Facing Aging Concerns: DIY & Expert Tips From a Facial Plastic Surgeon

In Dr. Lindsey Pennington, Health and Beauty by Lola Magazine

I often see patients in my office, who say to me “when did this happen? I just feel like overnight things changed.” They are feeling great, but when they look in the mirror or see a picture of themselves, it’s not ‘them’. It doesn’t match how they are feeling. There are a few simple things you can do at home to help prevent and reverse some of the most common concerns. 

Heavy Eyelids

Heavy eyelids are one of the first signs of facial aging that presents. They can cause you to look tired and aged, even when you are feeling great. Eyelids, unlike the rest of the skin on your face, are very thin, delicate skin and should be treated as such. 

DIY Tips: Wearing sunglasses routinely which helps prevent chronic squinting is a BIG thing that can help. Once you have the excess skin, though, start using products like Revision Skincare’s Revox 7 serum ($130), which is a peptide blend that addresses fine lines and modest skin laxity. It’s often touted as Botox in a bottle. No needles needed, and it is pregnancy safe. SkinMedica’s TNS Eye Repair cream ($102) is another option that contains growth factors that will help thin, delicate eyelid skin appear tighter and healthier.

Expert Tips: For mild excess upper eyelid skin, obtaining a subtle brow lift with Botox and also addressing the creases around the eyes “crows feet” with Botox can help the eyes appear more open and refreshed with results typically last 3-4 months. The gold standard for addressed moderate to severe excess upper eyelid skin consists of an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) and/or a later brow lift, which will lift the lids while also lifting the brows. Make sure to always consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.

Age Spots and Facial Pigment

Uneven skin tone, brown spots, sun spots, and age spots are all secondary to over production of melanin due to sun damage. Uneven skintone and pigment can quickly give the appearance of ageing.

DIY Tip: Vitamin C and sunscreen are key players in skincare when it comes to both treating and preventing bothersome discoloration. Because the sun will worsen any type of dark spot, we recommend a quality mineral sunscreen such as Skinceuticals Physical Fusion ($34) or Colorscience face shield ($39) that has blue light and infrared protection to help even when indoors. For Vitamin C, CE Ferulic by SkinCeuticals ($166) is the most studied form of Vitamin C on the market. It is proven and effective. Another fantastic option is Revision Skincare Vitamin C + Correcting Complex 30% ($160) which is great for more oily skin that doesn’t tolerate the Skinceutical serum and this formula doesn’t oxidize like the serum. 

Expert Tip: It’s best to bring up any pigment concerns with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon. If you have history of sun exposure and sun damage, routine skin checks are important to monitor for signs of skin cancer. Medical grade chemical peels such as Vi Peel precision plus can reduce the appearance of age spots and sun damage. You typically peel similar to a sunburn on average for 3-5 days, it can take a series of 2-3 for max effect but noticeable differences are seen after 1 peel. IPL (intense pulse light) targets the unwanted melanin and is another great option to help decrease and treat unwanted pigment and even out skin tone. This has minimal to no downtime, but may take several sessions. 

Thin Crepey Skin

Loss of collagen (keeps skin looking plump and young) and elastin (helps your skin “snap back” when pulled or pinched) is behind this skin concern. Boosting your body’s own collagen and elastin production and preserving the collagen you have is the perfect game plan for this issue. Sun Damage is a major contributing factor. So continue to slather up on that sunscreen. 

DIY Tip: Boosting your body’s own collagen production and preserving the collagen you have is very important. Retinols and growth factors can help to accomplish this. Starting with DEJ Night ($150) A nighttime moisturizer formulated to work while you sleep, with time-released 0.25% Retinol combined with Bakuchiol, to work at the dermal epidermal junction. This is a very well tolerated retinol for most patients, will help to stimulate your body’s own collagen and elastin over time. It is also formulated with other ingredients that enhance this retinol’s anti-aging abilities while decreasing risk for peeling and irritation. Adding in SkinMedica’s TNS growth factor and peptide technology to help you skin build collagen faster than it breaks it down. With three options depending on skin type and concern, Recovery for younger, or acne prone, Essential for normal to dry and moderate aging, and Advanced for significant aging or need for colorless and fragrance free. Using as tolerated will make improvements in your skin over time and prevent further breakdown.

