Celeb anti-aging treatments
As they approach their 50s, our beauty icons remain annoyingly youthful-looking. How do they do it?
by : Joan Harting Barham- Aug 17th, 2009
It’s hard enough for any woman to look in the mirror and see the incipient wrinkles, sagging jawline and uneven pigmentation that come with aging. Now, imagine seeing your face in a pore-magnifying, imperfection-exaggerating close-up, displayed on a giant screen. It’s no wonder celebrities seek professional help. Of course, neither these beauties nor their doctors are talking, but it seems clear that their sustained youthfulness is more than genetics. So, we’ve asked some A-list experts about the latest and greatest techniques, treatments and procedures that keep these famous faces unlined,
firm and dewy.
Let’s take it from the top: the forehead. Even noncelebs are aware of Botox and its role in creating smooth, sometimes preternaturally serene brows. After all, nearly 250,000 Canadians availed themselves of Botox injections in 2008. Well, now Botox has a rival in Dysport (a.k.a. Reloxin), a less-expensive and, some say, longerlasting botulinum-based injectable recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but not yet approved in Canada. Dr. Fredric Brandt, a
celebrity dermatologist who has offices in New York City and Miami, participated in the FDA trial and says that Dysport works really well and should be very popular. “But we only used it on frown lines between the brows in trial,” he adds. “There will be a learning curve for applying it to the other areas where we use Botox now, such as the forehead, crow’s feet, the neck and the tip of the nose.”
Time out: the tip of the nose? Brandt explains that with age, the tip of the nose tends to droop; Botox apparently perks it right back up.
Brow-wise, it’s notable that Dr. Brian Novack, a McGill University-trained Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon rumoured to have done work for Demi (including a knee lift), has sworn off the traditional surgical approach. “I haven’t done a primary brow lift in eight years because I realized that many of my clients weren’t really dissatisfied with their brows; it was their upper eyelids,” he says. “Thermage [radio frequency energy directed below the skin surface that heats and contracts collagen, stimulating the formulation of new collagen] in combination with Botox works very well to restore the natural height of the brow. Then, fat transfer to the brow and upper and lower eyelids restores that fullness you see in younger people. Take a look at someone like Drew Barrymore: Her eyebrows aren’t super-elevated; they’re not hiked a third of the way up her forehead and shaped like the McDonald’s golden arches. People got into the wrong aesthetic.”
Novack has pretty much abandoned surgery on lower lids too. For puffiness and eye bags, he prefers to inject fat around the bulge to level the lower-lid area and replicate a younger person’s fullness and volume. “A new technology I like is plasma energy,” he says, describing a machine that fires energy released by breaking up a nitrogen molecule. It’s moved from spot to spot over the skin. Healing takes seven to 10 days, and there is some sloughing off of
skin. “But it heals beautifully, thickens collagen and gives very nice tightening to the lower eyelids,” he says. “Plus, there’s none of the risk of hypopigmentation [loss of pigmentation] you get with CO² lasers.”
Keep reading to find out how celebs keep their skin smooth and line-free
On the subject of achieving uniform skin tone and texture, Dr. Trevor Born, arguably Canada’s best-known cosmetic surgeon, expresses enthusiasm for a new therapy called SilkPeel Dermalinfusion. “It’s a combination of micro-dermabrasion and the topical application of a skinlightening agent called Lumixyl, which is totally different from hydroquinone; it has none of its side effects [rash, hives, redness],” he explains. Brandt reports recent success in treating rosacea or chronic flushing of the face with Botox. “It can also visibly reduce the size of pores,” he adds. “We inject it into the skin [as opposed to the muscles], and it affects the tiny muscles that cause blood vessels and pores to dilate.”
At 43, Cindy Crawford’s luminous complexion and smooth, firm skin may, indeed, be attributable to Meaningful Beauty, her own line of anti-aging products based on a patented melon extract. But the fact that her collaborator is Dr. Jean-Louis Sebagh, one of France’s leading cosmetic surgeons, provokes suspicion that she has gone under the knife. Cindy’s “people” will only say that the ex-
supermodel declines to comment.
When it comes to the divinely defined jawlines of stars like Madonna and Juliette Binoche, Brandt and Born point to dermal fillers, such as hyaluronic-acid-based Restylane and Perlane and poly-L-lactic-acid-based Sculptra — sometimes in combination with Botox — as the reigning noninvasive route to firmness. And both are believers in using Botox on the
aging neck. In fact, Brandt says that he was the first to develop the technique. “The theory is, when the neck muscles contract, they pull own the face,” he says. “By relaxing the neck muscles, the face muscles are able to lift, to pull up the face.” Likewise, Born notes, using Botox to soften the depressor anguli oris muscle below the corner of the mouth allows the mouth to turn up. (Nobody likes a grumpylooking star.)
For a sought-after surgeon, Novack is remarkably unperturbed by the growing popularity of facial rejuvenations that don’t involve cutting. “I work with radio frequency tightening belowthe skin’s surface to cause contraction,” he explains. “The key is to use emerging technology to effect deep fascia tightening. This is where there is the greatest promise.” Noting that Dr. Arthur Swift, a Montreal plastic surgeon, is among those currently working on this, Novack adds: “They are targeting ultrasound waves to converge on the fascia via a defocused beam that bypasses the fat. This is the future of facial tightening.”
Since stem-cell technology is such a big buzz phrase these days, we asked Brandt — who has an extensive line of self-branded skin-care products — if he has looked into it. He has. But the obstacles — isolating the exact stem cells you need, getting them to penetrate the skin or stimulate the patient’s own stem cells — have, thus far, proved daunting. What this in-demand dermatologist has just introduced is Time Arrest, a range of products with a new platinum nanotechnology that, says Brandt, is able to deliver higher concentrations of peptides into the
skin, “so we’re getting better results in reducing wrinkles and lines and lifting the skin.”
That old adage about a woman having to choose between her
face and her
body doesn’t cut it these days. Fortunately for celebrities (and the rest of us) with figure flaws, liposuction has come a long way from its rather inelegantly mechanical origins. Refinements include a smaller, more precise canula (the tube inserted to suck out fat), the addition of fat-melting heat/energy through ultrasound and lasers, and power-assisted (i.e., vibration) technologies that ease the canula’s progress through the tissue.
Meanwhile, non-invasive bodysculpting options are burgeoning. Already approved in Canada is UltraShape, wherein ultrasound energy is applied to melt body fat that is then naturally eliminated. Among the coming attractions are Zeltiq — on the verge of being approved in both Canada and the United States — a device that’s applied to the targeted body site and, over time, as the client reads a book or otherwise amuses herself, employs a patented cooling method to melt fat, and LipoSonix — recently approved for sale in Canada — a powerful device that uses focused ultrasound energy to melt fat.
Just as aging itself is unavoidable, our scrutiny of maturing stars is an involuntary reflex. And our expectations are pretty high. So even someone like the 60-year-old Jessica Lange, who’s clearly not trying to recapture her 30-year-old face, prompts thoughts of what she could do to present us with a more youthful appearance. A pro’s response: “Someone in her age group could look at using volume — fillers, micro-fat grafting — and Thermage for tightening and shaping,” says Born. “But I would suggest a facelift, possibly upper and lower eyelid
For more on Dr. Trevor Born and the procedures he offers, please visit his site:
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