New Year, New Face – Looking Younger in 2011
Our New Year’s resolutions tend to repeat themselves year after year, like losing weight and working out more. But this year may be the time to make a resolution to take years off your face with a little help from a qualified cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist, and the technological advances available. Choosing the right procedure or treatment involves many related factors including your budget, how much time you can take off work, tolerance for discomfort, acceptance of scars, and the inevitable fear factor. However, injectable treatments are mostly combined with lidocaine for pain control, and lasers are used with cooling devices, so you can comfortably have anything done from a full face laser resurfacing to pan-facial rejuvenation with fillers now.
When most people think of cosmetic surgery, they tend to think of melon sized breasts and the wind tunnel facelifts seen on the big screen. Everyone can spot the obvious victims of overdone cosmetic surgery, yet the best work is virtually undetectable. Many women say they don’t want to have a lift because they have never seen a good one. “I can always tell”, is a common lament. However, an artfully executed facelift looks like you have aged well – without the telltale signs of intervention such as distorted ears, elevated hairlines, and stretched, shiny skin.
The range of cosmetic enhancements for 2011 can be divided into three basic categories. The truly non invasive or lunchtime category includes wash and wear wrinkle injections such as Botox Cosmetic (www.botoxcosmetic.com) and Dysport (www.dysport.com), dermal fillers such as Restylane –L (www.restylaneusa.com) and Radiesse (www.radiesse.com), and mild resurfacing treatments such as superficial light based devices and microdermabrasion like SilkPeel Dermal Infusion System (www.envymedical.com), as well as clinical skin care. The minimally invasive spectrum falls somewhere in between surgery with visible scars, and the non invasive category, and can be performed in your doctor’s office. For example, fat grafting to the cheeks, lips and tear troughs, and deeper lasers that tighten the skin and reduce fat deposits on the chin such as SlimlLipo (www.palomarmedical.com) or LipoTherme (www.osyrismedical.com). The most invasive procedures involve surgery done to reshape or refine parts of the face, typically involving an office or hospital setting and some form of anesthesia, such as facelifts, blepharoplasty, and browlifts.
In the overall scheme of things, there is no ideal time frame start having treatments done, although the trend is certainly towards doing things earlier as a preemptive strike to forestall the signs of facial aging, followed by maintenance to stay looking younger for longer. Therefore it is not unusual for women in their late 20s or early 30s to start having Botox for their frown lines, fillers such as Perlane-L and Juvederm XC (www.juvederm.com) for lip and cheek enhancement, and going to their dermatologists for laser treatments. Determined not to age like their parents have, they are keen to do whatever they can to defy the aging process. It’s never too late either to start with cosmetic beauty treatments, and women in their 60s and 70s are still good candidates for having a little work done.
There comes a time when even Retin-A® and other prescription creams stop doing enough to make you content with the way you are aging, and you start to wonder what else is available. The next logical step up from a great cosmeceutical skincare regimen are peels and intense pulsed light treatments or photofacials that can even out skin tone and improve texture. Botox® is brilliant for lines around the eyes, forehead and mouth, and fillers such as Sculptra® (www.sculptraaesthetic.com) is ideal for softening furrows and stimulating new collagen. Brown spots and sun damage can be greatly improved with a course of Fraxel® re:Store Dual (www.fraxel.com) or Pearl® (www.cutera.com) laser treatments. For slack skin, tightening devices such as Pelleve® (www.pelleve.com) can deliver a subtle lifting effect on droopy brows and cheeks.
The final stage before considering surgery tends to be a combination of several of these to maximize the anti-aging results. Of course, when the non invasive treatments stop delivering what you really want in terms of sagging and bulges, it may be time to consider a short scar face or neck lift reduce excess skin and fat deposits.
Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy (www.cosmeticmedrx.com), author of 11 books on cosmetic beauty, and Founder and Editor in Chief of www.beautyinthebag.com