The skin, the body’s largest organ, is composed of three layers: The epidermis is made up of skin cells and protein. The dermis includes not only nerves and follicles, but oil glands and blood vessels. The deepest, the subcutaneous, layer contains sweat glands, more hair follicles, blood vessels and fat. All three layers include collagen for support and elastin for both strength and flexibility.

As we age, the uppermost layer, the epidermis, grows thinner. Both collagen and elastin supplies diminish. In the intermediate layer, the dermis, the sebaceous glands become less productive. Finally, the fat in the subcutaneous layer decreases.

Environment and lifestyle are key factors in maintaining healthy skin. Decreasing sun exposure and using a quality sunscreen are paramount, as sun exposure exacerbates aging when it comes to the skin. Eating well and getting plenty of rest and exercise are also crucial. Avoiding exposure to toxins of every sort is a must.

As skin grows thinner and less elastic, and retaining moisture becomes more difficult, wrinkles, lines, sagging and discoloration result.

Among effective procedures are microdermabrasion, radio frequency treatments, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, fillers, and Botox.

DERMAPLANING is just a very simple physical or mechanical method of exfoliation, which helps to remove dead skin cells and give your face a brighter complexion. It removes some vellus hairs (the baby0fine hairs on your face), making the skin feel smoother.

MICRODERMABRASION acts to remedy dullness, discoloration and fine lines by removing dead skin cells to reveal younger-looking skin. Results last for less than a week.

A CHEMICAL PEEL can remove dark spots, mild acne, dull skin or wrinkles around the eyes or mouth. Chemical agents are applied to penetrate the topmost, intermediate or deepest layers of skin. The upshot is a more even skin tone and texture lasting for about a month.

LASER RESURFACING uses lasers to tighten skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes and scars. Post-treatment, redness fades to reveal smoother, more even skin tone. Results can last for two to five years.

Hyaluronic acid FILLERS can both fill lines and wrinkles and boost volume. Results usually last for six months to a year.

Botulinium toxin is injected into tiny facial muscles, freezing them and thereby smoothing wrinkles and lines. BOTOX lasts three to six months per single treatment. Collagen can also be injected to fill lines or add volume for a number of weeks to a number of years.

Before you embark on any type of restorative treatment, it’s important to perform your due diligence. Skin-care facilities abound. It’s up to you to safeguard your health by finding a reputable provider who will tailor a treatment to your specific needs.

A quality skin-care professional will ask for basic medical information before you even begin a consultation. Pre-existing health conditions may prohibit some procedures. Your practitioner should also enlighten you as to skin structure generally and where your skin lies on the aging spectrum. This will allow you to actively take part in the process of choosing a treatment and putting together a plan of action.

Beware of practitioners who seem to promote one service or set of services, especially if those treatments do not suit your skin’s needs. You might also want a clinician to only performs the procedures that are necessary to achieve a natural, balanced appearance. Excessive cosmetic work can appear false — or downright scary.

Keep in mind that after-care is also crucial. A quality plan involves proactive follow-up and allows for modifications as required.

Youthful-looking healthy skin can boost your confidence in the workplace and in social situations, improving your self-esteem and overall quality of life. Taking care to choose the right practitioner and, with her help, the proper procedures, can set you firmly on the path to achieving a healthy more youthful appearance.