Focus on Men’s Skin Care
by Dr. Michael Contreras
Here are a couple questions I am asked about from my male patients.
Q: Every time I see a brochure or ad for cosmetic work it’s written for women, what procedures are applicable to me as a man?
A: In recently published data the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic treatments for men were, in decreasing order, Botox, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and fillers. Botox injections are most popular in the frown lines and forehead (many tend to like their crows feet). My favorite site to inject filler in men is under the eyes where volume loss around the late thirties contributes to the under-eye hollows and dark circles. A simple injection of filler in this area makes a large but subtle difference with minimal pain and downtime.
Men are less accustomed to suffering for beauty than women. Fortunately, with the right technique and hand-holding, these procedures are well tolerated. Men want to be reassured they will not look “done”. The key word in treating all patients, but especially men, are subtle and natural. The goal is to help them look rested and restored to a younger version of themselves – and without anybody knowing anything was done.
Q: I feel I already have so many wrinkles and skin damage that I don’t know if there’s anything I can do at this point. At what age is it best to get started with a skin care treatment regimen?
There is no “right” age. Essential at any age is application of a daily sunscreen, antioxidant, and retinoid. Undesirable changes in the skin as we age are dependent on factors we can’t control (genetics, facial expression, hormones) and those we can control (sun exposure, tanning bed use, smoking). I know a tan can help define that six pack when you’re young, but you’re face will thank you later.
The Colorado sun combined with an outdoorsy culture creates the perfect environment for wrinkles and pigment changes in people as early as their mid to late twenties; at this age as lines become evident and begin to “etch” into the skin (especially forehead and frown lines), a neuromodulating toxin such as Botox or Dysport can relax the muscles of facial expression to soften the lines, not just with movement, but also at rest.
Later, usually in the mid-thirties to forties, other changes become more prominent: folds around the mouth, volume loss in the cheeks and under the eyes, wrinkles and skin texture changes. This is when patients come in to laser off wrinkles, zap their nose vessels, fill the deepening wrinkles, and clean up the sun damage spots.
At any age you may have an event you want to look your best for; Botox can provide a quick brow lift or eliminate a worried frown; a microdermabrasion can provide a smoother and refreshed glow; a touch of filler can erase pesky lines around the mouth or give you the pout you always wanted.