Whether it’s a little strategically placed collagen to fill out a line or a surge of light to tighten a slackened tummy, the latest cosmetic procedures are about looking like you – only better. The buzzwords are "fresh" and "rested" – not the extreme-makeover look that can result from going under the knife. Here’s our guide to the best techniques for subtle rejuvenation.
Line of fire
Staring down some budding crow’s feet or facing a full-fledged furrow? There’s a barrage of technology at your disposal to eradicate every type of wrinkle.
• Best for…FINE LINES: Intense pulsed light (IPL)
If you’ve started to notice the first hint of wrinkles, this procedure lets you zap them with multiple wave-lengths of light, which stimulate collagen production.
The result? Smoother skin and a reduction in fine lines-all in about 20 pain-free minutes, with no downtime. At about $400 per session, IPL can give you results that last up to a year or longer, as long as you avoid sun exposure.
• Best for…EXPRESSION LINES: Botox
Prepared from botulinum toxin – which paralyzes muscles – Botox is still the gold standard for treating frown lines between the brows and worry lines on the forehead. Increasingly, Botox is being used as a preventive
anti-aging measure. "If you start seeing wrinkles in your early 20s, you can start using [it]," says Dr. Fred Weksberg, a cosmetic dermatologist in Toronto. "It has been proven to prevent wrinkles from developing, if done regularly." The treatment ranges from $500 to $700 per session, and
results last about four to six months; the effects may last longer as the targeted muscles atrophy slightly over time.
• Best for…DEEP CREASES: Radiesse
For serious facial lines, this injectable filler – which works by plumping up wrinkles from the inside out – could be just the ticket. Radiesse is the first temporary filler made of microscopic calcium particles suspended in gel, which forms a framework for your own collagen to grow around. (Most fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, a complex sugar found in our bodies, or collagen, a natural protein – neither of which stimulates collagen production.)
Results from one session (about $700) are immediate and can last up to three years.
It’s one of life’s cruel jokes: as we age, we tend to gain weight on our lower
bodies, but – thanks to gravity – our faces become thinner and hollow-looking. Injectable fillers are the go-to solution for plumping up areas that have lost volume.
• Best for…GRADUAL VOLUME: Sculptra
Targeted at those in their 40s and up, this semi-permanent filler is a volumizing agent that stimulates new collagen production. But you’ll have to be patient: unlike most fillers, this one – which is made from poly-L-lactic acid (a biodegradable material derived from fruit acids) – shows results over time. You’ll need about three sessions ($2,500 to $5,000 in total) before you notice a difference.
Results can last up to two years.
• Best for…THIN LIPS: Juvéderm Ultra
One of the newest hyaluronic acid formulas, this easily mouldable filler has low allergenic potential and works well even on delicate areas, such as the lips. According to Dr. Jean Carruthers, an oculoplastic and cosmetic surgeon in Vancouver, hyaluronic acid fillers like this one are ideal for adding pucker to your pout because they last the longest: unlike older-generation fillers – which last only four to six months – Juvéderm Ultra can last up to one year. One treatment session costs between $400 and $700.
• Best for…MINOR CONTOURS: Evolence Breeze
This new animal – based collagen filler lasts longer than previous collagen formulas and works best on delicate areas, such as the lower eyelids. Results from one session (about $500 per syringe) can last up to a year – and, unlike most animal-collagen fillers, no allergy testing is required.
If you’re needle-shy, Botox injections can be scary. But celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow are flocking to a new ingredient – snake venom – as an alternative.
Syn-Ake, a synthetic peptide based on the venom of a Southeast Asian temple viper, is thought to work in a similar fashion to Botox by blocking the neurotransmitters that tell muscles to contract. You’ll find it in Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle, Z.Bigatti Rescue Intensive Facial Treatment and Sonya Dakar UltraLuxe.
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