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The Latest Advances in Nonsurgical Facial Restoration

By: Nicholas Daniello, MD
Posted: June 13, 2008

During the past 10 years, great strides have been made in the field of nonsurgical facial restoration, and estheticians must be aware of these new techniques in order to advise and educate their clients. The modern esthetician should be a source of knowledge for their clients and develop a working relationship with a facial cosmetic surgeon, general cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist.

Advances in skin care

As people grow older, two factors contribute to an aged look: a decreasing amount of fat, which results in the loss of contour; and the loss of collagen and elastin, which contributes to wrinkling. Known as lipoatrophy, this decrease causes a reduction of facial fullness, contour and shape.

Some of the most significant advances in skin care include the introduction of low-pH nonbuffered glycolic acid and tretinoin. Because tretinoin is contained in prescription medications and is out of the realm of esthetics, the focus of this article will be on low-pH nonbuffered glycolic acid.

Low-pH nonbuffered glycolic acid. There have been more than 10,000 scientific and medical papers written on the efficacy of glycolic acid. I personally have conducted several clinical trials and written a number of papers on this topic. Low-pH nonbuffered glycolic acid has been proven to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, enhance collagen and elastin production, and even out skin discoloration. Many estheticians have used high-pH buffered glycolic products, and, because of this, they have not seen these great results. Glycolic treatments should be administered both as in-spa treatments and as home-care regimens. Because a client sees their esthetician only once or twice per month, home-care products are a necessity.

Fillers and muscle paralyzers

The next step in facial rejuvenation is to refer the client to a cosmetic surgeon. Physicians have several tools available that can be broken down into temporary injectable fillers, semipermanent injectable fillers and muscle paralyzers.