Is everyone doing it? Have you?

Today it seems that it’s not a question of who’s doing it, but more like who isn’t. Women in their early 20s are embracing Botox as are their mothers, grandmothers and even dear old dad. Facial injectibles and fillers can deliver immediate results to not only turn back the clock, but many believe that these miracle potions are replacing more traditional methods of youth restoration, such a face lifts.

“As you age, you lose volume in your face due to fat loss, bone loss and muscle thinning,” says Carolyn Jacob, MD, director, Chicago Cosmetic Surgery and Dermatology. Fillers are used to replace that lost volume and can help replace lost tissue in the hands. “Hyaluronic acids such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero help to fill in lines around the mouth, or the hollows under the eyes. They can also plump lips.”

“The analogy I like to use is a folded piece of paper. The more you fold it, the deeper the crease and the harder it is to iron it out,” explains Julius Few, MD, plastic surgeon, The Few Institute for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. “Think of stopping the folding as the effect Botox gives and ironing out the line is what the filler would help do.”

Wherever you have volume loss, these procedures can be used on all areas of your face – eye area, smile lines, cheeks, lips and forehead. “The cheeks seem to produce some of the most dramatic results, as cheeks represent the center of your face, the area one looks at first in conversation,” adds Dr. Few.

Kevin S. Pinski, MD, Pinski Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, S.C. is often asked if these noninvasive procedures are safe. “I explain that these procedures are indeed safe and that they will yield a natural looking result,” he says. “The most common areas for fillers are smile lines and cheeks. Neuromodulators are most commonly used for frown lines.”

Because there are a variety of products available, some might use ingredients like preservatives that aren’t beneficial for your skin. That’s one reason why Dr. Few created his own line called JF Aesthetic Skin Care. “This is a product line made up of only medical grade products that have the best ingredients at reasonable costs comparable with over-the-counter product prices,” he adds.

Dr. Jacob has many patients concerned with dark circles under the eyes. No mater how much concealer they use, the areas still appear gray and dull. Even an incredible amount of concealer can’t brighten them up. “If there’s volume loss, I use Resytlane, which immediately fills the area and makes patients look younger and well rested,” she observes. “Sometimes there’s discoloration due to brown spots or blood vessels. Auriderm Illume Eye Cream helps those.”

An exciting new filler on the market is Belotero, which Dr. Pinski describes as a superficial filler, FDA-approved over the last several months, used to treat very fine lines. “It’s a thicker version of Juvederm for deep volume replacement. I’m now doing more and more combination treatments combining fillers and neuromodulators which allow me to contour and rejuvenate the entire face,” states Dr. Pinski. “This makes aggressive surgical procedures like face lifts and eye lid lifts less necessary. Patients can achieve natural results without any downtime and at a fraction of the cost of more intensive surgical procedures.”

Another procedure popular in Dr. Jacob’s office is Sculptra. “If you just fill in the central face, you start to look like a caricature,” she notes. “With Sculptra, we can help patients look softer and younger, but still like themselves.” In addition, there’s Liposonix that uses ultrasound to destroy fat on the abdomen, thighs, hips or buttocks, non-surgically.

Dr. Few reminds us that in order to minimize aging is to target areas before they get too bad. “I tell patients about simple things such as skin care and sun protection that can help ease signs of aging,” he says. “Finally, they’re advised to use medical grade skin care, including a retinol to help restore healthy skin to the surface while avoiding astringents that strip away vital agents on the skin surface.”


About Rebecca Michuda

Rebecca Michuda is TCW's former associate editor. She contributed to a variety of feature articles, as well as monthly style and beauty sections, and coordinated TCW 's fashion spreads.