We older women would like our outsides to look as young as we feel inside. But we may not be willing or able to go undergo surgery to achieve this goal. Here are six other treatment options to discuss with your cosmetic doctor.
Is there a non-surgical facelift for you?
Also known as a "Water Facelift," the Liquid Facelift consists of a mixture of liquid injectables that each serve a different anti-aging purpose. These might include: Botox to help prevent fine lines around the eyes and target frown lines; hyaluronic acid to rejuvenate the skin; Resylane or Juverderm to eliminate deeper creases. The effects of the Liquid Facelift can be quite dramatic, but they wear off and must be renewed periodically. Like most medical procedures, there are risks involved and it's important to make sure that your cosmetic doctor is well qualified to work on your face.
This is essentially a skin tightening treatment that delivers constant, gradual radio frequency energy into the skin. Heat builds up between the skin and fat layers which should cause the collagen bundles deep in your skin to contract, thus stimulating the production of new collagen. The older you are the more treatments you may need. Results can continue to develop over time as your skin creates more collagen. Pellevé is among the least invasive skin treatments and is normally not accompanied by pain. Young women in their 30s and 40s are likely to get the most satisfying results. Older women may require 4 or 5 treatments to see results.
This is a non-surgical treatment that uses ultrasound to tighten, tone, and lift loose skin on the face and neck. FDA approved, it uses ultrasound imaging that allows the doctor to see the layers of tissue targeted during treatment to ensure that the energy is delivered precisely where it will be most productive. The treatment takes between 30 to 60 minutes and works by delivering targeted sound waves into the skin and the deeper layers under the skin to address the fibromuscular layer—the layer typically involved in cosmetic surgery. Results may be seen over the course of 2 to 3 months—sometimes even longer. Post treatment, your face may be red and a few patients may have slight swelling or tenderness to the touch, but these are normally mild and temporary side effects.
ePrime works to stimulate collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production (three important factors for a more youthful complexion) to give you a naturally plumped-up glow. The doctor uses a handheld device with a set of micro needles that deliver radio frequency energy to the deeper layers of the epidermis. The micro needles create tiny wounds in the deepest layer of your skin, making your skin work harder to repair itself. The result should be smoother, fuller and tighter skin. A local anesthetic is used to control pain. Afterwards, you may be a bit swollen and you may experience some bruising and bleeding, but results can be quite impressive. Your skin should look firmer and more youthful in the months that follow.
This is an injectable facial filler that is used for deep set wrinkles and gives a semi-permanent result that can last up to a couple of years. Based on collagen replenishment, it works gradually to reduce lines and wrinkles over a few treatments, restoring lost volume to give you a fuller, younger look. Sculptra is made from Poly-L-lactic acid, a component of muscle structure that is FDA approved and has been used in medical procedures. It is often recommended for older clients.
Palomar StarLuxe 1540 Fractional Non Albative Laser
This treatment uses light energy (Intense Pulsed Light) to target skin imperfections (sun damage, age spots, wrinkles, acne scarring, spider veins, rosacea) while working to stimulate collagen production in the longer term. It can be used on the face, neck, back, and hands. Results can be impressive. You should get smoother skin, a reduction in wrinkle depth, and your skin should look firmer. There are other laser treatments as well, and it's always important to consider the type of laser that's being used as well as the doctor's qualifications.
How often should these cosmetic treatments be renewed?
They vary. Some must be renewed after a few months, others can last much longer.
How effective are alternatives to surgical facelifts?
Generally speaking, a surgical facelift buys you the most youthful appearance and lasts the longest (up to 8 to 10 years). It is also, however, the most invasive and the most expensive cosmetic procedure you can have. It takes the longest to recover from, and can cause significant complications, especially in older women. Although today's women in their 70s and 80s (and some even in their 90s!) are having more facelifts than ever before, the fact remains that the older you are, the more likely it is that health issues may make this a more difficult or unwise procedure. Alternative procedures, those described here and others, can also make you look younger and healthier at a more reasonable cost.
Who should not provide your cosmetic treatment?
In any field dealing with appearance there are always scam artists who offer fabulous results at amazingly low prices that seem too good to be true. Here's an important rule of thumb: Anything that seems too good to be true, is. Not only can you waste your money, you can also damage your health and appearance, by taking unnecessary chances.
Important safety tip: Beware of "advertorials." An advertorial is an advertisement (literature designed to sell a specific product or products) written to look like an editorial (literature designed to share information).
Who should provide your cosmetic treatment?
Cosmetic treatments on a level with those described in this article should be performed only by a doctor who is either a cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist of sound training and ample experience (check out AskNelly Health article: How To Choose A Doctor). As always, before you undergo any medical cosmetic treatment—surgical or otherwise—you should always discuss it with your primary physician.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Amy Wolthoff, Dermatologist.