The latest innovations and top cosmetic procedures to reshape, restore and refine every part of your body.
Firmer. Smoother. Healthier. Younger-looking. How good we look is closely tied to how confident we feel, which may be why cosmetic surgical procedures were one area that emerged virtually unscathed during 2010’s economic down-turn. In fact, the industry didn’t simply manage to hold steady during the slump, it saw an increase with 13.1 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures completed last year, a five percent jump from 2009. It seems consumer confidence and body confidence are getting a lift—along with breasts and brows. Here, we examine the top procedures and latest innovations that can reshape, restore and refine every part of your body and help you rediscover your most confident self.
Injectables & Fillers
Minimally Invasive. Minimal Downtime. Amazing Results.
The Expression-Line Relaxer
Holding fast as 2010’s top non-invasive procedure for women under 35, Botox injections were up seven percent from 2009. It’s no wonder; this virtually painless procedure is ideal for those who are starting to notice crow’s feet, forehead creases or the vertical “eleven” lines between their brows. Botox relaxes these wrinkles, which are formed by repeated facial expressions, by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles.
Latest Innovation: Botox, and other botulinum toxin products such as Dysport, have been shown useful in the treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating); some recent news says Botox could be a headache healer, but more research is needed.
Best For: relaxing Glabellar lines (the “eleven” lines between brows), crow’s feet and forehead creases.
Results: seen in 48 to 72 hours, but are temporary. You’ll need to repeat treatments every three to four months.
Cost: $400 per treatment region.
Nature’s Plumping Agent
Of the women under 35 who elected for non-invasive procedures in 2010, 51 percent chose hyaluronic acid fillers. Known by brand names Juvéderm, Restylane and Perlane, HLA fillers are most often used to smooth deep dermal depressions and plump up pouts. HLA is a natural substance found in skin that connects collagen and elastin fibers, keeping skin lubricated and youthful-looking. Over time, however, the body’s natural stores deplete.
FYI: It’s unclear whether simply applying a hyaluronic acid-laced cream or serum onto the surface of the skin is effective. What is known is that topical HLA deeply hydrates by attracting and binding water to the skin, which can create temporary plumping and smoothing.
Best For: Filling in lines around the nose and mouth, eleven lines, forehead creases, acne scars and some facial scars. Also for adding volume to lips.
Results: Immediate. Because the body naturally absorbs hyaluronic acid, treatments may be required every six to 12 months.
Recovery: Minor swelling, redness, bruising will subside after a few days.
The Long-Lasting Filler
Women who want more enduring results turn to Radiesse, a semi-permanent filler that can last a year or more. Radiesse’s formula, which contains microspheres of calcium hydroxyapatite, treats wrinkles and helps restore facial volume by stimulating the body’s
production of collagen. In fact, the microspheres create a “scaffolding” that your body’s own collagen forms around.
Latest Innovation: In a recent move approved by the FDA, Radiesse can now be mixed with an anesthetic to reduce pain during treatment.
Best For: Adding youthful volume to deflated cheeks and filling deep folds and wrinkles around the mouth and jowls.
Results: Immediate and can last up to two years or longer in some patients. The body eventually breaks down the built-up stores of collagen, so maintenance is necessary.
Recovery: Swelling can last up 24 to 48 hours. Bruising and discomfort can last up to a week.
The Subtle Difference-Maker
The idea behind Sculptra is because aging doesn’t happen overnight, anti-aging shouldn’t either. This relative new-kid-on-the-injectables block is made from poly-L-lactic acid that, like Radiesse, helps stimulate and replace lost collagen. It works gradually over a series of treatments (typically three) and results emerge subtly, perfect for those who want natural-looking results.
FYI: Poly-L-lactic acid has been used safely for decades in dissolvable stitches and as a facial injectable since 1999 in over 30 countries.
Best For: Restoring fullness to wrinkles and folds around the nose, mouth and chin. Also, filling out the appearance of sunken cheeks.
Results: Gradual. Most patients require two to three treatment sessions
spaced three to four weeks apart. Results
can last from 18 to 24 months.
Recovery: Swelling, redness and pain at injection site usually subside in a day or two.
Cost: $600 per treatment session.
Surgical Procedures and Skin Treatments
Rejuvenation. Refinment. Renewed Confidence.
