That’s a great question! I hear it all the time and my answer is always, “it depends”. On what, you might ask. Other than your general medical health, here is a list:
- How old are you? The answer to this question can be loaded. Some people prematurely age and some never age. This depends on genetics (how do mom and dad look), on diet, on whether you smoke or not, on sun exposure (or a tanning booth), on your ethnicity and skin quality.
- How serious are the problems you think you have? What exactly bothers you and how far are you willing to go to correct them. Is it a few wrinkles between your eyes or some skin color changes? OR, is it jowling with a heavy neck and deep wrinkles around the mouth. These are two entirely different issues and will require a totally different set of treatments, so you need to realistically evaluate the problem areas.
- How is your skin quality and what, if anything, are you doing to protect and maintain it?
- What kind of down time are you willing to accept?
The above list contains a few of the questions that are most important, and ones you should ask yourself prior to seeking help. A good way to categorize treatments is by age. With that said, remember everyone ages at a different pace-refer to #1 above please.
Ages 0-25 or 30 will need protection from UV rays to avoid problems in the future. Acne treatment, if present, is also critically important to avoid lifelong scarring. Of course, at this age we are all bulletproof. But a little sunscreen can’t hurt right?
Ages 30-40 will generally want to start a good skin care regimen along with sun protection. This is also a great time to start injections. HydraFacial skin maintenance is also great to help prevent future issues. Laser or IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments for pigment issues after pregnancy are also sometimes indicated and Dermapenning for thickening the skin and improving texture can also substantially improve the skin.
Ages 40-50 will include all of the above and we will add dermal fillers to the mix. We now have fillers that last significantly longer than before and we are smarter about where they are used, too. As we age we lose mid face volume that leads to deepening folds around the mouth and nose and the newer fillers can really help. Depending on how you age, and how fat is deposited, this may also be a time where more invasive treatments such as Kybella, CoolSculpting, or even liposuction may be needed to remove fat in the neck area. Sometimes some lifting or skin removal may be indicated as well.
Ages 50 and above will usually require all of the above. In addition to them, eyelids and brows begin to droop, skin begins to sag, and wrinkles come and stay. To get rid of the wrinkles and to rejuvenate the face will require more invasive measures. Blepharoplasty, both upper and lower (eyelid surgery) is a common procedure to rejuvenate the eyes and improve vision. Brow lifts are common to improve the brow position along with lower face and neck lifts to get rid of the drooping neck, jowling, and wrinkles on the cheeks.
Here is a good depiction of the aging face and what it takes to maintain a youthful appearance. I hope this helps in your quest to stay forever young!
Dr. Jeff Swetnam