Natural Facelift Tupelo MS
$25 and up
Ocean Springs, MS
Horn Lake, MS
Natural Beauty:A Face-Lift for Sissies
By Maryann Hammers
It happened overnight. I woke up, looked in the mirror, and—in one frightening moment—saw an older woman staring back at me. Her mouth was flaccid, with deepening creases between her nose and lips, and her eyes were ringed by a spiderweb of fine lines. Though I’ve never considered myself particularly vain, the realization that I don’t look nearly as young as I feel hit me hard.
In the abstract I’d been comfortable with the idea that it was possible to age gracefully. But that stark moment of reckoning changed everything: I realized I want to hang on to my youth as long as I can. As someone who trembles in the dentist’s chair and considers ear-piercing invasive, I didn’t think I had many options. Certainly a face-lift was out of the question: Not only do I fear the pain, I can’t afford the long recovery time. Also, I’m more than a little scared of the outcome; I mean, what if I ended up looking worse than I do now?
But it turns out this isn’t such a bad time to get old, after all: There’s a whole class of noninvasive skin treatments for wimps like me. The best known is the mild chemical peel. A more recent addition is a form of laser therapy that zaps fine lines without breaking the skin (see “The Best Way to Treat Fine Lines,” page 34). And now there’s a promising new way to actually tighten skin without going through surgery.
It’s called a ThermaLift, and it’s simple enough to have done on your lunch break. Approved just over a year ago by the FDA, it’s a truly nonsurgical face-lift. Instead of a knife, it uses concentrated bursts of energy to treat sagging skin. What’s exciting for me—and the reason I’m seriously considering it—is that it involves a minimum of discomfort and virtually no recovery time. And while not cheap, it still costs less than what I’d have to fork over for cosmetic surgery.
Besides, a ThermaLift—along with other less invasive treatments—goes a traditional face-lift one better: It can actually improve the skin’s quality, texture, and firmness, something you won’t get from any surgical procedure. “If you get a suit altered because it’s too large, a tailor can cut away the redundant cloth, but that doesn’t change the fabric,” says Michael Byun, a plastic surgeon in Northbrook, Illinois, and lead author of The Non-Surgical Facelift Book: A Guide to Facial Rejuvenation Procedures. “These noninvasive treatments can really improve the skin’s elasticity.”
To see if I might be a candidate for a ThermaLift, I decided to consult with Andrew Kaufman, a dermatologic surgeon in Thousand Oaks, California, and assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. He told me it’s a good option for people like me who are just beginning to develop loose skin or jowls, but less effective for those who have a lot of excess skin. Also, a ThermaLift is not nearly as good for lifting droopy eyes as a surgical eye lift, or blepharoplasty, but that requires a knife, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s out of th...
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