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pretty skinSlowing the signs of aging

Experts share tips on keeping skin in stellar shape

by Danielle Jackson



By now, we’re all aware of the sun’s negative effects on skin. But aside from staying in the shade, how can we keep it looking vibrant as we age?


We talked with area experts to get their take on the most important elements of any skin care plan. Stick to these pointers and you’ll have glowing skin before you know it.


Fifteen501: What is the single most important element of a proper skin care regimen?


Kathryn Ruliffson, PA-C, Davis Plastic Surgery: Whether it’s with your home regimen or making regular office visits and following the plan that you discussed with your trusted provider, compliance is the key to healthy, beautiful skin.


Dr. Heather Sefried, Nirvelli Day Spa: It’s important to use a product that treats the skin and penetrates the dermis. Medical-grade products are superior when it comes to clients seeing fast or immediate results.


Aesthetics Department, AQUA Salon Spa: Maintaining the correct skin pH balance is the most important element. Many products are too acidic and can damage rather than help your skin. Products with a pH of 4.5 can better improve the texture, color, tone and appearance of your skin.


Fifteen501: What do you believe is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to taking care of their skin?


Ruliffson: It seems that people lose faith too quickly in a product or service and stop using or doing it without allowing enough time to achieve visible results. There are some quick fixes, but it still takes a commitment to your body, lifestyle, and regimen.


Sefried: People make the mistake of using too many products that are gimmicks. It’s more important to use less products that have value than a ton of products that have no benefit to your skin.


Aqua: One of the most important mistakes made every day is not using a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Even when it’s raining or cloudy, ultraviolet rays are still present. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 30 and should contain micronized zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for blocking UVA rays.


Fifteen501: What do you see as the most important advancement in skin care over the past year or so?


Ruliffson: Skin care companies are focusing on streamlining their product lines for ease of use. In the past, six to eight products often were required for maximum results. Professional skin care researchers have recognized the need that consumers have for multi-tasking or dual-benefit products that are proven to diminish the signs of aging.


Sefried: I believe that the new types of exfoliants on the market are phenomenal. If you use a good exfoliant, then it will remove some of the dead cells, leaving your skin glowing.


Aqua: There have been several important advancements over the past few years, including the creation of products with both reparative ingredients and antioxidants; nanotechnology that creates micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, allowing for translucent sunscreen; the development of time-release delivery systems for skin care products; and an emphasis on restoring and maintaining the normal acidic pH of skin.


Fifteen501: What do you see for the future of skin care?


Ruliffson: Consumer demand will continue to shift from ablative procedures to non-ablative ones, with the latter resulting in less downtime from work and social obligations. Medical aesthetics also will continue to evolve toward developing a holistic approach to the individual, including prevention as well as treatment.


Sefried: The future of skin care will look at internal avenues like diet and nutrition to correct skin problems. I believe that we’ll see more skin care facilities looking at the entire picture and offering tips on wellness, including taking supplements and vitamins and incorporating a healthy diet.


AQUA: We believe that advancements in skin care will continue to take a noninvasive approach to creating younger-looking skin. Instead of products for repairing, we expect to see more research done on preventive methods and treatments. 


Danielle Jackson is editor of Fifteen501, Wake Living and Triad Living magazines.



About the roundtable

Kathryn Ruliffson, PA-C, is a physician assistant injector and aesthetics specialist with Davis Plastic Surgery in Raleigh. In this capacity, she injects all dermal fillers, as well as Botox and Dysport, Fraxel laser treatments, and chemical peels. To learn more about the practice, which is led by Dr. Glenn M. Davis, call (919) 785-1220 or visit


Dr. Heather Sefried is owner of Nirvelli Day Spa, a Cary practice focused on skin care, body treatments, and massage therapy. For more information, call (919) 238-5040 or visit


The Aesthetics Department at Aqua Salon Spa in Raleigh includes Cheryl Cope, Sanita Lanier and Kimberly Pishok. To learn more about the eco-friendly, pure-water concept salon and the RX System’s Anti-Aging Skincare System, call (919) 844-6337 or visit