One of the joys of married life is that you have someone to grow old with. Unfortunately, that means you have to grow old. Even if you and your partner are as gorgeous to each other as the day you married, it couldn’t hurt to occasionally get a little assistance. There are some cosmetic procedures that can brighten your complexion, remove a few wrinkles, and eliminate that unwanted hair that tends to sprout as we age.
Most of these procedures are available at your local dermatologist’s office, or at clinics like American Laser. The prices vary by procedure, and the more expensive procedures tend to have the longest-lasting results. One nice thing is that a lot of clinics offer package deals. Just like a day spa, where you can have a couple’s massage, you and your spouse can treat each other to a couple’s procedure for a reasonable price.
Average cost: $150/session
Microdermabrasion uses tiny abrasive particles to remove the topmost layer of skin. It’s similar to the way an ultra-fine Emory board buffs your nails. Buffing the skin stimulates collagen and cell growth, and the new outer layer has fewer wrinkles and blemishes.
Microdermabrasion is one of the least expensive procedures, but only lasts about a week. This procedure is good for those special occasions where you’d like to be wrinkle-free, like a reunion, a mile-stone anniversary, or a special Mother’s Day celebration.
The procedure can cause some redness irritation, which usually lasts about 24 hours. So, if you’re having it done for a specific event, schedule your appointment at least two days in advance.
2. Dermal Fillers
Average cost: $600/session
Dermal fillers are natural or synthetic products that plump up the skin and fill in wrinkles and creases.
Some fillers, like Juvederm, are made of a substance called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your joints and skin, to help you make collagen. In your skin collagen provides strength and attracts moisture.
Other fillers, like Radiesse, are made of biologically compatible substances that stimulate your body’s own collagen production.
Both types of fillers are considered safe than the old silicone fillers because they are closer to your natural body chemistry, and less likely to cause a reaction.
Skin fillers are slightly more expensive than microdermabrasion, but they can also last several months, to a year.
3. Laser Treatments
Average cost: $429/session (hair) to $3,000/session (skin)
Lasers have several cosmetic uses, from hair removal to repairing sun damage.
When used for hair removal, the laser heats up the hair follicle, causing the existing hair to fall out and preventing it from growing back. Laser hair procedures, like the ones available an American Laser, are more effective than electrolysis because the light hits several follicles at once. You can perform laser hair removal on almost any part of your body, but it is most effective for large areas like the back, chest, or legs.
When used as a skin treatment, the laser is used in several ways:
As a wrinkle treatment and for repairing sun damage, the laser removes the topmost layer of skin and stimulates collagen production in the layer beneath. Because it is a directed beam, it only affects the immediate area, and not the surrounding tissue;
As a liver spot or tattoo remover, the laser breaks down pigments into smaller particles, which are then absorbed into the skin. Lasers work best on darker pigments, like blacks or browns.
Laser treatments tend to be more expensive than other procedures, but the effects can last several years.
4. Chemical peels
Average cost: $650/session
A chemical peel is similar to microdermabrasion, except it uses an acid, usually derived from fruit, to remove the topmost layer of skin. The peels come in different strengths, depending on the extent of work being done. For example, fine lines may respond well to a light peel, while heavier lines and blemishes may need a stronger product.
Although they are more expensive than microdermabrasion, chemical peels generally last several weeks, vs. several days for the microdermabrasion. After repeated sessions, the effects could even last years.
Cosmetic procedures aren’t just for those who want to fight aging. Even if you feel comfortable growing older, these procedures can help you elevate your look, whether for one night, or several nights to come. These procedures won’t completely change your appearance, or make you unrecognizable to each other, but they can add a spring to your step and a little spark of romance to your relationship.