We all want to look our best as we age. But movie star good looks sometimes take a lot of work, especially for the over 40 set.
Thanks to a new set of non-surgical treatments, you can maintain a youthful appearance - without going under the knife.
Celebrities get their youthful, glowing skin with a number of at-home treatments like exfoliation, retinols, and a healthy lifestyle. But some kick it up a notch with treatments at the doctor's office.
Forgetting the Facelift
In her office on the upper east side of New York City, Dr. Doris J. Day, nicknamed the "Dermatologist to the Stars," can't tell us which famous faces she's treated. But she can tell us what they've had done.
In her book, Forget the Facelift, Day describes the medical advancements that turn back the clock without surgery.
"There are great treatments you can do in the dermatologist's office," she said. "These treatments are really safe. Things like microderm abrasion, chemical peels, Botox, and soft tissue fillers are some of my favorites, along with laser treatments."
The Miracle of Botox
Botox is the most popular. Five million people get the injections each year to erase crow's feet at the eyes, furrows between the brows and on the forehead, and smile lines around the mouth.
"When used properly, as indicated, it has been very safe, very effective, very reliable," Day said. "And it's one of my most favorite treatments because the results are dramatic and very natural."
Botox works by weakening the muscles. It's nearly painless, there's no blood, takes just minutes and does not require an anesthetic. The results are visible within days and last about four month.
But while Botox creates a youthful appearance by relaxing certain facial muscles, there are other injectables called "soft tissue fillers" that can make you look younger by adding volume to certain areas of your face.
There are more than a dozen types of fillers, with names like Juvederm Radiesse, collagen and Restylane. These fillers plump-up deep lines and even contour the face.
"We can actually round-out the temples give back some volume naturally, gently, into the cheeks and we put them in different layers of the skin to build back," Day explained.
Day added that some people are what she calls "a little bit bottom heavy" in the face not because they have more fat in the jaw area, but because they've lost volume in the mid-face over time, due to the sagging effects of gravity.
She said a great fix is to inject a little bit of filler into the upper cheek area, without even touching the nasal labial folds.
"You can actually create a great lift and no one will know you've done anything," she said.
Don't Try This at Home
Although Botox and fillers are minimally invasive, there are risks, so they must be administered by trained, aesthetic physicians.
"When you have a product that's so safe, like Botox or soft-tissue fillers, the idea might get across, 'Oh, anybody can do this, because the product is safe,' Day said.
"But it really does matter how it's done, because I'm sure we've all seen when it hasn't been done so well," she warned. "And, unfortunately, those results cannot only last, but can be permanent."
A no-risk, painless, in-office treatment that's safe for all skin types, is the new Gentle Waves LED, which stands for light emitted diode. With this treatment, you sit in front of two panels while it scans your face with a laser. This rejuvenates the skin and produces a healthy glow that continuously looks better.
Microdermabrasion is a treatment that removes the outer layer of dead skin cells, revealing younger ones underneath. This allows facial creams to penetrate better so they work faster.
So although there are several anti-aging treatments from which to choose, it's important to seek professional advice when making that decision.
"And your dermatologist will come up with a plan that's exactly right for you that will create balance and harmony in the skin." Day admonished. "So it's not about getting rid of every line and wrinkle or spot, it's about looking rejuvenated, looking balanced, having harmony between your different features."
So movie stars aren't the only ones who can look great at any age. We all can, if we know their secrets.
*Originally published July 7, 2010.