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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.
Trouble in Hair-adise
Can I get my hair colored while pregnant?
“Yes,” says Amy Franklin, a senior stylist with New Reflection’s Aveda Salon, with locations in Edina, Plymouth, and Minnetonka.“If you’re worried about color absorption, you can safely do foils without any concerns. Consult your physician if you have any hesitations.”
Would hair extensions damage my hair?
“It depends on what extension system you’re using, and who is delivering the service,” Franklin says. “Extensions with Keratin Bonds will match your hair and not damage it.” Most extensions, if applied properly, will last up to four months. After this time, the special glue-like bond attached to your natural hair will begin to loosen and fall off. Many people will only keep their hair extensions for a short period of time for a special event or occasion.
What’s “in” right now for hair?
Adding red to hair color, side-swept bangs, one-length bobs, and movement and texture with curls and perms.
What’s “out” right now?
Perfectly straight hair
Botox Cosmetic is a purified protein toxin produced by a bacteria that is injected into the skin to eliminate wrinkles. It works by causing facial muscles to relax, making the lines disappear for smoother skin. There are two main types of wrinkles: “static” wrinkles, when the face is at rest, and “dynamic” wrinkles produced with facial expression from muscle movement (smiling, frowning). Botox treats the dynamic or expressive wrinkles.
“It’s been used for over 16 years to treat a variety of conditions and is approved in over 75 countries,” Vogstrom says. “When administered by experienced providers, Botox is extremely safe and the end result will look natural.”
The most commonly treated areas include “crow’s feet,” frown lines, laugh lines, smoker’s lines around the lips, and forehead wrinkles. There are very few side effects, and results last anywhere from four to six months (but can last longer when combined with Restylane or Juvederm). The average cost is $200 to $400 per injection.
Restylane and Juvederm are synthetic hyaluronic acid products, a natural element found in the body. They are injected into the skin to temporarily correct facial wrinkles and folds, depressions in the skin, scarring, and restore the lip border—basically the wrinkles you see at rest without facial motion, explains Dr. Crutchfield.
“The face loses volume over time, creating the lines from the nose down to the corners of the mouth, a decrease in the volume of the lips, and from the corners of the mouth down toward the chin,” he says. “I tend to use synthetic sugar-based gels as filling agents because they mimic natural products. I like Restylane and Juvederm because they don’t contain any protein or collagen from cows or human cadavers. It is a component of human skin and the same fluid that lubricates your joints.” Results generally last from six to eight months. There can be mild tenderness for up to a week, although in rare cases the side effects last slightly longer. The average cost for Restylane injections range from $350 to $800 per syringe.
**Patients should always do their own research before submitting to any procedure, and be aware of—and comfortable with—their provider’s qualifications and safety record.
The top five nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in 2005:
• Botox 3,294,782
(up 16 percent from 2004)
• Laser hair removal 1,566,909
(up 11 percent)
• Hyaluronic acids 1,194,222
(up 35 percent)
• Microdermabrasion 1,023,931
(decrease of 7 percent)
• Chemical peels 556,172
(down 50 percent)
*Source: American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 2005
What are some other skin care regimens for aging/wrinkles?
According to Becky Sturm, owner of StormSister Spatique in St. Paul, Phytomer’s Vie line of skin care works wonders. “I can’t rave enough about them,” Sturm says, also recommending Vie’s sister company Phytoceane for those who might think Phytomer’s price point is too high. Sturm, who has seen numerous 20-year-olds already sporting not-so-sexy crows feet around their eyes, stresses the importance of wearing sunscreen when outside and covering your face if you’re in a tanning bed. Sun damage is the number one cause of wrinkles. Other ways to be good to your skin are to drink water, quit smoking, and clean and moisturize morning and night.
“The evening regimen is often overlooked, and it’s the most important because that’s when skin is rejuvenating/healing,” Sturm explains.
Those who are “ready to take care of their skin” should get facials at least four times per year, she says. “Find an esthetician you can trust. When the products you’re being sent home with are working, then a great esthetician will be able to send you to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for other treatments,” Sturm says.
