Dr. Kristen Jacobs, MD

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GLEN CARBON - Dr. Kristen M. Jacobs, MD, doesn’t want to just change the way you look; she wants to change the way you feel.

Jacobs has over 15 years of experience in aesthetic medicine as the owner of Ooh La La Spa, Anti-Aging & Wellness, a medical spa at 110 Cottonwood Road in Glen Carbon. To mark the end of September, which is National Menopause Awareness Month, Jacobs is sharing tips on how to take care of your skin from the time you’re born through menopause.

“My [work] is about how to age healthily,” Jacobs said. “How do we do this in the best way that we possibly can? So yes, menopause is a huge part of a woman’s life, but if we start off knowing the tips and the tricks from the beginning, once we get to menopause, we’re good.”

Ooh La La offers several products and services to minimize the effects of aging, and Jacobs has a best-selling book titled “Live Life Beautifully (With a Little Help).” She encourages people to check out her website to see a full list of offerings, but she said the most important step to “aging healthily” is to be educated about how skin changes over time and how to protect it.

Her first lesson? Collagen, the main protein in connective tissue, which affects skin elasticity. In the first five years of menopause, which can start as early as your late 30s, your skin loses about 30% of its collagen.

“As we get to our menopausal age, we really need to focus on hydration,” Jacobs said. “There are a lot of different ways to do that, but I always say start with skincare.”

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Staying hydrated and using products with hyaluronic acid can both minimize wrinkles and stimulate collagen production. Hyaluronic acid is another natural substance in your skin and joints, and there are certain products and treatments that can increase hyaluronic acid production.

Ooh La La offers a lot of these treatments; Jacobs herself is a big fan of SkinMedica products, which are medical grade and backed by science. Other services, including intense pulsed light treatments, laser resurfacing and microneedling, can also improve the elasticity and appearance of skin.

Jacobs points out that these products and treatments are great, but they can’t reverse the natural process of aging. She encourages people to focus on prevention as much as possible. It’s comparable to protecting your bone mass; aging will happen, but in Jacobs’s words, “What can we do to prevent [or decrease] that breakdown?”

“The best thing that anybody can do for their skin is using the right sunscreen,” she said. “The new research out there is not just about the sun that’s creating aging. It’s about the blue light, so sitting in front of your computer, using our cell phones all the time. Aging happens because this blue light is affecting our skin. Also, think of pollution, think of infrared radiation…So if there’s one thing — menopause or no menopause, male, female, baby, whatever age — if there’s one thing you take out of this, it’s [to] please choose a sunscreen that has more than just SPF.”

And if you want some extra help, Jacobs is at your service. She works with clients to create a treatment plan that aligns with their goals, lifestyle and budget. Some clients become teary when they see the improvements between their before and after photos. To Jacobs, that’s empowerment, and it’s the best part of the job.

“It’s all about making people feel that they are the best versions of themselves,” she added. “It’s not about looking fake. It’s not about looking like who you’re not. It’s really about: You look in the mirror, feel good about what you see and just face the world with your chin up. That’s what it’s all about. If I can make somebody feel better about themselves, why not? Why not make everybody just feel amazing?”

No matter if you’re nearing menopause, past menopause or several years away, she encourages you to take care of yourself and reach out if you want a little help aging with health and grace. For more information about Ooh La La Spa, Jacobs’s book or other services, visit her official website at KristenJacobs.com.

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