Last Updated on 15th July 2016
Despite our best efforts, maintaining a youthful appearance is an uphill battle with each passing year. External stressors like sun exposure, air pollution and toxins, and poor diet and exercise create an abusive strain on the skin; similarly, high-stress work environments, constant on-the-move lifestyles and the delicate balancing of career and family obligations add to the propensity to age in looks faster than we do in mind or body. Up until the last decade, solutions geared toward replenishing that youthful glow were confined to invasive surgeries and drastic cosmetic measures. Thanks to advancing technologies, however, the days of invasive cosmetic surgery to create a more youthful, healthier you are quickly being taken over by facial rejuvenation alternatives – all with fewer risks than the conventional face lift.
One of the pressing concerns surrounding the old school methodology of the surgical face lift procedure is the danger inherent to the process. The most common risks experienced by individuals undergoing a face lift, and the pricey legal claims that go hand in hand with adverse side effects, include infections at the treatment site, lasting damage to the underlying nerve cells, and scarring of the facial tissue. The fact that surgeries like face lifts also lack a customizable component and require substantial recovery time are turning the masses toward less drastic but equally beneficial facial rejuvenation techniques. Here are the five leading non-invasive procedures in cosmetic medicine that can be used as alternatives to the face lift solution of yesteryear.
The process of microneedling involves gently applying a device tipped with a number of miniature needles to the skin on or around the face to effectively create micro injuries. Causing the skin to break slightly allows for the natural healing process to spark, producing collagen necessary to repair damaged or scarred skin. While this may not sound all that pleasant in theory, in practice, the procedure itself is non-invasive, poses no serious health threats, and is relatively painless. For some, results are enhanced by applying a nutrient-rich serum to the skin at the time the microneedling is applied.
Technology advancements in the area of heat treatments is proving incredibly beneficial in the realm of cosmetic medicine. Therapies that include radiofrequency and ultrasound in the use of heat-based techniques work to encourage the body’s own collagen production by targeting the tissue deep within the skin. Over time, treatment areas such as the brows, eyelids, jawline and neck are noticeably firmer and taut – again without any need for downtime or invasive cutting.
Similar to heat-based treatments, laser technologies have come quite a way in the treatment of cosmetic issues, including age spots or uneven skin tone, fine lines and wrinkles, and acne scarring. Laser treatments fall into one of two broad categories: ablative and non-ablative procedures. The former effectively damage the outer layer of the skin to the point where new skin cells and collagen must be produced in order to heal. Non-ablative treatments promote the same healing process without damaging the top layer of facial skin, and therefore less time needed for recovery.
Another tech-based face lift alternative is microcurrent treatment, which uses electrical stimulation to repair damaged skin. Small currents of energy are targeted deep into the dermis which causes the body to produce both elastin and collagen. The use of microcurrency in cosmetic procedures helps to tighten large pores, one of the main culprits in the appearance of wrinkles and age lines. No pain is involved in microcurrent treatments, and as with the others, no down time is required.
The natural healing process may also be stimulated through the use of intense light treatments. With strategic application, high intensity light pulses are transmitted to the skin to reach the deepest layers, ultimately producing the collagen and elastin necessary to repair years of damage. Light treatments help correct sun spots, trauma or light acne scarring, wrinkles and lines, all without damaging the skin surrounding the treatment area.
While not all non-invasive cosmetic procedures produce the same results as a conventional face lift, these alternatives provide solid options for those of us searching for surgery-free solutions. Prior to making a decision on which non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatment to pursue, it is necessary to discuss your expectations with a trained medical professional.