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How to Rejuvenate Your Look This Spring

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Winter weather is winding down and spring is in the air. If you’re looking for a new, fresh start this season, consider making some touch-ups to your appearance with quick and easy fixes. From facial enhancements to brightening your smile, take some advice from these Boston-based experts and give yourself a much-deserved makeover. This is your year!

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, cosmetic procedures are on the rise. The rate of plastic surgery procedures has grown more than 132 percent in the last 16 years; in 2016, the country saw over 17.1 million cosmetic procedures. With numbers increasing in every age group, statistics show one simple truth across the board: everyone wants to look their best. “Younger patients are taking small steps to maintain their youthfulness in a preventative fashion, while middle-aged and older individuals are healthier and want to look as good as they feel,” says Dr. Raffi Der Sarkissian, a double board-certified plastic surgeon with Boston Facial Plastic Surgery, focusing specifically on the face and neck.

So, what are some ways to achieve this new confidence?

Face the facts

“The number of patients seeking facial enhancements continues to increase at a steady pace,” says Dr. Der Sarkissian, noting that the quickest and easiest plastic surgery solutions continue to be relaxing lines and wrinkles caused by muscle movements, including crow’s feet, forehead lines, and “elevens”–the dual, furrowing creases that can appear between the eyebrows.

RealSelf (a patient-serving site with reviews and information on cosmetic procedures, surgeries, and doctors) reports that searches for both Botox and lip fillers surged 15 percent in 2017. Despite its popularity and immediate name recognition from local households to Hollywood, most people don’t know the difference between Botox and fillers.

Botox (botulinum toxin) is a natural, purified protein that temporarily relaxes facial muscles, essentially smoothing lines and wrinkles. Derma fillers restore hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in the body, to add subtle, youthful volume to targeted areas. Both are fast and easy injections with no long-term side effects; results last three to six months for Botox and up to 18 months for fillers.

Dr. Der Sarkissian says both treatments are viable options to help fill hollow areas on the face and give it a more lifted appearance. For more non-invasive quick fixes, Dr. Der Sarkissian recommends fresh facial peels and low energy laser treatments.

“Spring brings an end to the winter doldrums that can negatively impact one’s skin,” says Dr. Der Sarkissian. “Cold, dry, outdoor air in conjunction with warm, dry, heated indoor air can wreak havoc on skin’s moisture content.” Laser treatments and peels can help stimulate facial skin and start spring anew, since the exfoliation can accelerate the regenerative process.

Bye, bye, under-eye

Fillers have proven to be a powerful combatant against the dreaded dark circles. Dr. Katrinka Heher, an eyelid specialist with the New England Eye Center and the Devonshire Center, says Restylane is most effective for dark circles, but that Voluma, a non-surgical cheek filler, has completely changed the game for total under-eye care. “It’s the most powerful filler we have for rejuvenation,” Dr. Heher says.

Dr. Heher says most people wouldn’t think that their under-eye problems could be helped with a cheek filler, but Voluma works by taking flatness out of cheeks and improving both the lower face and the eyelid area, removing the appearance of circles. She says Voluma is the most popular filler among her patients, who all appreciate the ease of the procedure. “The best thing about it is that you go in, you have the injection, and then you go about your business,” Dr. Heher says. “The injection itself only takes about five minutes, and the total procedure is 15 minutes altogether. It’s subtle and you don’t have to worry about swelling.”

For people looking for a more permanent fix with more serious problems, Dr. Jeannie Chung says that eyelid surgery continues to be the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure. “We have patients of all ages who feel that their eyes make them look tired, whether it’s due to loose skin, excess fatty bags, or crepe-like skin texture,” says Dr. Chung. At her practice, Dr. Chung says eyelid surgery is usually performed in the office and is an effective way to brighten the appearance of eyes to create a more youthful and rested appearance. She says that it’s important for patients to understand what is making them look tired, whether it’s due to volume loss in the face, drooping eyelids, or something else. Dr. Chung recommends exploring options like chemical peels, laser facials, and light therapies for the changing of the seasons.