For years, facelifts had gotten a bad rap thanks to the caught-in-a-wind-tunnel-look of early versions (paging Joan Rivers!). Today, surgeons want to help their patients achieve a more youthful look without the obvious signs of “having work done.” More than just tightening the skin, today’s modern lifts artfully reposition underlying facial structures, reduce excess skin and if needed, add or redistribute facial fat.
Results: An overall refreshed appearance including tightened skin and refined facial features. Say “buh-bye” to a sagging neck or chin and “adios” to hanging jowls.
Recovery: Swelling and numbness for several weeks. Complete healing occurs gradually over many months, but most patients are able to return to work in a week or two.
Rhinoplasty was one of the most-requested surgical procedures of 2010, falliing just second to breast augmentation. Sometimes, however, rhinoplasty is more than cosmetic; it can correct structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum, which can cause breathing problems, chronic stuffiness and snoring. But those who have it done for appearance purposes seek a refined appearance, which usually involves: elimination of bridge bumps or irregularities, narrowing a wide bridge, turning a tip up or down, reducing or enlarging the tip or changing the position or size of the nostrils.
Results: A refined nose that is in better balance with the rest of the patient’s face.
Recovery: Normal routine resumed within a week and regular exercise within three to six weeks.
PRO TIP: “Rhinoplasty continues to evolve toward a very natural look that should be proportional to the rest of the face. Nasal surgery is often combined with other facial procedures to create symmetry or reduce the effects of aging. Newer techniques have led to easier and quicker recovery with very little discomfort or downtime.” –Dr. Richard Maack, Synergi Facial Surgery
With numerous types and levels, there’s a peel for nearly every skincare concern. Acne? Try a gentle alpha or beta hydroxy peel. Want to reduce lines or soften acne scarring? Potent TCA peels can reveal fresh, new skin. Deep wrinkles that need an aggressive solution? Jessner’s peels use lactic and salicylic acids to treat pigmentation and acne scarring. Want to eliminate sun damage or malasma? Tretinoin, which uses the same active ingredient used in Retin-A, fights fine lines and sloughs away dead skin cells.
Results: Depending on the level and type of peel, expect smoother, renewed skin with healing acne, softened scarring, diminished fine lines, decreased hyperpigmentation and a more youthful glow.
Recovery: Redness and swelling may occur. Aggressive concentrations may cause several days of peeling and some crusting.
Dull, uneven skintone begone! With microdermabrasion, fine crystals are sprayed across skin and suctioned away, removing dead surface cells and clearing pores. With little to no discomfort and no downtime, microderm is an attractive choice for those who want to soften scarring, lessen fine wrinkles and emerge with fresh, glowing skin. Newer versions use high-pressure water that some find to be even gentler.
Multiple treatments are recommended, and because many spas offer the service, an appointment with a doctor may not be necessary.
Results: Softened fine lines, lightened acne scars, reduction of hyperpigmentation and an overall glow.
Recovery: Pink or red skin for 24 hours or less.
Emitting light and heat, lasers are available to treat nearly every skin woe, including sun damage, freckles, acne, deep wrinkles and veins. Ablative lasers remove surface layers of the skin. Patients emerge with fresh, new skin, but downtime can be restrictive for some. Non-ablative lasers, which are commonly called diode or intense pulsed light (IPL), are less invasive. Their light source goes deep into the dermis to stimulate collagen to plump the skin, treat acne, veins and discolorations and are used in permanent hair removal.
Results: Renewed skin, reduction or elimination of acne scars, age spots and veins.
Recovery: Ablative lasers require more intense downtime and extreme sun protection; non-ablative can cause redness and flaking for 24 hours, but normal activities can resume relatively quickly.
Tighten, smooth and lift the windows to your soul. And see more clearly, too!
Eyelid tucks address upper eyelid overhang and sagginess and puffiness in lower lids. Through small incisions, excess skin and fat may be removed or repositioned and muscles tightened. Down-turned eyes that have a sad expression can look more alert and less droopy.
Results: Saggy upper lids and puffy lower lids are reduced and sad-looking eyes are refreshed.
Recovery: Dry eyes, swelling and light sensitivity for a few weeks. Some patients may temporarily experience blurry vision.
Deep forehead creases and brows that sag over the eyes can make an otherwise youthful face look angry and tired. Browlifts use small incisions that, like a full facelift, reposition the muscles and underlying structures of the forehead to raise the browline. The elevated muscles are permanently secured with tiny titanium tacks, permanent sutures or even Velcro-like fasteners.
Results: Overhanging brows are lifted and deep creases are smoothed. The upper part of the face looks more pleasant and less tired.
