Your Annual Beauty Checkup
This article by Wendy Lewis, is excerpted from the Fall/Winter issue of Glow Beauty Magazine. To read the full article, click here.
Have you scheduled your annual beauty checkup? Sure, most of us see our dermatologist yearly for a skin cancer screening. We also likely see our primary care doctor for an annual physical and make sure we are up to date on our yearly health exams, whether a mammogram or tests to measure our cholesterol or blood pressure.
While we may or may not spend a lot of time in front of the mirror analyzing our complexion and features, or time asking our friends if we’ve gained weight or look older, too few of us actually schedule an annual beauty check-up from a real pro.
“More than ever before, I recommend we all schedule a yearly beauty visit to identify how and where we are aging or changing, and to discuss what strategies are available,” says Ellen Marmur, MD, a board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Marmur Medical in New York City. “Our health needs change with age as do beauty concerns and issues. You need to know what can be done for your beauty — safely, naturally — and that information and technology is changing rapidly.”
This is 40
They say 40 is the new 20, and that has as much to do with attitude as it does with anti-aging treatments. Every wrinkle tells a story, and by the time we hit 40, we have lots and lots of stories. It is also the time when we lose the supple skin qualities most associated with youth. “The forties is injectable time,” she says. Marmur discusses a range of fillers and toxins like Restylane® and Botox® with women and men. “Now we take a global approach to the face and neck, not focused on each line but on the overall balance and brightness. We make a master plan, including at home routines and in-office procedures to enhance and maintain rather than to radically change our look in our forties. This is the age when it is extremely important to look natural.”
Forty-somethings begin to notice that they are developing pre-jowls on either side of the chin. Thermage with the newest TOTAL tip technology really makes a difference here, and forestalls the need for more aggressive treatments down the road,” she explains.
Thermage uses focused radiofrequency to strengthen collagen and tighten and tone the skin. In your annual beauty consultation, look at the pre and post photos of Thermage treatments to see results improve over six to eight months and offer about a 5mm lift. “It is subtle, not as dramatic as a face lift,” cautions Marmur. “The best part is it is stealth cosmetic surgery — there is NO downtime afterward!”
Laser skin resurfacing is also an option to get rid of sun spots, hyperpigmentation, dullness, and wrinkles. It also freshens up the area around the eyes, so you look less tired and more engaged. In today’s economy, 40-somethings may be competing with younger candidates to acquire or keep jobs, and research shows that looking older or tired — even if you are not — can be a detriment. “This is one of the reasons that there has been a huge spike in male interest in cosmetic surgery,” says Marmur.
It’s more than just the face too. Women in their 40s may be done having children and want their pre-baby body back. “Lots of women complain about what I call their b’thigh, or the now less defined area between the buttocks to upper leg, where we despise sag and cellulite. Even models have it.”
Marmur has pioneered a combination treatment including Thermage® and Liposonix® that tag team these issues. Liposonix® uses high-intensity focused ultrasound to destroy targeted fat in the body and Thermage® smoothes and tightens the skin to improve the appearance of cellulite. “They work really well together. Moms have called me the magic mommy makeover doc. We do their post babies’ belly, too.” Marmur says. Thermage® and Liposonix® are minimally invasive, which means that there is limited down time, something today’s power moms crave.
Fifty is Fabulous & So Are the 60s, 70s, 80s, and Yes, the 90s!
If 40 is the new 20, then 50 must be the new 30. And 75 is the new 55! Right? This is the time to talk beautification: a personal combination of volumizing injectables, tightening, and some laser skin resurfacing. Everyone ages differently, and some women or men may be ready for surgery, but many others can still benefit from non-invasive anti-aging therapies.
Tell your dermatologist what’s bothering you, and see what he or she recommends. “If you have been practicing sun safety all along, you may find, you don’t need a thing,” Marmur says. This is the decade where the benefits of protection really start to pay off significantly.
If you have been going for beauty checkups yearly and using sunscreen daily, you will probably look youthful in your 60s, and may even get carded when you try to use a senior citizen discount at the movies. “Don’t think that being over sixty-five disqualifies you from these procedures and products,” Marmur says. “At least thirty-five percent of my practice is men and women between sixty-five and ninety-five years old who want to look almost as young as they feel,” she says. “In the seventies, our lips invert and thin but a filler can help naturally roll them out a little bit,” she says. “Or, as one patient stated her grandchildren said she always looked serious or angry but after a little beauty work she felt and looked more fun and pleasant and happy to her family.”
“You know you are mature when your neck starts to sag. It is the number one passionate concern of my patients in this age group. I love rejuvenating the neck, making it tighter, smoother, and younger without extreme surgery.” Marmur specializes in necks and personalizes neck specific regimens that include yearly in-office follow-up treatments.
Photodynamic therapy is a medical treatment for actinic keratoses, or precancers that can look red and scaley or brown. The treatment, combined with Fraxel, is one of Dr. Marmur’s specialties to give the double benefit of truly healthier, better looking skin.
“Health, beauty, and wellness are intimately intertwined through the ages,” she says. “If you look better, you feel better, and you live better.” A healthy diet and regular exercise along with updated skincare and anti-aging treatments all work together for a younger, more vibrant you, no matter how many candles are on your next birthday cake.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, 12 East 87th Street
Suite 1A, New York, NY 10128