The secrets of perpetual youth

Averil Nunes

Dr Jamuna Pai talks to us about vampire facials, liquid facelifts, botox, chemical peels and other ways to stay forever young.

Stop frowning at your crows feet in the mirror. Do some facial exercises instead. We thought all those funny faces floating around the internet were a farce until Dr Jamuna Pai told us otherwise. But if your sense of propriety won`t let you test the effectiveness of working out the approximately 43 muscles in your face with ridiculous looking expressions, there are other procedures that involve little to no downtime.

Vampire Diaries
In 2013, the vampire facelift, otherwise known as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Rejuvenation, made it to Oscar swag bags as well as to Kim Kardashian`s prime-time hysterics. It involves reinjecting blood drawn from your arm into specific areas of your face after concentrating the platelets in a centrifuge. The mild inflammation caused, triggers the body`s self healing mechanism resulting in improved skin texture and tone, while reducing wrinkles and blemishes. Its effects are said to last longer than chemical treatments.
Time: 45 minutes
Cost: Rs 15,000 to 20,000

Chemical Magic
Soft gel chemical peels could perform a vanishing act on fine lines, pigmentation and acne scars, leaving you with fresher, brighter and smoother skin. They increase the pace of skin cell turnover, making them excellent resurfacing and exfoliating treatments. However, do ensure that a doctor is involved as using the wrong peel could cause post-inflammatory pigmentation.
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Cost: Rs 2000 to Rs 3,000

Wrinkle Worker
Botox injected into the face or neck muscles responsible for wrinkle-causing movement relaxes the muscles to temporarily smooth out moderate to severe forehead lines, frown lines, crows feet and a lined neck amongst other things. “Less is more,” advises Dr Pai, who advises her clients to opt for “a natural look” and “come back for more when required”. Results are visible within a week and the treatment can be repeated every 4-6 months.
Time: 10 to 20 minutes
Cost: Rs 250 to Rs 400 per unit of botox

Hot Off the Block
Redefine your lips and jawline, lose those jowls and sagging skin, make those wrinkles around the mouth, eyes and forehead disappear and smoothen and tighten facial skin with thermage, which uses radio-frequency technology to heat the deeper layers of the skin, whilst cooling its surface. This deep heating stimulates the body`s skin renewal process so that sagging or wrinkled skin gives way to smoother, tighter skin with enhanced tone and texture for a youthful look. This treatment, which averages 45 minutes, lets you return to routine activities promptly.
Time: 90 minutes
Cost: Rs 50,000 to Rs 1,50,000

The Liquid Facelift
This almost pain-free alternative to plastic surgery, uses a combination of Botox, dermal fillers and skin tightening and smoothening lasers. Dermal fillers comprising hyaluronic acid (HA), serve as moisture retainers and elasticity boosters. A few well-placed pricks is all it takes to revolumise (plump up) ageing hands and to recreate the triangle of beauty (broad at the forehead and narrow at the chin) which tend to inverse as we age to create a Droppy Dog look.
Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Cost: Rs 10,000 to Rs 1,00, 000 (varies with product and quantity used)

For the scalpel-shy and syringe-skeptics:
No matter who you are or where you live, how good your skin looks is directly proportional to how well you hydrate. Whether from inside-out through appropriate water and fluid intake, or from outside-in through moisturisers, masks or advanced treatments, the secret of happy supple glowing skin was, is and probably always will be hydration. Dr pair recommends that girls in the age group of 15 to 25 with acne and oily skin use moisturizers containing salicylic acid, while those with dry skin use non-comedogenic moisturisers and hyaluronic-acid based creams. Retinoal and AHA (alha hydroxy acid) based creams work well for women aged 25 to 35 years, while women over 35 should look for products containing urea, lactic acid and shea butter.

Exfoliate! Exfoliate! Exfoliate!
Dead skin forms the epidermal layers and often looks well dull, dry dark and quiet frankly dead. Loofahs, grainy soaps, pumice stones are the do-it-yourself method of getting rid of dead skin and then there are the more technically advanced procedures like dermabrasion, which will eliminate the dead cells revealing the healthier skin underneath. Of course, now you have to protect this fresh skin by keeping it hydrated and protected so we`re back to square one.

Coconut concoctions
There`s nothing like coconut oil for dry skin. A daily pre-bath massage of coconut oil will slow down the skin`s ageing process.

Oh! And don`t forget those facial exercises that we mentioned right at the start.

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