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March 2, 2012

Anti-Aging Time Management

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Whether you want to add a little tone, strategically fill, or even go under, a subtle lift and tightening is the goal for a natural-looking sculpted face.


6 months: Use CO2. Plastic surgeon Dr. Leslie Stevens says CO2 lasers like Lutronic and Fraxel Dual (about $2,000 each) can "contract collagen fibers in the dermis, tightening and smoothing the skin's surface," adding that results take between four and six months.

1 month: Decide if you're scalpel-shy. "Most women in their 30s and early 40s aren't candidates for a face-lift, but neck or upper-eyelid surgery is an option," says Stevens. "One month is plenty of time to fully recover from most small surgical procedures." For those daunted by knives: Cosmetic companies are banking on new ingredients like gravity-fighting mitostime (Clinique) and "Stretching Micro-fil" technology (Armani) to mimic fillers.

1 day: Use heat. Thermage, a noninvasive procedure used to tighten skin, yields immediate results with minimal discomfort (patients report a warming sensation) and the added benefit of continued improvement for up to six months. Between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on the area treated.

5 minutes: DIY tone. The new Kate SomervilleDermalQuench treatment lends a plumping infusion of oxygen and hyaluronic acid — a five-minute home version of her signature facial.

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