Coming Of Age: The Best Procedures For Men To Consider After 50
When should I start getting Botox®? Is it time to incorporate retinol into my skincare routine? What is a “mommy makeover”? How about a “daddy do-over”? Do I really need to, as the saying goes, sacrifice my butt for my face? Should I swap my temporary dermal fillers for something a bit more permanent?
When it comes to beauty and aesthetics, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all. But there are some tried and true principles that will keep you looking and feeling your best. In this series, Coming of Age, The AEDITION answers your most pressing questions about the best treatments, procedures, and practices — from surgery and skincare to health and wellness and everything in between — to consider at any age.
What do George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, and Brad Pitt all have in common? They’re all over 50, and — let’s be honest — they all wear it well. By the time men reach their fifties, visible signs of aging are, well, visible, and those changes to the skin, hair, and body continue into the sixties and beyond. So, what’s the best way to address these newfound concerns? Top plastic surgeons and dermatologists share the best cosmetic procedures and treatments to help men in look their best after 50.
Refresh & Rejuvenate
Gravity and Mother Nature dictate that, as we age, humans experience a slowdown in collagen and elastin production, which leads to skin laxity and a loss of volume. Additionally, years of sun exposure and stress can result in uneven skin tone (think: pigmenation, redness, dullness, etc.) and uneven skin texture (i.e. fine lines, wrinkles, scarring, and more). On the visage, guys are seeing their face, neck, and eyelids (both upper and lower) sag and droop, which may contribute to a tired or even stern appearance.
It should come as no surprise then that men in this age group are interested in a refresh. “Men in their fifties are looking for treatments to improve their appearance and prevent signs of aging,” explains David Shafer, MD, a double board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in New York City. “They are beginning to get concerned about looking too old at work and want to keep the competitive edge.”
The Best Cosmetic Procedures for Men After 50
If you’ve been following this series, you know that we kicked things off in the twenties and thirties with prejuvenation, and, as it turns out, the rejuvenation approach that benefits men after 50 isn’t all that different. “Whatever we do in our twenties is still similar to what we’re going to do in our fifties, the difference is the aggressiveness of the approach,” says Jason Emer, MD, a board certified cosmetic dermatologist in West Hollywood. From professional and at-home skincare to face and body contouring procedures, here are some of the best treatment options for men in their fifties, sixties, and beyond.
Before we dive into all the professional treatments that exist, we must reiterate the importance of a quality at-home skincare routine. As outlined in our guide to men’s skincare after 50, your daily regimen should include a cleanser, antioxidant serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, retinol or retinoid, and a hydrating mask.
Antioxidants (think: vitamin C and vitamin E) can help combat the effects of free radical damage, while a topical vitamin A derivative (in the form of a retinol or retinoid) increases cell turnover to improve tone and texture. If you’ve already been using a retinol or retinoid, now may be the time to upgrade to a more potent product. But, remember, use only a pea-sized amount twice a week to start in order to avoid irritation.
Because the skin gets drier with age, men in their fifties and beyond can benefit from a hydrating treatment — like a weekly overnight mask with hyaluronic acid (HA) — to restore moisture, smooth, and plump the skin. If you are concerned about dry skin, you can also incoproate HA into your routine daily with a serum like Dr. Emer’s Emerage Skin Hyla-B.
Professional Skincare Treatments
Just as we covered in our guide to procedures in your forties, skin resurfacing can reveal smoother, brighter, and more youthful-looking skin. After 50, Dr. Emer says an ideal protocol involves quarterly medium-depth chemical peels, monthly light peels, and annual ablative laser treatments with CO2 and erbium devices. That combination can even skin tone and address everything from fine lines and acne scars to deep wrinkles. But, for men who are particularly concerned about pre-cancerous spots or localized wrinkles, the Plasma Pen™ or a spot treatment of a ProFractional™ laser can be added on to target them.
Dr. Shafer also recommends DiamondGlow™ facials, a diamond tip microdermabrasion treatment that also involves pore-clearing extractions and skincare infusions, to refresh the complexion.
“When you get into your fifties, you start to lose a lot of midface volume,” Dr. Emer says. Filler may be used to fill the midface hollows, contour along the jaw and chin to camouflage jowling, restore cheek volume, and even rejuvenate the hands, but traditional filler isn’t the only option. Depending on the patient, Dr. Emer may instead recommend fat grafting (which involves harvesting fat from one part of the body and injecting it into another) or a fat-stimulating injectable, like Renuva®, to restore the face.
While neurotoxins, like Botox®, can be used at any age, it’s important to be sure they are not compounding other concerns. “As you get older, Botox® still prevents wrinkles, but, if the skin is starting to sag and you use Botox®, it could sag more,” Dr. Emer cautions. Using neurotoxins to lift the brow, for example, will likely not be as effective for men as they age. “At some point, Botox® — not as an injection but as a technique — would be less effective as time goes on because you don't want somebody to have hooded eyebrows or heavy lids,” he explains. “So, if they're older with loose skin, you may want to shy away from Botox® and do a surgery.”
Facial Firming & Contouring
By the time you reach your fifties and sixties, it may be time to more seriously consider surgical solutions to address skin laxity. Facelifts and neck lifts can rejuvenate the lower face, while blepharoplasty and surgical brow lifts can address the upper third. “Men in their fifties are also often good candidates for upper and lower eyelid lift,” Dr. Shafer says of the procedures that can remove excess skin above the eye (upper eyelid blepharoplasty) and improve the appearance of under eye bags (lower eyelid brepharoplasty).
Minimally invasive skin tightening treatments, meanwhile, can be incorporated to help maintain results. Both Dr. Shafer and Dr. Emer recommend microneedling for men after 50. As Dr. Shafter explains, the treatment can be employed to “stimulate collagen, refresh skin, and slow down the aging process.” Dr. Emer suggests procedures, like Morpheus8, that pair microneedling with radiofrequency to both boost collagen production and tighten the tissue. When it comes to the forehead and eye areas, Dr. Shafer says Ultherapy®, which employs ultrasound waves to firm the skin, can be used to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.
Depending on your concerns and aesthtetic goals, there are both surgical and non-surgical body contouring solutions to consider. Dr. Shafer sees a lot of men over 50 coming in for liposuction to permanently remove stubborn areas of fat. “Liposuction of the abdomen, lower back, love handles, and/or neck is great,” he notes. On the non-surgical side, CoolSculpting® quite literally freezes away unwanted fat.
But it’s not just about dropping lbs. Newer technologies, like Emsculpt®, allows patients to build muscle as they burn fat. “Emsculpt® is also a great non-invasive body treatment for body contouring and muscle building and toning,” Dr. Shafer says. It can be used on the abs, arms, buttocks, thights — basically all the areas you wouldn’t mind bulking up a bit.
Whether hair loss is a recent development or you’ve been dealing with it for years, there are an array of surgical and non-surgical hair restoration techniques to choose from. “Hair loss is certainly a concern at this age, and PRP treatments or surgical hair transplants are both ideal for this,” Dr. Shafer says.
In the former, blood is drawn (likely from the arm), put in a centrifuge to concentrate the growth factors, and then injected into the areas of the scalp that are thinning. Intrigued? Read more about one patient’s experience with PRP for hair loss. In the latter, hair follicles will be transplanted from a donor site (usually a concealed spot on back of the head) to fill in a bald spot or reshape the hairline.
Whether you are looking to say ‘so long’ to sun-damaged skin, reduce sagging, remove excess fat, or restore your hairline, the surigcal and non-surgical treatment options for men over 50 are endless. Consulting with a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in men will help you to develop the best treatment plan for your needs.
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