How to Get Better Teeth, Skin and Lashes in 2018
Local experts offer tips for looking your best in the new year.
Want eye glam? Over-the-counter falsies are an option, but the glue-and-tweezers method can lead to embarrassing lash malfunctions. Bryn Mawr’s Deneen Marcel Lashes specializes in quality lashes applied with professional-grade adhesive. The process starts with a lash assessment. “We’re looking to see what kind of texture people have—thick, fine or sparse,” Marcel says. “From there, we talk about what look the client wants.”
Luscious lashes are curly and a bit darker, and they add pop. Volume lashes—also called 3-D lashes or fans— are made up of three to five superfine strands attached to one lash. Classic lashes are the most popular in this region, Marcel says. They create volume for a full, soft, youthful look. They last about six weeks, but touch-ups may be needed after three. Marcel advises clients to come in one month before a special occasion so lashes can be tweaked, if needed.
Tooth discoloration. Cracks and chips. Gums that are too gummy. Everyone has some smile shame.
Veneers are a popular way to get a new grin. Not only are the surfaces of teeth revamped, but cosmetic dentists like Dr. Lindsey Marshall in Ardmore can also make teeth longer, restoring form and function. “That adds structure to the face, which can decrease jowls and creases,” Marshall says. “Lips can look a bit fuller because they have more support from the teeth.”
Veneers are a great fix—but not a quick one. First, digital scans are taken so models can be fabricated. At the second visit, teeth are shaped and temporary restorations are put into place. Marshall has her patients wear them for two to three weeks. “Take them for a spin and make sure you like them,” she says. “Are they the right shape and length? Is the bite OK? Do you like the color? We want feedback so, if needed, we can make changes.”
On the final visit, Marshall bonds the veneers. They last 10-15 years, depending on wear and tear.
Stuff Your Face
Most of us want to get rid of fat, right? But adding fat to faces is one of Dr. Mark Ginsburg’s anti-aging techniques. “When patients complain that they look older, what I often see is that they need volume,” he says.
Juvéderm, Restylane and other fillers are options, but only temporary ones; new injections are needed every three to five months. Fat is permanent—or close to it. Although some fat dissolves, more than half of it stays put, plumping hollow parts of a patient’s face. “It’s the secret to reversing the aging process, and it looks very natural,” Ginsburg says. “Plus, your fat is free.”
Here’s how it works. Ginsburg harvests small amounts of fat from the belly or thighs. Using a needle-like instrument called a cannula, he injects that fat into cheeks, temples, nasolabial folds and jawlines. Recovery involves one to two weeks of bruising and swelling. After that, the plumped-up effect may need to be perfected with touch-ups.
One warning: Substantial fluctuations in weight can cause facial fat to increase. All the more reason to stay fit and healthy, Ginsburg says.
Boob Boost #1: Fat Graft
Many women run the boob alphabet, wishing to go from an A to a B, or a B to a C. For those cup-to-cup changes, Dr. Ryan Hoffman in Wynnewood suggests a fat graft. Performed in the OR, these are multistep procedures. First, Hoffman uses liposuction to harvest fat from the lower abdomen, thighs or any other area that contains excess fat. Then Hoffman makes small punctures and injects the fat into the breasts.
Fat grafts have several benefits. Chief among them is that nothing artificial—like implants—is put into a patient’s body. In addition, scars are minimal, if not invisible, and recovery is three to five days—far less than traditional breast enhancement surgery. “But this is not a good option for women who want major augmentation,” Hoffman says. “A much larger increase is best done with implants.”
Because fat isn’t a traditional implant, it may cause confusion on mammograms, but qualified technicians will see the difference. Also, not all of it survives, so touch-ups may be required.
The biggest problem, Hoffman says, is that some patients are too thin to qualify for the procedure. “A lot of times, women are 110 pounds dripping wet, but want larger breasts,” he says. “They don’t have fat to harvest for the breast volume they want. So the good news is they don’t have excess body fat. The grass is always greener on the other side, right?”
