The New Face of Plastic Surgery
Our faces tell the world who we are. Sometimes, it would be nice to have a little more control over exactly what they’re saying, especially in our social media-saturated world. Thankfully, cosmetic and beauty treatments are constantly advancing. Here are some of the latest trends to help you look Insta-worthy without losing what makes you, you.
Beauty trends are fickle things. While shifting styles are generally harmless, sometimes chasing the latest fad can have long-lasting effects. Overzealous eyebrow plucking is one example. A quest for pencil-thin brows can result in thinning and bald spots years later. To help regain fullness, more people (including celebs!) are turning to eyebrow transplants.
Like other hair transplants, the procedure involves moving a strip of skin with active follicles from one part of the body to another. The most common harvesting site is the back of the head, and the hair is trimmed to fit the preferred brow shape before being transferred. Maximum fullness is achieved about a year after the procedure. Since the transplanted hair grows faster than natural brows, regular trimming is necessary.
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, cosmetic surgery and medispa treatments are becoming more common for younger patients. “People want to maintain a youthful glow in their skin and delay or even prevent some of the signs of aging,” says SLUCare plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Simo. To achieve this, people in their 30s are getting neuromodulators, like Botox and Dysport, to prevent the formation of lines.
When patients are in their 40s and 50s, fillers are common to counter the loss of volume that naturally comes with age. “If you only exhibit minimal signs of aging, you just need minimal correction,” Simo says. “To look your best, treatments should be undetectable to anyone but you and your surgeon.” Preventative skin care treatments like microneedling, microdermabrasion, laser therapy and facials also are done to improve the appearance of the skin and boost collagen production.
With preventative procedures, routine treatments are necessary. For fillers, patients may require two to three visits to a provider annually, and the norm for neuromodulators is three to four, according to Simo. But the effort is not without reward. “They delay the need for surgical procedures like a mini face-lift further down the road,” he says.
Cosmetic procedures are stereotypically associated with women, but the number of men visiting plastic surgeons is on the rise. While there is fear that the results may be overly feminizing, Washington University facial cosmetic surgeon Dr. Emily Spataro notes that many procedures can enhance masculine features. “Less is often more,” she says. “By doing something subtle, you can build on your natural assets.”
Spataro and her colleague Dr. John Chi consult with men for a variety of issues. “Many male patients want to improve their profiles,” Chi explains. “The chin plays a vital role in creating classical, masculine proportions.” A chin implant is a common procedure to achieve balance and improve overall appearance. As an alternative to surgery, Spataro says fillers can be used to enhance the jawline, and Chi notes there are a variety of noninvasive treatments that address the area. “Kybella injections dissolve fat to get rid of a double chin, and radiofrequency treatments can tighten the skin,” he says.
Spataro adds that her male patients have fewer aging concerns but are interested in procedures that have both cosmetic and functional components. “I see quite a few men who have breathing problems and want to make aesthetic changes to their noses at the same time,” she says. “Among the older population, upper and lower eyelid surgeries are common as well.”
by the skin of your neck
From loose skin to stubborn fat, there are many issues with our necks that we can’t fix on our own. Dr. Mike Nayak of Nayak Plastic Surgery says a deep neck lift is a good option to address these types of problems. Unlike traditional neck lifts, the procedure involves no incisions around the ears. Instead, muscle, fat and other tissue are reworked through small incisions in the mouth and cheeks. “Afterward, they are essentially invisible,” he notes.
The surgery is done in-office and takes around 3 hours. It does require a substantial recovery period, according to Nayak. “It usually takes two weeks for people to feel like they look ready to return to social activities, and they also need to limit heavy lifting and exercise,” he says. “It’s a trade-off. You earn meaningful results with proper recovery time.”
A deep neck lift will not address heavy jowls, but it offers optimal results for defining the neck, according to Nayak. Unlike most alternative treatments, it addresses more than just a single layer of fat. “It truly changes the shape of the neck,” he says. “Think of it like remodeling a kitchen. If you just change the countertops, the impact is going to be less than if you redo everything.” He adds that the approach creates a more natural look since muscle also is being reworked to match changes to layers of fat and skin.
just a tweak
The cultural conception of plastic surgery leans toward overfilled, exaggerated and fake. The reality, however, is that most people are looking for small changes that let them maintain their natural features and still look like themselves. “You want people to notice a change but not be able to pinpoint exactly what is different,” Spataro says. “Many of my patients come in saying they feel younger than they are, and they want their appearance to reflect that.”
Simo adds that it always pays to be conservative, and communication with your surgeon is key. “It’s important that you work with a practitioner who is going to make the appropriate suggestions for your individual needs,” he notes. “When you aren’t exhibiting advanced signs of aging, don’t go diving in the deep end of the pool. The results should be natural, and it shouldn’t be obvious you’ve had something done.”
Additional source: Allure