When those little lines and wrinkles start making their way across your face and you want the look of younger, fresher, healthier skin, what are your choices? The choices can range from invasive, face lifts and plastic surgery, to minimal effort – making better choices in your at home skin care routines.
What are my choices and how do they compare? Here are some, listed from least invasive to more invasive choices in aging with grace.
Home Care Options:
Start caring for your skin at home. The three essentials are cleanser, toner (and no not the kind you use in your computer), and moisturizer. Make sure to moisturize EVERY day, 2x a day (morning and evening). Your daytime moisturizer should contain an SPF of 15 at minimum. Make sure to remove all traces of make-up before bed. Use an exfoliant 3x a week when washing your face, making sure the product is not too harsh (try to avoid exfoliants with things like walnut shells as they scratch the skin and create a situation where the body has to repair the skin. A good quality skin care line, such as PCA Skin, will cost you pennies a day when you break down how long the purchases last.
Mei Zen™ Cosmetic Acupuncture:
Mei Zen™ Cosmetic Acupuncture, developed by Dr Martha Lucas, is a technique where Acupuncture needles are administered to points on the body to promote health and wellness and then inserted at various points on the face. Results of Mei Zen Cosmetic Acupuncture include: Softening of harsh lines and wrinkles, skin becomes more firm allowing for the skin to sag less, blemishes, age spots, and scarring become lighter, and drooping of eyelids will become less prominent. Most patients report that other areas of their life and health improve as well because they are being treated as a whole.
Depending on the area where you live, Mei Zen Acupuncture treatments will usually average about $1000 for 5 weeks of treatments. Results can last about 3-5 years with maintenance. Maintenance can be minimal, 1-2 treatments a year, or often patients feel so good with the treatments that they will come once a month for maintenance.
Botox, Restylane, Fillers:
Costs of injectables can start at about $400 per procedure and results are temporary, needing to be repeated about every 6 months.
Botox ® or botulinum toxin A is derived from Clostridium Botulinim , the bacteria responsible for causing food poisoning. When injected into muscles it causes a paralysis of the muscle region where it is injected. When the muscles attempt to respond to impulses to perform a certain action, they are unable to respond. The muscles remain in the paralysis state for approximately 6 months, at which time the recipient will need to have the procedure redone in order to maintain the results.
Restylane® is the injection of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the skin. Since the ability of the skin to remain hydrated declines as skin matures, and hyaluronic acid is linked to the process of hydration, the injection of Restylane is said to slow the process by which the skin loses moisture. The results are not permanent and like Botox last about 6 months before treatment will need to be repeated.
The disadvantage of injectable procedures is that if the results are not as the recipient expects, you are locked into those results for at least 6 months. So for example, if you have your forehead done with Botox for example, and the results migrate to your eyelid, and your eyelid becomes temporarily paralyzed, or swollen and cannot blink, well, for up to 6 months your eye might not blink.
In addition, depending on where administered, you may have no facial expression because you are paralyzing facial muscles. There is also the possibility that there can be asymmetry to the face. To start with your face is not symmetrical, when you dramatize the asymmetry, that might make you feel less happy than when you started.
Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Face Lifts:
According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons “Cosmetic plastic surgery includes surgical and nonsurgical procedures that reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve appearance and self-esteem.” Fees for procedures range in price from $6000 – $12000 not including associated fees if multiple procedures are done. Because this is a surgery anesthesia is involved. Minor complications can be issues such as swelling of the face, bleeding, infection and can get more complicated from there including nerve damage, keloid scarring, and even death.
Plastic surgery results can last up to 10 years. When considering surgery as an option, you need to keep in mind that the younger you begin, the more you will need to go in to have surgery done again. So if you start when you are 40, you will need maintenance at 50, 60, etc and the fees will start to add up.
Always do your homework when choosing procedures. Keep in mind that you should always way the pros and cons and most of all remind yourself about what you love most about your face.