And—she points out—if the products you buy don’t work for you, take them back.
“A great salon/spa/boutique will take them back and work with you to find products that benefit your skin.”
When to arrive:
You should arrive approximately 15 to 20 minutes before your appointment to check in, change, and relax before your treatment.
What to wear:
Although the majority of people completely disrobe for a treatment, it’s not necessary as long as you’re comfortable. Therapists will drape you discreetly and protect your privacy at all times. ”It’s up to each individual,” says Tamara Nordby, general manager of Sanctuary SalonSpa in Eden Prairie. “It’s all about your comfort level.”
Can I request a therapist?
When scheduling your appointment, it’s acceptable to say if you prefer a male or female therapist. Remember, though, that all therapists are trained professionals.
How much should I tip?
Tipping is at your discretion, but 20 percent is typical for good service.
Should I wear my jewelry?
Valuables should be left at home or in a safe deposit box. “Your service will be more relaxing and complete with your jewelry removed,” explains Marie Grande, spa director of Edina-based New Reflections, an Aveda Spa Salon. Most spas are not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Relaxed and Radiant
According to the International Spa Association, there are more than 200 varieties of massages. How do you know which massage is right for you? Here is a list of massage terminology, courtesy of The Day Spa Association:
Hydrotherapy technique in which you’re submerged in a tub of water and massaged by underwater jets, or handheld jets used by a therapist.
“Ashi” meaning “foot” and “atsu” meaning “pressure,” with this luxurious deep tissue massage, the therapist walks along your back.
Similar to the Swedish massage, but with specially formulated fragrant oils, mixed specifically to a client’s doshas. The doshas refer to three Ayurvedic body functions: Vata (blood, circulation, healing); Pitta (heat and metabolism); and Kapha (one’s spiritual and philosophical self).
Technique using smooth, warm stones applied with pressure, in strokes, or rested on the body.
A lymphatic system massage treatment reduces water retention, increases circulation, and drains toxins from the body.
Shiatsu-like finger pressure is applied to pressure points on the hands and feet, which are believed to correspond to all glands and organs in the body. Used for relieving tension and improving circulation; also performed on the earlobes.
Japanese acupressure massage technique; pressure applied with fingers, hands, elbows, and feet.
Done to relieve tension and specific muscle tightness caused by sports or other strenuous activities; often involves deep tissue massage strokes.
Involves kneading, firm strokes, and tapping of pressure points; lotions or oils are sometimes used.
The therapist uses deep tissue and acupressure massage, along with yoga positioning as the patient lies on a floor mat. This massage helps align the skeletal system, ease muscle stiffness, and promote relaxation.
A deep, muscular massage to improve circulation and break up knots within the muscle spindles.
What’s the difference between a day spa/salon spa, medical spa, and wellness center?
Day spa/salon spa: A day spa offers a variety of spa treatments performed by trained professionals; salons that offer treatments are referred to as “salon and day spa,” or “spalon.” Visitors can come for a few hours during the day. Overnight accommodations are not available.
Medical spa: A spa that includes medical treatments along with customary spa treatments. A doctor or other health care professional must oversee all medical treatments. Many doctors, such as plastic surgeons and dermatologists, are offering spa treatments to aid in their patients’ healing and comfort. According to the International Medical Spa Association, their appropriate licensing board will govern practitioners working within a medical spa, if licensure is required.
Wellness Center: Owned by physicians and entrepreneurs, wellness centers encompass many of the same services as the medical/hospital facilities if physician-owned. If privately owned, facilities will have a licensed healthcare professional on staff serving as medical director.
Whiter than White, Brighter than Bright
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 92 percent of Americans believe an attractive smile is an important social asset, and 50 percent of Americans are not satisfied with the appearance of their own smile.
One of the most common complaints from dental patients is that their teeth are discolored and not bright enough.
Professional in-office whitening procedures such as BriteSmile, Zoom! and laser bleaching can whiten teeth dramatically in as little time as an hour. Other whitening options include at-home treatments such as custom-fitted bleaching kits, foam trays, whitening strips and whitening toothpaste.
