The Best You

Be Well, Look Well – Tips to combat wrinkles and keep that face

We’re “Advanced Maternal Age”. Does that mean we’re old?

When I was in my teens and 20’s I looked young. I actually looked like a kid until my early 30’s. And then, suddenly, I see lines and wrinkles and signs of aging.

What the what is that all about.

I thought I’d be carded forever, turns out nobody needs to see my ID any more. So, why???? You know you want to know a bit about this danged aging business a bit more, so we caught up with Dr. John Zannis. He’s a New Bern, North Carolina board certified Plastic Surgeon, to break it down for us. 

Many aspects of facial and body aging are inevitable and a fact of life, explains Dr. Zannis. However, there are daily habits, motions and actions that we do that unnecessarily accelerate the aging process. While we are very fortunate to have so many non invasive advances in plastic surgery, many of them would not be necessary at younger ages if we negated some of the behaviors that cause wrinkles to appear prematurely.

Tanning Beds 

(Urban Mommy Elisa: Yes, guilty. Not excessively – but hey, it was the 90s)

Despite skin cancer warning labels and common sense, 45 percent of young women surveyed in a February 2014 study revealed they still use tanning beds. Here’s your wakeup call: Tanning beds blast you with 12- to 15-times more ultraviolet radiation than the sun, which means you’re that much more likely to get wrinkles, dark spots, thick leathery skin and cancer. And that cancer could be the deadly kind: Melanoma is one of the most common cancers diagnosed among young women, with more than 32,000 women expected to be diagnosed in the coming years.


(Urban Mommy Elisa: Yes, guilty. I bartended in my younger years. It was, at times, much like professional alcoholism)

Alcohol is a natural diuretic, so the more you drink, the more dehydrated you become. Dr. Zannis states that, “besides sapping the natural moisture from your skin, excessive alcohol also triggers rosacea outbreaks and exacerbates fine lines, acne, and wrinkles, all of which instantly make you look older. You don’t have to swear off the bottle altogether, but by drinking less, your liver doesn’t have to work as hard to flush out toxins and impurities from your body, and when it works more efficiently, you’ll see the results in your skin.”


(Urban Mommy Elisa: Off and on. And I was goooood at it. But not in the last 15 years)

It’s certainly no secret that smoking is bad for your health. But did you know it’s bad for your looks, too? Dr. Zannis says that, “studies show that in addition to shortening your life by increasing your risk for heart and lung disease, smoking can activate enzymes that break down the elasticity of your skin. Even if you’re a closet smoker, the fine wrinkles and pallor that cigarettes cause can give you away — just one more reason to snuff out those smokes.”

You sleep with your face in the pillow

(Urban Mommy Elisa: Really? I sleep face down *when my kids let me sleep*)

Sleeping on your stomach or on your side with your face smashed into the pillow can create wrinkles and accelerate aging. “The connective tissue and collagen in your face becomes weaker and less supportive with age,” says Dr. Zannis. “So when you sleep on the same side of your face night after night, your skin won’t smooth out or spring back as quickly as it did when you were young.” Those crease lines from your pillow can become permanent. Sleep on your back or invest in a satin pillowcase to keep skin smooth.

 Cleaning facial skin too thoroughly.

(Urban Mommy Elisa: Love that squeaky clean feel)

After a long day, you want to get all the dirt, grease, and grime out of your pores by any means necessary, but this is a mistake that could cost your skin its youthful suppleness and glow. “When people use harsh soap in order to get a squeaky clean feel, they strip their skin of its natural oils and accentuate fine lines,” says Dr. Zannis. Stick to a gentle cleanser and don’t scrub, your skin will thank you later.

Aggressively removing your eye makeup.

(Urban Mommy Elisa: Like I have time to put eye make-up on, never mind take it off. But when I do, I love removing my eye makeup with coconut oil, it works and smells good too)

Taking off your makeup at night is important, but you should do it gently. The last thing you want to do is rub, tug, or scrap the skin around your eyes to get that last little bit of mascara off. “You can cause broken blood vessels and puffiness,” warns Dr. Zannis.

Sipping Through A Straw

(Urban Mommy Elisa: Yes, guilty. Not excessively – but hey, it was the 90s)

“Yes, repeated straw drinking causes people to purse their lips and can create wrinkles from the repetitive muscle motion,” says Dr. Zannis. He adds, “Much like repeated frowning causes wrinkles on the upper face.”


Dr. John Zannis

 Dr. Zannis

 John Zannis MD

Dr. John Zannis – New Bern, NC Plastic Surgeon, is married with three children. He has a passion for travel, languages, painting, and guitars.

Dr. Zannis is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. From Cincinnati, Ohio, he studied Human Biology and Studio Art at Stanford University prior to entering Medical School. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) from the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine.

His studies in art and art history in Florence, Italy cultivated a passion for the Renaissance and geniuses of that time such as Leonardo DaVinci. Dr. Zannis instills artistry and perfectionism into his practice of surgery. His keen interest in procedures like rhinoplasty stem from their sculptural nature and the challenge they pose: “Rhinoplasty is considered one of the most difficult surgeries to master.