Pump the Brakes There, Father Time
Published in the Duluthian magazine, September/October 2015
Pump the brakes there, Father Time.
Small things that can make a big difference for your skin
We’ve all been there. Maybe we didn’t get enough sleep. Maybe we’ve been on the go too many days in a row. Regardless, there is a very specific feeling that comes when we look in the bathroom mirror, see our reflection, pause, look closer and think to ourselves: “How did we get here?”
Aging, they say, happens two ways: slowly, and then quickly. And while other aging axioms, like “age is just a number” and “you’re only as old as you feel” are true, some days it can feel like our skin didn’t get the memo.
When it comes to helping people take care of their skin, Michelle Bohlman has literally seen it all. As an Aveda Institute-trained certified aesthetician at St. Luke’s Plastic Surgery Associates, Michelle helps clients take better care of their skin and, in doing so, erase the effects of years of sun damage and aging.
The damaging effects of the sun
When it comes to our appearances, while there are some factors (genetics is a biggie) that are outside our control, there are many things we can and should do to maintain optimal skin health and look the way we want to look.
According to Michelle, our skin’s Enemy Number One? “Without a doubt, the sun. The sun prematurely ages the skin and causes unsightly blotches and spots as well as causes skin cancers and other damaging effects.”
Tanning beds are a particularly bad idea, she said. “People who grew up in the ‘tanning bed generation’ and voluntarily subjected themselves to excess UV rays are now beginning to experience the damaging effects of the sun. We are seeing a lot of cancers in younger people.”
In order to maintain healthy (and healthy looking) skin as we age, she said, people need to start young. “Looking great in our 50s and 60s starts in our 20s,” she said. “If I could recommend just one thing that people can do to take care of their skin and improve their appearance, it would be to use a lotion with sunscreen every day.”
It’s the little things
While preventing UV damage is essential for everyone from the youngest kid to the oldest adult, once sun damage has occurred, there are a host of minor procedures that can help turn back the clock. Dr. Wade Kubat, a plastic surgeon at St. Luke’s, said, “My first goal is to help people look like their best self—not like someone else.”
The most common patient request, he said: “People want to look the same age they feel. Our job is to help them roll back the clock, in a way that is both subtle and natural.”
According to Dr. Kubat, the most effective treatments are, not surprisingly, the most popular:
Laser: “We use a BBL (Broad Band Light) laser to target pigmentation and redness. The laser is a great anti-aging treatment. Patients who come in three to four times over a ten-year period can actually look younger than when they first started.”
Laser Resurfacing: “This procedure exfoliates the outer layer of dead skin. The result is skin that has a youthful, healthful glow that is so sought after.”
Botox: “It seems like every day, the medical world is finding new uses for Botox. In our world, it is particularly effective in erasing wrinkles and smile lines.”
Fillers: “Fillers are a great way of adding firmness and fullness to areas of your face, creating a more youthful appearance.”
On a final note, Dr. Kubat stressed the importance of staying properly hydrated. “It almost seems too easy, but drinking enough water every day—especially in winter—is a simple way to improve the appearance and resilience of your skin.” Dr. Kubat recommends drinking 128 ounces of water per day.
With proper hydration, moisturizing and protection from the sun, you can keep your skin looking healthier and keep your appearance looking more youthful. And small procedures can assist in rolling back the hands of Father Time. “Our goal,” said Dr. Kubat, “is to help people look refreshed and youthful. The beauty is there. We just help bring it out.”
To schedule a consultation, call 218.249.7910.