With age comes wisdom and grace, but it also comes with sagging skin, weight fluctuation, and the desire to improve the way you look and feel. In the Twin Cities, there are many treatments, procedures, and products with little to no downtime that can erase years and damage from your face, teeth, body, and skin.
The fountain of youth has yet to be discovered, but new technology brings you closer to looking and feeling younger. For those who don’t mind needles or lasers, here are a few of the most popular options.
Botox - Injectable treatments remain one of the most popular ways to eliminate wrinkles and stave off the signs of aging. Dr. Jessica Morrell, dermatologist at Dermatology Consultants, says Botox is in high demand because there’s minimal downtime, and results are quick and noticeable. Administered in an office, Botox is injected into the affected areas where it relaxes underlying muscles, which softens fine lines and wrinkles. Results are temporary and should be touched up every three to six months.
Fraxel laser - As laser treatments evolve, they’re gaining popularity, especially among people in their 20s and 30s hoping to nip aging in the bud, says Dr. Bailey Lee at Associated Skin Care Specialists. Unlike Botox, the Fraxel laser is noninvasive—there’s not even a needle. It’s a non-ablative laser instrument that moves across the top layer of skin, heating and boosting collagen production underneath, which eventually brings healthier skin to the surface. So you’re left with reduced wrinkles, balanced skin texture and tone, reduced adult acne and scarring, and even minimized pores. “It’s also safe for all skin types, and popular for my patients over 40,” says Lee. Three to five treatments are recommended for the best results.
Even if you’re religious about applying sunscreen, your skin is still susceptible to sun damage, unwanted pigmentation changes, and scars. “Skin pigmentation is often the result of sun exposure, however hormones and genetics can play a part, too,” says Dr. Allison Heimer, cosmetic medicine physician at Skin Rejuvenation Clinic. A variety of techniques are available to fix these issues.
Halo hybrid fractional laser - Halo uses two laser wavelengths to zap discoloration from the surface of skin. Originally designed to combat fine lines and reduce pore size, Halo is also used to even out skin tone. The 45-minute treatment combats aging and discoloration. There’s less pain during treatment and less downtime afterward than Fraxel. Results are long-lasting but require daily skin care maintenance and UVB and UVA sun protection.
Photorejuvenation - Photorejuvenation corrects browns and reds in the skin. A series of broadband light (BBL) pulses flash close to the skin targeting broken capillaries or pigmented spots. When the intense pulse light (IPL) hits these spots, it impairs blood flow, which jump-starts the body’s natural healing and cleaning processes so new skin is regenerated naturally. “We see patients as young as their 20s who want to correct damage from tanning beds, UV light, or redness—they love this treatment for youthful-looking skin,” says Kally Karjala, medical aesthetician and certified laser technician at Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery. Photorejuvenation takes up to 30 minutes to complete and works best as a series of three to five sessions. There’s minimal downtime, and you can wear makeup and go about daily activities right away.
Pump Up the Volume
Aging and weight fluctuation can affect the plumpness in the face, and when collagen production slows down, the hollowness in the cheeks and under the eyes leaves us looking tired and older than we are. Simply put, more fat makes faces look younger. Injectable fillers are typically the go-to way to get volume back in the face.
Collagen-stimulating Sculptra - It can be injected into most areas of the face with fast results, but Sculptra’s formula continues working weeks and months later. “Sculptra stimulates the skin’s natural collagen production gradually over time, achieving a very natural look,” says Dr. Jeffrey P. Sanderson, owner of Beautifeye. You should schedule about three sessions of Sculptra (depending on your skin goals) approximately four weeks apart.
Hyaluronic acid - It occurs naturally in the body, but production decreases over time. So, hyaluronic injections are used to plump areas, most commonly the lips and mouth. Your doctor can combine Sculptra (for the face) and hyaluronic acid (for the mouth area) to achieve an overall younger look.
Fat grafting - Today, more doctors are taking fat from one part of the body to transfer it into another area of the body as a natural alternative to semi-permanent fillers. This method cuts downtime and pain. “Most patients carry a little excess fat around their waists and hips that’s often very stubborn to get rid of, but it’s a great source of fat for transplanting because it’s more durable,” says Dr. John Allan Ness at Ness Plastic Surgery & Wayzata Surgical Center. Fat grafting is a complex process in which fat is converted to liquid, then injected into desired areas. Keep in mind, too, that oftentimes fat reabsorbs into the body so surgeons will inject a bit more than necessary to combat loss of volume over time.
