficial acne scarring are good candidates. While there are no specific age or sex restrictions, the typical microdermabrasion candidate can range from the age of 12 to 65.

These treatments are a nice treat for your skin and your skin cells. Along side preventive actions and your DIY home practice, they are the key to a healthy and youthful skin.

Is Gold-Infused Skin Care worth the hype? Follow the link to read more on this new skin care treatment.

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