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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Looking Our Best as We Age

Fillers, smoothers and lifts: Older adults may not be the selfie generation, but they aren’t shy about using products to look their best.

You’ve put on a few years, sure, but you still want to present your best face to the world. More than 4 million cosmetic procedures were performed on Americans age 55 and older last year, a 28% jump from 2010. But you’ve got questions. Are fillers really going to make a difference? Is plastic surgery worth the cost when you’re 60 or older? What’s the best moisturizer for older skin? More than ever, older adults feel like they deserve to look good, and there are more products than ever to choose from.

Aging affects your face in several ways. The skin and fatty layer underneath thin out, muscle support goes lax and some subtle bone loss may also occur. Decades of sun exposure may have left skin very wrinkled. But you can do something about it.


Botox injections, done with a thin needle, paralyze muscle activity temporarily. We’re talking frown lines between your brows, and the muscles that turn your smile upside down. It’s not terribly expensive, and it lasts for months. But wait, it’s only intended for use by those 65 and younger, according to the FDA. What gives?

No worries, boomer. Doctors say it is perfectly safe as long as you realize that results may not be quite as dramatic as they are for the younger population. We’ve already earned some wrinkles, and Botox is not going to affect your skin, only the muscles that lie beneath. For that reason, dermatologists recommend pairing it with fillers.


Best Moisturizers

As we get older, our skin becomes thinner and dryer. Even people who have never needed to moisturize their skin may find their arms and legs looking a little like shedding snakes.

But most of us don’t have the wallet for fancy preparations, and who knows if they actually work any better than the stuff at Target? Some beauty editors who specialize in products for people over 60 give us their tips on the best low-cost options to try:

  • True Skin Daily Facial Moisturizer
  • Ponds Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisturizer
  • L’Oreal Age Perfect Skin Renewal with Rosy Tone Moisturizer
  • Cera Ve Face and Body Moisturizer

If you’re willing to pay whatever it takes, some beauty experts swear that hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, is the way to go. Here are some products they recommend:

  • Revision Skincare Nectifirm
  • Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream
  • Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture
  • Revision Skincare Intellishade Original Tinted Moisturizer

Fillers are liquid injectables that plump up the skin where lines and wrinkles form. Everyone is different, but you may have deep lines from the outside of your nostrils down past your lips (naso-labial depressions) or lines around your eyes (crow’s-feet). Maybe you have those little lines around your mouth that suck up lipstick. Lung ads in the 60s told you only lifelong smokers would get those little lines. They lied. You have them.

But help is on the way! Trot down and get yourself some Juvederm or Restylane (which move into the layer just under the skin) in your lips. Injections last up to a year and will plump your smackers back up to their former selves. Those nose lines will lessen considerably when pumped up with Radiesse, which can last up to 18 months. Some docs like to start with a little Radiesse in the cheeks to lift up the folds so they can inject less filler in the lines you’re trying to diminish.

Fat Grafting

When fillers are unlikely to be effective because skin is loose, an alternative technique is still possible. Fat grafting harvests fat from another part of the body such as the belly or hip (yes!) and transfers it where needed. Compared to fillers, fat is softer, blends well into the body and potentially contains stem cells to repair aged and damaged areas.


Your work years are winding down or finished. Is it worth it to get a facelift? Gretta sure looks good out on the pickle ball court, and you suspect she’s had a little work done. Doctors say it’s not so much how old you are, but how healthy you are that matters. (Thumbs up to pickle ball). Get your regular doctor’s clearance, then make sure to get advice from a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon.

You may be a candidate for a mini face lift, also called a Y lift. It is minimally invasive, doesn’t require anesthesia and can be performed during a 30-minute office visit. It consists of either fillers of hyaluronic acid or permanent filler injections just below the top level of the cheekbones. About a teaspoon of the substance goes into each cheek, deep into the soft tissue layer to lift the skin below. Effects last one to five years. Cost is about $1,500 to $5,000.

You may decide a mini-lift is not enough, and you want the longer-lasting results, usually three to ten years, of the real thing. Your muscles will be tightened up and excess skin cut off. The best surgeons are a little bit artist, a little bit doctor for minimal scarring and great results. Variations on the procedure can address different areas, such as lifting eyebrows or removing excess skin on eyelids.

Skin elasticity and overall health will determine if you’re a good candidate. If you opt for plastic surgery, go in with realistic expectations. You won’t look 20 years younger. You won’t suddenly be mistaken for Jane Fonda on the street. But you will look more youthful. Cost: $7,000 to $20,000.

Laser Resurfacing

If it is more the quality of your skin you want to change, look no farther than laser skin resurfacing. Safe, effective treatments can reduce the effects of sun, aging and some facial skin disorders. The laser peel removes outer layers of skin to reveal healthier dermis underneath and stimulate the production of collagen and new skin cells.

The best patients for this procedure want to remove lines, wrinkles, uneven pigmentation or superficial facial scars and have skin that is elastic, non-oily and not prone to scarring from minor injury.

What About Cost?

It can be harder to find out the cost of fillers and procedures than to find hen’s teeth in a haystack, but one Denver area clinic tells it like it is. Although the Happy Clinic does not perform cosmetic surgery, it is a destination clinic for fillers, Botox and laser work. Check out prices, and even specials, online.

As always, a healthy lifestyle is your best defense against aging prematurely. But there are times when we just want to feel a little more confident, a little more special, and there’s no reason not to investigate clinical help. Whether you’re headed off to a reunion, a wedding, or you just want to see a change in the mirror, it doesn’t hurt to check out your options.


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors