General Medical

A Healthier, More Satisfying Second Half of Life: Focus on Prevention and Repair

This is the third in our two-months-long series (40 Things for Every Woman in Her 40s) of Medical Monday articles intended to be useful to all our readers, but pointed especially toward those in their 40s—that in-between decade in which hormonal change has begun but fertility is still possible. Our first article (ideas 1 through 5) focused on self-care; our second (ideas 6 through 10) emphasized the need to pay attention to psychological issues; this week’s tips center on prevention and repair. Our expert this week is Anetta Reszko, M.D. Ph.D., a dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon; director of New York Skin Institute and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College; and an Assistant Attending Dermatology at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Reszko is a board certified dermatologist and a fellow of American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. —Ed.


IMG_8153An important tip for repair of the skin is to optimize your skin diet.



It is never too late to get serious about sun protection. Use mineral sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection and don’t forget to reapply. Consider stylish hats and rash guards.


Invest in a proper skin regimen. Skin care needs vary by the decade. The 40s is about prevention in the morning with antioxidants (think vitamin C, vitamin E, ferrulic acid) and recovery/rebuilding in the evening. At night consider products with retinoids and growth factors.


If you have not already, add a topical retinoid to your skin care regimen. Retinoids are a gold standard of any anti-aging regimen. The benefits include the stimulation of new collagen synthesis, skin tone evening, pore minimizing and treatment of sun damage spots.


It’s not your mother’s makeup. Look for “value added” products. New generation makeup products are highly complex and often multifunctional. Look for foundations with UV filters, antioxidants and/or collagen stimulating peptides that offer sun protection and a shield against environmental pollutants and toxins.


Establish a cohesive future plan with your trusted dermatologist. The 40s is a decade for preventive maintenance. Little tweaks in your 40s may have a significant impact on skin aging during the subsequent decades. Consider Botox for fine lines and wrinkles, fillers to restore youthful balance of the face and laser to combat the signs of skin damage and maintain the skin’s structure and elasticity.


Visit your ophthalmologist. Squinting and frowning are a common cause of lines of the upper face. Adjust your prescription glasses and invest in a pair of big sunglasses. Ask your ophthalmologist to examine the back of the eye, retina, for the presence of freckles or atypical moles.


Think “off the face.” Your face tells part of the story, your neck, décolleté and hands might tell another. Treat all these areas as one cosmetic unit.


Get to know your moles. The 40s is the decade when dangerous signs of sun exposure become more evident. Perform self-checks of your skin every three months and report any changing spots to your dermatologist. Undergo regular skin cancer checks every year.


Don’t rub, pull or stretch. Elastic recoil or ability of skin to return to its prior form diminishes with age. Daily unintentional stretching and pulling will compromise structural integrity of the skin and decrease its laxity. Be extra cautious with thin skin around your eyes.


Optimize your skin diet. There is no substitute for a healthy, well-balanced diet. However, healthy eating may not always be possible. Consider adding biotin to maintain healthy hair and nails and vitamin C, collagen and hyaluronic acid for your skin health.

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  • Block Island Organics October 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

    There are so many helpful tips provided by Dr. Reszko in this post. Appreciate the doctor’s overall themes of prevention and protection. Sun protection is key as UV rays from the sun are a leading cause of skin damage and premature skin aging. And the effects of sun damage are cumulative so it’s important to protect and prevent damage sooner rather than later and start a good skin care regimen today.