MY MILESTONE: Turning 40
MY TREATMENT: CoolSculpting under the chin and injectables
MY DOCTOR: Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby
The overwhelming anxiety I had about turning 40 is almost embarrassing to admit. I count myself fortunate for having one of those Dorian Gray faces that, for the most part, conceals my true age. But as my birthday approached, the mere thought of turning 40 stressed me out so much I couldn’t help but fixate on it. No matter how many rounds of, “How old do you think I am?” I played when I met someone new, it didn’t matter. All the 28 and 29 guesses in the world couldn’t stop me from obsessing over my smile lines every time I glanced in the mirror. Couple that with a job that focuses highly on aesthetics and the popularity of skin-smoothing filters, and before I knew it, I was in the throes of a self-induced midlife crisis. In lieu of buying the clichéd cherry-red sports car, I rang up my dermatologist.
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ADDING + SUBTRACTING
Dr. Janet Allenby assured me that I didn’t really need anything done, but she totally understood how my areas of concern were becoming increasingly visible to me—even if they weren’t to anyone else. And while I had gone into her office completely focused on my smile lines, she pointed out that the pinchable fat under my chin was actually the main culprit. “That little extra fatty layer is drawing the eye down to your lower face,” she explained. “The solution is to not only add volume with filler to lift up your cheeks, thereby softening your nasolabial folds, but also to subtract the submental fat that is making you feel like your face is succumbing to gravity.” After careful measurements with her caliper, she began to inject Botox into my forehead, Sculptra Aesthetic into my scalp near my temples (off-label), Juvéderm Voluma into my cheeks, and Juvéderm Ultra Plus into my chin, and then led me to one of her CoolSculpting chairs for the first of two fat-freezing sessions.
THE GLOW UP
In just one day, I went from zero to 60. Never having had more than a facial, I officially turned in my cosmetic procedure V card. I noticed immediately that my smile lines had softened and the Botox had lifted my brows ever so slightly, giving my eyes a more awake look. My “tweakments” were virtually undetectable to friends and family, but I saw a softer, happier looking me every time I looked in the mirror, which was a lot. A few weeks later, I began seeing the fat fall away from under my chin. As the results emerged, it proved Dr. Allenby was right. Reducing that small amount of distracting fat and adding a bit of filler to my cheeks and chin gave me that contoured and sculpted Kardashian-Jenner look. It didn’t take long for me to get used to my smooth forehead, “higher than the gods” cheekbones and razorsharp jawline.
When my dreaded 40th birthday came around, I welcomed it, along with a slew of compliments about my updated look. The best one came from my dad: He looked at me like he was seeing me for the first time and said, “Are you in love? You’re glowing.” Without hesitation, I smiled and replied, “Yes, I am. With myself!”