Over the past six weeks, something incredible has been happening. Rather than waking up looking exhausted and searching for new lines in my unforgiving magnifying mirror, I look refreshed, and — whisper it — younger.

Day by day, I’ve been noticing the difference. My skin is tauter, there are fewer lines around my eyes, my neck is firmer and I’ve got my jawline back. In fact, week by week, the years have been disappearing from my face — which is a miracle considering I’m staring down the barrel of my 50th birthday.

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Am I confessing to going under the knife? Not a chance. Between juggling two freelance jobs and the needs of two teenage children, I don’t even have a day to myself. But what I do have is my lunch hour, surreptitiously spent in my derm’s office instead of the sandwich bar down the road. The trade-off of skipping lunch is more than worth it, if you ask me. Out of the beauty treatments I have tried (there were hits and misses), the ones that truly delivered on its ‘lifting’ promises numbered three. Here are what you need to go for if looking younger is a priority for you.

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The thread lift was launched in 2005, promising a mini-facelift with little to no downtime. Since then, the threadlift has undergone a mini-revolution with the newer facial threadlifts providing significantly better lifts with less downtime.  There are two significant upgrades: It stays in place better thanks to additional hooks, and the threads (previously tricky to remove if anything went awry) dissolve in seven months, with benefits lasting up to two years. Plus, studies have found that by repositioning skin, threads spur collagen growth in adjacent tissue. Extra-thick versions, like the new Silhouette Soft, create a more dramatic lift and can be used off-label to pull up necks, breasts, and even elbows and knees. “The initial result is immediate, unlike lasers, which require patience,” says Dr Kenneth Lee with over 10 years experience in thread lifts , who believes that threads can deliver, in just 30 minutes, 70 percent of the lift of a surgical facelift without the months of healing.

Dr. Lee believes that threads can deliver, in just 30 minutes, 70 percent of the lift of a surgical facelift without the months of healing.

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While women may all age at different rates, the endpoint however is the same — with a sagging of the skin, appearance of lower facial jowls and the loss of lower jawline definition. In fact, one of the key indicators of a youthful face is a slim V-shaped appearance to the lower face. This is slowly lost with age. The heaviness of the lower face can be caused by accumulation of fat (double chin, bucal fat) as well as enlargement of jaw muscles (with teeth grinding or excessive chewing).

To address the excess fat that sits uncomfortable along your jawline and lower face, kybella or lipodissolve can be administered via a series of tiny injections that takes less than 15 minutes per session . It is FDA approved to reduce the fat of double chins. Miraculous as this fat-dissolving injections may sound, it works best on small deposits of extra fat.  It has little to no downtime but patience is needed as a series of 2-4 sessions may be necessary to reach the desired endpoint which may vary between individuals.

Our jaw muscles also known as the masseter muscles also enlarge with age. No thanks to teeth grinding from stress or the addiction to chewy steaks. To slim these muscles down, BOTOX which is an anti-wrinkle injection can also work its magic by reducing the bulk these wayward muscles. One session is often all that’s needed to see some results though some patients do opt for 2-3 sessions to get their ideal endpoint.

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While only eight hyaluronic acid fillers are approved and available in the U.S. (the most popular being Restylane and Juvéderm), there are more than 50 available in Europe, in consistencies ranging from liquid to gel. The key to achieving beautiful yet natural results is understanding the differences between all the various types of hyaluronic acid filler. Not all hyaluronic acid fillers are made the same and they are certainly not interchangeable. “One doctor offered to inject excess nose filler into my lip!” exclaimed a lady who had been an avid fan of filler lifts “I immediately ran for the door!”

The best ways to use Hyaluronic acid fillers in my opinion is as a complexion enhancer as well as a lifting agent. As a complexion enhancer, a treatment known as Revitalift, doctors deliver shallow droplets of the most fluid versions—such as Restylane’s Skinbooster or Juvéderm’s Hydrate—all over the face. The treatment “refreshes the skin and gets rid of those tiny dry-skin lines,” Dr Lee says. Think of it as a deep hydrating mask delivered below the top layer of skin. “Unlike firmer fillers, which are injected deep under the dermis, Revitalift deposits hyaluronic acid intradermally. Consequently, moisturization and cell swelling take place, improving light reflection, texture, and even wrinkles.”

The other great way to use hyaluronic acid fillers to deliver natural results without that ‘tell-tale’ pillow face look is Filler Hydrolift. This uses a more lifting type of hyaluronic acid filler that has the capacity to create cheekbones and give a more youthful, lifted appearance to the face without too much added volume. This keeps the skin light and refreshed, and adds a naturally youthful touch to the end result, without changing one’s look too drastically.

Read More: Doctor’s Guide to Flawless Skin


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