It’s human nature that as people grow older, they want to look younger.
The tendencies of aging can make that desire an uphill climb for many. Even if they feel energetic and healthy, they may look old and tired.
“Women and men ages 45 to 65 really start to notice a difference in their skin when they look in the mirror,” says Dr. Dennis Schimpf, author of Finding Beauty: Think, See And Feel Beautiful, and founder of Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery. (www.sweetgrassplasticsurgery.com). “Healthy living makes them feel great on the inside, but on the outside, the years can take a toll.
“They look for ways to turn back the clock, for their face to more closely reflect what they feel like. And there are indeed minimally invasive ways to stave off some of the effects of aging.”
Schimpf suggests five ways to turn back the clock:
Skin-care products. Reversing the aging of the face starts by choosing good skin-care products. “Sunblock is one of the best defenses against the rays that can really age the skin,” Schimpf says. “Good skin care can build a solid foundation, so start it before spending money on other efforts. Having healthy skin to start with can optimize the outcomes for any procedure.”
Lasering. This is a more aggressive type of treatment. Micro-ablative is one of the most common types of laser treatment. “It uses fractional technology to basically punch micro holes in the skin, reducing pore sizes and allowing new skin and growth to occur,” Schimpf says. “It’s similar to aerating a lawn, where holes are punched in the grass and healthier grass grows. The treatment tightens and offers mild to moderate improvements in wrinkling.”
Dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and skin peels. Dermabrasion is a more aggressive type of skin peel involving removal of the upper layers of skin through surgical scraping of the skin. “This treatment is usually reserved for facial wrinkles or scars,” Schimpf says. “Microdermabrasion sands away the uneven outer layer of skin. It treats sun damage, stretch marks and small scars. Skin peels use a solution to remove the damaged outer layer of skin, improving texture and tone.”
Fillers. “There are dozens of fillers on the market for the soft-tissue changes, but the three main ones are hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite-based, and autologous fat transfer, which harvests the patient’s own fat to be injected into the facial tissues,” Schimpf says. “In the forehead, injections reduce wrinkles. In the lips, injections make them plumper.”
Fat grafting. This is a minimally invasive procedure but usually more expensive up front. “Roughly half of patients require two sessions of fat grafting to get the graft to take,” Schimpf says, “because the procedure doesn’t just inject a large clump of fat. The fat tissue that’s being transferred has to be in touch with surrounding tissue that contains blood vessels. Otherwise the clump of fat doesn’t survive. Overall, fat grafting technology has really improved.”
“It happens to many people – they look in the mirror and don’t really like what they see,” Schimpf says. “But there are good, affordable options that have little or no downtime and counter some of the effects of aging.”
About Dennis Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS
Dennis Schimpf is the author of Finding Beauty: Think, See and Feel Beautiful, and the founder of Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery (www.sweetgrassplasticsurgery.com), a multifaceted practice focusing almost exclusively on cosmetic plastic surgery of the face and body. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), as well as a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS).