WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?
What’s new: Temples have become the hottest new area to treat. “If you work out and are thin, your temples start to get really sunken,” says Brandt. “It’s incredible what a difference it makes to fill them in a bit—it balances everything out.” At the same time, doctors are injecting volumizers much deeper, closer to the bone, to make the complexion extra smooth. “In the eye and cheek area, the skin is pretty thin,” Rodan explains. “Fillers have a tendency to migrate or create a bump there if they’re placed too close to the surface.”
And most women are asking for subtler lip injections, if any. (That’s good: The experts agree that lips are where things can start to go off the rails.) There’s also buzz about stem-cell face-lifts—injecting your face with fat from your own body. Why would this help? Fat is rich in active cells that can promote tissue repair, cell growth and new collagen. Little research has been conducted so far to back the regeneration theory, “but that’s where we’re headed,” says Wells. “The potential for engineering tissue with stem cells is huge.”
What goes right: Opting for subtle maintenance with volumizers rather than a total overhaul with fillers. “The whole key is doing subtle, incremental things that keep up with the aging process rather than going out for a home run,” says Manhattan plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso. In other words, people who demand a drastic change don’t end up looking the best.
What can go wrong: Beyond overinflating, the real minefield is assuming that all problems can be fixed with a filler. “The amount of volume you had in your face when you were 20 will look weird on you when you’re 55,” says Haideh Hirmand, MD, another New York plastic surgeon. “We have all these people now who look overly filled, and it’s almost worse than when people looked overly lifted. Patients think that if they do fillers instead of surgery, they’ll by definition look more natural. But you have to combine things in the right proportions to get the best results and make the work look invisible.”
Botox and similar injections
What’s new: Botox recently won FDA approval as a treatment for chronic migraines. But it can help you feel better in other ways, too. “A lot of people hold tension between their eyebrows without realizing it. There’s actually a mood-elevation effect that can happen with Botox—possibly because frowning sends feedback to your brain that you’re feeling bad,” says Adam Scheiner, MD, a plastic surgeon in Tampa, Florida. Block the frown, the thinking goes, and you’ll bring on the Zen. Meanwhile, Dysport, a relatively new neurotoxin, is gaining popularity. “It’s almost identical to Botox but diffuses more easily, so it gives a slightly softer, smoother effect,” Wells notes.
What goes right: Erring on the light side. Botox is intended to smooth mild to deep-set frown lines, crow’s-feet and furrows while leaving your face capable of moving. Injected correctly (and conservatively), it does just that. Another clever trick: Injecting the platysmal bands in the neck—the ones that stand out when you grimace—can lift the corners of the mouth and diminish jowling, no surgery required.
What can go wrong: “A doctor has to be really careful injecting Botox into the forehead,” says New York dermatologist
Brad Katchen. “If you relax that area too much, you can get a waxen look, and your brows drop.” Nerves connect in the face even when they’re far apart—which means that if Botox is injected too deeply between your eyebrows, it can give you a saggy eyelid; if your crow’s-feet are overtreated, you may end up with a droopy lip.