Anti Aging

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


I want to introduce anti-aging products into my skincare routine. What should I start with?

I agree with Doctor Bollman that at 22, your skin is not currently impaired in its collagen production function and as such, anti-aging products like retinoids and vitamin C are not necessary.

I would also like to warn you that using any alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid must be coupled with the religious use of sunscreen, as they exfoliate your skin, revealing new layers of sensitive skin. AHAs are considered photosensitizers. Look into a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection (protects against the aging UVA1 and UVA2 rays, and against the cancer-causing UVB rays) and apply it religiously. You need 1/4 tsp for your face and ears to get the stated protection on the bottle. Use at least SPF 30 PA++. Also, consider switching from an AHA to a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) product that contains either Betaine Salicylate or Salicylic Acid as they also help with anti-aging, but are more gentle than an AHA. BHA is non-photosensitizing.

If you want to take preventative measures, I would instead look into products that contain antioxidants like polyphenols (green tea products), reservatrol (red wine products), astaxanthin, tocopherols (vitamin E) and Niacinamide (vitamin B3), and a whole host of others. These will help to lessen damage from the sun and the environment by fighting free radicals, helping to keep your skin cells functioning in a healthy manner.


What are the best, most natural methods for anti-aging?

Okay, so, natural methods to fight aging...

Here's the thing, the definition of 'natural' is unique to each person and what they are willing to accept as natural. So I'll cover in detail some common consensus topics.

1. Your Skin

There are several so-called natural ways to achieve pro-age results where others can see it. The first is the use of skin treatments. Predominantly, I'm talking about vitamin C.

It's no secret that Vitamin C, aka ascorbic acid, plays a critical role in maintaining your overall health. In recent years though, it has become clear that this nutrient is just as critical to your skin.

To start with, it plays a substantial part in the production of collagen. Collagen is a fibrous, binding protein found in the dermis layer of the skin. It supports the epidermis and provides buoyancy and helps maintain elasticity. As you age, both the vitamin C and collagen break down, resulting in the formation of wrinkles. Using a topical serum to replenish and balance vitamin C levels will yield increased production of collagen and, in turn, hide wrinkles by restoring a plump appearance.

Another huge benefit is the treatment of age spots. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. As such, it has been shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells. It can't completely replace sunscreen. However, it can help protect against, and even repair, UV damage. As well, it neutralizes free radicals that inhibit the skins ability to repair damage.

Getting this nutrient orally through your diet, or even a supplement, is not enough. You still need to apply it topically for your skin to receive the maximum benefit.

Further, the beauty of Vitamin C is that it works hand-in-hand with other skin care products. So you can combine it with other treatments to create a skincare powerhouse.

Things to look for:

1. Ascorbic or L-Ascorbic acid as the active ingredient

2. 3 - 10% potency

3. Packaging that blocks out air and light

One last note to make:

The length of time from when you start using topical vitamin C until you see results varies with each person. While some people see changes as soon as 2-4 weeks, it may take others 6-8 weeks to see a difference. After around 6 months, you’ll reach the maximum benefits. Please note, vitamin C is a gentle acid, but an acid nonetheless. It will have different effects on different skin types. Some may experience drying out of the skin and slight irritation or inflammation. That's why a lower potency is recommended; the higher the concentratation, the more you'll experience side effects. Either way, it takes the same amount of time to benefit. So it's up to you.

2. Your Diet

Back on the subject of your diet. Eating properly, alone, will not get you to the results you're looking for. However, it is still important. A healthy diet that provides a good balance of the proper macro and micronutrients will improve overall health. With the right know-how, we can leverage this to boost the appearance of our skin.

Include foods in your diet that contain these nutrients: vitamin C, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. To help out, I've listed some examples below. Also, I'd like to note that eggs contain lean proteins that promote collagen production.

Vitamin C can be found in yellow peppers, guavas, turnip greens, spinach, kiwis, berries, citrus fruits and tomatoes.

Selenium can be found in nuts, seafood, lean pork and beef, chicken, turkey, whole wheat bread, seeds and whole grains.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flax seed, salmon, sardines, soybeans, shrimp, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and tofu.

