How To Look Younger — No Surgery Required

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image-1Illustrated by Isabel Castillo Guijarro.
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.

While on the quest for younger, firmer-looking skin, many women can get aggressive and resort to radical procedures to help them return to their former selves. As a celebrity aesthetician, I’ve seen major advancements when it comes to non-invasive skin procedures, and have seen some amazing, highly effective ingredients that serve to return skin to its most healthy, radiant state hit the shelves. I regularly use these tips at my Dallas-based skincare spas and NYC and LA-based pop up locations.

Let’s start with a few skin firming tips. Skin is primarily made up of collagen and elastin that work to keep skin strong and flexible. As we age, collagen production slows and begins to breakdown. Free radicals — highly reactive and unstable molecules that can cause serious cellular damage — damage collagen and elastin at a pace that exceeds our body’s ability to repair itself.

TipsForLookingYounger_2Illustrated by Isabel Castillo Guijarro.
Other contributing factors like UV rays, smoking, pollutants in food, hard water, and free radicals from inflammation can make matters worse. Start by slowing down the breakdown by introducing products that contain free radical scavengers (lookin' at you, antioxidants!) into your daily regimen. Try to reduce fat, sugar, and salt intake, and avoid smoking. Additionally, make a serious effort to exercise a few times a week, and eat foods rich in antioxidants to help reduce the damage these free radicals cause. Next, topically stimulate collagen and elastin to also eliminate free radicals.

Stimulating cells to produce collagen can help reduce the signs of aging and improve skin texture. This can be achieved through skin abrasion in the form of microdermabrasion, mini-brasion and the new Bio-Brasion. The slight irritation to the skin via crystals may trigger the skin’s healing process, which, can ultimate create collagen.

Home exfoliation with gentle scrubs, AHAs and enzyme peels also stimulates this process. However, it’s super important to not over exfoliate — this can can compromise the skin and introduce further damage.

TipsForLookingYounger_3Illustrated by Isabel Castillo Guijarro.
In addition, start using a retinol product in your nighttime — or, if you have sensitive skin, every other night — routine. Retinol or retinoids, a type of vitamin A that encourages collagen production, accelerates cell turnover, and can dramatically improve the look and feel of your skin’s texture while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. More so than any other skin ingredient, retinol will transform your skin over time. Trust.

Another effective way to encourage the stimulation of collagen and elastin is by using products that contain peptides: protein fragments that can stimulate the production of dermal proteins, and can thicken the dermis — the mattress under the skin that keeps the skin plump — without any harsh side effects.

Lastly, I can’t talk about anti-aging without mentioning sunscreen — the absolute best anti-aging product in the world. Because UV exposure is the main cause of premature skin aging, no magic potion will be effective if you're skimping on the SPF, rain or shine. Find one that is compatible with your skin type (I personally love ones with the ingredient zinc oxide) and wear it faithfully.
TipsForLookingYounger_4Illustrated by Isabel Castillo Guijarro.
Still, looking younger and great for your age is not just about wrinkle reduction, but rather, the way you present yourself to the world. If you want to look fabulous for your age, you must make caring for yourself a priority! Here are a few tips and tricks to staying younger sans-surgery that I've picked up from my clients.

Exercise facial muscles by smiling
A smile will instantly lift the skin and cheeks giving you a brighter, younger look. I honestly believe the more you do this — even if you’re just at work sitting at your desk! — you reprogram your face muscles so it becomes natural to have this facial expression without even thinking about it.

Stand up straight
People who stand up straight exude confidence. You feel more confident when you do this and to others, you appear more confident and being confident is a beautiful thing.

Wear a brighter blush
When skin ages, fewer nutrients are delivered to the skin thanks to a sluggish blood flow. This causes fading and reduced radiance. The simple addition of a bright blush that complements your undertone will instantly improve the brightness in your skin and get your skin looking radiant.

What are your tricks to feeling and looking youthful?

When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.