From new wrinkle relaxers to DIY at-home anti-aging, a cache of new "youth tools" promise we'll look younger faster and easier than ever. But do they work? RedDressDiary talked to the experts to find out more!
By Colette Bouchez
So... here's what the research says: Take all your vitamins, eat all your fruits and veggies and down a glass of red wine a day, and you too could live to 100 or more!
If this is true, then it can only mean one thing: In 50 more years we will be a planet of shrinking, wrinkling little Yodas!
The antidote: A cache of anti-aging “miracles” - treatments designed to make us look as young as we feel. Well, as young as we'd like to feel, at least.
Indeed, if maintaining the glow of youth is on your lifetime agenda, you certainly won't have any trouble filling your dance card : The sheer number of anti-aging products and services is enough to throw even your DNA into a cold sweat.
So how do you know what to try, what to buy and what not to wish on your worst “frenemy” ? To help you decide here's what a few experts say about what 's new right now and what it can do!
Dysport : The New Wrinkle Relaxing Frontier
The big news this month is the FDA approval of Dysport – the new “Botox alternative” for un-crinkling your furrowed brow. Similar to Botox, Dysport also utilizes a purified form of botulism toxin ( yeah, the kind you get from bad potatoe salad) to paralyze tiny muscles underneath facial lines and creases.And the result is similar as well : Much like pressing out those wrinkles from your white linen pants, both Dysport and Botox seem to smooth way the years.
So why reinvent the wheel? Well Dysport isn't exactly the same as Botox - and it does appear to last a tad longer - 4 months vs 2.5 to 3 months for Botox. But having a second alternative on the market also means market competition – and that can sometimes drive the price down. Currently doctors are reporting treatments with Dysport cost about 10% less than with Botox ( $ 450 per injection nationwide average vs $375-$400 average) with equally good or better results.
" I've been using it now for a couple of weeks with excellent results in about 25 patients. In my preliminary review, it seems extraordinarily similar to Botox Cosmetic except that it costs about 10% less, says dermatologist Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD, director of Crutchfield Dermatology in Egan, Minnesota.
The Bottom Line: It's another option for the anti-aging tool box, but to avoid being disappointed make sure its' what you really want and need. Sometimes a wrinkle filler ( like Restylane or JuvaDerm) will do the job better.
The Neckline Slim
You've all seen those catalog and Internet ads: The “before” picture sports a double chin, sagging jowls and that age-giveaway jiggly turkey neck; the “after” shows a smooth and youthfully firm neck. All of it is courtesy of a tiny device you hold under your chin to offer gentle resistance to the muscular structure – at a total cost of less than $30.00 But does it work?
“As with any exercise, strengthening of those muscles will be apparent, however by overall facial exercises show no proven results when it comes to curing sagging skin in these regions, “ says Sam Naficy, MD, a double board certified plastic surgeon and director of the Naficy Plastic Surgery and Rejuvenation Center in Seattle.
The Bottom Line: The cost is low but the result is minimal - and you can probably get a similar effect by smiling broadly , tightening your neck muscles, holding and releasing.
Glowelle Beauty Drink
They say beauty starts from within – and that's precisely the philosophy behind Glowelle, a “drink of beauty “ with claims that include nourishing and hydrating skin from the inside out. Using a powerful blend of antioxidants and vitamins plus botanical & fruit extracts in a powder you mix into water or any fruit drink or smoothie, the goal is to fight free radical damage ( a leading cause of aging skin) and rejuvenate that glow of youth – all for around $110 for a 30 day supply. But does it work?
Dr. Naficy says: "Adding extra anti-oxidants into ones daily diet is not a bad idea, however women who expect to see true anti-aging results from a beauty drink will be disappointed. Also, most beauty drinks contain calories, therefore are not suitable for all diets."
The Bottom Line: For a less costly but similar effect just eat all your fruits and veggies, take your vitamins, get plenty of beauty sleep , stay out of the sun, and drink lots of water – the original ( and free!) beauty drink!
The Oxygenating Face Shot
WARNING! Don't try this at home! :) In this treatment, a high powered atomizer fueled by a stream of pressurized oxygen blast- pumps moisturizers into your skin. The reported effect is immediate hydration – and a firm, plumper, smoother look for a cost of around $500. But does it work?
" This treatment is nothing more than a passing spa trend as there is no strong evidence of oxygen’s effectiveness when it comes to anti-aging. Additionally, the treatments are extremely costly and at least six treatments are recommended for optimal results, “ says Naficy.
NYU professor of dermatology Dr. Rhoda Narins says never underestimate the power of a good moisturizer – but you can get good effects by simply applying one daily onto your skin using your fingertips!
"Sometimes all you really need is a good moisturizer and a mild cleanser and you can take years off your face, " she says, adding that when skin is dry every single wrinkle is accentuated making you look much older.
The Bottom Line: Apply a moisturizer twice daily – or anytime skin looks dry to keep your complexion hydrated and plumped. If you've got big bucks to spend , skip the Face Shot and go for proven treatments like wrinkle relaxing injections or even Dysport or Botox. Better still, grab some sunscreen and blow the cost of the treatments on a fabulous vacation the south of France. You may not come back looking any younger but the memories will be so great, you won't care! :)
The Lunchtime Face Lift
It used to be that if you were lucky if you could squeeze in the time to buy a new pair of shoes on your lunch hour. Now, you can buy a whole new face, courtesy of a growing trend called the “Lunch Time Lift”. Here, you select from a “menu” of 30 minute treatments that offer (almost) immediate results with virtually no down town. Treatments include any number of wrinkle filling injections in combination with a mini face massage to stimulate collagen growth and improve skin's thickness and resiliency – and they start at around $550 per treatment. But do they work?
Dr. Naficy says: “Filler face-lifts are nothing new, however are becoming easier and easier to fit into a woman’s active lifestyle. Although, not for everyone, ( the cost is high) most of my patients do see a difference, with effects lasting up to two years."
Dr.Narins adds that the latest wrinkle fillers can also offer some permanent results by stimulating collagen production so as time passes you may need less to look young.
The Bottom Line: Lunchtime Lifts do work – but the lunch part will have to consist of lettuce and water for a long time in order to pay for it!
For a steady stream of non-stop health and beauty advice visit RedDressDiary.com: The Source for Fabulous Women Over 40!
Copyright by Colette Bouchez 2009 - All Rights Reserved. In addition to US Copyright, the text of this RedDressDiary article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. All formatting and style elements of this page are not available under this license, and Colette Bouchez retains all rights in those elements.