Lift Your Face
Facelifts have gotten a facelift. You can now get rid of excess or deflated skin with an in-office procedure that has little to no downtime and isn’t a laser or filler.
PDO Thread Lift - A nurse injects a needle and dissolvable thread under the skin—think pulling loose skin taut from the inside. Collagen grows around the injected mesh threading to keep the area tight. The threading dissolves in four to six months but results last up to one year. “The PDO Thread Lift is very popular, I was the first injector in Minnesota to add this treatment to my practice,” says Dana Orr, registered nurse, and founder of The Clinic for Aesthetic Beauty. “I get daily requests for this treatment. It’s effective for tightening the skin on the low face and neck.”
Kybella - Whether you’ve got an extra chin or a wattle you want to get rid of, fat-blasting injectable Kybella might be an option for you. Dr. Charles E. Crutchfield III, medical director at Crutchfield Dermatology, has used a treatment like Kybella for nearly 10 years with good results. Kybella’s formula breaks up and permanently eliminates fat cells under the chin through the body’s natural waste process.
Liquid facelift - At Crutchfield Dermatology, you can ask for a liquid facelift, which injects a patient’s own platelet-rich plasma (PRP), fillers, and Botox into the face to correct multiple areas. “We’re combining liquid facelifts with HydraFacial, a new procedure that infuses growth factors, dermal peptides, and retinols into the skin for absolutely remarkable results—better than I’ve seen in my entire career,” says Crutchfield.
Flatter Your Figure
Most of us, men and women alike, have a little extra weight we can’t seem to get rid of. Here are some of the latest treatments and procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, to banish fat.
Liposuction - At Skin Rejuvenation Clinic, Dr. Allison Heimer, cosmetic medicine physician, says ProLipo Plus is a popular choice for those coming in for body contouring. The targeted area is numbed, then the doctor makes an incision and inserts the ProLipo Plus laser, which heats fat cells from the inside to destroy them. The body then eliminates fat cells through natural waste. Skin is left smooth, with only minor bruising and redness.
Coolsculpting - A popular noninvasive body-contouring system called CoolSculpting reduces fat cells by 20 to 25 percent in the stomach, thighs, love handles, flank, buttocks, back, and under the neck by freezing fat cells until they’re destroyed and eliminated. The procedure doesn’t require pain medication, and uses a controlled cooling device that sits on top of the target area. The best part? You sit in a chair and are encouraged to read—or nap!—while your fat cells freeze and die and are eventually eliminated through urine. “Patients can get up to 20 percent fat reduction every time we apply a CoolSculpting applicator—and we have access to plastic surgeons on site who can decide whether a patient is a better surgical candidate or if CoolSculpting is the best option,” says Kally Karjala, medical aesthetician and certified laser technician at Skin Artisans at Edina Plastic Surgery.
HCG Weight Loss Programs - For women in menopause or with polycystic ovarian syndrome who experience hormone changes, weight gain can be inevitable and hard to lose. At Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Lisa Ohman Erhard, board certified gynecologist and cosmetic surgeon, offers the HCG Weight Loss Program. HCG, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, naturally occurs in pregnant women, and this injectable is thought to reset metabolism. Patients are encouraged to eat a low-calorie diet while taking these HCG supplement shots to maximize results. Erhard says you can lose up to 30 pounds per six-week session. When you’ve hit your goal weight, Erhard recommends its non-HCG nutritional program to help you maintain your results.
Perfect Your Smile
Some of us are born with a good set of teeth, but most of us aren’t. Even if you brush and floss regularly, your genetics and health play a role in the whiteness of your smile or the health of your gums and teeth. Everyday foods and drinks, especially acidic juices or coffee, can tarnish smiles. But don’t be quick to throw in the towel on your teeth-cleaning routine or swear off coffee. You’re not alone and there are plenty of options to improve your smile.
