One reason why our facial features lose shape and become less defined is because of fat changes. Fat is essential for fullness but over time it starts to descend in some areas and shift position. “One of the biggest breakthroughs in plastic surgery and anti-aging is to add fat back to the face to revolumize it, especially the midface,” says Scottsdale, AZ, plastic surgeon Geoffrey E. Leber, MD.
Enhance Lost Definition With: A “Liquid Lift”
Surgery is often the go-to for turning back the hands of time, but in the right patient with the right anatomy and realistic expectations, fillers and injectables can work wonders. For those who have lost volume in the face but are not experiencing the looseness that often comes with it, a “Liquid Lift” may be what you need. Using a variety of fillers and injectables with a mix-and-match approach, your plastic surgeon or dermatologist can revolumize areas that have become sunken or hollow, namely the temples, cheeks, lips and perhaps even the jowls. The idea is to restore fullness to the areas that have lost it, not create a tight chubby look. It is not, however, a facelift.
Aging lips means thinning of the lips, which is a common concern among many women. “Lips tend to flatten out, lose their cupid’s-bow and become longer,” says J. Charles Finn, MD. The base of the nasal area between the end of the nose and the top of the lip can almost disappear. When using filler in the lips, it’s about reestablishing shape and, if necessary, adding size. “Fillers are the best choice for this,” says Beverly Hills, CA, plastic surgeon Leslie H. Stevens, MD. For vertical lines in the upper lip, neurotoxins can help roll out the natural curve of the lips. To lighten up deeper wrinkles around the mouth, your doctor may choose to use perioral dermabrasion, peels or lasers, which act like an eraser.
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Plump Up Saggy Cheeks With: Fillers
A descent of volume in the cheeks, which is caused by a loss of fat and changes to the underlying bone structure, can lead to deep lines around the mouth. When the cheeks start to fall, so does the rest of the face. But La Jolla, CA, plastic surgeon Robert Singer, MD, says that filling them conservatively can produce a natural appearance to smooth out the area and add lost fullness. “If you are trying to achieve a lift in the cheek, but have a lot of laxity and too much filler is injected, you can end up with a really doughy look.”
Remove Jowls With: A Facelift
With time, the muscles, tissues and ligaments in the face start to weaken and their proper positioning cannot be held in place as well. One area where this can be seen is in the jowls. As the ligaments that run along the jawline (it holds the tissue to the jawbone) begin to weaken, tissue falls down and fat atrophies, causing jowls. “An effective way to reduce the jowl is to elevate the lower cheek tissue to a higher position on the face. This elevates the tissue that descends below the jawline. Any remaining tissue is excised,” explains Dr. Leber. Some doctors use fillers to achieve a partial result, but the effects are not long-term.
Refresh Your Skin With: Fractional Laser Resurfacing
As skin starts to lose its natural healthy glow and the signs of time become more evident, it can cause the face to appear aged and weathered. An effective way to reverse the look of dull, aged skin is with a fractional laser treatment. Whether an ablative (it’s usually stronger, more painful and requires only one session but also more downtime) or nonablative (it’s not as strong, a series of treatments is needed and the downtime and recovery are manageable) laser is used, both injure the skin in a safe and controlled way, forcing the skin to heal and create new, healthy collagen and a smoother, more even surface.
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