Photo by Irina Bg / Shutterstock
Isn’t technology wonderful? Thanks to Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and a lot of bright young influencers, we are overexposed to a dearth of images of seemingly perfect faces and bodies. Adding to this new societal pressure, we are often expected to post images of ourselves to our friends, family and the world. What’s a modern-day woman or man to do?
The upside to living in modern times is that we have more options on how to become our own ideal example of beauty.
Looking youthful and alluring has been a part of life since the dawn of recorded history…just think Cleopatra and her legendary bathing rituals. The upside to living in modern times is that we have more options on how to become our own ideal example of beauty. Dr. Sheila Nazarian and Dr. Monica Bonakdar are not only among the most-sought-after in their field, they are strong, successful and beautiful women who possess the knowledge, skill and insight into what non-surgical medical aesthetics can do to keep us as young on the outside as we feel on the inside. Aging may be inevitable, but aging poorly is not, and they are the role models who prove it.
Both experts agree that beauty has always been a driving force, and that looking good affords one more opportunities. “The modern person who looks young and beautiful will have an easier time attaining more desirable jobs and more social power,” Bonakdar asserts, who has witnessed firsthand the dissatisfaction many feel with their appearance, regardless of age or gender, particularly with the current hyper-focus on social media.
Dr. Monica Bonakdar
Seemingly counter-intuitively, despite society’s emphasis on maintaining our looks, there can be a slight stigma when it comes to anti-aging procedures. “I think this is because we only notice the really unnatural looking people we see on TV or out on the street,” says Nazarian. She believes that starting with an anti-aging plan and good habits early can lead to a more natural outcomes. Both doctors have a “less is more” philosophy: When a little is done here or there over time, people will notice a person who seems virtually ageless, unaware of the fine-tuning that takes place. This alleviates the common fear many have of being under scrutiny for simply wanting to look our best.
So which non-surgical methods are best for keeping one’s age a secret? For Nazarian, non-invasive skin tightening devices and lasers combined with microneedling are a very effective surgical alternative if skin laxity is mild to moderate. For Bonakdar, botulinum toxin and hyaluronic acid dermal fillers have been the game changers for youth preservation. So much, in fact, that according to Bonakdar, “These two procedures have shifted the pendulum from facial plastic surgery to nonsurgical facial enhancements.”
She believes that starting with an anti-aging plan and good habits early can lead to a more natural outcomes.
Dr. Sheila Nazarian
Despite the positive impact of injectable fillers, there is more to skin aging than ironing out wrinkles. Sun damage, discoloration, loss of gravity and dull skin tone all contribute to an aged appearance. Nazarian, however, credits the advancement in the understanding and knowledge of skin aging in the development of non-surgical treatments. “We now know that it is not just about pulling the skin tight and calling it a day; we have to replace volume loss. Those losses include muscle loss, fat loss and bone loss,” she explains. This increased research has not only led to more options, but to more natural and pleasing outcomes.”
For those able and willing to invest, complete non-surgical facial rejuvenation is now possible. Bonakdar has developed a system to refresh your look, that when used in combination with regular maintenance, can render surgery almost obsolete for most. But what about clients whose skin is too damaged? Do non-surgical procedures have limitations? While every patient has different needs and goals, both agree there are instances when skin aging has progressed to a point where only a significant resurfacing followed by surgery is the only viable option.
Any reputable medical provider will advise you to choose carefully and do your homework. This couldn’t have more veracity than when it comes to something as delicate and personal as our appearance. Cosmetic science is as much an art as it is a science. Like an intricate sculpture, it takes a skillful eye, nimble hand and acute mind.
Dr. Susan Wilder is an award-winning physician blending the best of allopathic and Integrative/functional medicine. Here perspective from both sides of the medical practice is that how you live will have a significant impact on beauty, starting with a positive, sunny outlook that glows from the inside out. Next, proper hydration, eating a primarily plant-based diet, getting regular exercise, having a daily meditation practice and refraining from the vices of processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, environmental toxins, smoking and alcohol will all show up on your face. “All the best cosmetic and supplement interventions cannot substitute for unhealthy habits.
Dr. Susan Wilder
What we eat and drink, how we sleep and how we manage stress all impact aging inside and out,” says Wilder who in the past decade lengthened her telomeres by practicing what she preaches to those equivalent to a 25-year-old. Still her practice has an aesthetics offering for her patients with fillers, facials and devices that tone, tighten and resurface the skin.
“What we refer to as ‘natural-looking results’ is nothing shy of a mathematically perfect filler result that is often mistaken for luck of the draw in the genetic lottery,” Bonadkar expounds. It’s a challenge that she encounters daily and is a driving force behind her perfectionism. Because aesthetic medicine is evolving and progressing (expect to see longer lasting neurotoxins in the near future), new offerings will bring more people joy and confidence for years to come.