Q&A with a Dermatologist: What Are the Best Anti-Aging Products and Treatments?

ATsai Editor
  • Women and men of all ages are looking to improve their skin and restore it’s more youthful qualities, but the shelves are so packed with products, it’s hard to know what works. We asked Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon, what he thinks is the best on the market.


    Q: What are some of the best ingredients/products to reduce wrinkles?  


    A: When I evaluate products for wrinkles, the first thing I look at is the skin quality and, in particular, whether it is uneven in coloration.  If there is uneven coloration or brown spots, there is a huge opportunity to improve skin quality and reduce what appear to be wrinkles.  The Obagi system - NuDerm is the most powerful - is one that can make a huge difference. Additionally, Retin-A or retinols, if you don't have access to a dermatologist, can make a significant difference.

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    If you don't have significant sun damage, growth factor-containing products such as SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum can be a very nice for someone in their later 20s or older. Additionally, it can be used alongside programs such as Obagi.


    For under the eyes, the name of the game is going to be moisturizing products and cover-up products such as Neocutis Lumiere. This is our highest rated product for under-eye treatment.


    Q: What are the newest/best (non-invasive) anti-aging treatments in a dermatologists office?

    A: Botox now has several competitors, including Dysport and Xeomin. Both of these are essentially the same as Botox, but do provide other options and sometimes can be less expensive. In a recent study we did at my office, Dysport was shown to take effect quicker (three days or so vs. five days) than Botox, so that does offer an advantage, especially if you have a hot date that weekend! We are also excited about Juvederm Voluma, which is a filler that can last up to 18-24 months. This is a huge benefit for people who don't want to come back to the dermatologist's office as often. While it can cost up to double the cost of regular Juvederm, the time advantage is three to four times what normal fillers offer. 


    We are also happy about new forms of treatment in ultrasound, such as Ulthera, which lifts and tightens the skin around the neck and face. It is the first non-invasive treatment I have seen that shows good results. While it is still not the equivalent of a facelift, it does show improvements and is great for someone who is in their 30s to 50s and needs a touch up, especially if it involves the neck area.


    Q: Do you see a major difference between cosmeceutical results and over-the-counter anti-aging products?

    A: I definitely see a difference between over-the-counter products and what we offer. The ingredients that are used in the ones sold in doctors' offices are clearly more expensive and are in higher concentrations than the over-the-counter products.  There are some very exciting, newer ingredients, such as apple stem cell extract and various forms of niacinamide that we will be seeing quite a bit of over time. Eventually, they will make their way into over-the-counter formulations as they become less expensive to produce. But for now, they are expensive if they are in the recommended doses. 


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    When it comes to sunscreens it is even more obvious. The sunscreens we sell, such as EltaMD, clearly perform better. I have patients who routinely tell me that they used to apply sunscreen religiously and would still burn, but now that they use our recommended ones they don't burn. One patient came back from Mexico and was the only one who didn't burn in his group of friends after using the EltaMD and a pill called Heliocare that prevents sunburn. Bottom line: You get what you pay for in skin care.    






Published On: March 13, 2014