Why a 32-year-old ed­i­tor just got Bo­tox.

Whether you’re like, “Wrin­kles, LOL” or “Full in­ter­ven­tion, pls,” here are your op­tions.

ELLE (Canada) - - Insider - carli whitwell

Needle­work The new rules for in­jecTa­bles.

I’m sit­ting in a treat­ment room at Toronto’s Glow Medi Spa hold­ing a stress ball. Dr. Diane Wong, a cos­metic physi­cian, has given me this squishy dis­trac­tion be­cause she’s about to ad­min­is­ter my first Bo­tox in­jec­tion. A lot of peo­ple, she ex­plains kindly, tend to get ner­vous around nee­dles. TBH, I’m more wor­ried about the side eye from my friends and loved ones. When I over­shared that I wanted to soften the lines on my face, peo­ple looked at me like I was per­son­ally re­spon­si­ble for the melt­ing of the po­lar ice caps. That’s be­cause I’m only 32, which ap­par­ently is the new 16 or some­thing.

My skin doesn’t feel 16, though. The rude flu­o­res­cent lights in my condo el­e­va­tor first alerted me to the cross-stitch pat­tern un­der my eyes a few years ago. Then I dis­cov­ered that the lines on my fore­head no longer pulled a van­ish­ing act af­ter eight hours of sleep. So this sum­mer, I fi­nally worked up the nerve to book my Bo­tox.

Wong says that I’m right on time. To­day, most of her clients seek­ing their first Bo­tox or filler treat­ment are about 30. “They’re start­ing to re­al­ize that it’s much eas­ier to pre­vent wrin­kles than treat them once they are there,” she says. “Once the skin ac­tu­ally creases [deeply], it’s much harder to re­verse the lines.” I know what you’re think­ing: Of course a Bo­tox doc­tor thinks this—like how your MIL ac­tu­ally be­lieves your hus­band is as smart as Steve Jobs and as hand­some as Tom Hardy. But, it turns out, she’s onto some­thing. A der­ma­tol­o­gist friend refers to this ap­proach as “baby Bo­tox.” The premise? In­ject­ing Bo­tox, or its sib­lings Dys­port and Xeomin—neu­ro­mod­u­la­tors that block the nerves that move our fa­cial mus­cles, es­sen­tially re­lax­ing them—pre­vents the skin from folding into pre­vi­ously in­evitable wrin­kles.

The Cana­dian So­ci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons doesn’t track stats on plas­tic surgery or in­jecta­bles, but south of the bor­der, Bo­tox (and its ilk) was the num­ber one non-sur­gi­cal cos­metic pro­ce­dure in 2015, ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons. There were over 6.7 mil­lion in­jec­tions. The use of fillers is climb­ing much faster—by 8 per­cent last year. The most pop­u­lar fillers are Ju­vé­derm and Resty­lane,

in­jec­tions of gel-like hyaluronic acid that plump and lift sunken ar­eas like the cheeks and the folds be­tween the nose and mouth. “We now know that part of anti-ag­ing is not just tight­en­ing the skin; it’s about re­plac­ing vol­ume,” says Dr. Jes­sica Wu, a der­ma­tol­o­gist based in Los An­ge­les. Both Bo­tox and fillers are now also being used to sculpt the face as an al­ter­na­tive to ex­pen­sive plas­tic surgery. (Fillers start at around $600 and last about a year; Bo­tox starts at around $350 and lasts three to four months.) Con­sider the “Bar­bie lift,” pi­o­neered by Dr. Barb Loiskandl of Laser Health Works Laser + Cos­metic Ser­vices in Bar­rie, Ont. She in­jects filler five cen­time­tres into the hair­line across the top of the scalp for an in­stant tight­en­ing ef­fect. “These lit­tle bo­luses of prod­uct tent the tis­sue back up and give it a lift,” she says.

Tech­niques like Loiskandl’s are tech­ni­cally “off-la­bel,” which means that Health Canada hasn’t ap­proved the in­jectable for that spe­cific part of the body. This sounds omi­nous, but Bo­tox and fillers have been tested for years and as­sessed in peer-re­viewed jour­nals around the world, and that in­cludes these off-la­bel uses. For ex­am­ple, doc­tors are now us­ing fillers to tighten loose skin along the jaw­line, plump veiny hands and even cor­rect an asym­met­ri­cal nose. Bo­tox can re­duce turkey neck and nar­row the face when in­jected into the jaw mus­cles. A doc­tor rec­om­mended the lat­ter pro­ce­dure to me, and I wasn’t even of­fended. I get the draw of hav­ing a mug that’s more ScarJo than Mr. Strong—and I know I’m not alone. We want An­gelina’s lips or Kerry Wash­ing­ton’s jaw and col­lec­tively are will­ing to spend bil­lions (se­ri­ously) to get them.

So­cial me­dia may be partly to blame; its neg­a­tive im­pact on self-es­teem is well doc­u­mented. And in a 2013 poll, the Amer­i­can Academy of Fa­cial Plas­tic and Re­con­struc­tive Surgery found there was a 31-per­cent in­crease in re­quests for plas­tic surgery based on how a per­son would ap­pear on­line. Wu has seen this shift first-hand. “[More and more], younger women are com­ing to my of­fice to show me wrin­kles and crow’s feet,” she says. “I as­sume this is due to the pop­u­lar­ity of self­ies and In­sta­gram, where you see lines you or­di­nar­ily would not [no­tice] in the mir­ror.”

