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How to avoid being down in the mouth

For women in business, there's a recipe to reverse unwanted aging


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Let’s say that you’re a savvy, high-powered professional known as one of the best in your industry. As yet more proof that your impressive reputation comes well deserved, you’ve been tapped to give a very important presentation at the end of the year. You’ll be speaking before your company’s board of directors, made up of (mostly) men in expensive suits, a few millennials who look like they just reached puberty, and one other woman your age – and you’ve got just a few short minutes to wow them all with your polished demeanor and hard-won expertise.

You’re intelligent and highly skilled; you’ve got your stuff together. Yet, you find yourself worrying that all those late nights spent crunching numbers, compiling reports and inventing new business strategies (not to mention hours dedicated toward family, friends, charity work and hobbies) will show where you least want them to: in and around your mouth.

Fast-forward a few weeks, and maybe you spent $50 to $500 per tooth for contouring, or possibly you blew $8,500 for Invisalign for teeth straightening (which your insurance company did not deem “medically necessary”). With straight teeth it became apparent that whitening was in order – which added another $750 to the mouth budget.

Those who scoff, “You’re so vain,” are likely not cognizant of the fact that, as human beings, we – including the business folk – can tend to gravitate toward the “ones that look good,” and when the business environment is the mountain you must scale, all of the effort outlined above is all about money – in more ways than one.

But you’re done, right?

Hardly. That lipstick that cost a small car payment guarantees it won’t run and only pales in cost to the $800 filler you got last week.

This is not fiction. For 20 years, patients (women to be exact) have told me that they hate the lines around their mouths because they make them look older – and the sad fact is that those lines are a nemesis of the female anatomy. You can only do so much plumping, filling and shaping. At some point, you have to do something to strengthen that tissue, and a facelift ($18,000+, by the way) won’t cut it.  It will re-position the tissue; it won’t remove wrinkles or add volume.   

So, what will help to improve that area, and turn your smile upside down? What will help to increase volume and color, strengthen the tissue and soften the appearance of fine lines and grooves that have become so deep a small child could get lost in them?

It’s a recipe. It works. It isn’t free, but it’s effective and the best bang-for-the-beautiful-mouth buck the 21st century offers. The ingredients are:

  • A medical-grade skincare regimen
  • Fractora RF and CO2 Fractional treatments to remodel and reshape
  • PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) injections
  • Juvederm
  • Botox (tiny doses)

These elements, applied under the care of an experienced, caring provider work, but the devil is in the details. Bear in mind the specificity of each of these ingredients.

  • Use medical-grade products on your face (not just the mouth area); they make a physiological change and protect, strengthen and thicken skin. Tretinoin or Retinol and ProNiacin, Heperan  Sulfate, Ceramides, Antioxidants and sunblock work. 
  • Fractora RF and CO2 Fractional reorganize and strengthen the tissue layers and brighten the surface, making the area look more youthful and energized. 
  • PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma is obtained by drawing your own blood, spinning it down and re-injecting the PRP into the area being treated. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used in facial rejuvenation around the world since 2008. The treatment is ideal for improving skin texture, lines and wrinkles, tone, and color with minimal or no recovery time.
  • Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid that is biocompatible, supplementing the body's natural hyaluronic acid, which age has depleted, resulting in volume loss. My favorite treatment involves outlining the border of the lips to enhance or restore that feature, and perhaps adding some to the inside of the lip, which helps to “lift” it back into place without making the lips look “bigger” or fake.

Voila! Your presentation is a smash – as are you.

And while it is mostly about the money, don’t be surprised if someone at the gym asks what you are doing differently, “cuz you look amazing.”

Because you do.

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Beryl Reker

Beryl Reker, PMA, is Lead Aesthetician and Clinical Director of Aesthetics by Design at Colorado Facial Plastic Surgery, aestheticsbydesign.com, specializing in medically directed skin care. She is educator and preceptor for a number of internally recognized and FDA-cleared services and products for medical skin treatment.

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