At one time your choices for cosmetic enhancement were found on a drug store shelf. We had not passed the threshold of believing a laser could actually do anything but zap us into smoldering particles and the thought of doing anything to minimize the signs of ageing were limited to surgical. But in this age of new technology, innovation and communication, we have more choices than we care to confront our wrinkled, ageing heads with.
The question now does not bode the statement “should I do it?” (of course you want to look better), it is “what should I do?”. Regardless if you are looking to fill a few lines, poach a few wrinkles or sculpt the bulges, you will need to do a little bit of research before rolling into the doctor’s office to confront a menu of options. It isn’t that the choices are not good….it is that there is really not a “one size fits all” and the proverbial anti-ageing pill is truly non-existent.
So here we are…depending on what you are looking for, there are a few new innovations that you may want to research as a possible option to combat a myriad of aesthetic issues:
Nero modulators (aka: BotoxÒ): Okay, so its not new, but it is used for a multitude of other reasons than wrinkles…in fact, strategically placed, your face can be lifted, eyebrows arched or your gummy smile morphed into a toothy look of satisfaction from that same vial that erases your lines. Botox has been around for years, but the physicians that are injecting it are becoming innovative in their technique, with experience and creativity, they have been able to perfect the ‘art of injecting” to enhance for (relatively) little cost and no down time. (DysportÒ, XeominÒ are coming to your doctors office as they are either approved or will be imminently be approved).
Fillers: Facial shaping (The cosmetic enhancement market has single handedly put new meaning in to the term “fill your face”, this market has also single-handedly given hope to ageing women and men that are confronted with hollowing and loss of skin elasticity): The liquid face-lift is currently the rage, and its popularity is understandable. The filler is injected under the skin to treat age related facial loss, it is a more thick, robust product than the type of fillers that would generally be injected into fine lines or lips. This new class of fillers promises a more youthful appearance with no downtime and no anesthesia. Other attributes: results are immediate, can last up to two years and are reversible (VolumaÔ MacrolaneÔ and TeosyalÒ Ultimate).
Dermal Infusions: Dermal infusers are basically changing the facial market to produce consistent results utilizing a combination of technology and product customized to the skins needs. Done at the doctor’s office, and as frequently as the skin needs to achieve desirable results, this new procedure is painless, pleasant and leaves the skin feeling replenished and clean while exfoliating. This new trend in peeling is to use stratum cornea or outer cell reduction followed by an infusion of physician-strength rejuvenation products (SilkPeel™, HydraFacialÔ). The solution doesn’t just sit on top of your skin like a lotion or cream would, instead delivers the vitamins, antioxidants and other therapeutic ingredients deep into the skin where they are most effective.
Acne treatments: It’s not fair that we need to battle wrinkles and acne at the same time, but very few of us were genetically designed to put the cosmetic enhancement market out of business. So what’s new in acne treatments? There are many great technologies and treatments that work well for acne, but some of the old (new) stand-bys that are well tested are showing noticeable results to date: The Levulan® Photodynamic Therapy System is a 2-part process that utilizes both a topical solution and a treatment appropriately named Blue Light (The Blue Light Treatment is not a laser. It emits safe, cool visible blue light to provide an effective solution for improvement of acne, the technical name for this technology is BLU-U® Blue Light Photodynamic Therapy Illuminator). These procedures can be combined and are done at the doctor’s office, are painless but can have some down-time (redness).
Eye Lash Extenders: Don’t bat your pretty lashes without realizing that those too can undergo subtle enhancement…(now what would be the world of cosmetic enhancement innovations if one body part were left to nature?) A new, and approved, home treatment that requires a single drop placed on the upper eyelid each night, will produce thicker, longer and fuller lashes in as little as 12 weeks (LatisseÒ). This treatment is simple, has excellent proven results (in a test, 78% of participants experienced an increase in overall lash prominence) and, if you don’t like the results, you need not bat an eye…your lashes will return to their original appearance within weeks.
