Understanding the Aging Process

The first step in choosing a skin or facial rejuvenation procedure is identifying your needs. Understanding the aging process can help you pinpoint your needs, as well as make all the difference in selecting the right treatment.

In this blog post, San Antonio facial plastic surgeon Dr. Jose Barrera sheds light on the aging process, and reveals the best procedures to treat facial aging.

How Your Face Ages

The natural aging of four different anatomical features affects your facial appearance:

Skin: The body produces less collagen (a protein responsible for keeping the skin tight and firm) over time. This causes the skin to loosen and sag, in turn causing wrinkles and fine lines to form. This loose skin is also responsible for other signs of aging such as sagging cheeks.

Fat: As you age, the fat cells in the face shrink, causing what were once full and cherub-like cheeks and other facial areas to become sunken and hollow.

Muscle: Your muscles lose tone over time. As a result, they can no longer properly support the skin and fat, leading to a saggy appearance.

Bone: Bone mass and density decrease as we age, which causes the eyes to look hollow and the cheeks to appear sunken. This also causes depressions to form around the mouth and facial creases to become more prominent.

Everyone ages at a different pace due to several factors, including genetics and lifestyle habits. Habits like smoking and not wearing sunscreen when outdoors can speed up the aging process. On the other hand, good skin care habits like wearing sunscreen, not smoking, drinking plenty of water and using high-quality skin products can prolong your youthful appearance.

Non-surgical Procedures to Minimize Signs of Aging

Non-surgical cosmetic treatments can soften or minimize the appearance of various signs of aging. They are popular among individuals in their 20s and 30s, who often wish to treat skin imperfections without surgery or extensive downtime. They are also popular among older individuals who wish to maintain their results from a surgical facial rejuvenation procedure. Injectable products, including hyaluronic acid-based fillers, treat wrinkles, fine lines and lost facial volume. Skin treatments like laser skin resurfacing are a great option for wrinkles, lines, as well as sun damage in the form of age spots, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. Dr. Barrera offers the ResurFX, a nonablative laser that targets the deepest layers of skin to trigger new collagen growth. He also offers the CO2 laser, an ablative laser that removes the outermost layer of damaged skin. It can be used for wrinkle reduction and scar treatment.

Using good skin care products is important at any age. Dr. Barrera offers Senté and Skinceuticals at his San Antonio plastic surgery practice. Both skin care lines feature moisturizers, serums, sunscreen lotions and scrubs that are chock-full of nourishing ingredients to repair, protect and maintain skin. Our team can help you select products that will give you glowing skin based on your skin care needs.

Surgical Procedures to Take Years Off Your Appearance

Surgical cosmetic procedures are popular among older individuals with more prominent signs of facial aging. For instance, facelift can correct severe signs of facial aging on the middle and lower facial areas, including wrinkles, lost volume and excess skin. There are several facelift techniques available, including deep plane facelift, which offers the most comprehensive results. The technique involves lifting, releasing and repositioning an area of facial musculature called the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS), and then redraping the skin and trimming excess fat and skin. The result is a younger-looking yet natural-looking appearance.

Some patients choose to combine facelift with neck lift, which removes excess, hanging skin from the neck and along the jawline, and tightens the skin to smooth noticeable neck bands. The procedure can also include liposuction techniques to remove submental fat (“double chin”). Eyelid surgery and brow lift are two other popular surgical procedures that rejuvenate the eye and brow areas. Brow lift elevates the brow to a more youthful yet natural-looking position and removes heavy skin that contributes to the redundant tissue in the eyelid area that sometimes sits below the line of sight.

Surgical facial rejuvenation procedures are also popular among individuals who seek long-term results. While the effects of injectable treatments are temporary, the results from surgical procedures can last for many years.

Schedule a Facial Rejuvenation Consultation with Dr. Barrera

Dr. Barrera can help you look and feel great at any age. To discuss your aging concerns, schedule a consultation with our facial plastic surgeon. Please contact us by calling (210) 468-5426 or emailing us today.