I am a big fan of Botox, and it’s friends Dysport and Xeomin!
These wrinkle relaxant treatments are super effective for a variety of skin concerns. They are excellent for smoothing out crow’s feet, forehead and frown lines, for creating a brow lift and a beautiful brow arch, and that’s just the beginning!
Since 1987 (for almost 30 years!) Botox has been a very important tool in maintaining a youthful, healthy look over the years. Botox can be your skin’s best friend, but it’s not your skin’s only friend.
As you get older you may notice that Botox alone doesn’t make you look as refreshed as it may have before. At this point, you may say, “my Botox isn’t working as well as it used to…”.
Don’t worry, the Botox isn’t broken, but your skin is changing and it may be time to re-evaluate and explore other treatment options. That’s where I come in!
Relaxant Treatments for Dynamic Wrinkles
Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are wrinkle relaxants – meaning they target “dynamic” wrinkles that are caused by facial expressions. When you smile, frown, or raise your eyebrows – you can see where wrinkles form around your eyes (crow’s feet), between your eyes (the so-called “elevens”) and on your forehead.
Over time, the muscles that we use in our face get stronger and stronger – similar to what happens when you work out your abs or arms in the gym. After years of repeated use, you start to get some “definition” in those areas, where there are etched-in lines making it appear that you’re always making that expression even when you’re not (imagine someone with washboard abs that looks like they’re flexing even when they’re not).
You may start to look like you’re frowning even when you’re not! Botox relaxes those muscles so they can’t scrunch so hard and therefore, it makes you look more relaxed, youthful, and happy. 🙂
Botox would be absolutely perfect and all that we needed IF the only reason we got wrinkles or looked aged was because of muscle movement. This isn’t the case, since there are actually 3 distinct reasons for wrinkles and the appearance of aging.
The 3 Causes of Aging Skin
- Repeated Facial Expressions: for example, smiling, squinting, frowning, and raising your eyebrows.
- Sun Damage: exposure to the sun over the years results in thinner skin and discoloration.
- Volume Loss: our skin loses collagen over time, affecting our facial contours.
Sun damaged skin and volume loss are generally age-related changes in the skin, i.e. they get worse with time.
As you get older you accumulate more sun damage, while the effect of time and human biology take a toll on your facial volume. Even if you try your best to avoid the sun and wear sunscreen, you will still have accumulated more sun exposure at 50 than at 30. You will also have lost facial volume due to loss of fat, collagen, and elastic tissues in the face.
When Botox Is Enough
The first few wrinkles that people see are generally from muscle movement and are very Botox-able! You can visit your dermatologist for a quick session over your lunch break and voila — you have smooth skin again!
In fact, the more consistent you are with Botox, the smoother the skin remains over time and the less often you need to have it in the future. After a couple of years with consistent Botox, it’s not unusual for my patients to only require treatment a couple of times a year.
When Botox Isn’t Enough
After a few years, the other 2 causes of aging start to come into play. You start to see new wrinkles, folds, or creases that aren’t quite Botox-able – since they are caused by sun damage or age-related volume loss.
Best Anti-Aging Treatments for Sun Damaged Skin
When you have sun damaged skin, you tend to have sun freckles and discoloration, and also some inelasticity.
Imagine how easy it is to create “wrinkles” in a piece of tissue paper, i.e. thin, sun-damaged skin, vs. “wrinkling” a piece of cardstock, i.e. youthful skin with healthy elastic tissue and collagen.
My goals here are to make that sun-damaged skin healthier and create more collagen, elastic tissue and integrity to the skin.
Treatments include Ultherapy, microneedling, and lasers. They all serve to stimulate the skin to make new collagen and elastic tissues, which will create smoother, healthier and more youthful looking skin.
Ultherapy is a non-invasive anti-aging procedure that uses ultrasound energy to stimulate the body’s natural collagen production. By doing so, the treatment reverses the collagen and elastic tissue breakdown caused by sun damage – resulting in firmer, more youthful skin. Learn more in our guide to Ultherapy blog post, which will give you answers to our patients’ most frequently asked questions about the treatment.
Microneedling is an increasingly popular treatment that addresses a variety of skin-related issues. Besides reducing pore size and acne scars, this procedure helps with both wrinkles and sagging skin – improving skin’s texture and firmness. Learn all about microneedling in another one of our recent blog post.
Lasers are excellent for clearing up skin discolorations from sun damage for improved skin texture. They also help tighten your skin, reversing the types of wrinkles that are caused by sun damage.
Best Anti-Aging Treatments for Volume Loss
When you have volume loss, you tend to see folds and hollows in the skin. People tend to complain of looking tired, jowls, etc.
This is when our skin goes from a plum to a prune. When you don’t have anything holding the skin up, then it will fall down. The volume under the skin holds it up and keeps it smooth, but when it gets depleted, you see folds, wrinkles and creases.
Treatments includes Ultherapy, which can help lift and tighten the falling skin (neck, chin, jowls, around the eyes) and fillers, which replenish the volume that is lost.
Some people confuse fillers with relaxants (like Botox), since they are all injectable treatments. There is a major distinction between the two, in that relaxants prevent muscle-related wrinkles from etching into the skin, and fillers involve “filling” in lines, wrinkles, and folds for smoother skin.
They are also used for facial contouring, when injected in the parts of the face where we tend to lose volume as we age. You can learn all about your different filler options and which skin conditions they address in our guide to injectables.
Get Your Personalized Anti-Aging Treatment Plan
As you get older your skin changes and your skin’s needs change. Whether you’re just starting to see your first wrinkles or are experiencing all 3 causes of aging schedule a consultation with me to get your customized anti-aging treatment plan.
You may think you want or need Botox, but maybe it’s time for Ultherapy or fillers. I love to evaluate my patients over time to make a personalized plan for the best treatment options at every step.
Make an appointment today through our online contact form or by giving us a call at (770) 464-6000! You can also learn more about my favorite lifting and tightening treatments in this video I recently posted to my YouTube channel.
Follow Steele Dermatology on social media to find out when we’re offering special pricing on the treatments mentioned above, plus updates on events, skin care tips and more: