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Beyond gravity with Dr Mark Gray
Skin Institute
December 9, 2009

Have you been wondering why your skin loses firmness? Mindfood Magazine talked to Skin Institute’s Dr Mark Gray about skins firmness and how you can prevent it from sagging.

What causes skin to lose its firmness as we age?

Dr Mark Gray: The breakdown of collagen and elastin are primary factors, however environmental elements such as wind, pollution and the sun can advance the process. A poor diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can contribute. Intrinsic factors including genetics, ageing and hormones also play their part.

How would you describe skin that lacks firmness?

Dr Mark Gray: Skin laxity is a general term that describes a series of changes to not only the physical appearance of the skin, but also the tone and texture. This is demonstrated over time as the skin loses its ability to reflect light effectively, leaving a sallow and dull complexion. Decreased hydration and elasticity leave the skin looking less smooth with a crepey appearance.

Are there any particular areas of the face that commonly start to sag first?

Dr Mark Gray: Changes are generally noted in the 
eye area first. Hooding of 
the upper eyelids can be one of the first signs of sagging skin. Sagging can also occur 
in the cheek area creating excess skin, making the lines from the nose to the mouth more prominent. Increased laxity of muscles to the 
lower face, especially the jawline, can also lead to 
the appearance of jowls.

What is a telltale sign that your skin is starting to sag?

Dr Mark Gray: A telltale sign of skin laxity is noticing a change in overall skin texture and tone, possibly noticing enlarged pores and fine lines appearing. Frequent comments of how tired you appear even though you are not feeling this way, may also be a sign of skin change.

Besides using skincare products that are targeted at sagging skin, what can you do to prevent loss of skin firmness?

Dr Mark Gray: Consider taking vitamin C and omega oil-supplements daily. Vitamin C is known to support collagen production and is a great antioxidant that fights free radical damage and will benefit your immune system. Omega oils lubricate the skin and help reduce the dry crepey appearance.

Daily dermal rolling with a home kit roller will keep the skin in renewal mode by stimulating natural collagen and improving the absorption of your skincare products. Clinic treatments can also be extremely effective in promoting the body to create new collagen, which helps prop up the structure of the skin giving it a more youthful and dewy appearance, and can be maintained over a longer period.

Is it easier to prevent sagging skin than it is to treat it?

Dr Mark Gray: Absolutely. While we are younger our collagen production is much more prolific and of higher quality than when we are older – so prevention is always better than cure. This is not to say it’s not worthwhile having treatments when we are older – it may just take extra treatments to get the results.

Is it possible for the skin to regain its firmness?

Dr Mark Gray: Depending on the type of laxity of the skin it is possible to regain some firmness. You can use products to stimulate collagen production and tighten your skin or carry out more invasive procedures, which may significantly improve the look of your skin.

What professional treatments would you recommend to treat lack of firmness?

Dr Mark Gray: Non-invasive, skin-firming treatments: Pixel laser for skin tightening and skin renewal; medical dermal rolling to promote skin freshening; Polaris or Matrix RF for skin tightening; and dermal fillers to regain contour and lost volume in the face. For surgical options: Removal of excess skin from upper eyelids and below the eyes; submental liposuction for jawline definition; and facelift to take years off your skin’s laxity. A combination of treatments will provide the best outcome.

Blog courtesy of Mindfood magazine. Click here to see the full article.

If you would like to book an appointment to talk to a cosmetic nurse about your skin concernsclick here, or please call us on 0800 SKIN DR (754 637).

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