Four Alternatives to Facial Plastic Surgery
It’s hard to watch fine lines become deep creases and sit idly by as your formerly pert cheeks slide into your jowls. Admit it; you’ve considered facial plastic surgery. But the idea of trusting a total stranger with your appearance might strike you as a little drastic. Thankfully, new cosmetic treatments have arrived to bridge the gap between skin cream and scalpel. Cosmetic programs focused on exercising the facial musculature, increasing circulation to the face, and otherwise improving the appearance of the face from the inside out have emerged and are promising excellent results. These anti-aging programs could make plastic surgery – once thought of as the wave of the future – a thing of the past.
Aesthetician Carole Maggio pioneered the “Facercise” program after realizing that making funny faces in the mirror was actually firming up her skin and minimizing fine lines. Her book and classes have shown thousands of people how to exercise their faces for 10 minutes daily to reverse the effects of aging. “There are 57 muscles in the face,” Maggio says. “Just like the rest of the body has muscles you can work, so does the face.”
But is it really effective? Doctors say no, explaining that wrinkles are caused by active muscle movements, not smoothed by them. But try telling that to Maggio’s followers. “Once you see the results, you can’t stop,” says Patti Booth, one of Maggio’s students who has seen the program work firsthand.
Stimulating collagen production is a proven and effective way to increase cell turnover and look younger, faster. The experts disagree, though, on how this can best be accomplished. Many cosmetic dermatologists swear by chemical peels or laser treatments, but more and more people are looking to cosmetic acupuncture to solve the aesthetic problems that Western medicine has yet to address.
Every acupuncturist has his or her own methodology, but Dr. Yun K. Yang of Marina Acupuncture performs the procedure by inserting approximately 12 very fine needles into the skin. She also gently taps precise points of the face with a needle to improve circulation. Dr. Yang claims cosmetic acupuncture can achieve surprisingly dramatic results, lifting sagging skin, brightening the eyes, reducing a double chin, minimizing fine lines, and promoting general wellness. “There’s a lot more firmness, and the brown spots are gone,” said client Charlene Mendelson after three treatments at the clinic. “I saw a friend recently and he said to me, ‘What did you do to your face?’”
Good Nutrition and Vitamin Therapy
Healthy skin is created by interior, not exterior, factors, so damaged and wrinkled skin can be repaired the same way. Or so theorizes Dr. Howard Murad, author of Wrinkle-Free Forever. Dr. Murad recommends that people who think they need plastic surgery should first try a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids from foots like walnuts and salmon, and protein, especially from eggs. He also strongly believes that vitamin supplements with B vitamins, glucosamine, omega-3s, and amino acids can improve the skin’s condition in as little as five weeks. "I'm not going to be able to stretch your skin like you can do with a face-lift," Dr. Murad admits. "But you'll have more energy and you'll sleep better, and most people end up not wanting the surgical procedures anyway."
Currently gaining popularity in Hollywood, “supersonic facelifts” may be the superhero of facials, combining the relaxation of a spa treatment with the results of facelift surgery. For this facial, aestheticians use ultrasound waves to exfoliate and push anti-aging nutrients into the deeper layers of the skin, where they are most effective. “The skin will definitely feel tighter and glowing,” says Annie Morganthaler of Ona Spa in Hollywood. “It will definitely give a plumper look to the skin.”
Though the supersonic facelift can make skin look smooth and glowing, unfortunately, the results are temporary. Morganthaler recommends treatments every few weeks to maintain results, proving that alternatives to facial plastic surgery may be painless, but they don’t necessarily come cheap.
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