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Skin Tips for Healthy Aging Month

Dr. Allison Goddard, Board Certified Dermatologist
September 1, 2022
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Summary

September is Healthy Aging Month. Board Certified Dermatologist, Dr. Allison Goddard joins us to give us tips for keeping our skin youthful and answers common questions about skincare regiments, products, and procedures.

Transcript

Katie Johnson:

Good morning. And welcome to Apple a Day Lake Region Healthcare's Health and Wellness show where we feature news and information you can use to live a healthier life. I'm Katie Johnson, your host, and my guest today is Dr. Allison Goddard. She is a dermatologist at Lake Region Healthcare's main clinic in Fergus Falls, and she joins us today to talk about skincare tips in light of September being Healthy Aging Month. So thanks for joining me this morning.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Katie Johnson:

Let's start by just reminding our listeners who you are, what your background is as a dermatologist before you came to Lake Region Healthcare, and then we'll dive into the skincare tips.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

So I'm a board certified dermatologist. I finished my training in Chicago in 2013 and since then I've worked in a variety of practices and academic and smaller hospitals as well as private practice, and I've been in Fergus Falls at Lake Region for the past two years.

Katie Johnson:

It's been so great to have you here. Having a board certified dermatologist right here, close to home is such a benefit to our patients. As we talk about skincare in light of healthy aging and taking care of our skin, our skin is one of those things that we are concerned about as we age. It's typically what shows our age, so I wanted to break this down into, like I said, things we can do to either protect our skin or restore youthful skin, and what we hear are what might be myths or might be truths. The first one being washing your face. I've heard the recommendation that washing your face two times a day is what's recommended. Is that the right frequency, and what other tips do you have for washing our faces?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

So washing your face twice a day, I definitely give advice to my acne patients to do that because they're really struggling with keeping their skin clean. As far as aging, I would say at the minimum once a day and in my opinion, that would be at the end of the day. We know that pollution affects skin aging and so anything you've come in contact with during the day, it's good to just get that off of the skin. Put your good quality skin care products on at night while your skin is recovering like the rest of our body during sleep, I think that could be the most effective. And then certainly if you want to rinse your face again in the morning, apply your morning products, that could be good too, but as far as for aging, I would say just keeping it clean, getting off the day to day pollution and wear and tear environmental products, it can affect skin aging.

Katie Johnson:

I was going to ask if there's anything different for men versus women, but based on your answer, it doesn't sound like it.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. No, I don't think so.

Katie Johnson:

Whether you wear makeup or not, it wouldn't make a difference.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Right. I mean, you definitely want to wash off makeup you're wearing, kind of anything that you just don't want it to be on overnight, but men have other exposures during the day. It's a good idea for them to rinse off at night as well.

Katie Johnson:

You talked about the skincare products, moisturizing your skin is a big one. What's your recommendation there?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. So definitely finding a good moisturizer that you like the way it feels because if something feels too heavy or sticky or you don't like the way it smells, you won't use it. And then moisturizing right after you wash your face is always the best time, that goes for the rest of your body as well, so when your skin is damp, you can really seal that moisture in so your skin just stays better hydrated.

Katie Johnson:

And should moisturizing happen more often than washing?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Not generally. I think if you have a good quality moisturizer after you've washed and you've moisturizer, you should be good for the rest of the day. Some people have eczema or other dry skin conditions, they may need moisturizer more often, but the average person once a day would be fine.

Katie Johnson:

What about eye cream, specifically moisturizing around your eyes? Do they need extra attention? Do they benefit from extra attention?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

The skin around the eyes is very delicate and does tend to show age, and so when you're moisturizing around the eyes, you're just hydrating and plumping up the skin, so fine lines and wrinkles around the skin are just less obvious.

Katie Johnson:

Are there certain products that are better than others for that or just anything that gives it that extra moisture?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. I mean, a little bit of both. The kind of higher quality eye creams out there do have ingredients in them that can help stimulate collagen and elastin production which just helps reduce that laxity around the skin, around the eyes. And then some people struggle with dark circles or puffiness around the eye, so there are other specific eye creams that address those issues. Puffiness, dark circles, and then the overall just elastin and collagen quality of the skin.

Katie Johnson:

Good. What about exfoliating? Is this a helpful thing to do on your face?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

I think in moderation and gently, so we certainly don't recommend any abrasive exfoliation. I mean, growing up we all had the St. Ives Apricot Scrub which was really harsh, that really large grain of product that's in there is just too much, for delicate skin you can do more damage than could, but there are certainly enzymatic exfoliation or very gentle ways to just get that top layer of dead skin cells off and refresh the skin without harming.

Katie Johnson:

And frequency?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. I would say that probably varies person to person and how sensitive their skin is.

Katie Johnson:

Sure.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

For someone, it's going to be once a week, others feel like they may want to do it more frequently, so I think that would just be pretty individual.

