What Is Prejuvenation, And When’s A Good Time To Start?
We talk so much about rejuvenation (AKA the art of restoring youthfulness), but there’s a new trend emerging that’s all about preventing those signs of aging to begin with. We’re talking about prejuvenation, and TBH the whole concept makes perfect sense to us.
Not only do we have a better understanding of what causes premature signs of aging – things like the sun, stress, diet, and internal factors – but we also have access to a robust fleet of modern tools. Getting older is a fact of life, and we’re all about celebrating natural beauty. Still, why not use technologies available to us now – like SPF and retinol – that can help delay stuff like deep wrinkles and skin laxity?
We were curious to learn more about prejuvenation, including the best types of products and treatments to try. We reached out to Dr. Michael Somenek, a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Washington, D.C.
What is Prejuvenation?
Like we mentioned above, prejuvenation is all about slowing down visible signs of getting older. This can be done in two primary ways: through small lifestyle changes and through incremental, in-office procedures.
“Prejuvenation is trending right now because new products and treatments have been created to help slow down the aging process,” says Dr. Somenek. “Rather than waiting until your skin shows almost irreversible aging, you can actively try to minimize the effects, so you do not need more drastic treatments in the future.”
Let’s also focus on a key word here. Premature. Without fail, we will show signs of our age, and that is perfectly OK. But taking care of our bodies from the inside out to prevent premature signs makes perfect sense.
Four Ways to Practice Prejuvenation at Home RN
Our daily habits have a huge impact on the health and beauty of our skin. Here are four ways you can help slow down signs of aging starting this very second!
1. Commit to Consistent Sun Care
Hands down, the most important way to get your prejuvenation on is by using sunscreen every single day. “Even when you are indoors, or it is cloudy, the sun can still come through your windows or penetrate the clouds,” says Dr. Somenek. “Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are detrimental to skin and cause premature signs of aging like wrinkles and sunspots.”
He recommends applying a broad-spectrum SPF of at least 30 to any skin not covered by clothing—especially your face, neck, chest, and arms. Check out some of our favorite sunscreens.
2. Apply Antioxidants
Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, which is another key contributor to premature signs of aging. Long story short, there are unpaired oxygen atoms floating around in the sky that latch onto your skin cells in hopes of becoming balanced again. This results in a chain reaction that degrades the quality of your skin, which over time appears as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and laxity.
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants out there, but there are lots to choose from. Simply adding an antioxidant serum to your morning regimen is a major game-changer. Try IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Dullness Vitamin C Serum, $29, or Good (Skin) Days C’s The Day Serum, $26.
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3. Use Retinoids
“Retinol is another product that works well for prejuvenation,” says Dr. Somenek. “Using retinol from an early age helps to increase cellular turnover and stimulate the production of collagen. This can minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as hyperpigmentation [over time].”
You can buy retinol over the counter or ask for a stronger prescription (tretinoin) from your dermatologist. We really like The INKEY List Retinol Anti-Aging Serum, $10, and CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum, $20.
4. Prioritize Your Overall Wellness
On the whole, it’s important to nourish our bodies from the inside out. Take a breather when you’re feeling stressed or burnt out (we know, it’s easier said than done), do things that bring you joy and peace, eat well, and stay hydrated. Also avoid known causes of aging as best as you can, such as smoking and alcohol intake. Check out these free hacks that have so many health and beauty benefits.
The Best In-Office Treatments for Prejuvenation
While a big part of prejuvenation is daily skincare, it’s also wise to take advantage of in-office procedures if you’ve got the cash.
You might have heard of the term “preventative Botox.” This is essentially the act of injecting a neuromodulator (such as Botox) to prevent the repetitive facial movements that ultimately lead to wrinkles. Research is still underway, but from what we understand, preventative Botox is effective at slowing the creation of fine lines and deep wrinkles.
Dr. Somenek says, “Individuals in their mid to late 20s or 30s can have a small amount of Botox injected into areas where they are seeing slight signs of aging. This can help slow the formation of deeper wrinkles in the future.”
Microneedling, Radiofrequency (RF), and Laser Treatments
While topical products like retinol can help boost skin cell turnover and foster collagen production, in-office treatments like microneedling, radiofrequency, and lasers can do so in a much more dramatic way.
Each works in its own way, but in general, they create controlled microdamage to the skin to trigger repair. If you’re able, one to four treatments per year is a good number to aim for in terms of a prejuvenation plan.
“Dermabrasion is an intense exfoliating treatment that works to slough off dead skin cells and reveals smoother and more even-toned skin underneath. Monthly microdermabrasion can minimize the appearance of dark spots from the sun or acne scars,” says Dr. Somenek.
If you have any more questions on prejuvenation, drop them in the comment section below!