13 Anti-Aging Treatments Doctors Actually Use

Medical experts share their personal anti-aging treatments to help you choose the best one for your skin, from microneedling to argan oil

Can you get younger-looking skin?

There’s plenty of anti-aging products on the market that claim to give you noticeably younger-looking skin in just a week or a month. Yet, this seldom happens—the (false) promises don’t reduce wrinkles or the appearance of dark circles, among other claims. But there are a few options that do work. We spoke to top medical experts who share their personal picks.

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A doctor who takes her own medicine

Beverly Hills-based cosmetic dermatologist Tess Mauricio, MD, is CEO of MBeautyClinic.com, and she uses the treatment her clinic offers—the Time Machine Procedure. The process incorporates a combination of cosmetic procedures, including microneedling, growth factors, and laser resurfacing. “This induces our own body’s natural healing process and creates a permanent reset of the aging process. It can address all signs of skin aging like wrinkles, saggy skin, eye bags, droopy eyelids, and pores,” she says.

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A smoothing effect

“As a plastic surgeon and someone who is in his early 50s, I do everything that I can to slow down the aging process, but do so in a way that makes me still look natural,” says Gregory Buford, MD, a plastic surgeon in Denver. Like Dr. Mauricio, Dr. Buford relies on something he offers: “ThermiSmooth has been a lifesaver for the loose skin and wrinkles around my eyes. I combine a series of treatments with microneedling and platelet-rich plasma to help tighten and firm this delicate tissue and keep me looking my very best.” Plus, check out the things dermatologists say you should never, ever do to your skin.

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Oil change

“One of my trade secrets is argan oil, the Moroccan fountain of youth, which I recommend to all my clients and I use every night,” says Gabrielle Francis, a New York City-based naturopathic doctor, chiropractor, and acupuncturist who helped Steven Tyler and Bruce Springsteen retain their youthful vigor. “This multipurpose anti-ager is derived from the argan tree of Morocco. This oil is coveted because of its high level of essential fatty acids which protect and repair skin and hair. Argan is also loaded with vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant in neutralizing free-radical production and protecting cell membranes from lipid peroxidation.”

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A night cream

“I like to incorporate a good over-the-counter retinol-based night cream into my skincare regimen,” says Nesochi Okeke-Igbokwe, MD, MS, a New York City-based internist. “Retinol can really be a big game-changer for the appearance of your skin. Collagen and elastin are proteins that help maintain the integrity of the skin and keep it firm, plump, and vibrant. As we all get older, the production of collagen tends to slow down. Retinol creams may help boost collagen production.” A 2015 study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology concluded that after one-year of topical retinol use, patients’ photodamaged skin showed a significant improvement overall, decreasing the appearance of crow’s feet by 44 percent. Here are some other skincare tips dermatologists use on themselves.

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Clean living

“Personally I would say the most important thing for me is good clean living,” says Bill Dorfman, DDS, a dentist in Los Angeles who cares for many Hollywood celebrities. “I exercise daily, I don’t eat junk. I don’t drink. I don’t do drugs. Also, for the last 30 years, I have used a nightly regimen of a light Retin-A cream and a little Botox around the eyes and on the forehead. And, of course, Zoom Tooth Whitening to keep my teeth looking their best.”

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Treat and repeat

Variety may be the spice of life, but a routine of anti-aging treatments is what keeps Antoni Calmon, MD, a cosmetic doctor in London and Paris, looking and feeling his best. For the basics, he applies a Vitamin C serum to his face each morning, along with SPF 50+ sunscreen three times a day, and caps things off with a repair cream at night. Twice weekly he applies a Vitamin A cream, like Differin. For in-office treatments, Dr. Calmon receives Mesolift (used to tone and tighten sagging skin) every two months and Botox injections between the eyebrows and eyes every six months.