3. Beauty Sleep is Real

Yes, beauty sleep is real. Your sleeping habits can improve the appearance of your skin and counteract the effects of aging. So, follow the below recommendations.

Be consistent. Keeping a routine sleep schedule is just as important, if not more so, than the number of hours actually you actually sleep. Your body has processes it goes through that regulate the release of hormones. Inconsistent sleep patterns disrupt these biorythms. In turn, your body begins to suffer in many different ways, sustaining damage on a cellular level. This includes your skin, which will begin to show signs of premature aging. So, regardless of whether it's the weekend or not, make sure you stick to a schedule.

Going against popular belief, doing some light exercises before bed will promote better sleep. I'm not talking about popping in a P90X or Insanity DVD before bed. Just some stretching and a few low-impact exercises are enough. This will help you unwind and lower your body temperature while raising your heart rate. The result is ease of falling asleep, better sleep and waking up more physically fit.

Finally, sleep on your back. I know, I'm a side sleeper by nature. It can be difficult to make this switch, but it's important. Sleeping on your back keeps you from squishing your face for hours each night and forming wrinkles. It literally is the same thing as when you crumple a sheet of paper, or leave your clothes in the dryer.

To help out, try putting a pillow below your head and knees. This will promote comfort and make the transition easier.

4. Exercise

I think that almost everyone understands the benefits of being physically fit. However, I'll take a minute and explain why it's important with regard to a pro-age regimen.

To start with, physical fitness routines promote circulation - which means increased blood flow. This provides an increase in the supply of both oxygen and nutrients to cells. It also increases the amount of free radicals being carried away from the cells. In more direct terms, that means in with the good and out with the bad.

Essentially, exercising in itself is a cleansing at the cellular level. Everything in our body benefits from this.

Furthermore, exercising helps our body regulate stress. In return, things that are enhanced by stress tend to be put in check - such as the aging process for example.


What skin care products are the best anti-aging skin care products?

In my opinion, ZO Skin Health, Obagi, and Bare Skin Care. All are cosmeceuticals, and actually work if used as directed. I must confess a commercial interest in Bare Skin Care.


What are well known ways of cleansing, toning and moisturising for anti aging skin care?

Well I think at the end of the day it comes down to being regular about the aforementioned activities. Aging skin does need special attention and has more needs in general.

Diet can go along way in ensuring you're never short of nutrients and direct sun exposure should be avoided at all costs.

You could also try some natural oils and mineral therapies to improve the general composition of your skin.


What evidence is there that anti ageing cosmetics work?

This is a very interesting question.

Ingredients in medical cosmetics (cosmeceuticals) have to be tested to get by the FDA in the U.S. So the main ingredients (or working ingredients) have been extensively scientifically tested to prove their claims. For instance, Retin-A and retinol products have been subjected to intensive scrutiny.

Most studies have had skin biopsies of before and after slides done at various durations of use. And of course before and after pictures, in addition to clinical evaluation in the office. At my company, Bare Skin Care by Dr. Bollmann, we did extensive patient evaluation on our products.

But not all companies test products or ingredients, and false advertising is rampant in the skin care industry. And not all clinicians are reputable. I have seen video infomercials on TV that make claims that are impossible to produce with just skin care products.

There are at least 180,000 companies that sell skin care. It is up to the consumer to evaluate the company, the developer, and the product. If you find the right one, it will work if used as directed.


What's the best anti aging product for women?

Assuming anti-aging means wrinkles, the gold standard is retinoic acid (aka tretinoin), an active ingredient that has been clinically proven in scientific studies to reduce wrinkles, assist in reducing skin roughness, and reduce acne.

It's pricey and you get it via prescriptions under names such as Retin-A and Renova.

Other alternatives to this ingredient are Vitamin A derivatives such as Retinoids, retinaldehyde, retinol, and retinyl palmitate. They are not as strong as retinoic acid but are still effective, can be less expensive, and some are over the counter (typically the products with retinaldehyde, retinol, and retinyl palmitate).


What is the best skin care cream thats inexpensive for aging that really works and has proof in lab results?

As with a lot of things, the best solution (and the most proven one) is not necessarily the easiest solution.

