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Beauty Basics 101

Most people like how they look and feel, they just want to look and feel better. Join us as we answer some of the most common questions in the growing industry of health, beauty, and wellness.

Beauty Basics 101

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Your face is an important aspect of your overall look, part of what makes you unique. You want your face to match how you feel on the inside—glowing with confidence, beauty, and self-awareness. If you’re worried about wrinkles, there are a number of treatments and procedures that can help fight the effects of aging to reveal the radiant, youthful you just waiting to get out.

A traditional surgical facelift (rhytidectomy) is a major procedure performed by a skilled plastic surgeon. The surgeon makes an incision at the temples behind the hairline and within the natural contours in front of and behind the ear. Making the incision in the natural creases helps hide scarring after surgery. The surgeon then separates the skin of the face from the deeper facial tissues and removes excess facial fat. After the tightening or removal of excess skin, the skin is re-draped for a tighter, smoother appearance.

This outpatient procedure generally does not require an overnight hospital stay, although there is significant recovery time to allow the facial tissues to heal (patients typically return to work after a few weeks, when the bruising and swelling have subsided). There are few complications with this procedure; and pain is minimal.

“Most patients are amazed by how little post-operative pain they experience following facelift surgery,” explains Dr. Brian Kobienia, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Edina specializing in cosmetic surgery of the face, breast, and body. “Swelling and tightness in the neck are the most common complaints people have following surgery, and this usually improves within a few days.”

Dramatic results can last up to 10 years or more. Costs range from $6,000 to $10,000.

A contour threadlift is a nonsurgical procedure that involves inserting tiny threads (sutures) under the skin of the neck and face, intended to lift the sagging skin (eyebrows, cheeks, soft tissues of the face and neck) without invasive surgery. During the procedure, tiny threads get inserted into your facial skin tissue. By hooking onto this tissue, the thread acts as a mechanism for lifting and tightening your facial skin. There is minimal discomfort and a quick recovery. The length of time the results last depends on the age of the patient, the degree of sagging, and the number of threads used. Additional threads may be added as needed. Patients often return to normal activities within a week. The average cost is around $2,000.

Microdermabrasion is a popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure effective in reducing fine lines, “crow’s feet,” age spots, and acne scars. This noninvasive revolutionary process repairs facial skin without any pain or downtime.

“Essentially, it’s a procedure where the outer layer of dead skin cells is mechanically exfoliated,” explains Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and medical director of Crutchfield Dermatology, located in Eagan.

Benefits include a healthy-looking glow in as little as 30 minutes. This procedure can clean your pores, hinder future breakouts, and stimulate collagen networking to even out skin texture and appearance. Individual treatments cost anywhere from $150 to $300.

A new skin rejuvenation technique, the Javani Facial, “takes microdermabrasion to the next level,” Dr. Crutchfield says. “It’s the biggest advancement of microdermabrasion since its inception.” The Javani Facial deeply hydrates and enhances texture, softness, and elasticity by combining microdermabrasion with an ultra rich moisturizing and hydrating gel. An ultrasound probe then gently massages the gel into the skin. The average cost is $200.

According to Crutchfield, “[The Javani skin care program] completely eliminates all superficial lines and wrinkles for up to 10 days and makes the skin feel just like silk.”

It’s a quick treatment with impressive short-term results, perfect before an upcoming event where you want to look your absolute best.

Lipodissolve is one of the newest cosmetic procedures getting a lot of buzz. It is a minimally invasive treatment meant to target stubborn pockets of fat.

“In this procedure, small amounts of soybean extracts (known as lecithin, an emulsifying agent) are injected into unwanted areas of fat, causing the fat to melt away,” Dr. Crutchfield says.

The most common areas treated with Lipodissolve include double chins, jowls, the abdomen, arms, thighs, hips, knees, neck, back, bra line, and saddlebags. Lipodissolve is similar to liposuction—without the surgery.

Side effects include soreness, bruising, and swelling. No anaesthesia or sedation is required, and most patients return to work within a day or two. Results can be seen in four to eight treatments spaced out every two weeks. Costs range from $300 to $650 per treatment.

Chemical peels, one of the oldest rejuvenating methods around, are designed to remove the dead skin cells from the skin’s surface layer and re-stimulate the regenerative process. Chemical peels are used for the purpose of rejuvenating the skin, reducing roughness, improving skin texture and tone, lessening fine lines, and bringing about a healthier appearance. Types of peels include light peels (superficial), medium (to reduce fine lines and wrinkles), and deep peels to eliminate wrinkles and advanced signs of aging. Costs range from $150 for a superficial peel up to $2,000 or more for a deep peel, depending on the costs of anesthesia, medication, postoperative care, etc.

Laser resurfacing (laser peel) is a procedure using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser to remove areas of damaged or wrinkled skin, layer by layer. Laser skin resurfacing treatments are appropriate if you want to diminish discoloration, wrinkles, sun damage, acne marks, or other types of scarring on the face. The advantage of a laser peel is that the depth of the laser can be controlled, with better results in a shorter period of time. The recovery takes about five to ten days. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recently estimated that an average cost of laser skin resurfacing in the United States is about $2,500 for only the surgeon’s fee, for one treatment session (more than one session may be needed for the desired results).

Photo rejuvenation uses different wavelengths of light to treat age spots (brown spots), general redness, sun damage, and overall skin texture and tone. This treatment is most commonly performed on the face, neck, chest, and hands. “The results can be very impressive and significantly change how people feel about themselves,” says Liz Vogstrom of Revessence Skin Enhancement Center, with locations in Eden Prairie, Edina, Minnetonka, and Shoreview. There is minimal downtime, although multiple treatments are necessary to achieve optimal results. The average cost is $300 to $600 per session.

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