“Nature gives you the face you have at 20. It’s up to you to merit the face you have at 50.”
Coco Chanel was ahead of her time when she uttered this, and never was it truer than today, when combinations of treatments and good skin care make youthful-looking skin last longer than ever. There is no better time in history to have birthdays than now, with anti-aging treatments capable of producing more extraordinary results than we ever thought possible.
With all these anti-aging options available to you, where do you start? Do you choose botox, filler, or skin treatments? As a medical professional who has studied these treatments and their results in earnest, the answer is all of these choices. While each category fills a different need, all work in harmony to minimize wrinkles, add volume in the cheeks and lips, and give you glowing skin.
Botox rules. It is the number one anti-aging aesthetic choice, providing a safe, reliable result when used properly. (We will explain “properly” in a moment.) No other product delivers such immediate results for wrinkle improvement than botox. The optimal places for anti-wrinkle treatments with botox are crows’ feet (wrinkles around the eyes), “eleven” lines (wrinkles between the brows), and fine forehead lines. While treatments for these areas are easily treated, forehead treatments can be a bit trickier. It’s important that your practitioner correctly balance both the anti-wrinkle result as well as the brow position or you may find your botox treatments causing unintended results. Aggressive treatments with botox in the forehead can result in brow lowering, abnormal elevation of the brow, or uneven brows. None of these results add to your anti-aging efforts and may even have the opposite effect — making you look “overdone.” Bottom line? Botox in the forehead is best done conservatively. Understanding the goals and limitations of botox is the first step in achieving an optimal result.
Fillers came along as an alternative to botox, but are equally important — another product that can achieve that immediate anti-aging result. Filler is a great option to add volume to the areas of the face that have decreased over time. Using it in the cheeks and lip areas can create amazing results, creating the youthful look of a full face. Nasolabial folds (upper mouth fold) and marionette lines (lower mouth wrinkles) can be filled as well, but should be considered only after the cheeks and lips have been appropriately evaluated. Filling the nasolabial folds and marionette lines will raise folds and can create a somewhat unnatural upward smile (we’re sure the “Joker” Jack Nicholson look is not what you have in mind). If budget is not a concern, I recommend filling all these areas, with cheeks and lips being addressed first. Full cheeks and lips offer a youthful and sultry look. If you’re worried about lip injections, don’t. When performed properly (there is that word again) as an anti-aging technique, lip injections simply remove wrinkles and create natural looking fullness.
Somehow I think that if photofacials and lasers were available when Coco Chanel was in her 30s or 40s she would have looked even more amazing. These are the anti-aging game changer. Glowing skin with improvement in collagen and elastin has never been easier, safer, and taken less downtime. The younger you start the treatments, the better your skin looks as you age, as if it resides in some form of (happily) arrested development. Photofacials and laser treatments promote the building of collagen and elastin which decrease wrinkles in the skin. In addition, the devices I use promote a smoother skin texture and evens out pigmentation. Our office uses the Sciton photofacial and laser device. This brand is often referred to as the “luxury line” of laser machines. Sciton’s motto of “because results matter” means what it says. Not all devices are equal. Choose carefully and wisely to avoid a poor outcome or complication. Scarring and burns can occur if a photofacial/laser is used poorly or aggressively. My advice is to choose Sciton or simply research the device you plan to have used on you before making a final decision.
Consider botox, filler, photofacials and lasers in combination to maximize your anti-aging regimen. The goal is to use all these products in reasonable measure to achieve the kind of outcome that will have you smiling and everyone else asking why you look so good!
~Dr. Andrea Tse