Defying gravity: the best surgical and topical treatments to stop skin-aging
By Ron Robinson
I’ve been obsessed with space lately. With all the talk about Sandra Bullock’s film, Gravity, I’ve been thinking about how we try to fight against the inevitable: skin-aging!
Certainly, gravity takes its toll on all of us. It’s an inevitable scientific phenomena where a downward force influences deflated skin tissue, among other body parts. Our skin begins to sag over time, we lose elasticity and lines and wrinkles start to appear whether we like it or not.
But in space, we don’t have to worry about any of that. Unfortunately, we’re stuck here on Earth, with our feet firmly planted on the ground, fighting against our planet’s gravitational pull.
How can we change what nature has intended? Well, I remember when I was younger witnessing my aunt giving herself a “facial beating” every night. She would moisturize her face with the rich, pink facial cream that was Oil of Olay, then proceeded to “smack” and “whack” her face -- physically pulling her skin taut to slow down the aging process.
I have to say, she does have terrific skin -- it’s pretty firm and almost wrinkle-free. But there are other alternatives to achieving a lifted look. Ground Control to Major Tom, we want lift off!
There are 3 major components to facial aging:
Volume Loss = Deflation
Skin Laxity = Loss of Skin Elasticity
Textural Changes = Skin cellular component aging
To achieve that lifted effect, deflation and laxity must be addressed. Both topical and surgical alternatives can help lift the skin to regain a youthful appearance. Goesel Anson, MD, FACS a member of the Aesthetic Society and inventor of Juverest: The Sleep Wrinkle Pillow, advises that the only way to create volume and lift in the cheeks, smile lines and the pre-jowl triangle is by getting fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, which can last from 9-12 months. Fat transfer is another option, which is especially effective for plumper-looking cheeks. Excess skin can also be removed with a Facelift, Mini-Facelift and Necklift.
We can help prevent the effects of skin aging by becoming more aware of extrinsic factors that determine our skin texture like UV exposure, smoking, nutrition and hormonal status. Simple lifestyle changes, like sleeping on our backs (and not on our sides), can even help prevent wrinkles.
In conjunction with fillers, topical solutions used on a daily basis can help rev up skin’s metabolism. Vitamin A derivatives like retinoic acid improve collagen production and elastin, increasing cellular turnover. Skin brightening Vitamin C found in ascorbic acid provides antioxidants and improves pigmentation. Peptides are known as matrix protectors of collagen, elastin and fibronectin.
All in all, we can’t change how gravity impacts our skin, but we can find ways to hold on to our youth as long as possible.