At 71 years old, Shirley Klingbeil routinely is complimented on her skin. “Everybody thinks I look about 20 years younger,” Klingbeil said, who lives in Illinois. Klingbeil’s routine is pretty simple.
At 71 years old, Shirley Klingbeil routinely is complimented on her skin.
“Everybody thinks I look about 20 years younger,” Klingbeil said, who lives in Illinois.
Klingbeil’s routine is pretty simple. She doesn’t wash her face with soap. Instead, twice a day, she uses Obagi skin care products and makeup with sunscreen. She drinks a lot of water, wears a hat when she goes outside and she doesn’t smoke. That’s it.
“I think that’s the real thing that causes wrinkles is the smoking,” Klingbeil said.
Never lighting up seems to have worked for Klingbeil. So has protecting herself from the harmful rays — whether outdoors or using a tanning bed. The latter, in particular, according to Springfield, Ill., dermatologist Dr. Cassandra Claman, can age a person tremendously. Plus, Claman said, they can kill you. She’d make them illegal if she could.
“Tanning beds should be completely outlawed. The end,” Claman said laughing.
Outlawed because the lights do more damage to skin than the sun –– the harmful rays penetrate the skin more deeply, Claman said.
“It’s probably the No. 1 cause of young women getting skin cancer now — melanomas and basal cell (car)cinomas,” Claman said. “They are deadly. They are absolutely deadly.”
SPF, moisturize and cream, not lotion
Even if a person doesn’t use a tanning bed, too much sun exposure also can lead to cancer. And while skin cancer cases are on the rise, Claman isn’t certain if there actually are more cases or if doctors today are more aware of it.
Either way, she cautions her patients to be vigilant about sun protection. She recommends wearing sunscreen every day, even if you don’t think you’ll be outside much.
“Eighty percent of our sun is just to and from the car running errands and through the windshield,” Claman said. “By being prepared every morning … at least you’ve got some coverage on.”
If you are headed for the beach, Claman suggests loading up on the heavy artillery. She advises using a waterproof sunscreen with the highest SPF available. For men who may not want to lather on a cream, using a spray works just as well, she said.
“It’s very lightweight so they don’t feel all goofy and sticky,” Claman said. “By wearing sunscreen every day, it’s remarkable how much sun damage can be reversed.”
Apart from preventing skin cancer, Claman’s helps her clients find ways to look younger and to replenish what the years have taken away.
“Mainly, what happens when you get older is your skin gets drier,” Claman said.
So to counteract the dryness, Claman suggests investing in a moisturizing cream — not lotion, but cream. The difference, she said, is that lotions contain a large amount of water and alcohol. Thirty minutes after applying it, skin may feel as if nothing was applied, she said. So slather on the cream.
Page 2 of 2 - “You put that on … over damp skin every day, and that helps tremendously in terms of keeping your skin healthy,” she said.
Claman said two other products that can reduce the effects of aging are Retin-A and Renova. Chemical peels also can take the years off, she said.
If those products don’t yield desired results, Botox, which is more effective on younger skin, and wrinkle fillers might be good options, said Springfield, Ill., plastic surgeon Dr. Nicole Sommer.
“Treatments such as the fillers and Botox — those only last for a certain amount of time,” Sommer said.
If a patient doesn’t want to continue receiving treatment, some opt for plastic surgery, such as a face-lift. Sommer said, oftentimes, patients say they feel much younger than they look, so surgery may be a way to merge one’s physical appearance and how old a person actually feels.
As for Shirley Klingbeil, though she may look like it, she’s never had any “work done.” Instead, she said the main key to looking decades younger might be as simple as to remember to have a good time.
“Having fun,” she said, “that’s good.”
Laura Michels is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skin care tips
Wear a hat and long sleeves when in the sun.
Wear a strong, waterproof sunscreen.
Use a moisturizing cream.
Use a moisturizer with sunscreen.
Products such as Retin-A and Renova may reduce the appearance of aging.
Receive a full body skin exam annually.