Reovery: Swelling, numbness, and occasionally, headaches may occur for a couple of weeks.
Those with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism may benefit from LASIK, a refractive surgery that permanently changes the shape of the cornea. A laser uses cool ultraviolet light to precisely remove tiny bits of tissue from the cornea to reshape it. When the cornea is shaped the right way, it is better able to focus light into the eye and onto the retina, which helps vision become clearer.
Results: Glasses-free vision that is crisp, pure and true. Most achieve 20/20 vision or better.
Recovery: The procedure is relatively painless and most can return to work the next day.
PRO TIP: “LASIK is a very convenient procedure and downtime is minimal compared to other elective surgeries. The average LASIK patient will spend about an hour in our center with only 15 minutes of that dedicated to the actual operation. With minor limitations, most patients can return to normal work activity the next day.” –Dr. Mark
Wade, OD, Clinical Director, Crown Laser Center
Lush eyelashes used to mean piling on mascara or fumbling with falsies. Now, with treatments such as Latisse and lash extensions, women can wake up with full lashes without makeup. Latisse, the first FDA-approved treatment for inadequate lashes, grows lashes in 16 weeks. Another solution is eyelash extensions, synthetic strands applied directly to the patient’s lash line by an esthetician.
Result: With Latisse, expect to grow longer, thicker lashes in four months; with
extensions, results are immediate and touchups are required every two to four weeks.
Cost: Latisse $100-300; Extensions $250-$600 for the first treatment, $75-$100 for monthly maintenance.
In 2010, breast augmentation was the most in-demand cosmetic procedure of the year. Some increased the size of their feminine endowments while others sought a more petite, reshaped or lifted silhouette.
Women who have had a mastectomy may elect to have reconstruction surgery, a procedure that uses several plastic surgery techniques to restore a breast or breasts to a more natural size, shape and appearance. Using implants or tissues from another part of the patient’s body, this procedure can be performed at the time of mastectomy or later, depending on recommendations from the patient’s doctor.
Decisions, decisions. More than ever, women have numerous options when it comes to breast enlargement. Choices such as the shape of the implant itself (round or contoured), size (number of CCs), type of incision, use of saline versus silicone, etc., mean that women, with the help of their surgeons, can customize the look that achieves their desired result. The procedure itself takes about two hours under general anesthesia.
Results: The new size and shape are visible immediately after surgery, however breasts will “settle” over the following weeks.
Recovery: Tenderness, minor bruising and discomfort for a couple of days. Most can return to work in a week.
Aging, weight loss and gain, pregnancy and genetics can affect the shape and perkiness of natural breasts over time. Breast lifts return the breast to a more youthful shape and position by raising the nipple and areola, tightening underlying tissue and removing sagging breast skin. The procedure does not change the amount of breast tissue, so women who want an increase often pair their lift procedures with an implant.
Results: Perkier, firmer and younger-looking breasts, even without the support of a bra. Results are visible immediately after surgery, but like implant surgery, breasts may settle over time.
Recovery: Soreness, swelling and minor bruising for up to two days.
For some, bigger isn’t always better. In fact, not only are excessively large breasts a self-esteem issue for many women, they can cause health complaints such as neck and back pain, poor posture and skin irritations. Reductions include more than just excessive fat and tissue removal; breasts are sculpted into a smaller shape, and often, many of the techniques used in breast lift procedures are used in reductions to enhance the appearance of the breasts and nipples. In some instances, liposuction may be used.
Result: Breasts that are more proportionate are visible immediately after surgery.
Recovery: A couple of days of soreness. Incision site may be itchy and red.
PRO TIP: “At The Lifestyle Center, we now offer the benefits of body sculpting with natural breast enhancement using a patient’s own fat. In the past, there have been problems with getting grafted fat to last long term, but with the combination of the Brava Breast Enhancing System and fat grafting, we can now sculpt problem areas—typically hips, thighs, buttocks—and achieve at least a full cup size increase naturally using the patient’s own fat.” –Dr. Richard Moore, The Lifestyle Center
A bright, healthy grin is your look’s best accessory.
Love vino? Wouldn’t dare give up coffee? Your teeth may be suffering. Thankfully, most dentists offer in-office whitening procedures to eradicate stains in a snap, such as bleaching, whitening lights or lasers like Zoom! A Hollywood smile is as close as your next appointment.
