Our face is our most visible feature. Our eyes, skin and expressions tell a story about how we feel through non-verbal messages. By looking at our facial features, others determine if we are happy, excited, bored or even angry. So, what can you do to make sure that your face is telling the story you wish to express?
In my New York City practice I see many patients who seek help to restore a youthful appearance or preserve and maintain their current look through anti-aging techniques. To accomplish this, I present a contemporary menu of options for facial rejuvenation that combines both traditional methods and modern technological advances.
To begin, facial aging includes a loss of firmness and elasticity in the skin, causing sagging and the appearance of wrinkles. Skin can also develop a discolored and dull appearance. These tell tale signs of aging can impact the way we look and feel about ourselves. Some contributing factors of facial aging are genetics, heredity, stress and changes in weight and environmental conditions. If the signs of aging bother you, there are several treatment options, which, in my hands, offer natural-looking results.
INJECTABLES AND FILLERS:
There are several quick and easy treatment options that can help patients fight the battle of the aging face, with no downtime. These “lunch-time” treatments can revitalize the face by effectively smoothing facial lines and wrinkles, restoring volume and re-contouring facial features.
Injectables such as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are neurotoxins designed to target and relax the specific facial muscles that cause frown lines, squint lines (crows feet) and horizontal forehead creases. Once relaxed, these muscles cannot contract to the same degree and our face appears smoother with a more content expression. Over time, with regular use of these neurotoxin injectables, facial muscles are reconditioned, providing a smooth, serene appearance. Results of neurotoxins typically last around three to five months. If you are prone to (or want to avoid) developing lines and making facial expressions that lead to wrinkles, you may want to consider Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin as a preventative measure.
Fillers are another type of injectable and are used to plump the skin, add volume or alter the contours of the face as well as fill in medium-to-deep lines and wrinkles. They are commonly injected into areas of the face such as under the eyes, the mid-face (cheeks) and into smile lines and lips. Sometimes referred to as a “Liquid Facelift,” the placement of the fillers can be adjusted to a patient’s needs and desires with an immediate result of a renewed, lifted more youthful appearance. I often recommend one or a combination of fillers to achieve the desired look for each patient. The span of how long a filler will last depends on the type of filler being used as well as the area being treated.
Short-term Fillers (Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, Belotero) – lasting six to nine months, these fillers are comprised of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in gel form and treat areas such as crows feet, lower eyelid contour, nasolabial folds, between brows and around the lips
Medium-term Fillers (Radiesse) – lasting nine to 12 months, Radiesse is comprised of calcium based micro spheres in water-based gel and is used for deep wrinkles and areas of volume loss (nasolabial folds, mid-face and cheekbones); it also helps to stimulate collagen growth.
Long-term Fillers (Sculptra, Voluma) lasting up to two years, Sculptra is made of poly L lactic acid (PLLA), a synthetic biodegradable polymer that is both restorable and biocompatible and treats volume loss to restore contours and sculpt the face. Sculptra produces subtle results over time, and a series of treatments are needed to replace lost volume and collagen. Another option is the new long-term Hyaluronic Acid (HA) filler called Voluma, which is the first HA filler with clinical studies showing results lasting up to two years.
LASERS AND RADIOFREQUENCY:
PRECISION TX: As we get older we start to see changes in our faces, such as sagging and loss of elasticity, which can cause us to feel less confident and less youthful. One of the most exciting breakthroughs in facial rejuvenation treatments is the “Laser Lift” Precision Tx. This sophisticated laser technology melts fat, tightens skin and stimulates collagen production. The results from this are a more sculpted, firmer and youthful lower face, jaw line and neck. I compare this to “shrink-wrapping your face.”
Ideal patients for this treatment have some laxity of the lower face and neck with or without extra fat in jowls and under the chin. This is a one-time treatment and is performed in my office with a local anesthetic. There are three tiny incisions (one behind each earlobe and underneath the jawline) with no staples or sutures. Visible results can be seen in one month, with full results in six months.