Skin rejuvenation (Lasers): Up until Health Canada approved fraxinated lasers, there had only been two choices, ablative and non-ablative. Each type of laser has it’s own attributes which involve the frequency of treatments and healing time, but the key differentiator with the fraxinated lasers (available ablative or non-ablative as well) is it’s ability to trigger the body’s own natural production of collagen and skin cells to rejuvenate the skin. To make a good decision about what treatment is best for your own skin type and desired outcome, it would be prudent to speak to your specialist about the various laser options.
Body Contouring: Fat reduction is here to stay (or take off)…it is the number one cosmetic procedure for the body and is the perceived solution for the over-indulgence that the equally-growing fast food market has contributed in as much time.
What is new is not the desire to shape and remove unwanted fat, it is the ability to contour using energy assisted devices…less risk (no surgery), no downtime and no stitches…these machines also do the work of melting before removing by making fat removal much more gentle with less pain and bruising. So, what is this?…Basically, results are achieved by pre-melting the fat and tightening the skin using energy waves in the form of either a laser (SmartlipoÔ and its derivatives) or ultrasound (VaserÒ) or radio frequency (BodyTiteÔ).
So what else is hot and what’s not (literally) in lasers? There is whole host of new ways to zap your fat without liposuction. Although the results don’t equal liposuction, there is less risk and no recovery time. These new classes of body contour devices include ultrasound devices (LipoSonixÔ and UltraShapeÒ), radiofrequency devices (including ThermageÒ, VelaShapeÔ), and freezing devices or chryolipolysis devices (AccentÔ, ZeltegÔ)…these devices freeze the fat cells in targeted areas by precisely controlling temperatures with an advanced cooling technology. Since fat cells freeze before other tissue, crystals form only in the targeted fat cells, resulting in fat cell death. During the next one to two months, the fat is gently flushed from the system as part of the body’s natural metabolic process. Finally, in a category on it’s own, but effective are the generalized laser slimming devices such ZeronaÔ. All these devices do not involve surgery, they require 1 to 8 treatments and get modest results between 1-4 cm of reduction (centimeters, not inches).
Laser hair removal: The success of laser hair removal systems created a paradigm shift in consumer’s acceptance of the use of lasers for cosmetic enhancement. Although the technology has evolved and improved, the new results appear to be (for lack of better word) “painless”. It is the new combination of ultimate wave links (755 and 1064) and high-speed light sheer with suction…this equated to a painless (there is that word again), faster procedure with optimal results. (EliteÔ, LightSheerÒ DuetÔ). These new technologies still involve up to five treatments for ultimate permanent hair reduction.
Breast implants: Not just cohesive gel – not just saline, now available in silicone in the form of a cohesive gel (basically with a consistency of a gummy bear). What differentiates these implants is the elimination of rippling for women with little breast tissue and cohesive gel implants do not leek or ripple like a saline implant can. This is not the shape of things to come, this is the shape of that which is here…available in round or, more naturally, teardrop.
The Future of Cosmetic Enhancement (It is closer than you think):
Stem Cell Therapy or, more appropriately named “the future”: Stem cell therapy i provides improved or alternative therapeutic results treating multiple areas. Cytori (one of the leaders in this field) is showing continually improved studies and anecdotal results in breast reconstruction with adipose stem cells, a result that implicitly includes the creation of new blood vessels. The whole area of healing, post surgical, can expedite and improve recovery – this process of taking fat from one are of the body (basically rich stem cells coagulated from your own body fat and re-injected into another body part) is at the leading edge of the future of all types of medicine.
Topical skin care regiments of the future: One of the most innovate products that may be available in the near future is a fairly new development by Revance. Their product, TransMTS™, takes botulinum toxin and other macromolecules down into the lower level of the skin, thus allowing skin to be a gateway for drug delivery rather than a barrier. This needleless platform technology is designed for people that want the appearance of fine lines minimized from their face (or any other body part) using a topical cream applied daily. It is needleless, painless and will reshape the topical cream and aesthetic enhancement market once approved.