Katie Johnson:

So something that I've wondered is whether exfoliation is maybe comparable to a light version of laser skin services which you also offer here. How do they compare? Is that something that could give similar results or that could make your laser skin services last longer?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

I think it's a whole different level. When we're lasering the skin, we have different modalities where we can do almost what you would think of with a chemical peel, like take layers of the skin off from very superficial, just like a lunchtime peel to something for people who have more advanced fine lines, wrinkles, sun damage. We can get deeper to take off some of those damaged layers, so I would say, anything you're doing at home, it's really just speeding up the process of your natural shedding of skin a bit versus we're really getting in to certain depths of the skin in a more precise way.

Katie Johnson:

We talked a little bit about skincare products and you mentioned there are eye creams for example, that are higher quality, in general, is more expensive better? Is Mom’s Oil of Olay just as good as some of the really high priced-

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Professional grade or medical grade skincare?

Katie Johnson:

... right.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

I would say they're not equal, but it depends on what's in your budget, so I think even looking over the counter at Walgreens or Walmart or wherever you shop. There are some products that are better than others, a bit more high quality, but when you do get into the more expensive products like you can buy at a dermatologist office or plastic surgery office, they do have an up-leveled technology. And so they have systems to deliver the active ingredients to exactly where they should be in the skin to be the most active and the most effective against the problem that you're wanting to address.

Katie Johnson:

Sure.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

So if you're really 12 or 13 years old, you have no sun damage and you're just keeping your face clean and clear then, yes, there's great products over the counter, but when we're really talking about wanting to slow aging, it may be a worthy investment to have a good skincare line just to help your skin stay healthier longer. And sure you may still want to have laser procedures or other things done to reverse some of the damage that is done earlier in life or maybe we still get during the summer, but the everyday maintenance would be a better quality skincare. I've used better quality skincare products since I've been in residency, since I've been exposed and have really noticed a difference in my skin.

Katie Johnson:

That's a good testimony. Any particular brands or types you recommend?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. There're really a handful of good products, so when I had to choose which product line I was going to carry here, I really wanted to keep it simple and just start with one just to make it not too confusing, but there's not only one good skincare brand.

Katie Johnson:

Sure.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

We chose Skinbetter Science. A few reasons, I do know they have clinical studies to back up the results of their skincare products. They have the most advanced technology again for that delivery of the active ingredients, and their scientists just really keep up with that, so I found their products less irritating and more effective. And although they are a higher price, they do last for a while, so I do feel like I'm just happy with their company and with their skin care products, and I did ask around to other colleagues in dermatology of which skincare lines that they were providing and Skinbetter Science came up with quite a few of them, so I feel like it was a good place to start.

Katie Johnson:

Moving away from what we put on or take off of our skin and what we put in our body and how that affects our skin, what part does diet play in keeping skin looking youthful?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. I think that opinion is going to vary depending on who you talk to, but if you're talking to me, I'm a really big believer in how you take care of yourself and how you look and how your skin looks. So eating a well balanced diet, really eating that rainbow of fruits and vegetables that are full of antioxidants, and help your body to fight off those things in the environment that are damaging to our skin. We get free radicals from sun, from pollution, all kinds of things in our air, and when you are eating a lot of really good and wide variety of fruits and vegetables, they can help your body take care of or reverse the damage that can be caused from our environmental stressors.

Katie Johnson:

Sure. You hear a lot about collagen supplements, are you a believer in those?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. I think I stand in the camp that they won't hurt you, so I've taken collagen for years. I initially started doing them because I thought it was better for gut health, but I just kept with it. It's an additional protein source. I can't tell you if it's affected my skin quantitatively, but I know that it's not doing me any harm, so I take it, but it's hard for me to tell other people that they should or shouldn't. I think it's a personal decision.

Katie Johnson:

Yeah. In terms of things that harm, even things that we eat that harm it, I've heard sugar actually has a detrimental impact on your skin. Is that something you see to be true?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. So I mean, not just that I see to be true, but they've shown in scientific studies that it will bind collagen so that it's not as flexible and breaks down elastin which are the two things in our skin structure that help keep it flexible and supple, and so as our skin ages we lose that flexibility. We have more laxity, it doesn't bounce back as easily as they did and so, yes, sugar can certainly affect our skin. And other things people don't think about are meats, especially red meat they say, and then also how meats are cooked. So proteins are cooked at very high temperature, fried, anything like that. They have more risk to your health, so they cause something called advanced glycation end products which again, can just break down collagen, elastin and have detrimental effects on skin as well as internal organs.

Katie Johnson:

That is something [inaudible 00:13:04]-

Dr. Allison Goddard:

And I'm not saying... I'm not a vegetarian although I have been at times in my life, I'm saying not to eat those. We just need to be thoughtful about how much and how even we're cooking our foods. I think it's interesting that the higher temp cooking can make food more dangerous to us.

Katie Johnson:

... yeah. That is really interesting.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

So I think it's just being educated about what we're putting in our bodies, making some choices and everything in moderation still.

