As we age, our faces begin to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting. The underlying tissues that keep our skin looking youthful and plumped up begin to break down, often leaving laugh lines, smile lines, crows feet or facial creases over the areas where this muscle movement occurs.
The good news is that concepts in facial rejuvenation have changed dramatically in recent years. You now have options that are effective, non-invasive, and require little or no downtime. And these procedures are affordable, making putting your best face forward a reality for more people than ever.
With the rapid advancements and influx of new products, understanding your options and whats best for you can be confusing. Whats most important
to realize is no one procedure is a cure all each has its distinct advantages for certain conditions. An expert, board certified plastic surgeon will be able to guide you through the options that best suit your unique needs and desires.
Botox is a popular non-surgical injection that temporarily reduces or eliminates frown lines, forehead creases, crows feet near the eyes and thick bands in the neck. The toxin blocks the nerve impulses, temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkles while giving the skin a smoother, more refreshed appearance.
Soft-tissue fillers can help fill in lines and creases, temporarily restoring a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance. When injected beneath the skin, these fillers plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. They can also add fullness to the lips and cheeks.
Collagen was the predominant filler of choice, but presented several disadvantages, most notably the possibility of allergic reactions (because of its bovine origin) and its rather short duration of effectiveness (2-3 months). The introduction of Restylane and Radiesse, however, opened up a whole new world in facial rejuvenation.
Restylane is an injectable that also smoothes wrinkles and enhances lips. It is made of a biodegradable hyaluronic acid. The effects last for 4-8 months and then dissolve into water and depart your body without leaving a trace. It is most effective against finer, superficial lines. Best of all, a Restylane treatment is relatively painless and takes an average of about 30 minutes to perform.
Radiesse can be used to smooth wrinkles and does not require testing because it consists of calcium hydroxyl apatite, which naturally occurs in the human body. Radiesse can also be used as filler for wrinkles, but unlike its counterpart Botox, the muscles are not relaxed; therefore, the face retains its expressiveness. Radiesse is effective for deeper lines and lasts 12-18 months.
None of these procedures produce as significant an improvement as a facelift, nor do their effects last as long. However, they do let you put your best face forward without surgery and with virtually no downtime, while producing natural looking results that are affordable to achieve.