Like many cosmetic patients, Alicia Goldstein began her consultation by making facial expressions in a mirror.
"We did all the faces," Goldstein remembers, laughing.
At age 43, she says she began noticing deepening laugh lines. But along with treating those lines, Goldstein also wanted to head off other changes that come as we get older. She turned to aesthetic specialist Dr. Karron Power, who says a few simple tests can show how our faces will age.
"So I spend quite a bit of time chatting with the patients to see if they raise their eyebrows frequently, if they tend to frown as they're talking, or if they have lines that appear when they smile," says Power.
Secondly, she says we all lose bone density around the face as we age. And again, simple tests can pinpoint changes in its shape.
"One women hate to perform but will really show you what will happen in the next decade is to lean the head forward and see where the face will sag forward. And that will show you where the early volume loss is occurring," she says.
Photographs can act like blueprints to map future changes. Still, having a crystal ball to peer into your cosmetic future is one thing, but what can you do to change the seemingly inevitable effects of aging? Turns out, a lot.
First, remember those exaggerated facial expressions that revealed potential smile and frown lines? Power says a combination of Botox or muscle relaxing injections can prevent them from being etched in.
"And so if you stop folding the skin in the same place and in the same way, then you won't break down collagen as quickly," Dr. Power explains.
Then, after mapping changes in the face caused by bone loss, fillers can be used to re-balance its shape to prevent sagging.
"Some of them will even stimulate bone growth. And we recover the lost bone structure of the lateral cheekbone so that will lift and prevent this labial fold from occurring, and we can fill into the jaw-line and that will help," she says.
Finally, she says new laser treatments are used to stimulate collagen growth, building up a reservoir for the future.
And while Goldstein says she's enjoying the tightening in her skin now, the prospect of a smoother future gives her another reason to smile.
Written and produced by Tim Didion
Aesthetic specialist conducts simple tests to predict future aging
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