Gracefully Aging: What Can You Do?

Sara M. Wilchowski, MS, PA-C & Paul M. Graham, DO

Have you ever felt confused with your anti-aging skin care routine?  A bit overwhelmed when you’re in the beauty aisle at Target? We will make it easier for you to navigate the complex world of creams, potions, and serums. Here are 5 simple steps to help guide your anti-aging cosmeceutical purchase.

  • Sunscreen is your pal! As this seems like a no brainer, so many people do not wear sunscreen. Unfortunately, exposure to UV radiation (especially UVA) is encountered throughout all the seasons as well as on rainy and cloudy days. Fluorescent lights have been shown to emit a certain amount of UVA radiation as well. It is highly recommended to apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF of 30 or greater. Of course, don’t forget that the SPF protection factor breaks down after 2 hours, thus requiring the need to reapply.
    • A few of our favorites:

Skin medica

Skin Medica Total Defense and Repair SPF 34 – UVA/UVB protection with DNA repair enzymes

Elizabeth arden

Elizabeth Arden TPF 50– UVA/UVB protection with DNA repair enzymes


La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50– UVA/UVB protection with antioxidants

Cereve am

CeraVe AM SPF 30 – UBA/UVB with nicotinamide (anti-inflammatory)


  • Mother always said, “wash your face”! So many types of face washes exist on the market today; however when it comes to anti-aging properties, reach for a glycolic acid containing wash. These washes have the ability to cause more dryness and irritation, but exhibit superior exfoliation properties on the top layer of the skin. Truth is, higher concentrations of glycolic acid are often used in chemical peels to help promote cellular regeneration, resurface your complexion, and reduce impurities.
    • A few of our favorites:


Glytone Mild Gel Cleanser


Aqua Glycolic Facial Cleanser


  • Vitamin A slows down aging, who knew? Topical vitamin A creams, otherwise known as retinoids or retinols, have been shown to slow down the degradation of collagen in addition to direct stimulation of new collagen formation. Topical retinoids are the gold standard for anti-aging, however they do not work overnight. These creams often take approximately 8-12 weeks before any noticeable differences are appreciated. Prescription vitamin A creams are composed of retinoic acid, whereas over the counter creams are composed of a precursor molecule called retinol. It is important to understand that retinol must be converted to retinoic acid in the body to work and therefore is less effective than a prescription retinoid. These creams should be applied at night as they often are deactivated by UV light. A small pea-sized drop of cream is all that is required to cover the entire face. Overuse of topical retinoids/retinols may lead to significant dryness and should be avoided if possible. A good moisturizer is recommended to prevent and treat slight irritation and dryness.
    • A few of our favorite OTC retinols:


SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.5


Roc Retinol Correction


Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair


Biopelle Retinol


  • Vitamin C, how can that be?  Anti-oxidants help remove UV-induced free radicals from the skin’s surface, thus preventing further cellular damage and skin aging. Don’t forget that they are just as important in your diet as well.
    • A few of our favorites:


SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic


SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF


Epionce Intense Defense Serum


  • A good moisturizer is essential!  Not only will moisturization help with skin irritation and inflammation, it also helps restore a balanced complexion to the skin.  Some moisturizers contain hyaluronic acid, which absorbs up to 1000x its weight in water, thus helping to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles temporarily. With all the moisturizers on the market, beware of preservative heavy formulations.
    • A few of our favorites:


Neutrogena Hydroboost


NeoCutis Micronight

aveeno moistur.jpeg

Aveeno Positively Radiant

Cereve pm.jpeg

CeraVe PM


We hope these 5 simple steps will help boost the effectiveness of your anti-aging skin routine. The cosmeceutical industry is quickly growing with many different products making it difficult to choose the right products. Use this article as a guide to designing your personalized skin care regimen.

Please note, our medical disclaimer applies to all information, images, recommendations, and comments published on this page.

Published by Dr. Paul M. Graham

Paul M. Graham, D.O. (Founder/Editor-in-chief) founded Dimensional Dermatology in May 2016 with the vision to provide concise, easy to read, up-to-date dermatology and aesthetic medicine information to patients, medical staff, providers, and the general public. Dr. Graham is currently completing his training as a cosmetic dermatologic surgery fellow in Virginia Beach, Virginia at the McDaniel Laser and Cosmetic Center. He completed his dermatology training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and was a clinical instructor at Michigan State University. He received his B.S. degree as Summa Cum Laude at Old Dominion University, his D.O. degree as Cum Laude at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, completed his internship at Largo Medical Center in Largo, Florida as chief intern, and completed his dermatology residency training at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor, Michigan.

3 thoughts on “Gracefully Aging: What Can You Do?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: