As an anti-aging doctor, I don’t usually have to handle emergencies. But every now and then I get a frantic call from a woman getting ready for a big event.
Thankfully, it’s not a medical emergency.
Sometimes it’s a family wedding. Sometimes it’s a high school reunion. Whatever it is, the pressure is on for a woman to look her best.
And that means finding a fast solution to lines and wrinkles.
Now, we can’t perform miracles here at the Wellness Center. But over the years, I’ve discovered the best ways to rejuvenate problem areas fast.
The key is restoring volume and moisture to your face. You see, loss of moisture is the real cause of deep lines and wrinkles that make you look old before your time.
When you’re young, your skin’s dermis layer is full of a powerful, natural moisturizer called hyaluronic acid (HA). Like a sponge, it attracts water from inside and outside your body. In fact, HA can absorb about 1,000 times its weight in water.
It draws that moisture into the deep dermis layer and plumps up your skin. That’s what makes a young girl’s skin so smooth, firm and soft.
But as you get older, your body makes less hyaluronic acid.
And if you smoke, eat processed foods, or get too much sun, you’ll lose HA at an even faster rate.1 Your face loses volume, and that’s when lines and wrinkles start to form.2
I help my patients reverse this loss moisture with injections of a gel form of hyaluronic acid. The one we use is sold under the brand name, Juvederm.
The gel gives you a boost of HA that helps to naturally fill in wrinkles so they disappear. The injections take only a few minutes. And you see results very quickly… sometimes even within an hour. And the changes get better over time.
In my experience, most patients prefer HA gel fillers to plastic surgery. They also like the fact that HA gel fillers don’t block your nerves, like Botox does. The effect is much softer and more natural.
When fillers first came out in the 1980s, they were made from cattle collagen. The effects of the early fillers didn’t last long and they could trigger allergic reactions.
Juvederm doesn’t have those problems. It’s completely natural, and lasts six to 12 months. That compares to only two to four months for collagen fillers.
And studies prove the benefits of HA gel fillers…
In one double-blind, randomized trial of 439 people, doctors tested Juvederm against cattle collagen fillers.
Each person received three treatments of the two fillers. Every two weeks, they received injections of Juvederm in one “smile line” fold. Meanwhile, the patients received an injection of the collagen filler on the other side of their nose.
The doctors found that the Juvederm injections lasted much longer than the cattle collagen. After 24 weeks, up to 90% of the Juvederm injections still showed clinically significant results. But only 36% to 45% of the cattle collagen injections held up. And a majority of the patients preferred the HA fillers to the cattle collagen.
We’ve been using Juvederm here at the Wellness Center for almost 10 years. We use it to remove smile lines, fill in frown lines between the eyebrows, remove those “marionette lines” around the mouth, and plump up thin lips. It can also correct scars, fill out hollow cheeks, and give ear lobes youthful volume.
If you’re not ready for injections, you can still get the benefits of HA by applying it on your skin. It’s easily absorbed and penetrates down into the deepest layer of your skin tissue.3
Look for facial toners and moisturizers that contain HA. But make sure the product only contains natural ingredients. Hyaluronic acid acts as a “carrier” driving every ingredient in the formula deeper into your skin. So don’t use any HA formulas with things like propylene glycol, parabens, PABA, PEG or mineral oil.
You can also get the benefits of hyaluronic acid by taking it orally.4 It promotes your body’s natural production of collagen. And it helps your skin retain moisture to make it more supple and resistant to wrinkles.
Look for HA supplements on the Internet. I recommend taking 200 mg. per day.
Or if you’d like to visit my Wellness Center for hyaluronic acid gel treatments, please call us at (561) 784-7852. Any member of my staff will be happy to give you a phone consultation.
To your good health,
Al Sears, MD
1. Averbeck M et al. (2007) “Differential regulation of hyaluronan metabolism in the epidermal and dermal compartments of human skin by UVB irradiation.” J Invest Dermatol 127:687-697.
2. Meyer LJ, Stern R. “Age-dependent changes of hyaluronan in human skin.” J Invest Dermatol; 1994;102(3):385-9.
3. Brown, T.J., Alcorn, D., Fraser, J.R. “Absorption of hyaluronan applied to the surface of intact skin,” J. Invest. Dermatol. 1999; vol. 113; 740-746
4. Kajimoto O, Odanaka W, Sakamoto W, Yoshida K, Takahashi T. “Clinical Effects of Hyaluronic acid diet for dry skin.” J. New Rem & Clin: 90-102, 2001.