When it comes to making decisions about facial rejuvenation, there’s great news and, well, other news. First, the great news. There are more choices than ever before for turning back the clock, and the options are more effective than ever. The flip side is it can be difficult to decide which treatment—or treatments—may be right for you in terms of costs and benefits. Here’s a quick overview.
At the least invasive end of the spectrum are the physician-strength topical treatments. These are more expensive than drug and department store creams, but they can actually make a visible difference in skin quality. Most are effective at improving areas of uneven pigmentation and smoothing fine lines and “crepe-y” skin by causing dead surface cells to slough off and new cells to surface more quickly. These products—the Obagi® line is an example—require a prescription and cost the average user several hundred dollars a year.
Chemical peels also act on the skin’s surface, albeit more quickly and dramatically. They’re not as scary as they sound and, in fact, they can be tuned to your needs. Light peels can allow you to resume normal activities right away, while deep peels may require you to take a several days off while your skin heals. Most will cost several hundred dollars, and some people schedule one or two peels a year.
Injectables are increasing in popularity with each passing year. It’s important to know a little bit about them to choose the right one for your needs. BOTOX® Cosmetic smoothes wrinkles known as “dynamic wrinkles.” These are the vertical creases between eyebrows, horizontal wrinkles across the forehead and sometimes the little crow’s feet around the eyes—wrinkles made by the action of facial muscles.
Another class of injectables includes those that smooth facial skin by replacing volume under the surface, tissue lost to the passage of time. These include brand names like JuvedermTM, Restylane® and Radiesse®. Though they work in a different way than BOTOX, the impact on your pocketbook can be similar. You can expect to pay a few to several hundred dollars per treatment, depending on how many injections you need.