By Taylor Arnold
By now most of us have heard of Botox and facelifts, and some of us may even be familiar with the various laser treatments available today. But with so many medical spas touting the latest and greatest in anti-aging treatments, it can be tough to know what’s what.
Read on as we round up this season’s best non-invasive procedures and get the latest information from the experts at some of the city’s top medical spas.
Known as the “Botox Expert,” Dr. Harvey “Chip” Cole is one of the nation’s leading instructors of this popular non-surgical procedure. In addition Botox, he offers a variety of non-invasive anti-aging treatments at Oculus Plastic Surgery (oculuscosmetic.com), where he serves as medical director.
“I like to refer to Botox and dermal fillers as bridge procedures,” he explains. “They will help improve the appearance of fine lines and restore volume loss until you are ready for the surgical step.”
Oculus Plastic Surgery also offers IPL photofacials, a procedure that uses Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) to target things like blemishes, broken capillaries, neck redness, and age spots. In other words, it jumpstarts the skin’s natural cellular activity, leaving you with a younger, healthier look.
“The advantage of these procedures is people are able to still look like themselves for a longer period of time,” Dr. Cole says. “With more traditional procedures people tend to look better, but different. They don’t quite look like themselves, which can oftentimes be unsettling at first. By doing lower maintenance procedures over a steady period of time you can put off invasive procedures and still look like you.”
This February, Natural Body Spa (naturalbody.com) is unveiling a new procedure called Contour Ultra. “We call is muscle reeducation,” says founder and CEO Cici Coffee. “It’s a piece of equipment you might see at a chiropractor’s office. The microcurrent works to tighten the skin, so it is like a non-invasive facelift.”
Contour Ultra helps with lymphatic drainage, preventing the body from processing toxins like pollution and smoke that show signs of aging on the skin. It also improves blood flow and tightens the pores, giving you a more youthful glow. And the best part? “It can prolong a surgical procedure for years,” Coffee says. “I equate it more to working out in the gym. If you do the same thing all the time, you won’t get new results. This teaches muscles to contract the same way they did when you were younger.”
The treatment comes without the pain or discomfort of a surgical procedure, so all you’ll feel is a tingly sensation. A series of 10 will give you a six-month youthful appearance, reversing what Coffee calls “inflamm-aging.” “If you can take puffiness away, you remove the sagging and tighten up face,” she says. “This can take five or 10 years off of your appearance.”
Ask aesthetician Josephine Walsh at Spa Sydell (spasydell.com) about the benefits of non-invasive treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, and she’ll tell you it’s the immediate results. “These treatments assist in cell renewal and the shedding of the skin, which promotes the growth of new skin cells,” she explains. “Microdermabrasion exfoliates and resurfaces the skin by removing dead skin cells and stimulating tissue to produce collagen and elasticity. Facial peels also serve as a recommended alternative to invasive skin treatments.”
Spa Sydell’s SLC peel is a favorite among aestheticians and clients alike. This anti-aging pigment peel helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles, eliminate acne inflammation and help with collagen production. The vitamin C peel and the triad peel are good alternatives to this treatment as well.
In the winter months, Walsh also recommends body resurfacing, as it helps remove dead, flaky skin. “It is essentially a body polish that uses an exfoliant of vitamin C-coated crystals activated with lactic acid to remove dead skin,” she says. “After the exfoliant is rinsed off, a moisturizing lotion is applied revealing soft, glowing skin.”
While Kai – The Medical Spa (kaimedspa.com) boasts a variety of anti-aging treatments including Fraxel and photofacials, it is their new VI peel that has owner Grace Choung Davidson really excited this season. “It’s a new generation peel unlike any other you might have experienced,” she says. “This reverses the effects of sun damage, environmental factors and time, to enhance your skin’s natural beauty.”
The VI peel is also highly effective in clearing acne and impurities for patients as young as 12 years old. A series of treatments may reduce acne scars, too. “This peel improves the tone and texture of the skin,” Davidson explains. “It also reduces or eliminates hyperpigmentation and melasma, as well as pore size. It softens lines and wrinkles and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin for firmer skin.”
There is little to no down time with this type of peel, and it is less painful than some of the deeper peels. And while many peels are not safe on darker skin types, this is safe and effective for all skin types. It also works well in conjunction with lasers and injectables.