Katie Johnson:

Right. And just thinking about the impact to skin, we talk a lot about the effects on your health and prevention of cancer and those kinds of things, but even just on the elasticity of your skin it's really fascinating to me how much of a role the diet plays. What about sleep, the amount of sleep we get? And maybe I'll even ask about the position of sleep. I hear a lot of people being concerned about sleeping on their face or using satin pillow cases, and so how does sleep play into how our skin looks?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

I mean, we need good quality sleep, we need enough of it and quality sleep, and I think sleep is a really hot topic right now. Sleep hygiene as far as how much sleep you're getting and different things you're doing before bed so that you have more restful sleep. I think it's just so important in the healing process of our body. I mean, you'll talk to dermatologists especially that are more on the aesthetic side of things that sleep with certain pillows to keep their face forward because they also know their position of sleep can affect their bony structures and just how their skin ages, so we see that when we're doing an evaluation of someone for something like fillers or laser. We're looking at their aging face and we can see sometimes that one side is flatter, so they're losing more structure on one side than the other, they sleep on that side, it's just the hours of pressure, but I guess, that's twofold.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

So it's the quality and amount of sleep you're having for just your general health and the health of your skin as well, but then if you're talking specifically about how you look and how your skin and face ages, sleep position can matter. The silk pillow cases, I do know people who use them. I'm sure that could be if you are sleeping on your face. Maybe it could be a bit more gentle. I think they're supposed to be good for hair too as far as reducing the breakage of hair, but I don't own one myself. I sleep on my side too. I can't help it, so I think we do what we can, but I am really diligent about getting good sleep. So I make sure I follow specific sleep hygiene and when I don't, I look in the mirror and I feel older.

Katie Johnson:

You can tell.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

I feel like I look older and the rest of me, my energy is lower. There's just a lot of things that aren't going as well when I'm not sleeping well.

Katie Johnson:

One more item, we probably should have mentioned it first. I'm guessing, it's at the top of the list in terms of importance in good quality skincare throughout your life and that sunscreen.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. I think pretty much every dermatologist will tell you that sunscreen is your number one anti-aging product, so sunscreen on the face pretty much year round, if prevention of aging and skin cancers are important to you, there's controversy. Some people don't want to use certain sunscreens, particularly the chemical type. They have some fear around that. I think there is a bit of unknown, but you could talk to your dermatologist about what they think would be a good quality sunscreen. We know that UV light, yes, and we can get production of vitamin D, but yes, it can also break down our skin and cause aging, and we know that a cause of skin cancer.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

So again, we just need to protect it where we can, and so the number of SPF I think that's recommended has gone up over the years, and that's because we realize that when they do the testing to find that SPF number you see on the bottle, they're applying a very thick layer of sunscreen much more than any of us use. And so in order to get that number, you would have to apply it just like they did in the testing, and most of us they found apply less than 25%-

Katie Johnson:

Oh, interesting.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

... [inaudible 00:17:25] they tested, so you can take that number you see on the bottle, maybe divided by four, and that's probably the protection you're getting, so I would just go up. I usually try to stick with around a 50.

Katie Johnson:

Yeah. I was going to say, it seems that most of the face sunscreens now are 50 or higher, so that's interesting. Are the effects of sun damage irreversible? Is there anything you can do to reverse damage that you caused to your skin from the sun?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

You definitely can. Will you ever get your teenage skin back? Probably not, but we can see great improvements, especially with active procedures like laser treatments. So there's minimal downtime, laser resurfacing, there's light based lasers that help reverse some of the signs of aging and it can help stimulate your body to make more collagen and elastin that maybe has gotten damaged to remove those brown spots we've gotten over time with sun, the redness in our cheeks, and then the overall skin texture, so they can take your skin from dull to bright again. Some of the fine lines can be drastically reduced, and they have shown over time that it reduces the amount of precancerous lesions in the skin. And so we do think that's because it's removing some old damaged DNA cells and replacing them with new ones, and so we're removing some of the old damage, and so there's reasons that I guess, do it for keeping our skin looking great, but there may be some health benefit in there too.

Katie Johnson:

Some prevention as well. That's really interesting. What haven't I mentioned yet, what other tips are at the top of your list that maybe we haven't touched on today?

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah. No, I think that's everything. I mean, you have to take good care of yourself if you want your skin to look good, so of course... I guess, we didn't talk about smoking, but I hope everyone knows that smoking is not good for skin health, so protecting yourself from the sun, being reasonable, eating a good healthy diet with a lot of variety, especially with the fruits and vegetables in there. Getting good sleep, in my opinion. Regular exercise as well, and then taking care of your skin with good quality skin care products. And if you have a specific concerns, you feel like some damage has been done and you want to look as young as you feel, then there are some things we can do in the office to help remove some of those signs of aging that are displeasing to you.

Katie Johnson:

Great, so that's a great recap. Dr. Allison Goddard, our dermatologist at Lake Region Healthcare with some great healthy skincare tips for everyone, but particularly those of us maybe looking for some tips on keeping our skin youthful as we talk about September being Healthy Aging Month. Thanks for joining us this morning.

Dr. Allison Goddard:

Yeah, you're welcome. Thanks for having me.

Katie Johnson:

Dr. Allison Goddard and Katie Johnson on Apple a Day today, reminding you that at Lake Region Healthcare, we are here for you always. Have a great day.