More and more people decide not to go under the knife when it comes to a facelift. The wide variety of medical spa treatments available on the market today means that you can enjoy a lunchtime facial that is not only quick, but also relatively painless with virtually no recovery period. So if you’re in the mood for a little non-surgical tightening, filler, and even a little wrinkle relaxation, without opting for a heavy hospital stay, read on …
1) Mesotherapy for face and neck rejuvenation
If it’s French, it has to be good, right? But yes! This treatment was started about 60 years ago by the extraordinary French Monsieur Michel Pistor. It involves injecting a specially formulated blend of vitamins, minerals, and medications to enhance parts of the face and body, giving them a sleek new contour. It is considered especially effective for sagging faces and necks, although it is also used to treat cellulite and other skin conditions.
Advantage: side effects are limited as work is localized to areas that only need work.
Disadvantage: Effects can be only slightly visible, at best.
2) Facial acupuncture
It is believed that inserting needles at specific points on the face can stimulate the production of collagen, which occurs naturally in our bodies and makes us look younger. But is facial acupuncture really an ancient Chinese secret or just a modern Western scam?
Advantage: relatively painless and with virtually no recovery period required
Con: If you have needle phobia, this is not the treatment for you.
3) Facial oxygen
If you want to pay big bucks to have some air sprayed on your face, try an oxygen facial. Actually, it’s not just the Big O that will hit you: the oxygen “spray” also contains a blend of collagen, vitamins and minerals that are designed to smooth wrinkles and plump up your face. A breath of fresh air or just warm air? It’s up to you.
Advantage: It’s super trendy, with big-name stars like Madonna reportedly huge fans.
Disadvantage: Skeptics say it doesn’t really work, and any short-term “filling” effect is actually mild inflammation caused by oxygen acting as an irritant.
4) Radio frequency facial treatment
The idea is simple: special radio waves heat the collagen under the skin of the face, causing it to shrink. When you’re done, your face should look smoother and smoother. It is also reported to help lessen the effects of mild acne, rosacea, and uneven pigmentation.
Advantage: Unlike laser treatments that claim to have similar effects (see below), this is not invasive.
Disadvantage: a marked change will only occur after a series of treatments.
5) Laser skin tightening
An infrared light heats the collagen under the skin of your face, making it tight. This is accomplished by launching rapid pulses of light, which can be a bit uncomfortable. Most patients say it feels like they have repeatedly put a rubber band on their skin (sounds like fun, right?). The effects are considerably less dramatic than with laser skin resurfacing, but it is also less risky.
Advantage: initial results are immediately visible.
Disadvantage: At least two or three treatments are needed several weeks to a month apart for maximum effectiveness.
Small crystals of aluminum oxide are sprayed on the face with a sandblasting device. The crystals are abrasive and their goal is to peel off the top layer of your skin, leaving a new layer as smooth as a baby’s bottom. These days, you can even perform the miracle at home, thanks to special DIY kits. Also known as the Parisian peel, it is considered gentler than a chemical peel (see below).
Advantage: Works best on skin that is scarred, sun damaged, or with excessive signs of aging.
Disadvantage: Although advertised to be completely painless, it can cause some irritation and discomfort, and in some cases can lead to a nasty rash.
7) chemical peel
If getting acid in your face sounds like fun, try this! Seriously, a chemical peel is a lot like microdermabrasion in that its goal is to renew the look and feel of your face by shedding the damaged top layer of your skin to reveal the smoother second layer. This is accomplished through the use of a chemical blend of phenol and special acids designed to enhance its appearance.
Advantage: In some cases, chemical peels were successful in eliminating acne and precancerous growths, as well as reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines associated with aging.
Disadvantage: Some people have adverse reactions to certain acids, such as alpha hydroxy acid, which is used in a chemical peel, and may experience redness, a hardening sensation, and a sharp stinging. Remember when Samantha from Sex and the City had a lunchtime peel that went wrong? Oh!
Sounds too good to be true: Scientists have discovered that a poison produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum can paralyze facial muscles and remove visible wrinkles while it lasts. Small amounts injected into certain parts of the body will block nerve impulses to these muscles, such as those under the eyes and on the forehead, thus effectively erasing crow’s feet and frown lines, temporarily. Larger amounts, when ingested, can cause food poisoning. Isn’t science wonderful?
Advantage: a 15-minute treatment can work for months, with immediate results.
Disadvantage: Too much Botox can give you a freezing face: if you still want to show some expression, do it calmly, otherwise people will not know if you are smiling or about to throw up.
9) filler injections
They are certainly cheaper and less invasive than going under the knife, and dermal filler injections like Perlane or Restylane are highly successful in making people look significantly younger. Made from hyaluronic acid derived from non-animal sources, Perlane is better suited for deeper wrinkles than its sister Restylane. Both injectable gels are manufactured by the same Swedish firm and are suitable for people with allergies to animals or eggs.
Advantage: Since a topical anesthetic is administered beforehand, the injections are relatively painless.
Disadvantage: Injection courses are not cheap and regular refills are needed to get the best effect.
Looking younger has never been easier. But while there are many medical spas these days, it’s always a good idea to visit a reputable one and shop around before taking the plunge. You may also want your treatment to be carried out by a doctor rather than a technician to reduce the risk of something going wrong. Do your research carefully and don’t go for the latest fad unless you have well-documented medical evidence to back it up. Remember, you get what you pay for!
The information in the article is not intended to substitute for medical expertise or the advice of your healthcare provider. We recommend that you discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate medical professional.