The Doctor Answers: What Can I Do About Crepey Skin?
Patient Question: I’m only in my 40s and my skin is already starting to look like Grandma’s. I loved her, but not her saggy, leathery skin. Help! I’m not ready to look like a turtle.
Robin Evans, MD Replies:
Since estrogen stimulates fat deposits, protein synthesis (especially collagen and elastin), and affects blood flow through the dermal capillaries, we see the effects when its levels decline. As we age, we lose collagen, elastin, and other support tissue due to mid-life hormonal fluctuations. This thinning of the epidermis makes the skin look floppy (and makes blood vessels more prominent too). Add transdermal water loss and age-related bone loss to the mix and you’ve got skin that’s like a canvas that’s too big for its stretcher bars.
However, a lot can be done to forestall the clock’s effects, not least of which are a positive attitude about aging and a commitment to a healthy skin-care routine!
Taking care of your skin can be compared to an exercise regime—you can’t change a lifetime of neglect with one push-up! Great looking skin is something you have to work at, doing a little of this and a little of that consistently over time. Start where you are. Every effort contributes to your vitality!
5 Big Ways To Avoid Crepey Skin
1. Exfoliate With Chemical Peels
By accelerating skin exfoliation, chemical peels address visible skin imperfections that result from aging and sun exposure. Results include diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, smoothing of skin texture, a more even skin color, and improved skin clarity. Think of it as a resurfacing for your face!
I love the SkinMedica peel, an in-office treatment that comes in a range of strengths. I can help you find the one that’s right for you.
For the sensitive eye area, I recommend Enerpeel.
Light home peels are also helpful. In our shop, we carry three types of peels:
• DCL 10% glycolicfor “dry” or “sensitive” skin
• DCL 20% glycolic for heartier, “normal” skin
• DCL Penta peel pads for the most delicate skin types including very sensitive and rosacea-prone skin
2. Resurface With Lasers
Penetrating the top layers of skin, lasers initiate your skin’s own natural rejuvenation process by stimulating collagen production. The most common post-treatment side-effect is a feeling like light sunburn.
The Affirm laser is a fractional resurfacing laser that utilizes the latest in light energy laser technology resulting in fewer complications and faster recovery times. It helps with crepiness because it reduces fine lines and tightens the skin a bit.
3. Stick To A Topical Skin-Care Routine
We use a good topical skin-care regimen with vitamin C, growth factors, and prescription-strength tretinoin. Try our Renew product.
Go easy when cleaning your face. Glytone Mild Gel Cleanser removes impurities without drying or irritating delicate facial tissue.
Since skin around the eyes is thin and often exposed to the sun, crepiness can appear there first. We recommend SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair Cream.
4. Use Supplements & Food To Nourish Skin
Vitamins E helps skin retain moisture and neutralizes free radicals. A terrific source is avocados. You can find it in vegetable oils such as wheat germ, sunflower, hempseed, coconut, and olive oils. It’s also in nuts and seeds and in leafy green veggies like kale.
Vitamin C is helpful because it regulates collagen synthesis and transdermal water loss. Acting as an antioxidant, it may also prevent and treat photo damage from UV rays. In addition, the same properties that make vitamin C an excellent wound healer also make it a skin tightener. Keep in mind that vitamin C is heat sensitive, so get it in fruits and veggies that are raw or very lightly cooked.
Grape seed extract is another powerful antioxidant that is anti-inflammatory, protects the skin from sun damage, and fights free radicals.
Take omega-3 EFAs—the good fat. Sources include grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, and flax seed. A little transdermal fat keeps you plumped-up and helps moisturize the skin from within.
Flax oil is great for dry skin, healthy hair, and relieving constipation.
Take 2-3 of our flax oil tablets a day.
If you want to streamline your supplement routine by taking a single pill, our Skin Vite multivitamin is excellent. Custom formulated by yours truly (Dr. Evans), it supports healthy skin, hair, and nails with vitamins A, C, & D, omega-3 EFAs, grape seed extract, and lots of antioxidants. Plus, it’s gluten-free and vegetarian!
5. Adopt A Truly Healthy Lifestyle
Avoid the sun. It’s a collagen killer. According to The American Academy of Dermatology sun exposure contributes to 90–95% of skin aging.
Exercise tones and tightens your skin so pick an aerobic and/or weight-bearing exercise. Walking counts! Consult your general physician to determine what’s appropriate for you.
Stay well hydrated. Drink clean, filtered water daily (without overdoing it). Also, steer clear of caffeine by avoiding dehydrating drinks like soda and alcohol.
And if you’re still smoking, forget about it! Studies show that smoking ages skin twice as fast after the age of 30. Smoking creates free radicals and depletes nutrients essential for skin growth and repair. You don’t need that kind of help!
Focusing on your positive qualities, interests, and enthusiasm keeps you feeling energetic and youthful. You have so much to offer the world at EVERY age! You work on the inside and I’ll keep you looking your best on the outside!
Ready to rejuvenate your skin?
Call us: (203) 323-5660 or
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