21 new anti-aging and skin breakthroughs
With these tips and advancements to stop the clock from head to toe, not even your dermatologist will know your real age.
- “I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more lined necks,” predicts Fusco. “Everybody’s texting—and every time you put your chin down, you’re creating a crease.” The solution is as low tech as they come: Lift your iPhone, Kindle, or other device to eye level rather than dropping your head to look at it.
- If bad-hair days are getting more frequent, your home’s copper pipes might be to blame. In a P&G study led by Jennifer Marsh, PhD, researchers sampled hair from 450 women in nine countries and found varying levels of the heavy metal, which can react with hair-color chemicals and UV rays to speed the breakdown of protein structure, leading to visibly damaged strands. “Over time the hair will be less resistant to other insults, like brushing and flatironing,” Marsh says. P&G scientists are exploring how to use chelants in dyes and shampoos to bind to the copper and wash future bad-hair days down the drain.
- Trichologists are taking the vampire face-lift to scalps with the hope of stimulating hair regrowth. “The great thing about PRP [Platelet Rich Plasma] is that it’s nonchemical and noninvasive,” says Bauman. In PRP treatments, platelets and plasma are separated from a sample of the patient’s blood, then mixed with stem cells. After the concoction is injected just below the surface of the scalp at the depth of the follicles, doctors use a spiked roller to induce microtrauma, which activates the platelets. “The trauma created in the scalp ‘tells’ the PRP where to do its job,” Bauman says. While results vary, he finds them promising: “The higher the amount of thin, weak hair in a given area, typically the greater the response.”
- A few habit adjustments can keep hair from appearing older. “Any repetitive strain to the hair can cause breakage, which can lead it to look thinner overall,” says Elisabeth Leary, stylist at Brooklyn salon Woodley & Bunny, who suggests being mindful about how you swing your handbag over your shoulder (don’t let it sit on long hair) and choosing bobby pins rather than elastic bands when creating an updo.
- Ducks probably aren’t the intended spirit animals of women seeking more youthful lips, yet the excessive use of fillers has invited the comparison. Enter Belotero Balance, which NYC-based dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD, calls “a gift” for lines around the mouth because it can be injected without the risk of unintended effects: “It virtually never lumps or bumps. It stays exactly where you put it,” she says. Another ideal spot for the new, low-viscosity hyaluronic acid filler? The folds at the sides of the mouth, which when overinflated create what’s referred to as “monkey mouth.” “Now you can fill there without getting a muzzle,” Fusco says.
- “Most people are scared of having peels around the eyes,” says dermatologist Erin Gilbert, MD, PhD, who credits the gel formula of the Glytone by Enerpeel EL with making it one of the only in-office peels that can safely be used in the region (including on eyelids). In three to five sessions, the trichloroacetic and lactic acid treatment results in a laser-rivaling reduction of fine lines and brown spots, without any downtime. “Patients I’ve previously Fraxeled have said that they felt like the peel result was just as good,” Gilbert says.
- Currently FDA approved to encourage collagen growth in nasolabial folds, laVív—a plumping procedure in which the patient’s own fibroblasts are harvested and reinjected into the skin—has surprised Fredric Brandt, MD, with other potential reparative powers. Brandt has found that in addition to the expected boost in volume, “pigmentation is improved, which I don’t understand, but it’s great.”
- “If you have Botox too frequently, sometimes crow’s-feet become very resistant. The muscle bundles break up into tiny individual fibers, so you get a parchment look to the skin,” says Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD, who has seen a sizable reduction of wrinkling and creping within two weeks of a single session with the fractional radio-frequency device eTwo. The painless treatment requires no numbing, and the only side effect is five days of pinkness that can be covered with makeup. Says Alexiades: “It makes the skin look younger, as opposed to just getting rid of lines. It’s working beyond that.”
- “Pore size tends to increase with age, but if you keep the pores from dilating on a regular basis, skin texture looks better,” says Gilbert, who injects low concentrations of Botox into the T-zone to reduce pore appearance by suppressing sebum production and blood-vessel expansion. For those put off by the prospect of needles, there’s hope on the horizon: “The new topical botulinum toxins being studied seem to have similar effects on skin texture,” Gilbert says.
- A new midface volumizer that’s being likened to “an injectable implant” is poised to revolutionize the way doctors scaffold sagging cheeks, says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, who is impressed with the plumping potential of Juvéderm Voluma, the first hyaluronic acid slated to receive FDA approval for that region. The filler’s viscous consistency makes it ideal for propping up atrophying fat pads via injections just above the cheekbone, which can restore shape for 18 months. Unlike Sculptra, one of the most widely used long-lasting fillers, Zeichner says an antidotal syringe of hyaluronidase can reverse Voluma’s effects: “Since you can erase it, the face can be touched up if there are slight asymmetries.”
