Tips and tricks that will actually help slow the aging process

Sure, getting older has its perks — wisdom, confidence, rewarding relationships, and often, more financial stability. All of that is great — but that doesn’t mean we want to look our age! Why else do so many of us have an arsenal of anti-aging creams and serums in our bathrooms? Those products, though, only go so far. If you really want to pass for 29 decades after you actually celebrated that birthday, you’re going to have to enlist an expert to assist you: a plastic surgeon. 

In an exclusive interview with The List, Dr. Elliot Hirsch, board certified plastic surgeon and the chief of plastic surgery at Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center, discussed the multiple options his practice offers patients who want to look younger — or at least, stop the aging process in its tracks. Not surprisingly, Botox was at the top of Hirsch’s list. “The younger you start, the better,” he advised. “Botox works by temporarily freezing signals from the nerves to the muscles, so the injected muscle can’t contract causing wrinkles to soften and relax, creating instantly more youthful skin.” And Botox is just the tip of the anti-aging iceberg, according to Hirsch.

Facial fillers will keep your skin looking youthful

Other injectables that your doctor might recommend are fillers, which are “substances designed to be injected beneath the surface of the skin to add volume and fullness,” Hirsch explained. While some fillers can be effective and long-lasting, others may not live up to their promise. “The time they take to work, as well as how long they last, also vary,” Hirsch explained. “Some fillers last six months, while others last up to two years or longer.”

If you want the longer-term option — and, who wouldn’t? — make sure you’re working with a reputable doctor. “It is very important to only have these injections performed under the direction of a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist,” Hirsch advised. So, maybe don’t scour Groupon for the cheapest filler deal, or entrust your face to the same person who threads your eyebrows. You need to go to a specialist, Hirsch explained, “because only they will understand the anatomy of a face well enough to safely inject fillers without risks and side effects.”

Instead of injecting Botox or fillers, you can inject your own plasma

Not sure how you feel about having these foreign substances injected into your skin? While Botox and fillers are widely used and deemed safe, another good choice is micr-oneedling, according to Hirsch. Sometimes referred to as a vampire facial, this treatment is non-surgical and was initially made famous by Kim Kardashian. So how does it work? “During this treatment, a licensed phlebotomist will draw your blood and spin it in a special machine called a Centrifuge, pulling out the platelet-rich plasma,” Hirsch explained.

That’s only half of the process. “The aesthetician will then micro-needle your own plasma back into your skin using a special device fitted with tiny needles,” Hirsch explained. Why plasma? “This treatment will force your body to produce more collagen and naturally plump up your skin,” Hirsch said. He added that the overall effect will be “rejuvenating,” giving you a refreshed, natural look.

Laser treatments are a good non-surgical alternative

If you want to get a little more aggressive with your anti-aging strategy than injectable techniques, but aren’t so sure about going under the knife, there are a number of laser treatments that Hirsch recommends. “Lasers are a great non-surgical facial rejuvenation option that smooth fine lines and wrinkles, tighten skin, and boost youthful radiance,” he explained. “The two most popular treatments we offer are AFT, also known as advanced fluorescent therapy, which is the next generation of IPL, [or] intense pulsed light.”

As Hirsch explained it, AFT uses low energy light pulses that target pigment just below the skin. “The energy helps break up the pigment, and over time it becomes absorbed by the body,” he said. Lasers can address a variety of age-related skin woes, according to Hirsch. “This treatment helps correct the effects of sun damage, diminish age spots, and correct overall skin tone, texture, discoloration, and even active acne,” he said. And lasers aren’t just for your face. “This treatment can be performed on any part of the body!” Hirsch said. “It is especially effective in treating spider veins and other visible blood vessels.”

You can get a non-surgical "lunchtime facelift," expert says

If your concern is your face, Hirsch is a big fan of Qswitch Clearlift, nicknamed  “the lunchtime facelift.” Unlike surgery, there will be no downtime and minimal discomfort, and you can tackle not only fine lines and wrinkles, but also “scars (including acne scars), photo-damaged skin, pigmentation including melasma, dark eye circles, pore size, as well as to help with the improvement of skin tone and texture, increased skin elasticity, and promote new collagen production for an overall more youthful-looking skin,” he explained.

Hirsch added that this treatment is appropriate for all skin types. “This highly popular laser treatment is fast becoming a favorite due to its capability to provide the fantastic results of aggressive laser treatment with the benefit of nearly zero downtime and discomfort,” he said. “The Qswitch Clearlift works by delivering controlled dermal injury, to stimulate collagen regrowth and skin remodeling, without harming the overlying epidermis.” The key here is that your skin isn’t being damaged by the procedure, Hirsch explained. “This means all stages of the healing and remodeling processes are occurring under the protective barrier of the skin,” he said, “giving you fantastic results without any downtime.”

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