Clean, Organic, and Green are big buzzwords today. From our food to our cars and even our makeup, our society is focusing more on a natural way of life. For many of our patients, this mentality extends to their anti-aging treatments, as well. Our patients are concerned with what they are putting in their bodies and on their skin. While the wrinkle relaxers and fillers available today are FDA-cleared products with long track records of safety and efficacy, many of our patients are opting for a more natural approach to youth. Luckily, there are several treatments available that meet these criteria.
1. Ulthera – Ulthera is the only FDA-cleared, non-invasive procedure that lifts and tightens the neck, chin and brow, and improves lines and wrinkles on the chest. The beauty of Ulthera is it relies on the body’s own collagen making abilities. Ultrasound is used to visualize the layers of the face and neck, all the way down to the bone, and ultrasound energy is transmitted into the muscle and dermis, stimulating collagen and the skin’s natural regenerative processes. This results in a dual plane lifting and tightening of the skin, without the application or injection of any exogenous materials.
2. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) – PRP is a natural and non-surgical way to improve the appearance of the skin of the face and neck. A simple blood draw is performed, and the blood is spun in a centrifuge to isolate the platelet rich plasma. The PRP contains growth factors that stimulate cell turnover. The PRP is then injected into the face and neck, focusing on areas of concern, such as smile lines, dark undereye circles, or scarring. Since PRP uses the body’s natural growth factors, patients can improve the appearance of the skin without the use of injectable fillers. PRP results in an overall rejuvenation and softening of the skin.
3. Microneedling – Microneedling uses a small pen-shaped device with a sterile cartridge at the end. The cartridge contains extremely small microneedles that create very small perforations in the skin’s surface. These perforations stimulate the skin’s natural repair process, resulting in production of collagen and elastin. Microneedling is excellent for acne scars, crepiness of the face and neck, and deep wrinkles of the forehead. Microneedling can also be used in combination with Platelet Rich Plasma to amplify the anti-aging effects. Again, since microneedling relies on the body’s own wound healing mechanisms to stimulate the production of anti-aging proteins, no foreign materials are injected in the skin.
Procedures that stimulate collagen, like those outlined above, typically take 6 months to see optimal results. It takes time for the body to produce the anti-aging proteins that result in more youthful skin. For our patients who are seeking a balance between natural treatments but also wanting more immediate gratification, a combination of collagen producing treatments and volumizing fillers can be used. The collagen treatments serve to enhance the foundation of the skin, while Juvéderm and Restylane can be used to fill volume deficits. Every patient has unique concerns and developing an individualized long-term treatment plan is paramount for achieving ideal results in a manner that is most comfortable for the patient.