StyleList asked plastic surgeon Dr. David Shafer -- whom W magazine just anointed one of the hottest names in beauty -- to give us the lowdown (thankfully, in layman's terms) on how to improve what our mamas gave us. Hint: It involves Botox, a little laser lipo, and welcome advice to step off the treadmill.
It's a rapidly changing industry. What procedures do you think people will be relying on in the next three years?
Preventative plastic surgeries, and specifically Botox, which paralyzes muscles and stops them from making wrinkles. By doing Botox earlier, you reduce the stress on the skin and prevent the formation of "static" wrinkles -- wrinkles that are there all the time. Some people can do it in their mid to late twenties, but not all. Also, like I just mentioned, I think using your own cells to make improvements in your body will be used so much more. I think in the future we'll see people mixing your cells and some kind of growth hormones to make them secrete more hormones that help your skin look better.
What procedure do you recommend to most women?
Botox is the most common, because, again, it reduces the stress on the skin, reduces wrinkles, and has a positive psychological effect. For middle-aged women a neck lift can take years off of the body and give the face a fresh, clean appearance. For young women, liposuction is very common. I see a lot of young women and men who go to the gym almost every day and they still have a little muffin top or an area of baby fat under their belly button that drives them nuts. More exercise isn't going to make that area go away, but doing a 2-hour liposuction procedure will. These people are young and healthy and they can get a quick procedure and feel great about themselves. When heavier people come in for liposuction, I explain that it's a second chance, but it's not curing you from your bad habits. You still need to make a lifestyle change.
When should you start getting injections-is it still the younger the better?
You should hold off on filler injections until you need them, but start Botox as soon as you develop dynamic wrinkles-wrinkles that form when you move your face. You will keep making the lines worse and worse if you don't have Botox and then later on you'll need both filler and Botox.
What about for the needle shy, what can they do to make themselves look better?
Well, everybody should have good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. You shouldn't smoke and you should use sunblock -- an SPF 15 if you're not in the sun too much and an SPF 30-35 if you're in the sun constantly. Moisturizing is very important as well. Runners can sometimes get "runners face" because they are constantly bouncing up and down and get sagging. So do a variety of aerobic exercises-the elliptical, different machines-to prevent that. And take a multi-vitamin. There's a company called Glisodin that makes a multivitamin where all of the vitamins are ones that keep your skin healthy. And you should practice good skin care such with Retinoids and Glycolic Acid based products.