The face, along with the rest of the body, looks different as we age. There are two forces at play when it comes to facial aging. One is the natural drop in collagen and elastin that are stored in connective tissue beneath the skin. Existing strands fray and loosen, while new collagen is produced in far lesser amounts than when we are young. Another reason why facial aging becomes exponentially more noticeable is because the fat pads beneath the skin, the structures that give the face its contours, decrease in size. It is said that about a teaspoon of fatty tissue is depleted each year. Over time, this can add up to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Fortunately, there are several ways to address these concerns. You don’t have to live with them, and you may not have to consider facial plastic surgery for several more years, if at all, when you begin taking care of your skin earlier rather than later. Here are a few ideas:
Use Quality Skincare Products
What you use on your skin each day makes a big difference in how your skin looks from one year – or even one month – to the next. Professional grade skincare lines like Skin Medica and SkinCeuticals have products with concentrated amounts of antioxidants, growth factors, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and other nourishing substances that foster radiant skin one day at a time.
We don’t usually think of dermal fillers for their skin-tightening abilities. In fact, that is not what fillers are designed for. What many patients notice, though, is that skin appears not only smoother but also tighter when contours are well maintained. Fillers across the mid face bring back roundness to the cheeks, which naturally raises the skin across the jaw line. When fillers are used on the backs of the hands, wrinkles are decreased and skin appears tighter and smoother. One filler in particular, Sculptra, is also designed to promote ongoing collagen proliferation for long-term gain.
Because skin laxity is partly a result of collagen breakdown, ongoing treatments such as chemical peels can be a productive way to slow the onset of facial aging. Chemical peels encourage cellular turnover and healthy collagen production.
Many patients of our St. Louis practice express an interest in advanced skin tightening with Thermage®. This radiofrequency treatment heats existing collagen strands, causing them to contract and tighten the overlying skin. Long term benefits are also experienced due to the rebuilding of these strands.