Expert Tip: The gold standard for crepey skin is laser resurfacing with a fractionated Co2 laser or Erbium yag laser. These come with some downtime afterwards (4-8 days) while healing takes place, but they can address overall tone, texture, and even pigment irregularities. If you don’t have the downtime for a laser resurfacing, Microneedling with PRP (platelet rich plasma) is an excellent alternative to improve overall tone and texture with minimal downtime. This procedure consists of withdrawing a patient’s own blood and processing it with a centrifuge to isolate the concentrated growth factor-rich plasma and platelets. These growth factors can now be placed back into the skin to stimulate skin rejuvenation pathways. Microneedling alone has been used for years to increase a patient’s own collagen growth within the skin. Now with the addition of PRP, the microneedling works synergistically with the growth factors from the PRP to recreate the collagen formation needed for young, healthly skin. An added benefit of the PRP is the decreased downtime associated with microneedling due to the growth factors accelerating healing time.

Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Despite popular belief, dark circles under the eyes aren’t caused by sleep deprivation. (Hey new moms!). Genetics and chronic allergies can play a roll, but it’s commonly due to volume loss under the eyes and cheeks in combination with thin skin. 

DIY Tips: Drinking plenty of water and sleeping adequately help, but often that won’t get rid of the dark circles. Instant Bright Eye Cream by SkinMedica ($88) contains key ingredients that balance pigment, helps to hydrate the eye area, and reduce puffiness, all of which help improve dark circles. Colorescience Total Eye 3 in 1 Renewal Therapy kit ($169) is a great kit that includes protection for eye area from sun + environmental damage that causes darkening and aging of skin. Plus, it also provides coverage and acts as a concealer to help cover while treating and brightening the eyelid skin in addition mask for fine lines and wrinkles. 

Expert Tip: Seeing a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist for injectable fillers, Juvederm or Restylane products can be injected into the cheek and under eye area to help improve volume loss. Results can last on average 12-18 months. Fillers can be a very gratifying instant fix in office, and they are safe and effective in skilled hands. If fillers aren’t the best option, a lower eyelid surgery such as blepharoplasty can make all the difference. 

Double Chin and Loose Neck Skin

(Turkey Neck)

The Neck can be one of the main areas which women become most self-conscious as they age. Fullness and loose skin can cause a loss of definition along the jaw line, some heaviness and an overall aged appearance. Many of my patients present saying, ‘How do I get rid of this turkey neck?’

DIY Tip: Mild amounts of loose skin and fullness can be addressed using Nectifirm ADVANCED ($133), by Revision Skincare helps to improve skin quality and texture of the neck and décolletage with peptides and microbiome technology. Using a daily anti-aging mineral sunscreen can certainly be helpful, as well, to prevent further sun damage to already thin and fragile neck skin. For this, we recommend Revision Skincare Intellishade TruPhysical ($75). It is a 5 in 1 product that moisturizes, contains all mineral SPF 45, has a universal tint, and contains anti-aging peptides and antioxidants.

Expert Tips:  Kybella is a great option for people at their ideal weight with a little stubborn fat pocket under their chin. It is a fat dissolving enzyme, which through a series of injections (2-4), can dissolve fat and improve your profile without surgery. Alternatively, liposuction is a short procedure where fat can be permanently removed in one sitting to contour the jawline. It’s great for people who have a little more volume or want everything completed in one procedure.

Microneedling with radio frequency (RF) is the latest technology in non-invasive skin rejuvenation. As discussed previously, microneedling has been in practice for a while, but the recent addition of radio frequency to the needles themselves has created a synergistic effect that has greatly improved the results. RF has been used safely for years in the fight against aging and scarring to deliver thermal energy to the deeper layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissues 2.5-4 mm below the surface. This thermal energy causes collagen contraction and collagen production, which will help decrease wrinkling and tighten the skin. Radio frequency also has the added advantage of increasing the density of another important skin protein, elastin, which can aid in additional skin tightening. The microneedling allows deeper penetration of the energy thus improving the results.

Surgical Neck Lift is reserved for those patients who have a combination of excess fat and skin that cannot be address with non-invasive measures. It can be a life changing procedure to have a neck lift done, both improving confidence and quality of life. Discuss with your board certificated facial plastic surgeon what may be the best option for you. 

Dr. Pennington is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon, she is the only female facial plastic suegon in the state of Louisiana with her own solo private practice. She along with here medial esthetician Crystal Villarreal are available for complimentary skin consultations, to assess what products and treatment plans are best for you individually. Dr. Pennington is highly specialized in facial procedures, Injections, and surgery. She offers a full array of services from non-invasive injections of Botox and dermal filler such as Juvéderm and Restylane. To more in depth surgical procedures such as rhinoplasty (nose job), blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts), and rhytidectomy (facelifts and neck lifts). All cosmetic consults are complimentary. If you have questions, or would like custom skincare recommendations, please call our office at 318-216-5366, email us at info@penningtonfacialplastics.com, or message us on our Facebook or Instagram @penningtonfacialplastics.