Tretinoin can't purchased on or at a department store, but it can be found in prescription medications such as Retin-A, Tri-Luma, and Renova, as well as in generic tretinoin cream or tretinoin gel. These medications are prescription-only because they may not be used while pregnant or nursing, and because they have the possible side effects of skin irritation and sun sensitivity. These side effects stem from tretinoin being much more potent than drugstore products that contain retinol.

Medications containing tretinoin:

Prevent acne by reversing the buildup of skin cells in our pores.

Prevent (and help reverse) brown spots caused by the sun.

Prevent fine wrinkles by stimulating collagen production.

Improve smoothness by stimulating renewal of the outer layers of the skin.

Because of these effects, tretinoin of the gold standard for nighttime skin creams - and it's a secret weapon in most dermatologists' personal skin care regimen.

The evidence supporting tretinoin's positive effects is unparalleled.

A couple of tips if you're going to start using tretinoin / Retin-A / Renova / Tri-Luma.

Get the prescription from a board-certified dermatologist so they can prescribe you a formulation that's right for your skin.

Use it only at night, because it does not like being in the sunlight.

Start out using it a few times per week, and gradually work up to every night - this will minimize redness and irritation.

A pea-sized amount is enough for the whole face. You should use so little that it rubs in and disappears almost instantaneously.

Use SPF of at least 50 every single morning. Even the sunlight you get from driving to work can reduce the brightening effects of tretinoin.

Moisturize frequently. It's even OK to apply moisturizer right on top of the tretinoin once it's rubbed in.


What are the best anti-aging foods?

Best anti-aging foods to prevent wrinkles are as follows:




Dark chocolate


Whole grains

Green tea

I would also like to share that good skin care is also important to prevent wrinkles. Massage your face for 2-3 minutes with aloe vera gel and leave for 15 minutes, rinse off. Aloe vera is great to prevent wrinkles. Also include Lifecell skin cream in your skin care routine. This cream will not give new life to your skin but also rejuvenate it.


What age should you start using anti ageing creams? Why?

Throughout our lives, our skin renews itself every 28 days by producing and repairing itself. As we age, our skin's ability to regenerate becomes impaired.. leading to lower levels of collagen production and lower elasticity. This is one of the causal factors for wrinkles. In general, this tends to start happening in our late twenties, early thirties, though some people may experience this effect a bit earlier.

On top of that, our skin is subjected to environmental stressors and agers like pollution, and our arch-nemesis, the sun, which also causes wrinkles, but in addition, can cause sun spots, freckles, moles, exacerbate acne scars, and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Not to mention the sun can cause cancer.

You can choose to begin an anti-aging regimen as soon as you begin to see any of these symptoms of aging. Prior to this, you can engage in taking preventative measures like religiously using sunscreen and products high in antioxidants. Things like astaxanthin, polyphenols, reservatrol, non-fragrant plant extracts, fruit extracts, etc.

I urge you to think about anti-aging in terms of ingredients, and not necessarily products, because the ingredients are what deliver the benefit to the skin, while the cream or product is the delivery vehicle. The three most potent and well-studied anti-aging ingredients are...

Vitamin A

Vitamin B3

Vitamin C

Vitamin A takes different forms such as retinol and retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is the more potent form. Vitamin A is shown to increase collagen production. A pleasant side-effect of retinoic acid is that it also tends to help with acne and pore visibility.

Vitamin B3 is called Niacinamide in skincare and is shown to help with protein synthesis which increases elasticity in the skin, and also inhibits melanin overproduction, which means it can lighten sun/age spots and other hyperpigmentation.

Vitamin C takes many forms. The strongest form is L-Ascorbic Acid or Ascorbic Acid. Other forms include Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Ascorbyl Palmitate... there are more, but these are among the most prevalent. L-Ascorbic Acid is most effective at concentrations between 10% and 20%, at a pH between 3 and 3.5, and stabilized with Ferulic Acid and Vitamin E (aka Tocopherol). Vitamin C can increase collagen production, and lighten hyperpigmentation.

So now that you know about the anti-aging ingredients and the conditions they can treat, you can start looking for products that contain these ingredients that will treat your concerns.