Whitening treatments and trays - In-office whitening treatments consist of a whitening peroxide gel treatment with an acceleration light. At-home treatments purchased at your dentist office typically include a custom tray with a specialized gel. “We use a hybrid version of [in-office and at-home treatments] to get the quick start in office, and then give patients the at-home trays so they can touch up anytime they want,” says Dr. Steve Gorman of The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry. If trays aren’t appealing, tooth bonding or porcelain veneers are options. In tooth bonding, a coat of tooth-colored resins are applied onto teeth and set with a high-intensity light. Porcelain veneers are a bit more work: Room has to be made for the porcelain pieces to be adhered onto teeth—oftentimes, people use a combination of bonding and porcelain veneers to achieve a whiter smile.
Invisalign - Straightening teeth has never been easier. An impression, scan, and photos of your mouth and teeth are used to create custom invisible trays designed to gradually straighten teeth the way braces do—without the attached metal brackets. “Invisalign is almost invisible, and you can eat and drink normally with them,” says Dr. Melissa Zettler, owner at Cherrywood Dental Care. You’ll get multiple trays to swap out every few weeks as your teeth shift. Daily brushing and flossing is recommended while using Invisalign, she adds.
Veneers and crowns - Age, diet, and health can impact the health of teeth. Pregnancy alters the levels of hormones in the body, which change the bacteria in the mouth, and dry mouth from medication also affects the health of teeth. If you’re noticing more decay, breaking, or need extractions on permanent teeth, your dentist may recommend dental veneers or crowns. “As dentists we have to pursue advanced training to learn how to re-engineer the teeth to last as long as we need them,” says Dr. Gesica Horn, owner at Serene Oaks Dental, so your smile keeps up with your lifestyle.
In the Future
With advancements in technology and growing public interest in cosmetic procedures, new therapies and treatments are constantly in the works. With so much on the horizon, we wanted the experts to weigh in.
The doctors and specialists in this package were asked: “If you could invent a dream treatment, what would it be?”
Here’s what they said.
”An appliance that makes moving teeth into the right place quicker and more discrete. Having teeth in the right place naturally creates beauty, proper function, and longevity. Most people want those three things.” —Dr. Gesica Horn, Serene Oaks Dental
“A technique or material that would help make what we do for our patients happen faster. For instance, faster orthodontics, faster healing from surgical procedures, faster recovery from all treatments. It would be better for moving from one area of treatment to another in a streamlined fashion.” —Dr. Steve Gorman, The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry
“A single neck-tightening treatment that provides results with no downtime. Currently, there aren’t any options that give permanent results, except surgery, which requires a lot of downtime.” —Dr. Jeffrey P. Sanderson, Beautifeye
“A treatment for cellulite. It’s a common complaint and a non-surgical treatment would be life changing.” —Dana Orr, Clinic for Aesthetic Beauty
“[As a board-certified gynecologist] I would create a combination of ThermiVA, MonaLisa Touch, and Labiaplasty—one laser that optimized the overall health of the vagina, but also addressed all aesthetic concerns a patient may have in one treatment.” —Dr. Lisa Ohman Erhard, Wayzata Cosmetic Surgery
“An invisible, undetectable solar shield that would block out UV rays. I realize that sounds a bit sci-fi but if we think about the cause of aging in our skin, not to mention the increase in skin cancers, this would be the best prevention. In fact, I would likely be inventing myself out of a job.” —Dr. Bailey Lee, Associated Skin Care Specialists
The Mommy Makeover
Your children may be the light of your life, but they may have also left you with lasting belly fat and changes to breast tissue. Ness Plastic Surgery was getting so many requests from moms for the same post-pregnancy concerns that it created the Mommy Makeover package. Focusing on the belly and breasts, the Mommy Makeover includes a tummy tuck with waist-defining liposuction, and breast services: reshaping or augmentation with or without
a breast lift, or a breast reduction. A one-hour consultation will help the doctor understand the scope of the procedure for each woman. Overwhelmingly, though, most women want a flatter tummy, which is achieved by muscle plication and tightening, says Dr. John Allan Ness at Ness Plastic Surgery & Wayzata Surgical Center. The tummy tuck removes excess skin, fatty tissue, and stretch marks. And because the abdominal muscles are stretched and the excess skin is removed, Ness recommends only getting this procedure after you’re finished having children, as additional pregnancies will damage the results.