Skin can be so damn confusing, why? Because each of our exteriors are tailor made just for us. Sounds chic, but what it really means is there’s no one right answer for everyone when it comes to its mysteries and maintenance. There are however a few proven guidelines, that if followed can extensively aid in caring for yourself, and in slowing the aging process even just a little. We got ahold of Ursula Diaz, Beverly Hills Beauty Expert, and Co-Founder of Honor MD — a three step skincare regime crafted to make you radiate — to ask her all those beauty questions we know you want answers to!
VÉRITÉ: How can women in their early twenties begin preventative aging in their skincare regimes?
URSULA DIAZ: The best thing women in their twenties can do to prevent signs of premature aging is to add sunscreen and antioxidants to their daily skin care regimen. Studies have shown that the sun’s damaging UV rays are responsible for approximately 80% of visible signs of aging on the face. i.e. wrinkles, uneven skin tone and hyper-pigmentation (brown spots). Applying sunscreen to your face, neck, and chest daily will not only prevent signs of aging, but it will also prevent skin cancer. By applying topical antioxidants to the skin like vitamin c protects the skin from free radical damage caused by pollution and they also add an extra layer of UV protection.
My two favorites are Protect SPF 45 and Renew vitamin C serum by Honor MD. Protect is great physical sunscreen that is good for all skin types and contains hydrating hyaluronic acid. Renew is a powerful antioxidant serum that contains 15% vitamin C, vitamin E and ferulic acid. Renew not only prevents premature signs of aging it also helps to reverse any existing lines and dark spots.
V: How is pollution in our cities harmful to our skin and it’s aging process?
UD: Pollution breaks down collagen in the skin, causes inflammation and can impair healthy cell function. This process will eventually lead to wrinkles, skin laxity (the lose of elasticity) and discoloration.
V: Does pollution speed up the aging process?
UD: Yes, pollution does speed up the aging process by causing free radical damage to the skin. Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that cause damage to cell membranes, lipids, proteins and DNA. This damage results in inflammation, wrinkles, brown spots and overall bad skin quality. If you live in a heavily polluted city like Los Angeles it is imperative to clean your skin everyday and protect it with antioxidants and sunscreen. The Honor System Anti-Aging by Honor MD is a simple and effective skin care regimen that prevents and treats signs of aging.
V: What can girls who don’t feel comfortable with / or ready for Botox do to prevent wrinkles and lines?
UD: The first line of defense for preventing wrinkles and lines should be skincare. Sunscreen, antioxidants and retinol are musts and should be used in conjunction with any in-office treatments, even Botox.
Two excellent Botox alternative treatments are Microneedling and the Clear and Brilliant laser. Micro-needling rejuvenates the skin by creating “micro” punctures in the epidermis (top layer of the skin), which stimulates the skin’s self-repair or wound healing process. This natural process creates increased collagen and elastin production over time. Micro-needling not only reduces signs of aging, but it’s also great for correcting texture issues such as mild acne scarring.
The Clear and Brilliant is a non-ablative laser treatment that helps treat and prevent early signs of aging from the inside out. It uses laser energy to make focused stimulation sites to replace damaged cells with healthy younger looking skin. It is a great treatment for preventing and treating wrinkles and also helps to diminish the appearance of brown spots. I love both of these treatments because they are effective, have minimal downtime and leave the skin with a radiant glow. Both are available here at our practice in Beverly Hills.
V: At what age would you suggest women begin Botox?
UD: According to expert injector and Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Diaz, early 30s is a good time to start getting Botox treatments. However, there are other factors besides age, like the extent of visible signs of aging and skin quality that should be taken into consideration when deciding when to start getting Botox treatments. Women who take great care of their skin and use sun protection daily can typically wait longer to get Botox or need much less of it, than women who have neglected their skin or who are sun worshipers.
Generally, if you have lines at rest (when you are not speaking or making a facial expression) then you would likely benefit from Botox injections. I think people misunderstand or misuse the term “preventative Botox.” Someone that does not have lines at rest does not need Botox. If you do have lines at rest, but they are not very deep it good to treat them before the wrinkles become very pronounced. This way you prevent them from becoming deep wrinkles and you will need less Botox over time.
V: How do you feel about dermarollers?
UD: I think dermarollers can be extremely effective, but can do more harm than good if not used properly. They can improve skin texture (over time) and they can help skin care products penetrate the skin better, but if not used correctly they can tear the skin, which could lead to scarring. I would suggest having it done in a dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s office with a skin care professional. Alternatively, you could try microneedling treatments. Micro-needling is a much stronger version of this same treatment making it more effective.
V: What lifestyle shifts do you suggest on top of good skincare for preventative measures?
UD: Eating a healthy balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants can do wonders for the skin. Adding skin boosting vitamin supplements like vitamins A, B C, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for beautiful skin from the inside out. Exercising helps nourish skin cells and eliminate toxins from the body. Lastly, getting plenty sleep is imperative for beautiful, healthy skin.
V: Let’s talk acne, I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter lately about cystic pimples, what exactly are they?
UD: Acne develops when hair follicles or pores become clogged by oil and dead skin cells. Once the pore is clogged, and the bacteria that is present in the hair follicle begins to grow, the pore becomes enlarged and inflamed. These inflamed spots are called comedones or “pimples.” There are many types of comedones/pimples and cystic pimples are pus-filled bumps that form deep within the skin.
V: How do we prevent them?
Acne is caused by increased oil production and the build up of dead skin cells and bacteria within pores so it is very important to be consistent with a skin care regimen that helps regulate oil on the skin, kills bacteria and increases cell turn over. I recommend using a cleanser with 2% salicylic acid to clear away the build up of dead cells and unclog pores. Followed by a toner that contains lactic, salicylic and glycolic acids to chemically exfoliate the skin and help dissolve sebum (oil) with clogged pores. Using a product that contains between 2.5-5% of benzoyl peroxide on acne prone areas of your skin will kill bacteria causing acne helping to heal active acne breakouts and prevent new ones from forming.
Oil production can be increased by hormonal shifts and stress so incorporating stress-relieving activities (ie: yoga, meditation, bubble bath) is also very helpful. Exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep also help to prevent acne breakouts by reducing inflammation and boosting your immune system.
V: How do we cure these pesky pimples?
UD: Cystic acne typically needs to be treated with topical or oral antibiotics, hormonal therapy or prescription strength retinoid (vitamin A). Do not attempt to extract cystic pimples because it can lead to severe scarring. If you have cystic acne it is important to seek medical attention from a skin care professional.