By Alix Fuller
Cosmetics: What causes skin to wrinkle and lose density over time?
Dr. Lisa Kellett: As we age, the structural components of the dermis (lower layer) of the skin also begin to age. Collagen and elastin, in particular, undergo significant changes and the skin gradually loses some of its structural ability, which is seen clinically as wrinkles.
C: What’s the main difference between a day and a night cream?
Dr. LK: In general, day creams tend to be slightly lighter in texture than night creams, and many now have an SPF in their formula. Night creams are thicker and often are more oil-based.
C: Can a day cream be used at night and vice versa?
Dr. LK: The two can be interchanged providing you have adequate sun protection, and don’t find a night cream too oily during the day.
C: Does skin really repair itself during the night?
Dr. LK: The skin is constantly repairing itself, night and day. There is some thought that there might be more circulating growth factors during rest periods, such as sleep. However, more data is needed to ascertain the effect of growth factors on the skin during sleep.
C: As you get older, morning skin creases seem to take a lot longer to disappear. Why is this, and what can be done about it?
Dr. LK: As we age, skin begins to lose elasticity, or recoil ability. We see this in creases in the skin that take longer to disappear. This is not only the result of intrinsic aging, it’s also caused by sun damage. The best treatment is prevention by good sun protection. And, the factors that contribute to good overall health (proper diet, exercise, limiting alcohol intake, not smoking) will improve the skin’s appearance and ability to heal itself.
C: At what age should you start using an anti-aging night cream? And, once you start, do you have to continue?
Dr. LK: I suggest to all my patients 30 and over that they go on a preventative skin care regimen including using a night cream and skin care with vitamin A and anti-oxidants. It’s advisable that in order to maintain the results of a preventative skin care regimen, that they continue it daily.
C: What sorts of results can you expect?
Dr. LK: Some studies suggest that the use of certain topical vitamin A formulations improves the sign of photoaging including an improvement in the look of fine lines, collagen production and skin texture.