- Lasers and ultrasound machines are supercharging antioxidants in the derm’s office as well as at home. The effects of the gentle new Clear + Brilliant Permea fractionated laser are amplified with topical SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic serum, which, says Anne Chapas, MD, medical director of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, makes it ideal for treating conditions such as melasma. “The laser makes your skin more permeable to topical skin care, so when an antioxidant is applied immediately after the treatment, that aids the removal of pigmentation and helps skin recover.” Similarly, at-home device JeNu bumps up the power of the brand’s proprietary topicals for eyes and lips by using ultrasound waves to propel 12 times more ingredients into skin than what penetrates through standard slathering. “It smooths and tightens,” Fusco says, “and diminishes the appearance of lines and wrinkles.”
- The new hot spot for fillers? The temples. According to Brandt, restoring natural volume close to the hairline “causes a lifting of the brows and forehead.” Zeichner also injects just in front of the earlobe. “As you look at a youthful face, it reflects light in certain places,” he explains. “Wrinkling in that area interrupts the unbroken arc of light we would expect to see in a young face.”
- A new peel is tackling the tough-to-address pigmentation that can pepper décolleté. “It’s categorized as a medium-depth peel, but the patient doesn’t feel anything. No tingling. Nothing,” says Fusco of the Dermaceutic Spot Treatment & Homecare System. A two-minute in-office allover peel of glycolic, lactic, and salicylic acids is followed by a spot application of mandelic and salicylic acids, retinol, and idebenone that is left on the skin for eight hours, then washed off at home. Six days later, there’s some flaking, “but no redness, no blistering, no swelling.”
- Alexiades is “blown away” by the results of Cutera’s new TruSculpt handpiece for tackling jowls, noting a 1- to 2-millimeter reduction in one to two sessions. The radio-frequency technology works by heating targeted tissues to at least 45 degrees Celsius to damage fat cells, which then are naturally eliminated by the body over a four-week period. Similar results were previously only possible with liposuction, says Chapas, but the instrument offers an added bonus: “If you remove fat alone, your skin will get loose and baggy. The laser also gives energy to the top of the skin, which can cause tightening of the skin.”
- A mini machine gun for shots, the U225 mesotherapy injector offers dermatologists a new delivery system. “It’s the greatest thing ever,” Brandt says of the pneumatic single-needle device, which can precisely deliver up to 500 tiny liquid doses a minute just below skin’s surface. “You can do hundreds of injections without one bruise and no pain.” And although the cocktail of vitamins and pharmaceuticals used in mesotherapy, a procedure popular in Europe, is unlikely to receive FDA approval anytime soon, Brandt is looking forward to seeing other ways the gun could be used to improve overall skin texture, including to distribute appropriate fillers over the surface of the chest, neck, and face. This, he says, would encourage “dewier, more hydrated, plump-looking skin—and would probably help with fine lines and wrinkles.”
- “What Botox did to face-lifts, this is going to do to liposuction,” predicts Smithtown, NY–based derm Marina Peredo, MD, of fat-melting technology Lipo 202, which is currently in FDA testing for shrinking abdominal pouches. Using the same chemical compound found in Advair asthma inhalers, salmeterol xinafoate, doctors administer a series of 20 small injections once a week for one to three months until results are achieved. “It works by selectively enhancing the body’s metabolism of fat, and reducing the size of adipocytes,” Peredo says. The beauty of the procedure, which can result in circumferential loss of 1 to 1.5 inches, is in its simplicity: “You don’t need equipment. It’s going to be just a syringe—and you can get into areas that are otherwise difficult to reach.”
- “CoolSculpting has continued to prove itself to be one of the best, easiest, and safest means of nonsurgically reducing unwanted body fat,” says Manhattan-based dermatologist Robert Anolik, MD, of the technique that targets stubborn pudge with an hour-long deep-freeze session, which ruptures fat cells that are then eliminated by the body; full results become evident three months posttreatment. Peredo streamlines the process by doubling up machines to treat multiple zones at the same time.
- A quarterly syringe of Botox might be the answer to treating eczema and psoriasis—the occurrence of which increase with age—sans topical steroids’ side effects, says Gilbert. In preliminary clinical studies, she has found that injections of botulinum toxin may inhibit the effects of neuropeptides that are involved in the skin’s inflammatory response, clearing outbreaks in two weeks.
- “Excel V is the biggest advance in vascular lasers in 25 years,” says Alexiades of her new noninvasive mainstay for vanquishing spider and varicose veins. “Whereas prior lasers took up to five treatments to eliminate veins, this device has cut it down to one to two.” As Excel V’s wavelengths are absorbed by hemoglobin, they heat unwanted blood vessels to the point of elimination. “The versatility and efficacy of this device are beyond description,” says Alexiades, who also uses it to blast broken capillaries on the face.
- Face- and neck-tightening treatment Ultherapy is heading off-label by moving south. “Ultherapy tightens that loose, crepey skin that develops on the elbows and knees,” Chapas says. The device’s small head makes full-scale body zapping impractical, but Chapas has been seeing good results with targeted application. As for Ultherapy’s most publicized drawback, the ouch factor? “It’s much less painful, as body skin is thicker and less sensitive than that of the face.”
More from ELLE:
Shocking Hidden Dangers Of Laser Hair Removal
Can Eating Sugar Age You Faster?
4 Easy Steps To Bigger, Brighter Looking Eyes
How Well Will You Age?