The Future of (Anti) Aging
Old Think: We've tried every trick, from going on anticellulite diets to applying Preparation H, but those dimples are tough to treat. Even liposuction couldn't nix those pesky fat cells trapped between the fiber bands that connect the skin's tissue. Mechanical massage treatments such as Endermologie work but require regular maintenance.
New Think: At home: Circulation-boosting ingredients such as caffeine can temporarily reduce water retention, making cellulite less prominent. "Ingredients that plump and firm the top layer of the skin can decrease the appearance of cellulite too," says Kaplan. Try Orlane Slimming Contouring System, $150, or Bliss fatgirlslim, $29.
At the Doctor's Office: New treatments such as VelaShape and SmoothShapes combine radio-frequency technology and lasers to tighten skin and break down fat, reducing the appearance of cellulite.
Future Think: Turns out, cellulite smoothing is an unexpected side effect of the skin-tightening procedure Thermage, so a cellulite-specific version could be next. Bank also says that ultrasound technology, available only in Europe, looks promising.
Old Think: Prescription drugs Retin-A and Accutane were the early heroes in serious acne care. But at-home products were designed for teenage skin — too harsh and drying for adults.
New Think: At home: Salicylic acid is still the best, says Brandt. But add retinol and you're getting some antiaging help too. There are also treatments targeted for adult skin, with moisturizers and natural anti-inflammatories. Try Murad Moisturizing Acne Treatment Gel, $43, with salicylic acid, retinol, and chamomile extract.
At the Doctor's Office: Isolaz combines a suction-like device to deep clean pores and an intense pulsed light laser to kill acne-causing bacteria. Atralin Gel, a new topical retinol, is less irritating thanks to the addition of moisturizers and humectants. And Solodyn Extended Release Tablets, a new oral medication, has none of the nauseating side effects of previously used antibiotics
Future Think: Brandt speculates that we'll see new antibacterial lasers and continue to see less irritating forms of topical retinoic acids.
Old Think: Making lips look bigger with lip liner was our only hope until the early '80s, when bovine collagen injections hit the scene. But results lasted two to three months at best — and many people were allergic to it. Around 2002, human collagen injections were introduced (thanks to bioengineering). No more allergic reactions, but longevity was still a problem. We also saw a ton of topical lip plumpers that temporarily swelled lips with irritating ingredients — ouch!