For adults who want to avoid braces, there’s Invisalign. These clear, plastic aligners gradually straighten teeth in about 12 months. Best part? They’re removable so you can eat, brush and have an old-school makeout sesh with ease.
Cosmetic dentists are artists who use drills, files and lasers to shorten teeth that are too
long, round off pointy incisors, smooth chipped edges and reshape prominent gums. This art-meets-science entails the doc finding ways to balance the patient’s smile for a more proportionate grin.
Earlier veneers required painful tooth preparation, which involved shaving down a patient’s natural tooth before bonding the veneer. Newer technology, namely a brand called Lumineers, allow the veneers to be painlessly bonded to the patient’s teeth without drilling or severe tooth shaving. Lumineers can last up to 20 years, and un-like traditional veneers, they’re are reversible.
Cost: $800 -$1,300 per tooth.
The top procedures for sexy, spring- and summer-ready stems.
Usually the result of pregnancy, genetics or weight gain, spider and varicose veins can be eradicated with sclerotherapy, a procedure in which a doctor injects a solution that collapses the veins and causes them to fade. Depending on the number of veins, each treatment may take as little as five or as many as forty injections.
Results: Treated spider veins and varicose veins disappear for good, but it could take up to three sessions.
Recovery: Leg cramping for up to 48 hours.
Cost: $250-$400 per session.
Laser Hair Removal
For decades, women (and men) have used razors, waxing and painful electrolysis as means to achieve hair-free skin, but let’s face it; these hair removal techniques are a pain. Laser hair removal, one of the most requested non-surgical treatments, offers a permanent
solution. Hair is zapped with a beam of light that penetrates the upper layers of skin and kills the follicle. Several treatments are usually necessary, however, since hair grows in cycles.
Results: Permanent hair removal for
smooth, fuzz-free skin.
Recovery: Minor redness for 24 hours.
Cost: $50-$500, depending on treatment area.
Shaping & Contouring
Sometimes, diet and exercise can’t solve the cellulite conundrum. The lumpy appearance that typically appears on hips, thighs and buttocks can totally bum out even supermodels. Three treatment names you need to know are VelaSmooth, Vela Shape, BodyTite and SmoothShapes. They each have their own proprietary technologies, mostly involving suction, lasers, radio frequencies, infrared light and massage, that contour and smooth in about an hour.
Results: Each treatment is different, but generally claim a loss of inches and an overall skin smoothness.
Recovery: Immediate. No downtime.
Bothered by a lower-tummy pooch that even endless crunches and dieting can’t seem to solve? Many women and men turn to abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) to address sagging skin, stretch marks and even muscle separation in the abdominal area. Abdominoplasty is an involved surgery that removes excess skin and fat—often with the help of liposuction—to improve the appearance of skin laxity.
Results: Reduced lower-belly pooch, a tighter, flatter abdomen and fewer stretch marks.
Recovery: Seven to 10 days of swelling and pain. Most can return to work within two weeks.
Full Body Lift
Due to loss of or markedly decreased skin elasticity after weight loss or other body-shape changes, skin sometimes cannot “snap back” to conform to new body contours. Enter the body lift, a procedure that corrects an all-over droopy appearance. By removing excess fat and skin from places like the arms, legs, breasts, abdomen and buttocks, body contours are defined and smoothed for a full-body transformation.
Results: Tightened skin that conforms to the body’s new shape.
Recovery: Most are back to regular routine in two weeks, but strenuous activity may need to be delayed for a third or fourth week.
Since liposuction caught on in the U.S. in the ’80s, people have turned to the standby procedure to help contour and shape parts of their bodies where fat pockets accumulated, which is typically the hips, thighs, buttocks and lower stomach. This versatile, fat-eradiating procedure now is used nearly everywhere, including breasts (especially on men or women undergoing breast reduction), above the knees, the neck and chin and even the pubic area.
Results: Reduced fat pockets for a shapelier, smoother appearance in the area of concern.
Recovery: Soreness at and around treatment site and swelling for three or more weeks.
Cost: $1,500-$7,500 (depending on area).
PRO TIP: “One of the latest advancements in fat-reduction procedures is BodyTite, which has been featured on “The Dr. Oz Show” and KSDK NewsChannel 5. BodyTite uses laser-like radiofrequency to melt fat cells while leaving the surrounding tissues unaffected. It firms skin and re-contours the area with no pain or downtime.” –Dr. William Hart, Hart Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery Institute
Photo credit: Photography by Tuan Lee