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Sweat equity

Cardio isn’t only good for the heart—studies show it’s also great for reversing the signs of aging. In fact, research published in Cell Metabolism suggests that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts can reverse the signs of aging right down the cellular level. Jody A. Levine, MD, a dermatologist and the director of dermatology at Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of New York City, uses her sweat sessions as one of her preferred anti-aging treatments. “I love a hard cardio work out,” she says. “The relaxation I get after a challenging aerobic activity and a good sweat provides for me the ultimate stress relief and comfort.” Don’t miss these health rules doctors don’t always follow—so you shouldn’t either.

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Food for thought

Good health at the cellular level is crucial for aging gracefully, says Laura Stix, a naturopathic doctor and clinical hypnotherapist in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. “Clinical nutrition is key,” she says. She chooses supplements such as glutathione. “One interesting fact is research looking at how our foods and microRNA are actually altering our genetic expression, so we have the opportunity to make wise decisions on how we wish to have our health advance in a positive or negative way.” In other words, eat better to age better!

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Sleep well

For Renalto Calabria, MD, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, anti-aging treatments are more than just topical products, they’re a way of life. “In the morning I drink Bulletproof coffee with grass-fed butter and MCT oil [medium-chain triglycerides],” he explains. “That gives me a lot of mental and physical energy, and allows me to do intermittent fasting.” That means he avoids eating between 8 p.m. and 12 a.m. “I sleep between eight and nine hours a day and drink three to four liters of alkalinized water. That is the key to skin rejuvenation along with a NAD [nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide] supplement, a compound that’s responsible for the regulation of cellular aging and for ensuring the body is functioning properly. Loss of sleep is definitely damaging the skin.” These anti-aging secrets could add years to your life.

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Prevent and protect

“The most effective anti-aging treatment I undergo is Botox injections,” says Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, of Zuckerman Plastic Surgery in New York City. I have developed deep furrows in my forehead due to aging, sun damage, and concentration, and within one week of treatment, Botox smooths these out. Botox is used in many areas of the face and neck to smooth out, or prevent wrinkles. It’s close to a ‘miracle drug’ for anti-aging.” Here are seven signs that you are ready for botox (and six that reveal you aren’t).

Dermatologist Rhonda Q. Klein, MD, with Modern Dermatology of Connecticut in Westport, Connecticut, is a huge fan of the treatments offered by her office: “I have been loyal with botulinum toxin [botox] since residency at age 27, other than when pregnant. I’ve also had some filler under my eyes and in my cheeks and temples a few times.” Botox relaxes facial muscles to help reduce signs of aging.

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Smart supplements

“I love ashwagandha, theanine, and rhodiola as supplements that can help improve feelings of well-being and decrease feelings of stress,” says Charlie Seltzer, MD, a specialist in both obesity and internal medicine in Philadelphia. A 2018 study in Biomedical Reports provides evidence that anxiety and depression specifically can speed the aging process by shortening the length of telomere, or DNA strands. However, the researchers note further studies are needed to understand the impact other factors have on telomere length. Check out these signs that your body is aging faster than you are.

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Sun smarts

“I never leave the house without a big slather of sunscreen—the sun is probably the most aging element when you are outdoors,” says Anna Guanche, MD, of Bella Skin Institute in Calabasas, California, on her go-to anti-aging treatments. “I will take a tablespoon of coconut oil three times a day, the oils are then released onto your skin through your pores and it keeps your skin moisturized and very soft.”

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Skin savvy

As a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon, it’s not surprising that John Layke, MD, has his finger on the pulse of the latest and greatest in skincare. For his routine, he says, “I use Beverly Hills MD‘s Brighten and Tighten Restorative Facial Oil, Dark Spot Corrector, Repair + Reverse Daily Serum, and Deep Regenerating Stem Cell Moisturizer,” he shares. “I do HIIT training three times a week and stick to a low saturated fat diet.” Don’t miss more anti-aging secrets dermatologists won’t tell you for free.

Medically reviewed by Jessica Wu, MD, on March 08, 2021