Due to the myriad of photos now being posted online, more people than ever are undergoing cosmetic procedures. Requests for surgery as a result of social media photo sharing rose 31 percent in 2012 according to a report by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“People especially want to look their best when hundreds, or even thousands, of viewers are looking at their photos—we hear it too,” said Rick and Arlene Noodleman (both MDs), the husband-and-wife physician team at Silicon Valley’s Age Defy Dermatology and Wellness (agedefy.com).
“The good news is that there are now effective, minimally-invasive, low-downtime approaches that reduce or even eliminate the appearance of sun-damaged, aging skin,” Dr. Rick Noodleman says.
Both physicians emphasize that the key to youthful skin is both correction and prevention—and no, it’s never too late to start addressing the latter.
“Achieving beautiful, healthy skin is a process, not an event. It’s accomplished by working from the outside-in and the inside-out,” says Dr. Arlene Noodleman. “The link between nutrition and the quality of your skin is written all over your face.”
To ensure Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ users look their best online, the Noodlemans offer advice based on more than 25 years of research and clinical experience.
Work from the outside in
“There are a number of corrective and preventive steps you can take to achieve a more youthful look,” says Dr. Rick Noodleman.
>> For all skin types: Protect your face from the sun. Use a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB light, and wear a wide-brimmed hat.
>> For older skin: Exfoliant creams remove dead skin cells that don’t slough off as readily as when we were young. Prescription creams such as Avita, Avage, Renova, and Retin-A have been shown to reduce wrinkles and “liver spots” due to sun exposure.
>> For sun damage and acne scars: Lasers can resurface facial skin by stripping away the outermost layers. Some “nonablative” (non-wounding) lasers also stimulate collagen formation, which helps smooth wrinkles.
And from the inside out
“No matter what your skin type, healthy eating is an essential component of a good skin care regimen,” Dr. Arlene Noodleman says. “For some people eating the wrong foods can actually cause problems.”
>> Defense system: Foods rich in antioxidants seem to have a protective effect on the skin. For instance, a 2007 study by the American Society for Clinical Nutrition found that women from 40 to 75 who consumed high levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant, had fewer wrinkles. Antioxidant-rich foods include carrots and other yellow and orange fruits and vegetables; spinach and other green leafy vegetables; tomatoes, blueberries, peas, and beans; fatty fish; and nuts. The study also found that women who consumed more linoleic acid—found in nuts and seeds—had a lower incidence of dry skin.
>> Curbing acne flare-ups: Acne-prone individuals should avoid dairy products, especially cow’s milk; processed foods high in white flour, such as white bread; and white rice and sugary foods and beverages such as candy bars and soda. Foods that spike blood sugar levels can also trigger hormone production, which in turn can boost oil production.
>> Psoriasis, rashes, and other skin conditioins: Certain foods can cause hives and other reactions. Individual sensitivities vary, but common culprits are gluten, dairy, eggs, and additives. People with psoriasis may see improvement by eating a low-glycemic- load, Mediterranean-style diet. “Take a holistic approach to your skin’s health,” the Noodlemans say. “Your skin responds not only to what you put in and on your body, it also reflects your overall mental and physical health. Taking corrective and preventive measures that reduce sun damage, increase exercise, promote healthy eating, and decrease stress will help you look your best on social media.”
Rick Noodleman, MD, a board-certified, Stanford-trained dermatologist, is an expert in the medical and surgical management of skin disease, aging skin, and advanced cosmetic techniques.