“Winter in New England is extremely tough on our skin,” Dr. Chung says. “The dry heat, lack of humidity, and cold weather all contribute to a dull appearance to our skin. We highly recommend seeking skin treatments to freshen up this spring.”

Photo credit: Getty Images

Smile bright and strong

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the total annual revenue in the teeth whitening industry topped $11 billion at the beginning of 2015. The same study found that more than 90 percent of adults believe a healthy white smile makes a person more attractive, and more than 70 percent believe a person’s smile can be a “deciding factor in career advancement.” Based on the U.S. Census data and the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS), 39 million Americans used tooth whiteners in 2017.

“Your smile is one-third of your face,” says Dr. Anna Berik, owner of Newton Dental Associates. “It speaks volumes about you, so improving your dental esthetics can be rejuvenating and confidence-boosting.” As one of the country’s leading experts in accelerated orthodontics, Dr. Berik notes that crowding, discoloration, and worn tooth surfaces can make people look older than they actually are. She says that’s why clear aligners like Invisalign are so important, since they can compress the tooth-straightening process from its typical year or more timeline down to a matter of months. Combined with in-office bleaching, Dr. Berik says patients receive instant gratification with a “slam dunk” makeover. “We live in a selfie world,” says Dr. Berik. “In this age of Snapchat, Facebook, and one million other social media outlets, a combination of straightening and whitening is key.”

Some patients might require some heavy-duty treatment in order to strengthen their smile. If you’ve experienced severe tooth pain or discomfort, your smile isn’t past saving. Endodontic treatment provides a foundation for restorations to crowns and bridges. North Shore and Brookline Endodontics is a six-office network that specializes in endodontics, commonly known as root canal therapy. Their mission is to alleviate dental pain and save teeth to ensure a healthy and happy smile.

“Natural teeth provide the best foundation for a beautiful smile,” says Dr. Yuri Shamritsky, a partner at North Shore and Brookline Endodontics. “Realizing this, dentists are now refocused on the value of saving natural teeth as the cornerstone for predictable long-term success and improved dental aesthetics and function.”

Digital dentistry

While you’re exploring cutting-edge dental solutions, digital dentistry is a revolutionary way to change your smile. Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, says that many of his older patients (45 to 60 years) want to know how to “update a tired smile” through digital dentistry.

“Advancements in ceramic material science and digital dentistry allow us to fabricate radiantly beautiful smiles to subtract years off one’s appearance,” Dr. Johnson says. “Well-informed patients are now demanding this new approach and have raised the bar in their expectations.”

Dr. Johnson says that the pattern of older patients procedures is due to an ever-increasing, competitive marketplace. “Seasoned professionals find themselves up against youthful upstarts,” he says. “Many Boston companies seek a workforce that projects health, success, and attention to detail.”

Other practices are implementing digital dentistry to show patients projections of their best possible smile. Dr. Irays Santamaria of Warshauer & Santamaria says, “Our practice uses amazing materials and techniques like 3D technology, photography, and digital design to craft natural, beautiful smiles in a simple and easy way.”

Dr. Santamaria says cosmetic dentistry is more than just an updated appearance, since it can reflect a new attitude for the spring. “When you smile at another person, the physical action releases endorphins in your brain,” Dr. Santamaria says. “When you smile, you will radiate a positive attitude, creating a positive impact on everyone around you.”

Photo credit: Getty Images

Spring into action

If you’ve been considering adjustments to your appearance and making resolutions every new year that you never see through, there’s no better time than this spring to rejuvenate your look. Just know what’s best for you and talk over your options with your doctor. “There’s a fine line between enough and too much,” says Dr. Der Sarkissian. “It’s up to both the physician and the patient to work together and find the right look.”

Check out your options with these experts and get started today!

Dr. Anna Berik
Newton Dental Associates

Dr. Jeannie Chung
Plastic Surgery & Skin Rejuvenation

Dr. Katrinka Heher
New England Eye Center

Dr. Ryne Johnson
Newton Wellesley Dental Partners

North Shore & Brookline Endodontics

Raffi Der Sarkissian, MD, FACS
Boston Facial Plastic Surgery

Warshaurer & Santamaria