The motivation behind most people's anti-aging efforts is simple.
"They basically look at their parents and say, 'I don't want to look like that,'" explained Carol Clinton, who sees more than 1,000 patients a year at Timeless Skin Solutions.
Using anti-wrinkle creams as a twentysomething isn't as extreme as it sounds, said Clinton, founder of the Dublin-based practice. Those who do might not see much in the way of results until their mid-thirties, but then they'll have noticeably fewer lines than their friends.
In stores, look for anti-aging creams that contain antioxidants, peptides, retinol, Retin-A and growth factors, Clinton said. She specifically recommends the Skin Medica line.
"You know, a lot of people spend a lot of money on their clothes, but the first thing you look at in the mirror every morning is your face," Clinton said.
She sees her youngest patient, age nine, to help correct a crooked smile, and her oldest patient, age 82, for Botox treatments. Clinton's younger patients usually come in for acne treatment, and she helps them develop skin-care plans aimed toward avoiding the effects of aging later.
Clinton first asks her new patients about their concerns, then makes suggestions of her own before coming up with a regimen of treatments and products.
To tighten skin and reduce wrinkles, she suggests laser treatments like the Pearl, which uses a laser to send heat to the lower layers of skin to improve clarity and softness. Fillers like Radiesse and Juvederm are natural gels that get injected under the skin to reduce the appearance of lines. Botox, Clinton's most common treatment, relaxes targeted facial muscles to reduce wrinkles.
Stresses from the environment, the foods we eat and pressures put upon us are the biggest sources of aging. That means going through life changes like starting a new job, becoming ill or worrying about aging parents is especially hard on the body.
If that's the case, "You'll see somebody and say, 'Oh, they didn't look like that last year at all,'" Clinton said.
Creams, injections and radiation might be unwanted or unneeded for some people. Limiting life's stressors is the approach everyone, of every age, should take to reduce the signs of aging, Clinton said. It's like a kid's timeout, she added.
"We ask that of children, and there's a reason for it," she said.
In addition to good diet and exercise, Clinton suggests these three ways to limit the signs of aging:
* Spend 15 minutes of quiet time reflecting and refocusing each day (start with five minutes) * Keep your daily schedule as regular as possible to get consistent amounts of sleep at the same time. * Spend a full day each week resting your body and mind.