Time and ageing create wear-and-tear lines, wrinkles, sun damage, sagging skin and unruly lumpy fat deposits on what was your taut and smooth skinned youthful face in your teens and 20s.
Yes, you can "go radical"...
reverse gravity's pull...
and submit to the surgeon's knife for a full-blown skin tightening and feature-altering face lift.
But tuck-and-lift procedures, although delivering dramatic and instant results, carry no small element of psychological unease along with very important health risks related to scarring, healing, infection, down time from work, to name just a few.
And, virtually unspoken, is the fear "what if my surgeon makes a mistake...
and I don't like the way I look? What then?".
There's no one simple solution, nor any guaranteed technique that works uniformly on all women and men.
However, the "buzz" in many conversations concerns the growing advance of "virtual" face lift technologies, treatments that you can undergo which deliver skin tightening results, yet avoid the surgeon's knife altogether! Face Lift Option #1: High Tech Laser Skin Tightening.
OK, laser seems to be popping up everywhere, from guiding satellites to performing precision engineering.
However, the gradual sideways advance of laser from general surgery into skin care has been a marvel in technology evolution.
Offering sophisticated calibration for energy control, new laser-light face lift therapies, such as the Titan treatment, carefully "heat up" the interior collagen tissue layers of the patient's skin...
stimulating a bio-chemical response that "tightens up" the skin.
Except for a faint sense of "heating up", the laser face lift is pain-free.
Sun spots or surface unevenness or rough dry skin are unaffected by laser.
Most people need two to three treatments, spaced about 1 month apart in order to get to a point where the maximum face lift results are created.
This multi-treatment strategy, which allows for the body to react, then stabilize, does confer a benefit in that you can clearly control the incremental changes to your appearance, unlike a surgical face lift where "you're stuck" with whatever face the surgeon lifted.
At $1,000 or more per session, laser face lifts like the Titan are not cheap.
Face Lift Option #2: Cosmetic Fillers.
The simple matter of laughing, smiling, talking, eating, smoking, whatever over years creates an unique facial imprint...
your looks with the stamp of time.
Sometimes this is good...
mostly it results in fine lines, crinkles, crows feet or even deep furrows which increasingly defy creams and cosmetics.
Women and men have a range of effective options to create face lift like results.
Collagen fillers or even fat fillers (harvesting your own fat, no less) constantly prove their effectiveness in filling-in low volume facial skin wrinkles.
You can also choose synthetic fillers including Hylaform, Radiance, Restylane, Sculptra and others.
Benefits? Lines and wrinkles can be filled-in.
Treatments are lunch time quick.
Costs are low, in the hundreds of dollars.
But, your body will eventually re-absorb these fillers, so you'll need future repeat treatment "in order to hold your results".
Option #3: Contour Threads And Thread Lift.
Thread lift has popularized itself as a half-step alternative...
sitting midway between the laser and radio frequency face lifts techniques on one extreme and full-blown face lift surgery on the other.
It's true that a contour thread procedure requires a surgeon specialist.
But this sort of procedure is as close to non invasive as you'll get...
yet it offer results that can hold for 3 to 5 years.
Here's what's involved in a typical thread lift face lift.
Take a pin-prick size hollow-nose needle entry into one part of your face, near the upper cheek bone.
Anchor a wee tiny thread to this location.
Work the thread carefully "under your skin" to a second point about 4 inches away.
Carefully extract the end of the thread.
Now gently pull on the thread.
Presto! Your skin lifts...
Repeat this simple procedure about 4 times on each side of your face and your done.
Option #4: Acupuncture, Botox And Others.
Here we go again.
The needles come out, yet you're looking for face lift results with as little pain as possible.
For a number of women, undergoing acupuncture is virtually pain-free.
The treatment concept, evolved over thousands of years in Asia, concerns carefully placement of very fine needles...
at key body "energy points".
Result and theory? The release of "blocked energy" can result in skin smoothening...
a softening and skin tone improving result that is subtle, yet may be just the level of "face lift" needed by some women and men.
Last but certainly not least is Botox and its rapidly expanding universe of applications.
Injections of Botox can help to relax facial muscles, thus releasing the underlying muscular tension that causes deep furrows and scowl-lines to appear with ageing.
Botx treatments are relatively quick, economic and results can hold for many months until re-treatment is necessary.