Do you know how old your face looks? It’s a tougher question than you think it is. You look in the mirror every day, see the same face looking back and probably don’t notice that a year has passed, not only on the calendar, but also on your face. While the philosophy used to be, “wait until you actually look old to make a change,” today the consensus is that anti-aging is all about prevention. The new trends in facial plastic surgery and injectables are “do this now to thank yourself later.”
In the past, the main goal was to get rid of sagging skin, which was usually done with a face lift. Now, instead of cutting away in our 50s and 60s, we can slowly inflate the face when we’re younger to keep skin from sagging as much in the future. “Every one talked about how everything needed to be lifted, but what we have learned is that skin doesn’t sag into a fall like people think, it’s more like a deflating balloon,” says Boston plastic surgeon Jeffery Spiegel, MD.
As you age, your skin gets looser, but it’s that, coupled with the depletion of fat that makes your face look old, he says. The best way to fight facial deflation and skin laxity is to restore volume in the common places women start to lose it in their 30s—the temples, nasiolabial folds and fat pads in the check. This can be accomplished with fat transfer or filler. Los Angeles dermatologist Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD, says in regard to the future of fillers: “If you start to fix things as soon as they change, the hope is, that they may change much more slowly. Maybe there will be a day when we don’t need radical surgeries.”
Fillers are also evolving. Now, there are new ways to use your body’s own mechanisms to boost collagen that are gaining massive popularity. “Biostimulators like Sculptra Aesthetic and Radiesse stimulate the body to produce more of what you want—soft tissue volume to fill in where it was missing,” says Dr. Spiegel. What’s great about this is, “After three or four injections, you have a buildup of natural tissue and it stays much longer than other kinds of fillers, possibly even several years.”
The bottom line: “As we learn more of the anatomy of aging, we can use that to guide site-specific injections and treat the things that are causing those lines and folds rather than just chasing those lines and folds. And I think it’s more effective and much more natural-looking,” says Dr. Fitzgerald.