Still, you don’t want to start too young: In­jecta­bles can have the op­po­site ef­fect if you do, cre­at­ing an age­less—but not nec­es­sar­ily youth­ful—ap­pear­ance. “At a cer­tain age, elim­i­nat­ing ex­pres­sion can make you look older,” says Wu. “Even chil­dren have smile lines and ex­pres­sion lines when they raise their eye­brows. If I tell peo­ple to frown and I don’t see a crease, I’ll tell them to come back in a few years.” As for my creases, by the time you read this ar­ti­cle, they’ll still be MIA. Wong soft­ened my lines just enough so I feel like a real hu­man, not a Step­ford ver­sion of my­self. And I’ve al­ready had an­other round of Bo­tox—side eye be damned.

Max power How Oprah’s favourite skin spe­cial­ist sees the light.

When you get a be­spoke fa­cial from Jen­nifer Brodeur at Bella Clin­ique in Mon­treal, you’ll also meet “Max,” the LED-light-ther­apy ma­chine that Brodeur de­signed in 2003 and al­ways refers to as a per­son. (It’s ac­tu­ally called “Max+.”) The ma­chine, she ex­plains, har­nesses re­search from NASA and uses light wave­lengths to treat skin con­cerns. Skin cells ab­sorb the UV-free light as en­ergy. Red-light wave­lengths, for ex­am­ple, are said to stim­u­late fi­brob­lasts to cre­ate col­la­gen, while yel­low light tight­ens skin. “It’s in­ter­est­ing be­cause you don’t feel any­thing, so a lot of clients at first were like, ‘Are you sure you’re do­ing some­thing?’” she says, laugh­ing. Any dis­be­liev­ers can beep Oprah; Brodeur has been treat­ing her since 2012. h

BACK IT UP As we Age, plushy col­la­gen And Taut Elastin fi­bres break down And skin loses its elas­tic­ity. these in­gre­di­ents can help bring back the glory days of youth.

PEP­TIDES are the nat­u­rally oc­cur­ring build­ing blocks of pro­tein in skin. We don’t nec­es­sar­ily be­come de­fi­cient in them as we age, but in­tro­duc­ing more into our rou­tine is ben­e­fi­cial be­cause of a spe­cific re­cep­tor in the cell. “They stim­u­late col­la­gen in a very unique way,” says Dr. Den­nis Gross, a der­ma­tol­o­gist based in New York. “The more re­cep­tors you put to work, the more firm­ing you’ll see. If your con­cern is wrin­kles or lax­ity, then it’s an im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent to look for in your prod­ucts.” With con­sis­tent use, ex­pect to see changes af­ter one month. try 1. Dr. Den­nis Gross Firm­ing Pep­tide Milk ($78) or 2. The Or­di­nary “Buf­fet” Multi-Tech­nol­ogy Pep­tide Serum ($14.80). Hyaluronic acid is a sugar mol­e­cule found in con­nec­tive tis­sues that sup­ports skin due to its abil­ity to bind wa­ter, says Dr. Kucy Pon, a Toronto-based der­ma­tol­o­gist. “Creams that con­tain hyaluronic acid can im­prove hy­dra­tion of the outer layer of skin and give a softer, smoother ap­pear­ance,” she says. “When skin is well hy­drated, the look of fine lines and wrin­kles may also be im­proved.” Look for hyaluronic acid and/or sodium hyaluronic on an in­gre­di­ent list. try 3. Lierac Paris Hy­dra­genist Mois­tur­iz­ing Res­cue Balm ($70) or 4. Neu­tro­gena Hy­dro Boost Wa­ter Gel ($25). ce­ramides are waxy lipids in the top layer of skin that act as a pro­tec­tive bar­rier and help re­tain wa­ter. The pro­duc­tion of ce­ramides de­clines with age, com­pro­mis­ing the skin bar­rier. “This can let in harm­ful en­vi­ron­men­tal com­po­nents and lead to in­flam­ma­tion,” says Gross. “An in­tact bar­rier is also es­sen­tial for the de­liv­ery of other an­ti­ag­ing in­gre­di­ents.” On a la­bel, look for ce­ramide NG, AP or EOP, ce­ramide 2/ce­ramide NS, ce­ramide 3/ce­ramide NP, sph­in­golipids or phos­pho­lipids. try 5. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Re­store 2:4:2 ($140) or 6. Ren Flash Hy­droBoost In­stant Plump­ing Emul­sion ($52). B Vi­ta­mins have an es­sen­tial role in the body. “Top­i­cally ap­plied, niaci­namide [a type of B vi­ta­min] per­fects the skin, strength­ens the cell mem­brane, com­bats acne and con­trols hyper­pig­men­ta­tion,” says Gross. Retinol and niaci­namide work ex­cep­tion­ally well to­gether. Look for names like ri­boflavin ( B2), niaci­namide ( B3), pan­thenol ( B5) and bi­otin (B7). try 7. Kat Burki Com­plete B Bio-Cor­rect­ing Face Crème ($430) or 8. Alu­mierMD Alu­minEye ($80). n

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