MIAMI — In our youth-obsessed society, looking young is more important than ever. But going under the knife is not always desirable.
No worries: Dermatologists and plastic surgeons now have a repertoire of treatments to keep lines, wrinkles and saggy skin at bay.
There are neurotoxins like Botox and Dysport, dermal fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Belotero and Sculptra, as well as light and laser treatments like Photofacials and Fraxel to improve the tone and texture of your skin.
It all begins with taking care of your skin and preventing sun damage, said Dr. Leslie Baumann, a board certified dermatologist who heads the Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.
“Consistent daily skin care is the most important thing that you can do to have good skin. The trick is knowing what products to use for your skin,” said Baumann, author of “The Skin Type Solution” and a Miami Herald columnist. “The good news is that you do not have to break the bank by buying expensive skin care products.”
Preventing aging means using sunscreen every day. Daily sunscreen with an SPF as little as 5 has been shown to decrease your lifetime exposure to UV rays by 50 percent, said Baumann, who recommends using at least an SPF of 15.
“Your dermatologist can help you find a sunscreen with active ingredients to treat your other skin issues,” she said. “For example, sunscreens can contain antioxidants, depigmenting agents, glycolic acid and anti-inflammatories. Your sunscreen should work for you and do more than just block the sun.”
Incorporating antioxidants in your diet, through supplements or by applying them topically, is also an important preventative method. Topical antioxidants she likes are green tea, idebenone, ascorbic acid, argan oil, oxofullerane and resveratrol.
Applying retinoids is also key, to both prevent and treat wrinkles.
“In my opinion everyone should be on a retinoid,” Baumann said. “Using a retinoid has been proven over and over to improve wrinkles and to prevent them.”
To further turn back the clock on the appearance of aging, many patients choose injectables.
The starting point is often a neurotoxin or Botulinum Toxin Type A, such as Botox, Dysport, or a new entrant, Xeomin, said Dr. Adam Rubinstein, a board-certified plastic surgeon with an office in Aventura, Fla.
“We live our lives moving our facial muscles, and the facial muscles fold the skin over and over again, and create new wrinkles by doing that,” said Rubinstein, who is also host of a radio show on aesthetics, wellness and beauty — New Reflections on Voiceamerica.com, which is live from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
“The best way to use neurotoxins is to use it as a preventative treatment,” he said. Such injections can help smooth the lines between the eyebrows, in the area of the crow’s feet and on the forehead.
While complications are extremely rare, injections in each area carry their own risk, Rubinstein said.
“You need to choose your doctor carefully,” said Rubinstein, who recommends choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, because anyone with a medical license can buy injectables and inject them.
“If you go to the wrong person with not enough training or experience, you’re putting yourself in a position to potentially have a higher risk of complications or simply not be satisfied with your treatment,” he said.
Dermal fillers, such as Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm and Belotero, which are made of hyaluronic acid, are frequently used to fill in lines of the face and add volume.
Rubinstein said he also likes to use Sculptra, which uses poly-L-lactic acid to stimulate a patient’s own tissue to grow, resulting in a natural look.
Unlike many other fillers, Sculptra requires at least two treatments, spaced out at least four to six weeks apart. The results are longer lasting than many other fillers, he said.
“It adds bulk and volume for people who have hollow cheeks, poor cheekbones or hollow temples,” Rubinstein said.