Viva Fifty had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Dra. Alicia Barba, a Miami-based board certified dermatologist who is a recognized authority on cosmetic dermatology and skin treatments.
She is also the founder of Barba Dermatology and Barba Skin Clinic, state-of-the-art centers for medical and cosmetic skin treatments.
Dr. Barba has the scientific and medical training to diagnose and treat a wide range of skin conditions and to perform advanced therapies to beautify the skin.
She is devoted to sharing her expertise with her patients through the skin-care services she performs at her Miami offices, including general, pediatric and surgical dermatology for the treatment of skin cancer and growth removal.
Aging & skin-care
Viva Fifty.- What is the number one skin concern you see in women ages 45-65?
Dr. Barba.- “Etched-in” lines in between the eyebrows forehead and crow’s feet. Those wrinkles that are no longer simply from expression rather the ones that tend to be more well defined and “cut” into the skin.
Skin laxity and sagging is a major complaint. My patients over 45 also start noticing their aging neck and hands, too. These concerns are not there with women in their 20s, 30s, and early 40s.
Viva Fifty.- Do Latinas age differently than other ethnicities? What skin-care recommendations would you give?
Dr. Barba.- In my opinion this is a misconception. Remember that we come in all different skin types, from skin type 1 to skin type 6. The majority of us are skin types three and four.
While it is true that SOME skin types like five and six tend to have less wrinkling (however skin types 5 and 6 do sag), I find that Latina skin ages just like everyone else’s.
But this is particularly worse for those that have abused the sun. Sun damage absolutely shows up by the age of 45 in the way of sagging, sun spots, deep wrinkles and uneven skin tone.
By age 45-60 preventing sun damage is no longer being proactive. However it is not too late to start with a good skin care regimen to help offset some of the damage and improve one’s appearance. The type of treatment depends on the philosophy of the person.
The best skincare products
Viva Fifty.- What would you say to young women who want to reach mid-life looking fabulous without resorting to invasive procedures?
Dr. Barba.- I would say please protect your skin. All of it. From your head down to your toes. Seek out the best ingredients in skincare products and be willing to work on your routine.
Wear Daily SPF, rain or shine. Latina women tend to pigment and when we get older this definitely shows by way of sun spots, uneven pigmentation or melasma. Wear an antioxidant under the SPF, like Vitamin C.
Invest in an eye cream and apply it morning and night. Rotate your eye cream based on the active ingredients. I don’t believe one should stick to the same eye cream, ever.
Skincare products active ingredients work out different layers and structures of the skin. We should work out all the different layers by switching actives, without being wasteful, of course. Once a tube is finished, switch to something else based on your skin needs.
Learn to love retinol or retinoid based products. These are applied at night. A moisturizer on top of that can help offset some of the dryness that retinoids can often cause.
For those of us that are busy, look for multitasking products that can do several things at once, like the New Dove Advanced Care line of antiperspirants. These are formulated with NutriumMoisture™, providing the best care for your underarms.
This formula is designed to help skin retain its moisture balance over time and aids in the skin’s natural renewal process. The underarm skin is an area that is often forgotten but is just as equally important, especially in the summer time.
I would also encourage women to keep a steady weight and avoid fluctuations. The worst thing for the face is to lose 30 pounds in your 40s.
Your body and heart will love you (if you were overweight of course) but your face will not. After a certain age it looks good to lose weight on your body but not on the face.
We are what we eat. Making sure to eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, protein and low in fat does translate to healthier skin. It’s hard to prove but deep down we all know this is true.
Also read: Best remedies for sun spots
Viva Fifty.- Are expensive skin-care products always better?
Dr. Barba.- Definitely not! There are “active ingredients” that have been tried and tested and proven to work that do not have to cost a lot of money. Start with sunscreen. A good sunscreen can be less than $12.
Also soaps for the body and cleansers don’t have to be expensive either. Neither does an Antiperspirant. One of my favorites is Dove Advanced Care. It is a deodorant, antiperspirant and moisturizer for the underarms. Three things in one, offering 48 hour protection and it’s less than $6. A body moisturizer doesn’t have to be expensive either.
I think the active ingredients that one needs to invest in, and can cost a bit more money, are an under eye cream, an antioxidant, a facial moisturizer and a collagen stimulating cream/serum.
Viva Fifty.- Any tips for midlife mujeres to look their best without breaking the bank?
Dr. Barba.- Seek out an esthetician. Even something like a simple facial for $100-$200 (depending on where you live), can give a glow that lifts the spirit.
Viva Fifty.- Anything else you may want to add?
Dr. Barba.- For those men and women who have done a good job of protecting their skin from the sun, do not forget to get your vitamin D blood levels checked.
Vitamin D is an important hormone that can get low when we do a good job of protecting the skin from the sun. It’s not a bad thing when it goes down from sun protection. It’s just bad not to know about it.
Have your primary care doctor check your blood level for vitamin D. If it is low then supplement with vitamin D until you correct it back to the normal level. If your blood levels are normal then you don’t need to supplement with vitamin D.