The latest cosmetic advancements give quick results without the need for surgery or a lengthy
By Debbie Lavdas | illustration by rob donnelly
Could a lunchtime Vampire FaceLift or liquid facial rejuvenation be right for you? How about some quick CoolSculpting or Thermigen Radiofrequency? The newest beauty trends in Newport Beach and beyond focus on less-invasive treatments with less downtime. Clients are demanding “on-the-go” fabulous fixes, and local surgeons, doctors and aestheticians are responding by closing the gap between aggressive surgical procedures and spa offerings. Today’s clients can now stick to their busy schedules while continuing to look their best, without the previous lengthy procedures or recovery periods.
The Injection of Youth
“I get asked a lot about what a patient can do to rejuvenate their face that doesn’t require surgery, but has great long-lasting results,” says plastic surgeon Dr. Terry J. Dubrow, of Newport Heights Medical Center in Newport Beach. “Probably the hottest and best ‘non-invasive’ treatment going these days involves the use of the facial filler called Sculptra, [which is] injected into the face and acts like seeds to allow the face to grow collagen and restore volume and shape that can be lost with the passage of time and aging.”
How long does it take, and how long does it last? “Sculptra is easily injected in about five minutes, and the results are nothing short of amazing—and can last as long as three to five years,” says Dr. Dubrow, a board-certified plastic surgeon. He is known for his face-time on TV shows, including Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Orange County.” Dr. Dubrow recommends Sculptra, in addition to Botox and other non-invasive treatments, to restore facial youth. Side effects of the treatment may include small lumps under the skin that are sometimes noticeable when pressing on the treated area. Larger lumps, some with delayed onset with or without inflammation or skin discoloration, have also been reported.
“There are so many wonderful options currently on the market for rejuvenation, from topical agents and chemical peels to lasers and injectables,” says Dr. Monika Kiripolsky of The Obagi Skin Health Institute in Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills and San Gabriel. “Gone are the days when facelifts were routinely performed on younger patients. Simply restoring volume back to areas in the face where it has been lost has really prolonged the amount of years patients can go without even thinking about needing something as invasive as a facelift.”
Dr. Kiripolsky says that fillers are quick, easy and an art form. For the temples, she, too, loves the results of Sculptra injections. Her favorite structural filler for the lower face is Radiesse. For hollows beneath the eyes, her choice filler is one composed of hyaluronic acid, like Belotero or Restylane.
A proper daily skincare regimen is essential and can save time daily, she says, including a broad-spectrum sunblock each morning and vitamin A derivative at night (to minimize the appearance of fine lines as well as dark circles).
“The Vampire FaceLift is perfect for the new year, as people are focused on rejuvenating,” says aesthetic expert Dr. Michael M. Dao, M.D., of the new Leur Lab, a 100 percent non-surgical integrated aesthetic facility near Fashion Island that was created to offer an alternative destination for aesthetics and anti-aging solutions. “The Vampire FaceLift is among Leur Lab’s top treatments of choice. We have extensive training in this non-surgical facelift that offers incredible, instant results complete with a youthful glow. Clients love how simple and results-oriented the treatment is, without having the aggressive downtime associated with a surgical facelift,” says Dr. Dao. The non-invasive cosmetic procedure is new and said to offer the same rejuvenated, lasting results of a traditional facelift, yet there is no surgery, no recovery process and no known complications associated with healing—it takes drastically less time and is a fraction of the cost.
What’s the science and logic behind the Vampire FaceLift? It’s based on regenerative cells, which are newcomers to the world of cosmetic procedures. The Vampire FaceLift involves platelet rich plasma (PRP), which is comprised of fundamental protein growth factors that are actively secreted by platelets to initiate wound healing. The plasma used to rejuvenate the skin is taken from each patient’s own blood and is then separated from the red blood cells. Once injected back into an area, such as the face, it improves skin’s texture and volume, and reduces fine lines. The treatment is completed in less than two hours, is recommended in a series of three and costs significantly less than a traditional facelift. However, clients should note that that they will need to have the Vampire FaceLift maintained annually.
Dr. Dao says that today’s non-invasive treatments have dramatically progressed to compete with the client’s desire for less surgical procedures. “Although there certainly is a place for surgical aesthetic procedures, today’s modern consumer is savvy to the risks associated, and clients struggle to find the time to be away from work, family and social events. Modern medicine is focused on non-surgical treatments, which overall are a better fit for a wide variety of clients and lifestyles.”
