Drop off the dry cleaning, get the oil changed, have your wrinkles erased, pick up the kids up from soccer practice -- wait, whose to-do list is this?
Cosmetic procedures don't all require general anesthesia, a nip, and a tuck. Some minor procedures can ease wrinkles in the doctor's office in less than an hour, and with little or no recovery time. Today, having cosmetic work done can be a lunch-hour errand.
My first glimpse of the inevitable came when I noticed my favorite shimmery blush creasing above my cheekbone. It was around my birthday (I had just turned 28) when the changes started: I soon began to see the freckles across my face as irreversible sun damage, the crinkles around my eyes as permanent — not just a side effect of smiling. I felt like Meg Ryan freaking out about turning 40 in When Harry Met Sally: "It's just sitting there like a big dead end," she cries. I know: I'm not even...
Botulinum toxin A, sold as Botox, is the purified toxin of the bacteria that causes botulism. Creepy, for sure, but it's also extremely effective as an anti-wrinkle treatment.
Tiny, over-clenched facial muscles are responsible for crow's feet, frown lines, and other facial wrinkles. Botulinum toxin is a paralyzing agent, which in tiny doses can relax these uptight muscles for months at a time.
Botox represents the ultimate in cosmetic convenience. Injections of Botox usually take about ten to fifteen minutes in an office setting. The injections cause minimal discomfort for most people, with no recovery time.
The flip side to this almost drive-through efficiency: the results are temporary. Treatments must be repeated every few months.
In a chemical peel, a chemical solution is applied to small areas of skin on the face, neck or hands. The chemicals damage the outer layers of skin in a controlled way. After the procedure, the damaged skin becomes red and peels off. Chemical peels can remove age spots, acne scars, and some wrinkles.
As the smoother skin underneath heals and grows, your skin looks younger.
Chemical peels come in a variety of strengths and types. Glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicyclic acid, lactic acid, or carbonic acids are used, sometimes in combinations. The application can take as little as 15 minutes. There may be mild redness and irritation afterwards, but most people return to normal activities immediately. It's important to wear sunscreen to protect your vulnerable skin after a chemical peel.