Facial rejuvenation is comprised of 4 distinct yet related paths to anti-aging: Skin care, fillers and injectables, tightening and lifting. Despite all the information available, there still exists a considerable degree of misunderstanding about what works, what doesn’t, and what certain products and procedures actually do.
Non-surgical rejuvenation is a big part of Dr. Camille Cash’s practice based in Houston where she emphasizes that it starts at home with proper diet, exercise and sleep habits. In terms of skin care products she recommends committing to a regimen with proven results. “Medical grade skin care products…effectively change and treat the skin on a cellular level.” As we get older there are chemical peels that exfoliate and laser treatments that can very effectively tame pigment and minimize collagen loss along with fine lines and wrinkles.
The popularity of neurotoxins like Botox® continues to grow, but Dr. Cash explains that patients use “Botox” in generic terms, thinking it solves everything. “There’s lots of confusion. Botox has a very specific purpose… It helps to relax the facial muscles of expression.” Botox® is not a filler. Another myth–the notion that Botox® “freezes” the muscles–rather it weakens the effect of repetitive motion that causes lines and wrinkles in the forehead, the “11’s” between the brows and crow’s feet. In small doses neurotoxins can also help lift droopy brows and corners of the mouth by releasing muscles that are literally pulling them down.
The Best Choice of Fillers
If a patient needs a bit of lift and volume, Dr. Cash offers fillers that can be used appropriately in certain areas of the face. She describes the hyaluronic acids as “the workhorses of fillers…Restylane®, Juvederm®, Voluma®–that are naturally occurring substances found in the body.” These versatile fillers can be used in the lips, around the mouth, nasal labial folds, temples, corners of the eye and cheeks. They last an average of 1-3 years, so they are not permanent. Hyaluronic acids have the added safety net of being dissolvable. Dr. Cash rarely has to dissolve a patient’s filler, but admits it does give patients confidence if they are feeling hesitant.
“There’s lots of confusion. Botox has a very specific purpose… It helps to relax the facial muscles of expression.” – Camille Cash, MD
An area Dr. Cash gives special attention to is the temple. Using Sculptra®– a facial injectable made from poly-L-acid, lost collagen is replaced actually lifting the temple area over time, restoring fullness and a more youthful appearance. One of the more semi-permanent fillers is called Bellafill®. According to Dr. Cash, it is FDA approved for nasal labial folds and acne scars. “Unlike the hyaluronic acids it uses little sterile microspheres that are injected underneath the surface of the skin…resulting in collagen production.” Dr. Cash is a proponent of using a wide variety of fillers because each has distinct properties for facial rejuvenation. “I like to have a lot of tools in my toolbox so I am not married to just one filler.”
Which machines really work?
Dr. Cash stays current with the newest technological developments in the specialty. Ultherapy® and ThermiTight are two methods for lifting and tightening facial skin and the neckline through ultrasound and radio frequency respectively.
Ultimately, it is not the product or procedure but the practitioner that matters most–someone who understands the when, where and how of proper application. Why do we see so many people who look odd versus beautifully age appropriate? Dr. Cash shares her approach: “For my patients, I want a natural look. You can always tell when somebody has had something done and it is obvious and is distracting to the eye and you don’t necessarily know what it is but you know they don’t look right or don’t look how they used to.” Her philosophy is synonymous with her slogan: You, only better.