Among all the implications to ponder with a milestone birthday like 60, as a dermatologist I ponder what it means for my skin.
I’m a fair-skinned, ex-sunbathing, avid gardening and hiking dermatologist and skin wellness expert. I love being outdoors in the sun for hours. That’s 60 years of UV challenge I’ve endured and will continue to subject my skin to. My fair and vulnerable complexion is a fourth generation Californian – meaning lots of UV-exposure.
What has it meant for me, how well have I managed it, and what’s ahead now that I’m 60?
My 60 year-old skin has benefited from my 30+ years practicing dermatology.
Skin cancer and sun damage are my specialty, meaning I help people like me keep their skin healthy and attractive, often against great odds.
I know that genetics and lifestyle choices either help or hurt our complexion.
Skin care and cosmetic dermatology procedures intervene, but age and sun create inevitable challenges. I’ve paid special attention for 30 years; I want to know what solutions fit whom, and for what. I want to know what accelerates skin damage – like using poorly crafted sunscreen or lifestyle choices like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise. I want to stack the odds in favor of great skin, for me, my readers, and my patients.
At 60, we see how well our strategy is working!
The reality is that we’re almost all born with velvety-soft skin. After our childhood years, it’s harder to keep perfect skin.
Skin problems like severe acne, out of control rosacea, progressive worsening of sun damage or melasma, seborrhea, and psoriasis – they all happen to even the most careful of us. I know, that for most people, nice skin takes work.
That truth becomes very evident as we hit milestone birthdays like 60!
Age changes the structure and physiology of our entire body, including our face and skin. The reality is that we have to adjust our aesthetic goals to fit what’s possible, and we have to work harder to meet them.
From a dermatologist’s perspective, turning 60 has me pondering what this means for me personally.
I have a defined skincare and cosmetic procedure-routine that includes the best products and technology to fight skin-aging. How are my goals going to need to evolve as age continues to do what it does to my face, skin and body? It will be interesting to see.
Yes, I’m reveling in the non-dermatologic aspects of turning 60 – an easier pace to my daily life, grown kids, good friends, my lovely marriage, comfortable home, the sweet little town I live in, a rewarding career... and pretty good skin for an old, blond, outdoorsy, fourth- generation Californian gal!
My 60th birthday milestone is even sweeter, because five years ago, my doctors thought I might never see it.
I was diagnosed with really aggressive cancer. Vitality-sapping chemo and surgeries saved me. I doubled up on my healthy living and skin care procedures, and I’m alive, my complexion survived, and I feel pretty good for a 60-year-old whose been through a lot.
From a dermatologic perspective, the results are validating.
Just the other day, my thirty-something daughter who is a bride-to-be, and starting to dip her toes into the cosmetic-dermatology-procedure realm said to me, “Boy Mom, I had no idea how hard you have had to work to keep your skin looking like it does!”
She had just finished having some of my favorite treatments like laser, IPL and a few more, The treatments and recovery time are "work." And, she looks great. Yes, she’s always had Mom’s good skin care routine, but procedures have an even farther reach as we age. Complexion issues like "broken" capillaries (aka telangiectasias), skin-contour issues and coarsening skin texture sometimes need more than a good, home skin-care-routine. 60 year-old me knows.
Over the last 30 years, I’ve had a regular schedule of cosmetic dermatology procedures that I’ve kept up with. As I get older, the procedures become more frequent and more involved. They’ve made a difference to how I’ve aged as you can see in the photo series in this blog.
Recently, a YouTube subscriber asked me to share what procedures I depend on for myself, and I will. Stay tuned.
So, for my birthday, I’m reveling in being here. As a dermatologist, I see the 60 years in the magnifying mirror, and I smile back. Cancer did not take me, and I’ve made good lifestyle choices and been diligent with my skin care and cosmetic procedures. Being here is amazing and my skin is good enough.
I’m doubly-thrilled to be here to keep writing for you and sharing dermatology with my readers who love the topic as much as I do.
I even started doing it on YouTube (a shock because the younger me hated being filmed – as my family video-toting husband will attest). After almost dying, my inner critic doesn’t have much to say anymore – I’m alive and look good enough on camera - funny how that works!
60, a double milestone after cancer! I’m not complaining about thinner skin or getting old – bring it on!