Certain celebrities who are over 40 but continue to look like they’re 30 like to boast that they’ve never had plastic surgery. This may be true, if your definition of cosmetic surgery starts and ends with drastic procedures like face lifts and liposuction. But many of them aren’t telling the whole truth, and are thereby doing other women, who assume their genes are inferior, a huge disservice. There are myriad minor plastic surgery options out there and women as young as 35 (and sometimes even younger) are opting to have them done as a preventative measure even before deep wrinkles set in.
In addition to traditional Botox, women can choose options that include “baby Botox,” Restylane, Juvederm and other dermal fillers that are commonly known as “lunch time” procedures because they take just minutes to perform and have little to no downtime. Another nice surprise: even though your favorite wealthy celeb may be getting regular injections, many are actually affordable for women who aren’t earning $15 million a movie.
“The nice thing about what a lot of celebrities are doing cosmetically is that it’s no longer unrealistic for everyday people to have these same procedures. They are affordable, available and help women both young and old maintain a natural and youthful look to skin,” says Dr. Jill Waibel, founder of Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute.
Dr. Andrew Jacono of New York Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery adds that many famous women start these procedures earlier than you may think. “Celebrities are constantly receiving Botox, fillers, skin resurfacing, and other small procedures to maintain their flawless appearances,” Jacono says. “Many start in their twenties and are driven by the need to keep their youthful look while always being on-the-go.”
The aforementioned Baby Botox is a popular procedure for women who don’t want to look stiff in the face because the effect is soft and subtle. “This is a ‘downsized’ low dose versions of the regular procedures so there is no ‘tell tale’ sign that you’ve had something done,” says Dr. David E. Bank, founder and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. Waibel adds, “Facial expressions communicate emotion, which is in large part why ‘baby Botox’ has become a common request when it comes to cosmetic procedures, especially for celebrities. This procedure allows for more movement in the treated areas, requires no downtime and it wears off more quickly than a normal dose.”
If the idea of any kind of Botox is still too drastic for you, here are three additional minor procedures that are often recommended to help achieve glowing, flawless skin in minutes.
1. Sculptra. “Sculptra is one of my favorite products and is my go-to when it comes to treating patients who want to prevent wrinkles and those who have lost volume as they’ve aged,” Waibel says. “Sculptra is a newer procedure that stimulates the natural collagen in the skin and gives patients a dewy and youthful glow.” The procedure consists of a series of small injections of polylactic acid in the face. The injections fill in shallow lines and help produce more collagen. Because you’re building your own collagen, it can take up to 90 days to see results–and the cost per Sculptra treatment can range from $600-$2,000. The good news? Many patients only need one Sculptra treatment per year, while Botox and fillers will require 3-4 yearly treatments, depending on the procedure and area being treated.
Be aware that opinions about Sculptra vary depending on your doctor. “Sculptra is not reversible and can last for a year to a year and a half, so I tend to caution against it,” Jacono says. “Today, there are so many options that going with an irreversible product isn’t necessary.”
2. Dermal fillers. “Both Restylane and Juvederm are dermal fillers that contain hyaluronic acid, which is a natural molecule in the body,” Waibel says. “Though both offer similar results, they do have their differences. The consistency that Restylane offers in more firm, making it a preferred choice for deeper wrinkles and lines. Juvederm’s consistency is smoother and often allows for a more subtle and more natural look.”
Jacono adds, “Restylane, which is designed to add volume to the face, is best used around the eyes for dark under eye circles since it tends not to swell and create the baggy under eye look. Juvederm, which like Restylane is an injectable hyaluronic acid, is best used around the mouth area, since it absorbs water and results in a more ‘puffy’ look.”
If you’re unsure which filler is right for you, set up a consultation with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon ahead of time.
3. Ultherapy. Jacono calls Ultherapy “a non-invasive procedure used to lift areas of the face by stimulating collagen production.” Using ultrasound imaging (which differs from lasers or light energy), a dermatologist can treat deep layers of your skin with a device that doesn’t hurt and helps stimulate collagen. The effects aren’t seen for awhile, but the idea is that your body rebuilds its own collagen with the help of this therapy. Each treatment takes 60-90 minutes and there’s no downtime.
As with any cosmetic procedure–minor or major–make sure you do your research. Find a qualified professional who has outstanding credentials, even if it means he/she doesn’t offer Groupon deals. Your face and skin are worth the extra money.