Who and what would they recommend as the Holy Grail of elective non-surgical facial procedures? I settled on three possible options worth investigating further:
Option number one:
Standard dermatologist’s approach – weekly facials, micro-peels, and other light procedures. The skin is stimulated to some degree during these sessions – collagen production is increased, and the pores are cleansed from dirt and oils. Your skin radiates, but there is not much change deep down. Although I definitely liked the idea of pampering my skin weekly or at the very least monthly, I knew it would last for about two sessions maximum before my life would interject and this would become a rescheduling nightmare. No— I had to keep looking for that perfect balance – something to make my skin look better, faster, with minimal time altering adjustments to the rest of my jam packed life.
Option number two:
Laser rejuvenation and resurfacing. There is a tremendous amount of confusion when trying to get straight answers on these procedures. Open up any fashion or beauty magazine and you’ll see spas, clinics, and other non-dermatological establishments offering services ranging from hair removal to deep tissue laser resurfacing. After some research, I stumbled upon a terrifying fact. Did you know that New York is one of the few states not requiring specific licensing for the use of a laser? Imagine an unlicensed technician touching your face (or any other part of your body for that matter) with a LASER! (that’s a bit or radiation, by the way…) I don’t think so.
Here’s how it works:
During the rejuvenating session, the laser penetrates the skin in varying degrees to target specific areas. It goes below the outer epidermis, so that the surface skin remains unaltered. The laser stimulates the cells to produce natural collagen and other proteins needed for healthy looking skin. There is no real muscle tissue work being done here, so if you have any sagging it will not be corrected with this level of laser. However, as a gentle, non-invasive procedure, this yields great results. The perfect method for people like me, who don’t have any down time!
In laser resurfacing, the surface of the skin is targeted. It removes the upper layer of the epidermis to smooth out sun damage, pigment spots and wrinkles. It also targets large pore areas as it helps to tighten them up and make them smaller. Again, it doesn’t get to the muscle, so no real structural changes occur, but the surface texture and tone are improved over time. Because this procedure tackles the surface of the skin, there is some down time as the outer layer heals, but it will be average to minimal depending on how deeply the treatment is. Also, the skin will be highly sensitive to any UVA and UVB light, so a major sunscreen should be applied everyday. Both laser rejuvenation and laser resurfacing usually require at least 4-6 sessions to see best results. If you choose this route though, go with a tried and tested and most importantly, licensed doctor. So far, laser resurfacing seems like it may be a good fit for me.
Option number three:
My last option was to wait a few years and get a deep tissue laser facelift. Offering better, longer lasting results, the laser facelift also requires a lot more down time for recovery. This is due to the laser going right down to the muscle tissue where it meets the bone. This procedure uses radio frequency energy to uniformly heat the dermis and deeper tissues while cooling and protecting the upper epidermis. Similar to the process of lifting weights to build body muscle, the Thermalift laser creates small breaks in the face muscle tissue that begin to tighten up when healing. It also stimulates immediate collagen growth at a much higher rate than other laser procedures, while it plumps the newly tightened muscle and skin. Collagen production continues even after the treatment, along with the tightening of the supporting tissue of the face. The effects can be very dramatic and the majority of people who have had this procedure are happy with the results.