“So many people are interested in getting their teeth whitened today. You see it almost everywhere you look,” says Dr. Windmiller of Ned W. Windmiller DDS, PA in Stillwater. “The dental industry has actually had to change their standards of what is white. The grading has been changed because what was white in the past doesn’t pass for white today.”
Results can last for many years, although color stability depends on how well you take care of your teeth afterward.
For those who might not be a candidate for bleaching (crowns, fillings, bonding or laminates cannot be bleached and therefore won’t match the rest of your teeth), and for patients wanting a more comprehensive change to their overall smile, porcelain veneers, restorations, bonding and contouring can be the answer.
According to Boger Dental, “The results are truly amazing and life-changing for most patients—building self confidence through a more vibrant, attractive appearance.”
Tooth bonding is a quick, painless procedure involving a thin resin applied over stained, chipped, cracked or misaligned teeth. Bonding can change tooth color, shape and size, and is excellent for small chips and gaps on one or two teeth.
When multiple teeth are involved, porcelain veneers are the way to go. Veneers are ultra-thin long-lasting custom-designed laminates affixed directly to the teeth. They look and feel like natural teeth, can make dark teeth seem bright white, and are intended to last for many years.
No beauty regimen would be complete without diet and exercise. Regular workouts will not only help you look better, but feel better, too. Working out makes your heart stronger, helps prevent osteoporosis and high blood pressure, lowers the risk of diabetes and some cancers, relieves stress, depression, and some symptoms of PMS, increases your metabolism, and reduces some effects of aging.
“The fountain of youth really is weight training,” says Judy Beyers, former holder of the North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation title and owner of PowerSource Personal Training in Edina. “For every five calories you burn doing aerobics, you burn 40 with weight or strength training. After we hit age 30, the only way to stop losing one percent of muscle each year is to do resistance training.”
There are five full-time trainers on staff at Power Source to help men, women, and families of all ages learn to use free weights and nutrition to tone muscle, lose weight, rehabilitate injuries, fight osteoporosis, build strength, and reverse the aging process.
Aging, after all, is really a loss of muscle tissue, Beyers says.
And according to Beyers, that loss can be reversed by doing strength training three times a week.
You won’t find the fountain of youth by sitting on the couch, eating chips and watching TV. You have to keep moving.
“The less you move, the more weak and slow and stiff you’ll get,” she comments.
Beyers stresses that we all have the power to make changes. We just need to take action. “Nobody can give us a pill that will totally fix us,” she says. “It’s our responsibility to make our bodies better.”
Whether you want to maintain your general health, nurture your family’s fitness, or develop your competitive edge, Life Time Fitness offers a complete health and fitness experience. Everything at Life Time is built on the cornerstones of exercise, fitness, and education, from cardio equipment and weight machines inside to swimming pools outside. A membership can give you access to incredible childcare, innovative adult and youth classes, sport courts, spa services, personal trainers, child-friendly facilities (play mazes, junior sport courts, and computer centers), nutritious snacks in the LifeCafe, athletic events, a running club, customized nutrition and weight loss support, and convenient 24/7 hours. There are 25 Life Time locations in Minnesota alone.
Those who are suffering a minor setback in their workout routine due to an injury, illness, or post-surgical condition can be on the path to a speedy recovery through the HealthEast Optimum Rehabilitation program, with locations in Maplewood (Markham Pond Professional Center), Midway (University Park Medical Building), Oakdale (Tessar Professional Building), and Woodbury (Woodwinds Health Campus/Oak Center). Outpatient therapy services include physical therapy for neck and back pain, foot and ankle problems, arthritis, total joint replacement, stress and tension-related problems, orthopaedic surgery, and specialty services. Patients will learn how to manage their symptoms, relax, and modify their lifestyle to best meet their needs.
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Brian J. Kobienia, MD, FACS
PowerSource Personal Training
Pull out a Plum Salon & Gallery
Revessence Skin Enhancement Center