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By Lisa Profera MD
One year ago, I wrote an article for BRICK entitled “Feel Younger Longer” (August 2019). Feeling older than your stated age is a choice. In this article, I outlined various aspects of healthy living that can help you feel younger. Many of you who’ve been reading my articles over the past two-plus years know that I’m passionate about looking and feeling young. Fighting and defying the aging process starts on a cellular level, and it leads to more resilient tissues, organs, and organ systems. We can’t stop time, but perhaps we can mitigate and manage the effects of aging.
The skin (integument) is the largest organ/system in our body. It’s also our outer shell, visible to everyone. When you look in the mirror, how old is the person you see in it? Do you feel younger than you look? In my February 2018 article “Botox and Beyond,” I discussed the changes in the underlying skin matrix that lead to thinning, sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles. As we age, we lose collagen and elastin as well fat and the hyaluronic acid matrix than contributes to plumpness and hydration. Repetitive facial motions and habits of gesturing also contribute to the formation and deepening of wrinkles. Ligaments loosen and structures sag. It’s not only the soft tissues that fail us; we also lose bone structure.
Fortunately, there are many things we can do about minimizing the impact of aging, from the simple application of sunscreen to non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Most people don’t want plastic surgery, i.e. facelifts and the like. The majority of procedures we can do now are highly effective, minimally invasive, and have very little downtime.
Many of us don’t know how our skin and its underlying structures are going to be affected by time until it actually happens. One morning you may wake up and look in the mirror and say to yourself, “What happened?” The exciting thing is that we have so many options — neurotoxins, fillers, lasers, skin exfoliation/infusion, microneedling, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment, stem cell exosomes, PDO threads, and professional-grade skincare products (such as the ZO Skin Health line formulated by Dr. Obagi).
Structural loss happens in all areas of the face — upper, midface, and lower face — at different rates. Sometimes it helps to look at photos of your grandmothers to help predict what might happen to you. For example, I notice a tendency towards a hollowing in my temple area just like my paternal grandmother. In my article called “Turn Back Time” (April 2019), I wrote:
“[The] judicious use of fillers can restore a more youthful appearance in many areas of the face. Adding volume and support with a high-quality filler can help correct flattened cheeks, sinking tear troughs, jowling and sagging of the lower face, thinning of the lips, wrinkling above the lips, and hollowing in the temples and preauricular area (below the cheekbone in front of the ear). Artful placement of fillers can rejuvenate contour and illumination of the face and flip the triangle of youth.”
Finding a skilled and experienced practitioner is very important. This is your face we’re talking about, after all. You need to trust the person who is treating you. A facial rejuvenation practitioner such as Shari Martuscelli, RN at Facial Innovations Spa in Ann Arbor (https://facialinnovations.com/) focuses on health, wellness, and beauty to provide a personalized, comprehensive plan for each client. Her motto is, “When you look good, you feel good.” Your path to a more youthful look begins as soon as you walk through the door of this lovely medi-spa.
Optimizing a healthy lifestyle is also key. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, manage stress, don’t smoke cigarettes, and maintain hormone balance. Too much cortisol from stress can contribute to premature aging. So can low testosterone levels, which cause symptoms such as hair thinning and crepey skin.
Everyone ages differently. How we age depends on genetics, skin tone, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices. There are many ways to combat the effects of aging, inside and out. I’m happy to consult with you to figure out what would work best for you.
Lisa Profera MD
Owner and Founder of PROJUVU MD
Aesthetics and Lifestyle Medicine in Ann Arbor, MI
Medical Director, Facial Innovations Medi-spa, Ann Arbor
Medical Director, Northville Beauty Spa
Certified Medical Marijuana Doctor
Certified doTERRA Essential Oils Expert
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Please note that the information in this article has been designed to help educate the reader regarding the subject matter covered. This information is provided with the understanding that the author and any other entity referenced here are not liable for the misconception or misuse of the information provided. It is not provided to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body. The provider of this information shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity concerning any loss, damage, or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by this information. The information presented is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling or care. Anyone suffering from any disease, illness, or injury should consult a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.