As time rushes forth, we see quantum leaps in nearly every kind of technology—if you’re old enough, you’ll remember those brick mobile phones, microwave ovens that could sink a boat and computers that took up half a room. Same goes for aesthetic treatments. What was standard care just 30 years ago has gotten radically less invasive, more effective and more natural. The new rules in beauty aren’t about completely overhauling your face and body—they’re all geared toward becoming the best version of your current self. OrangeTwist’s Chief Medical Director, Francis Palmer III, has practiced his art and craft. One thing he knows for sure: “It is always easier to maintain and protect than it is to rejuvenate,” Dr. Palmer says.
“20 or 30 years ago, the person seeking any type of significant rejuvenation or beauty enhancement would be somewhere between 55 and 80. And they would come in and ask for significant procedures: facelifts, tummy tucks, arm lifts, thigh lifts, laser treatments, phenol peels. But these were significantly invasive procedures with a significant downtime—recovery time was anywhere from three to 12 months,” he says.
Rule No. 1: Start Early
Dr. Palmer noticed a shift about 15 years ago when people in their 20s and 30s didn’t want to slide into aging as their parents did. The younger generation didn’t want to wait to tackle wrinkles or discoloration problems as they arrived; they wanted to strategically stave off signs of aging as long as possible. But the technology wasn’t there—yet—and procedures were still invasive.
Today, we also have a better understanding of how skin ages from the effects of the sun and other environmental factors. For example, we encourage children and teenagers to take care of their skin—it can be as simple as wearing sunscreen and drinking enough water every day, Dr. Palmer says. For those in their 20s, we encourage a solid skin-care regimen that will evolve as they get older.
We also have treatments that will help prevent signs of aging before they appear. If a younger person wants to ward off “11” lines between the brows with Botox, for example, research shows us that this actually works to stop or slow repeated muscle movements that cause facial creases.
Rule No. 2: Go Easy
“For the last decade and a half, we’ve been in the era of what I like to call the ‘non-invasive revolution.’ We use better technology to provide significant and meaningful aesthetic changes through non-invasive technology,” Dr. Palmer says. When we’re trying to improve the quality of our skin or appearance, a risk-benefit analysis is important—measuring the impact it will have, what the recovery time will be and what could go wrong. And that’s why non-invasive treatments are overwhelmingly favored today—in the right hands, the benefits far outweigh any risks, which are minimal.
For example, if you want to get rid of fat, CoolSculpting has less downtime and zero cuts to the skin, as liposuction does. To fill the lips and shape the cheeks, we have modern, safer fillers. And to resurface the skin, there are lights and lasers that build collagen as well as Vivace RF Microneedling instead of harsh chemical or old-school painful laser peels. “This is a wondrous time,” Dr. Palmer says. He looks forward to even more advances for comfort and effectiveness over the next decades.
Rule No. 3: Correct
Of course, we want people to be conscious of their skin as early as possible, and as they get older, they should absolutely switch to medical-grade products, such as those from ZO Skin Health and Alastin, Dr. Palmer says. These are packed with antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory agents to help correct discoloration and puffiness.
We also have better skin resurfacing techniques, such as Forever Young BBL and Clear + Brilliant. “The beautiful part about all of these now is they’re not like it was in the past. People used to have CO2 lasers and they were, literally, pink for 12 months. 12 months!” Dr. Palmer said.
Here’s what won’t change: Classic standards of beauty. “What one developed society deems to be beautiful, so will the other one. The culture differences are very minimal. By that I mean if I get photos of a woman from India, from Pakistan, from France, from South America, from Korea, Japan, the Middle East, China, they’re all asking me to make them more feminine, youthful and beautiful…. I apply the same set of aesthetics to them,” he says. “Marilyn Monroe is classically beautiful on a quantifiable scale. So these aesthetics do exist, and consumers will reward companies that can provide results, which is what we’re going to do at OrangeTwist.”