FRACTORA FIRM: This non-invasive facial tightening option is ideal for faces whose skin could use a boost in elasticity. Fractora Firm uses radiofrequency (RF) energy deep in the skin, producing heat to stimulate the production of collagen. This stimulation allows for your skin to contract and improves its tone and suppleness over a period of time.
This painless, non-surgical procedure can be used on your entire face or specific areas, such as the eyelids, jowls and neck. A series of treatments are required with weekly sessions recommended over six weeks. This can also be used in combination with most other laser treatments, injectables and fillers. Fractora Firm is a great option for individuals who are looking for a non-surgical approach to improving skin tone.
ICON LASER REJUVENATION: The discussion of Facial Rejuvenation would not be complete without discussing refreshing the surface of the skin. This can be accomplished with resurfacing, spot correction and skin refining. The ICON laser system is a multi-platform technology that can be used to treat and correct sun damage, age spots, scars and red vessels and to re-invigorate and refresh the skin for a glowing, bright and healthy appearance.
SURGICAL OPTIONS FOR YOUR FACE:
EYELID LIFT/BLEPHAROPLASTY: The effects of aging are inevitable, and often, the eyes have a tendency to show the first signs. Eyes are often described as the most expressive of our facial features and the “windows to the soul.” When your eyes are wide, bright and alert you appear well rested and energized. A combination of age, stress and genetics can cause eyes to develop a tired, worn out look due to drooping skin, wrinkles and under eye bags. Cosmetic eyelid surgery, or Blepharoplasty, improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. Blepharoplasty is performed by removing excess sagging skin, removing or re-draping fat deposits, and remodeling muscle for improved structure and to create a more open and youthful appearance. This procedure is ideal for women and men who have excess, hanging skin of the upper and/or lower eye lids and who wish to take years off the look of their face.
FOREHEAD AND BROW LIFT: As we get older, skin of the forehead and brow can lose elasticity and drop into a lower position, negatively affecting the look of our upper face and eyes. Results of this drop can create a look of lines and wrinkling across the forehead and lowering the position of the eyebrows. A forehead lift, also called a Browlift, is performed for those with significant furrows or horizontal lines in the forehead that make you appear tired, sad or angry. It can be done in combination with eyelid surgery or alone depending on the level of correction needed.
The Browlift is performed with an endoscope, which eliminates the need for a long scalp incision. Four tiny incisions hidden behind the hairline are used in this technique. This surgical procedure reduces the wrinkle lines that develop horizontally across the forehead, as well as those on the bridge of the nose and between the brows, and improves frown lines. By restoring the eyebrows to a more elevated and natural position, your eyes will be more youthful looking, resulting in an invigorated look for the whole face.
FACE LIFT: The term face lift can elicit different responses in different people. As with any type of plastic surgery, the effectiveness, safety and result of your face lift depend on the expertise of the surgeon performing the procedure. In the right hands, a face lift can produce significant improvement, taking 10-15 years off the appearance, while still looking natural. The face and neck can be addressed in one procedure that will remove excess fat, tighten underlying musculature and lift and re-position the skin smoothly over the face. The technique that I use is called the limited incision or “short scar” face lift, resulting in minimal and hidden scaring. For patients who do not require a full face lift to address their level of aging, I offer a Mini-Face Lift with minimal incisions made and reduced recovery time. Mini face lifts can accomplish many of the goals of a full face lift. The ideal candidate for either is best determined when we discuss areas of concern during a consultation.
With all the choices available for facial rejuvenation, it can be overwhelming trying to determine the treatments and procedures that may be appropriate for you. I welcome you to visit my Madison Avenue office for a comprehensive anti-aging consultation where I can help you to decide what treatment options are best suited for your level of aging and desired outcome. This consultation will answer any questions you might have about anti-aging and how to lift your look. Treatments are available for all comfort levels, lifestyles and budgets.
Always remember … feeling more confident can give you the boost you need to conquer anything. If you are in good health, have realistic expectations and a positive attitude, your look will reflect that every day.