Mirror, Mirror… Reversing the Hands of Time

November 14, 2018 by Shari J. Twigg, MD
Mirror, Mirror… Reversing the Hands of Time

Aging.  We are all doing it.  What can be done to slow down the signs of aging of your skin?  What can you do to look your best at any age?

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror.  Do you have fine lines and wrinkles?  Discoloration of the skin?  Do you have loss of skin elasticity and the skin is sagging?  Do you have loss of fatty tissue in the cheeks and deeper smile lines?  What about those crow’s feet that are creeping more and more around the eyes?  Do you have frown lines between the brow’s?  Or do you wish you had plumper lips or no wrinkles crossing the lip lines?


Most of us can improve on all of these things.  The first step is starting at home.  Staying healthy and eating nutrient dense food and keeping fit with regular exercise.  Your skin is the largest organ of the body and can easily reflect your health.  The next step is proper care of your skin through a great skincare routine.  This doesn’t have to be complex.  Make it as easy or as hard as you like but there are definite steps that each person should be doing:  Cleansing with a sulfate-free cleanser (twice), regular use of an exfoliating agent, serums to treat the skin (as most of us need something), moisturizing, and daily sunscreen use.  This takes a minute to do.  Even if you apply 3 serums for treatments, it is literally seconds of your daily life.  Take the time.  I can recommend a great skincare line to get you started if you need assistance.


The next step for those of you who may want to do additional things to improve your appearance is waiting for you at my office.  I can do a full consultation and make recommendations for you.  Some may want to start with a neurotoxin like Botox to decrease wrinkles around the eyes, between the brows, on the forehead, or even to do things like lift the eyebrows, decrease the downward pull on the corners of the mouth or smoker’s lines around the mouth.  Botox can last from 2-6 months and often depends on the area being injected, the amount injected, and the desired effect.  It takes very little time to do, and can make a significant difference in your appearance.  And, no, you shouldn’t look like you have a plastic face without movement.  Some areas we don’t want the muscle to move at all, but others we may want a little movement.  Did you know that Botox can also be used to reduce the appearance of a “gummy smile.”  You know what I mean.  Some people have very strong lip elevator muscles that raise the upper lip up very high and show the upper gum with smiling.  Botox is used for many things not mentioned above as well, so ask.


As we age, we all lose fatty tissue, muscle, and bone in the face.  This turns the young face that can be thought of in the shape of an inverted triangle to the older face shape of the triangle.  We lose fat in the upper and mid cheek area and often get hollows under the eyes or some will get fatty projections beneath the eyes.  The fold between the mouth and nose on each side, called the nasolabial fold, becomes more prominent with the loss of upper cheek volume.  Jowls become present and folds around the mouth.  The neck can sag, become more lined, or become fatty.  The lips also lose volume starting around the age of 30.  To combat some of these things, dermal fillers can be used to provide additional volume in depleted area and fill in lines and wrinkles.  These fillers typically can last up to 12-24 months depending on the type used, amount used, and placement.  In addition, tissue that has dropped from its original position can be repositioned with PDO threads, an in-office procedure used to improve sagging skin.  For those who have the “double-chin”, Kybella injections can be used to reduce this, providing a better profile and appearance.


What about the brown spots or age spots, freckling, or other irregular pigmentation that can occur from sun damage as we age?  Firstly, protect your skin from further damage with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or more, and wear clothing protection to include a wide-brimmed hat whenever you are outside.  Not all sun damage is due to UV rays. Over 50% of premature aging is due to infrared rays, for which only shading and staying out of the sun will protect you.  The next step in treating age spots, freckling, or irregular pigment can be with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) therapy, Skinfinity Radiofrequency Fractional Ablation therapy, or other treatments.  These can be treated for a healthier younger appearance.


With aging, come loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin.  Some of our aging occurs through normal processes, but many of us have pre-mature aging from the sun and other environmental factors.  To improve this, treatments to stimulate collagen and smooth the skin can be performed.  There are many to choose from including Skin Rejuvenation treatments with IPL, Microneedling procedures, Skinfinity Radiofrequency Fractional Ablative treatments (by far the best), and many others to choose from.  When these types of procedures are used, it’s best to do several of them to get the best results.  Most will need 4-6 treatments to start, doing one per month.  After there, you should continue to maintain the benefits you achieved through treatments every 3-6 months.  Aging continues no matter what you do, but reversing the signs of it through stimulating collagen and smoothing the skin can give your skin a more youthful, smooth, improved coloration, and healthy appearance.

If you have questions about any procedures or other skin care, please give Advanced Aesthetics a call at 406.742.5256.

Shari J. Twigg, MD
Aesthetic Medicine