What's the best anti-aging procedure? That obviously depends on which aging issue(s) you want to address. What most prospective patients don’t realize, though, is that the best anti-aging procedures depend even more on your individual skin type and color. That’s right – not every procedure works for every person. In fact, many popular procedures are not recommended for women and men with darker skin types.
With that in mind, let’s look at the best anti-aging procedures that are available to virtually everyone.
Skin color affects how skin responds
The aging process and exposure to sun over time can do many things to skin. You may develop fine (or deeper) facial wrinkles and folds, sagging skin, or age spots. There are anti-aging procedures that address very specific areas, such as the lips, as well as some that are used to address a wide variety of problems.
The Fitzpatrick Skin Type Scale divides skin color into six categories, from Type I (extremely fair skin) to Type VI (extremely dark skin). Darker pigment protects the skin from the sun’s UV rays. So the lighter your skin, the greater your risk of skin damage from exposure to sun. Lighter skin also shows visible signs of aging sooner. The tanning process is your skin’s effort to protect itself by producing darker pigment. However, the result can be dark or “age” spots.
The darker your natural skin type, the older you will probably be before you see visible signs of aging. On the other hand, individuals with darker skin types are more prone to hyper- or hypo-pigmentation (darker or lighter discoloration) or brown patches called melasma. Black skin contains melanosomes within pigment cells, and these can respond to even slight irritation, resulting in uneven skin tone.
Many anti-aging procedures irritate and/or cause temporary inflammation, and this can trigger pigmentation changes. In some cases, these changes can be long-lasting or even permanent. This is why these procedures are not appropriate for all skin types and colors. Even anti-aging home remedies can cause unintended negative side effects for various skin types.
So what’s best?
One of the best anti-aging procedures of all is to avoid or quit smoking. Among its many detriments, smoking creates dynamic wrinkles around the mouth. It also robs your skin of oxygen, and it can cause cancers, including skin cancer.
- Some newer laser and radio frequency skin resurfacing treatments can cause less post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation than older similar methods. So they may be acceptable for some skin types, but not all.
- Injectables such as Botox and dermal fillers do not directly affect the skin’s surface. They work below the surface instead.
- Microneedling with a SkinPen® device is a minimally-invasive procedure that stimulates the natural renewal of collagen, elastin, and blood flow to naturally improve the skin’s appearance. The procedure does not significantly damage the epidermis, so it is safe and effective for every skin type and color. There is virtually no risk of burns, scarring, blotchiness or other side-effects that can occur with other types of procedures.
The only way to identify the best anti-aging procedures for any given person is to consult with an experienced clinician. However, if you are looking for the best anti-aging procedure for all skin types and colors, microneedling is the answer.