Skincare at 60: Turning 60 in Style

There’s never been a better time to turn 60.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to your milestone birthday, and it’s the perfect moment to invest in yourself. Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or begin the process of turning back the clock, the best of your skin can still be yet to come. With cutting edge-aesthetic treatments and fine-tuned skin care, you can enter your 60s in style, no matter your starting point.

We spoke with Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD to learn how she embraced turning 60, how our skin changes over time, and her favorite ways to treat and care for mature skin.

Turning 60: How Do We Age Gracefully?

Like everything else, our skin changes as we age.

According to Dr. Behr, who just turned 60 herself, the big 6-0 is actually a milestone to our skin as well. “In our 20s, we slowly start producing less collagen every year,” Dr. Behr explains. “After 60, the lack of hormones results in even more decreased firmness and elasticity of the skin. The skin is thinner and drier, with more sagging, wrinkles and dark spots.”

That might sound all bad, but it doesn’t need to.

Through the right care and treatment, we can all age gracefully. But what exactly does that mean?

I turned 60 this year and to me aging gracefully means to slow or reverse physical aging without altering my natural facial features,” Dr. Behr explains. “Some of aging is genetic, but environmental factors also play big role.”

Because there are so many different ways the world can harm our skin, aging gracefully means taking steps to protect and repair skin through every avenue you can.

“Environmental factors that can affect skin include sun damage, stress, smoking and blue light to name a few,” Dr. Behr says. “I take care of my skin daily with sunscreen, skin care and a healthy diet. This combined with regular combination treatments in the office working on different levels of my skin help give me the most natural and youthful appearance.”

Changing Skin, Changing Skin Care

Crossing the threshold of 60 does mean you need to do a bit more for your skin than you might be used to. For most of your life, sunscreen and good skin care might have been enough to cover most of your skin needs.

“Using a daily sunscreen and reapplication is the most important preventative factor of solar elastosis and aging,” Dr. Behr explains. “This should start at a young age for the most benefit. Antioxidants and retinoids are also important starting in our 20-30’s to fight damage from pollution help stimulate skin turnover.”

It’s important to keep up and double-down on the things that work for your skin as you age. Sunscreen protects against obvious signs of aging and prevents skin cancer from developing down the line, and actives like retinoids are important to keep up that oh-so-important collagen production.

But things do change when all those hormones drop in our 60s.

“As we age into our 60s we need to hydrate and nourish our skin even more,” Dr. Behr says. “To nourish our skin as we age, I like to add growth factors to help stimulate fibroblasts to produce collagen. Also, more hydration with topical hyaluronic acids and lipids is very important.”

Ideal Treatments for 60-Year-Old Skin

That said, you can do a lot more for your skin than just update your routine.

In-office treatments open doors to real age-reversal, with technologies capable of erasing sunspots, tightening skin and reducing wrinkles.

“To give the most natural results while aging gracefully I like a combination of treatments to work on different levels of the skin,” Dr. Behr explains.

What treatment would work best for you has a lot to do with how your skin is aging and what issues you’d like to resolve. The good news is that there’s a lot that can be done for skin at 60, at every level.

“For this age group, I like Ultherapy, which uses ultrasound to help tighten the fascia and deeper levels of the skin,” Dr. Behr explains. “We can also use EmFace, which uses a combination of HIFES (high intensity facial electrical stimulation) to build and tighten the muscles that lift the face with radio frequency to stimulate elastin and collagen to smooth the skin. It is a noninvasive treatment series of four treatments one week apart followed by maintenance treatments every six months.”

If you’re looking to restore volume or fill wrinkles, Dr. Behr recommends several different options.

“Filler can helps shape the face and fill in wrinkles usually done every 6-12 months,” Dr. Behr explains. “Absorbable threads can be placed to help lift the cheeks and neck. Botox relaxes muscles to decrease the frown, crow’s feet, lip lines, chin puckering, neck bands and more.”

And finally, we get to the surface of your skin, where lasers and microneedling can reduce the appearance of scars and improve texture.

“Lasers such as the Fraxel improves skin texture, pigment irregularities and also has been shown to decrease the rate of non-melanoma skin cancer,” Dr. Behr says. “Morpheus 8 (microneedling and radio frequency) tightens skin and pores on the face neck and chest as well as the body with very little downtime. And microcoring scarlessly removes tiny cores (6-8% of skin per treatment) to lift the nasolabial folds and jowls up.”

Starting Fresh at 60

Of course, that’s a lot to choose from. Spoiled for choice, your dermatologist can help you wade through your options to tailor a treatment plan suited to your skin and its needs.

“Not every patient will need all these treatments, as we all age differently,” Dr. Behr explains. “I like to work with each patient to make an individual treatment plan. I like to evaluate texture, tone, volume, and tightness for each person.”

Even if you’re only starting to take care of your skin now, there’s a lot that can be done to make this decade the best your skin has ever had. And the first step is to start protecting it from the sun.

“If someone has not taken the best care of their skin it is important to start them on sunscreen and skin care before any treatment,” Dr. Behr says. “They need to use sunscreen and skin care to protect their investment of any further treatment we may perform.”

Based on what your skin needs and how much downtime you’re willing to have, even heavily sun-damaged skin can see new life.

“We then do a consultation to help reverse some of the signs of aging,” Dr. Behr explains. “This may involve CO2 laser treatment which gives great results but has a little more downtime of 7-14 days depending on depth and aggressiveness of the treatment. This is combined with Botox before to help dynamic lines improve more and often filler afterwards to improve volume.”

Of course, no matter how advanced these treatments are, they aren’t magic.

Nonsurgical treatments won’t product surgical results, and it’s fair to keep a healthy skepticism towards any advertising language that promises age-defying or reversing results. That’s another reason why having a board-certified dermatologist at the helm of your skin care is a good idea.

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