A quick guide to seven top non-invasive cosmetic procedures.
Andrea Markowitz, Ph.D.
June 15, 2010
Here are seven cosmetic procedure options for looking younger without going under the knife. They vary in treatment, recovery time and cost, so consult with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon to decide which procedure is best for you.
Botulinum rejuvenation (a.k.a. Botox®)—Reduces the appearance of crow's feet, brow lines, lines between the eyebrows and neck bands and lines, by injecting a muscle-relaxing toxin. It works best on people whose skin isn't severely sun damaged, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Chemical peel (chemexfoliation and dermapeeling)—Uses acid to remove sun-damaged skin cells. It reduces blemishes, uneven pigmentation and freckles; tightens and smoothes skin; reduces wrinkles; and stimulates new cell and collagen growth.
Dermabrasion (dermasanding and dermaplaning)—Involves scraping off the skin's top layers with surgical instruments. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, it's typically used to smooth scars and reduce fine wrinkles, especially around the mouth.
Microdermabrasion—A milder form of dermabrasion that uses sand to remove the top layer of skin. It minimizes discolorations, shallow scars and wrinkles; brightens dull skin on the face, neck, chest and hands; and facilitates the absorption of anti-aging lotions and creams.
Lasers and other light therapies—Correct minimal to moderate sun damage by penetrating the skin with light. They reduce redness, fine lines, scars and discoloration (including dark circles under the eyes); minimize pores; increase collagen production; and improve skin texture.
Heat therapies (infrared laser, pulsed infrared light and radiofrequency) —Tighten skin, though not to the extent that a facelift does, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (www.skincarephysicians.com). Heat therapies also encourage the growth of collagen. They're typically used to firm the forehead and cheeks, lift eyebrows, tighten jowls and neck skin and reduce wrinkles around the eyes.
Fillers (Juvederm®, Perlane®, Restylane® and Radiesse®)—Substances that are injected into the treatment area. All four of these products, plus ArteFill®, reduce nasolabial folds (that run from the base of your nose to the corners of your mouth). Juvederm restores skin volume and smoothes away wrinkles. Perlane corrects wrinkles and lines (including crow's feet), enhances lips, augments chins and fills cheeks. According to the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Radiesse is possibly the best filler available to date because it's not absorbed by the body and results are immediate and longer lasting.