Dermatologist and allergologist Dr Thomas Berger tells us the secrets to looking good at any age.
Keep Young and Beautiful (if you want to be loved), so go the words of the song of the same name. Thankfully, those days have gone, but we still want to take care of ourselves for ourselves, right? But make sure in the process that you don’t fall for the advertising hype!
Q. Many products and services promise anti-aging effects. What’s your take on this? Is it a marketing ploy or can certain procedures really turn back the hands of time?
With regard to vitamins and pills like collagen, the sad truth is, they probably don’t do anything. There are numerous scientific studies that prove the use of oral vitamins for the benefit of skin health or anti-aging purposes are limited at best.
Other drugs such as Metformin or Rapamycin show some promising anti-aging effects in scientific studies, but are not currently recommended for regular use. However, many aesthetic procedures do have proven efficacy. Botulinum or other injectables, for example, do not turn back time but they make people look younger.
Q.When it comes to cosmetic procedures, it’s better to stay ahead of the curve. What services would you recommend for each decade?
20s: Prevention is the goal. Don’t smoke or overexpose yourself to the sun. Start a good skincare routine with effective cleansers, moistures and sunscreen. A bit of acne is normal during this time but treat it properly to avoid scarring by doing regular professional facials.
30s: Maintenance is the goal. You likely don’t need to do anything drastic. Apart from having a healthy lifestyle, start using topical retinoids or similar products to prevent fine lines and skin discoloration. Start using Botulinumtoxin early to prevent deeper lines later in life. Consider skin booster injections or platelet rich plasma to maintain good skin hydration, or do mild once resurfacing of the skin with peelings or microdermabrasion every once in a while.
40s: Consider treatment. This is an ideal time to correct the signs of sun damage. For example, sunspots can be removed using pigment lasers and deeper lines can be improved using fractional lasers or microneedling. Also, one of the main concerns at this stage is a certain degree of skin sagging. Fillers can be used to restore volume or subcutaneous threads (sutures that are placed under the skin) to
give a lift.
Q. What advice would you give to someone considering a cosmetic procedure?
Before choosing where to go, research among your friends and ask about their experiences – real opinions are better than unbiased by advertisements. I suggest taking it easy and trying less invasive things first like a bit of botox as opposed to a thread lift. Also, be careful of new products and procedures that are hyped across social media. In many cases, this hype is unfounded and sometimes these fads lead to severe side effects.
Q. What tips or tricks would recommend to keep skin looking healthy and good?
Tip 1: Healthy lifestyle! there are numerous scientific articles that prove the importance of regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet to keep the skin healthy and good looking.
Tip 2: Use sunscreen (For face neck and hands at least). This cannot be overstressed. Sun damage is the single most important reason to make skin look older. And talking of sun damage, do a regular skin check to detect any suspicious moles or skin cancers early.
Tip 3: Chose a good skincare routine that fits your skin type and age. A consult from a licensed dermatologist helps much more than following the advice of social media influencers.