“These are exciting times to be a patient and a surgeon,” says Dr. Juris Bunkis of Orange County Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach. The current, most popular treatment his patients come in for? “Thermigen Radiofrequency, which is minimally invasive, is a treatment designed to tighten skin, and it is especially effective in patients who don’t have enough laxity to warrant a tummy tuck, facelift, thigh lift or arm lift,” he says. Dr. Bunkis explains that traditional light-based treatments like lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) don’t penetrate deep enough into the tissues to reach the targeted areas that can impact skin tightening. “The Thermigen Radiofrequency probes are narrower than a ballpoint refill and can be inserted through tiny stab wounds, heating up the deepest layers of the skin,” he says. The focused dermal heating causes collagen remodeling and skin tightening.
Dr. Bunkis cautions clients to be aware that less-invasive treatments aren’t for everyone. “There’s a place for these less-invasive procedures,” he says. “Minor treatments give minor improvements, and are appropriate for those with minimal laxity, fatty excess, wrinkles or sun damage. But for people with more extensive problems, a more aggressive treatment is more appropriate. We see many patients with significant deformities who come in to see us, then opt to go elsewhere for a lesser treatment, and then come back disappointed at the lack of improvement and have to start all over again with us.”
Patients should expect to wait up to four months to see full improvement. Improvement can be subtle and superficial treatments can lead to surface irregularities.
Before and After
Less invasive is more desirable in the field of dermatology, too. “The biggest trend right now in dermatology and plastic surgery is the dominance of non-invasive procedures,” says Dr. Grace Liu of Newport Coast Dermatology. “As far as the effectiveness of the procedures, you can see our ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. Non-invasive procedures have grown increasingly popular due to people’s busy schedules and advances in technology.” Dr. Liu says that CoolSculpting and Ultherapy are the latest, most sought-after treatments her patients are coming in for. “CoolSculpting is an FDA-approved, non-invasive treatment that results in permanent fat reduction of the treated areas. Ultherapy uses innovative ultrasound technology and is the only device that has FDA-approval to non-surgically lift the face and neck. Our office performs Ultherapy with a pain-free technique, allowing the patient to enjoy their experience and see beautiful results.”
Included in fast beauty fixes are midday trips to the dentist to radiate a healthier smile. “Dentistry has changed dramatically in techniques, materials and procedures. These advancements provide excellent results with minimal procedures,” says Dr. Sherri Worth, D.D.S., at the Center for Reconstructive Dentistry in Newport Beach. Her recommendations? “Just having as few as two to six veneers done on the upper teeth can make an incredible change in a patient’s smile.” Well known in the world of cosmetic dentistry and featured for her work on shows like “Nip/Tuck” and “Dr. Phil,” Dr. Worth says that veneers are a great way to achieve a beautiful smile and build confidence in one’s personal and professional life. She says that ZOOM! laser whitening is also popular for patients who want pearly whites in just one appointment. “An hour and a half or so can significantly whiten teeth and be a strong confidence booster. Bleaching and gum recontouring are definitely less-invasive treatments that can dramatically enhance your smile,” says Dr. Worth.
Freeze Time Away
Southern California has long been ahead of the curve, says Dr. Kathryn Ross of Gentle Aesthetics in Laguna Beach, a fellow in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. “Less invasive treatments are a healthier way to go for everyone,” she says. “Women and men today want to look and feel as good as they possibly can, and today we are accepting more responsibility for our own health, with a focus on diet and exercise and getting our bodies in better shape in general, rather than just looking for that quick surgical fix.”
To help your skin and body look and feel the best, Dr. Ross recommends a host of less invasive treatments. “We can take advantage of so many options available: Botox, fillers, chemical peels, lasers, Venus Freeze, endermologie (cell stimulation) and more.”
Her office regularly performs Venus Freeze treatments, which target the face and neck, abdomen, thighs and triceps. “People are just now hearing about Venus Freeze, but it’s been in Europe awhile. It’s often touted as a ‘nonsurgical face/neck lift’ and ‘nonsurgical tummy tuck,’ ” she explains. Venus Freeze treatments are said to feel like a warm stone massage and work by stimulating collagen, tightening the skin and also melting the fat out of fat cells. They are typically performed in a series of 10 treatments, and results can be seen after a few weeks.
“Last year, we were going to Hawaii and I did a series of Venus Freeze treatments on my abdomen and thighs, and I wore a bikini and felt comfortable,” says Dr. Ross. Those looking for an instantaneous fix will find the waiting period of a few weeks to see results a con. Proper diet and exercise are also important for best results. And nothing lasts forever—quarterly treatments are suggested for maintenance of the results.”
Are one of these treatments for you? Doctors advise those interested to make sure the expert of choice offers a free consultation and is board-certified. Check their credentials and training, and make sure you have a good rapport with the physician and the office before booking.
Will the trend of less-invasive treatments continue to tip the Newport Beach beautification scales? Undoubtedly. As science and technology develop alongside everyone’s increasingly busier lives, the demand for the fastest track to the Fountain of Youth will only grow. NBM