Boob Boost #2: Breast Lift
Exercise and diet can only do so much to keep us fit and fabulous. There’s no stopping gravity. Plus, weight fluctuations and breast-feeding often make breasts sag, sometimes severely. Fortunately, restoring them to their younger selves can be done with a lift.
As Dr. Ronald Lohner explains, lifts are different from enhancements. “It’s the right choice for women who say their breasts are the right size but the wrong shape,” he says.
Though this procedure occurs in an OR, it’s less invasive than breast augmentation. That’s because the muscle is not manipulated. “We actually do more incisions, but that muscle isn’t lifted, so there’s less pain for patients,” Lohner says.
Patients go home the same day. They can do light exercise in one week and return to full activity in two weeks.
Hit the Spots
If you remember when baby oil was a must for sunbathing, then you probably have dark sun spots sprinkled over your face, hands, chest, shoulders and arms. They can also be the result of pigmentation that runs rampant as skin ages. Whatever you call these discolorations—liver spots, age spots, lentigines or lentigos— have no fear. “I have a few tools in the toolbox to address [them],” says Dr. Christine Stanko of Bryn Mawr Dermatology.
One is intense pulsed light, which produces different wavelengths of light. Also called photorejuvenation, IPL removes brown spots and redness from rosacea and broken blood vessels.
Another treatment utilizes a Nd:YAG laser. It’s one of Stanko’s favorite devices because it’s so precise. “With Nd:YAG, we can spot-treat marks on hands and faces,” she says. “We use IPL to clean up a whole area, like a chest that is freckly or has sun spots.”
One or two treatments are enough to remove the spots, Stanko says. Recovery time is one week for the face and two weeks for spots on the rest of the body.
The New Neck Lift
Hate your neck? Leathery, sagging skin is one of patients’ most common complaints. Dr. Paul Kim has developed a nonsurgical procedure that isn’t as invasive as a traditional neck lift and requires less recovery time.
Lasers are the trick. Kim uses them to tighten neck skin. The procedure is done under local anesthesia in Kim’s Paoli and Exton offices. He makes small incisions behind the ears and under the chin, then inserts a laser. “Energy from the laser probe pops fat cells and tightens the skin from the inside by getting the skin to produce its own collagen,” he says.
Skin basically gets shrink-wrapped, Kim says—like plastic on a window that tightens when heated. No hospital stay is required, and recovery is generally seven to 10 days.
Save Your Skin
What’s the hottest procedure at Cirillo Cosmetic Dermatology Spa? Infini, a microneedling technology that delivers high-intensity focused radio-frequency energy into the skin. While that sounds like a bad thing, Dr. Victoria Cirillo-Hyland explains that Infini actually rejuvenates skin. Technically, it’s noninvasive collagen induction therapy, a process in which energy goes into the dermal layer. “Heat is your friend in this case,” says Cirillo-Hyland. “It stimulates collagen and elastin production in your skin.”
Infini can be used on everything from sagging necks to wrinkles on upper lips to acne scars. Some people see improvement after one treatment; Cirillo-Hyland does three over three months. After each procedure, the skin is a little red and swollen, but recovery is minimal. Patients can return to work the next day. “Infini is now my favorite tool,” says Cirillo-Hyland. “I use it every day. That’s how often patients are requesting it.”
Love your kids but hate your abs? Separated abdominal muscles can be one of the most difficult body parts to rehab—and the more kids you have, the harder it is to get a flat stomach. That’s why tummy tucks are one of the most popular procedures at Dr. Sean Wright’s practice.
But the surgery requires plenty of forethought. “Women have to be done having kids,” Wright says. “And, generally, women who have this surgery have already tried using exercise to get rid of that excess fat. Sometimes, there’s only so much the gym can do.”
Performed under general anesthesia, the surgery removes fat from the abdominal wall. “We excise fat and skin beneath the belly button, tighten the six-pack muscles, then do liposuction on the saddlebags, love handles and mons pubis,” Wright says. “Then we carefully put it back together and make a nice scar in the bikini line.”
Recovery takes time and patience. For four to six weeks, Wright doesn’t allow heavy lifting—even your kids.