Face Focus

December 1, 2006

Your eyes, lips, even your forehead lines usually say volumes about what you're feeling.

Say what you will, you can wear the most expensive clothes from Prada and have Manolo's on your feet, but if your face looks tired or sad, that's what people will notice first!

Your eyes, lips, even your forehead lines usually say volumes about what you're feeling. But as you get older, facial expressions such as frown lines, depressions in the cheek area and thinner lips can deliver messages that no longer accurately reflect the real you. How do you start from scratch to fix this situation? You don't. Let's be realistic. What you can do, however, can make you look better than you've looked in years. And, you don't have to go broke in the process.

Take frown lines, for example. Florida-based dermatologist, Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., explains that whether the problem is horizontal creases across your forehead or vertical lines between your brows, simple injections of Botox can erase years from your face. Botox can also be used to ease the proverbial "crow's feet" at the corners of the eyes. Similarly, if your lips have become thinner or lost their "outline," she suggests speaking to your dermatologist about injections of a filler called Restylane, or collagen. Both can help to fill in the lip area and even work to "erase" those fine lines that often pop up around the upper lip.

Dr. Ciraldo explains that another type of problem can bother people who have enjoyed high cheekbones and a sharply chiseled look throughout their youth.

"Time can make the face look a little too angular," she says. "The good news is that such individuals are actually not good candidates for a facelift, as a lift can make the angles become even more pronounced."

She explains that Restylane delivers good success in filling in these angular areas and can even help soften a sharp jaw line.

Dr. Ciraldo recommends setting your magnifying mirror aside for the moment and, instead, taking a candid photo of your face. It will show "you" as other people see you and help you determine what you'd like to fill in, soften or fade.

To help figure out which procedures or products to use, talk to your dermatologist. If it's brown spots that concern you, he or she may recommend topical applications of fade cream or retinoids, such as Retin-A Micro, TriLuma and Tazorac, or a 10 percent to 15 percent application of glycolic acid to treat these areas of discoloration that can add years to your face.

So, before you head to the department store to invest in a new wardrobe, pick up a disposable camera and get your face into focus. If it looks good, everything else about you will look good too!