We are lucky to live in a time when there are plenty of options for keeping a natural, youthful look with minimal or no downtime and little risk. You may be asking yourself, what are the best options for the working performer? One whose outward appearance is not only the way they express themselves, but also their livelihood. Here at Rose Dermatology, located in Astoria, NY – or ‘Actoria’ as it is sometimes called due to the heavy concentration of working performers – we are accustomed to tailoring treatments based on a performer’s needs. In this blog, please find entries with our recommendations for the treatment best suited for your needs, which may depend on the type of work with which you are currently involved.
No conversation about the preservation of youthfulness would be complete without a discussion about Botox™. Everyone has heard about it and it’s very like that you know someone who has tried it (even if they don’t admit it!). Neurotoxins such as Botox™, Dysport™ and Xeomin™ are credited with making wrinkles disappear. When you aren’t moving your forehead or frowning, you probably notice the lines across your forehead and in between your eyes start fading away. Toxins work at the expense of facial movement and they are able to do this by relaxing the muscles in the face that produce wrinkles. Traditionally it is the forehead that is treated. Some things to consider before you try this procedure are your acting style as well as your current role. Are you an actor whose trademark is a certain facial expression? Is that your signature look? Or, are you currently playing a character that has a signature eyebrow raise or scowl? Then, the use of Botox™ or other neurotoxins on forehead wrinkles isn’t for you. The use of neurotoxins on the forehead would blunt that eyebrow raise or scowl, and would be a give-away that something was done there. However, you probably would be able to have these treatments on the “crow’s feet” area around the eyes, which is one of the subtler places to have this procedure.
An alternative procedure you may want to consider is a series of laser Genesis™ procedures that increase collagen production, thus minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and improve skin texture without sacrificing facial movement. This procedure is perfect for those who seek a procedure with no downtime. Or, you can have a microneedling procedure, similar to a “Vampire Facial,” that also stimulates collagen production and diminishes wrinkles with only a few days of down time. Results can continue to improve even months after the original procedure. Both the Genesis™ or microneedling procedures can be used in combination with a Toxin during your off-season as a performer.
If your character does not have a signature forehead expression, you are free to try a neurotoxin treatment to decrease the lines on your forehead. The most natural way to do it is to globally blunt all motion of the forehead, but not completely “freeze” the face. “Freezing” the face would be a tell-tale sign that something was done. Here at Rose Dermatology, we offer a “performer’s package” for neurotoxins that allows for minimal natural movement to still occur after the procedure is done. After your first appointment, we see you 2 and 6 weeks afterwards to check on the treatment, see how it took, and make any adjustments as needed. About 3-4 weeks after your treatment, you should video record your most challenging scenes and make sure you aren’t making any strange, unnatural looking facial expressions. It’s all about retraining yourself to be able to project the same emotion with subtler, more nuanced expressions. Remember that allowing for this minimal movement does so at the cost of wrinkle reduction. Additionally, I’ve had some patients try to “move through” their treatments, meaning they force movement despite the goal being to decrease the amount of movement (and thus wrinkling) in the area. This often causes recruitment of other muscles and results in new wrinkle formation in unexpected places, so it’s important to avoid trying to “move through.”
I do recommend getting the full “freeze” treatment, which would stop all movement for a few months, if you have some time in between jobs. With the “full freeze treatment” you would enjoy the maximal diminution of your wrinkles and get the most out of your treatment. You can make your forehead less noticeable to your audience with bangs over your forehead while it wears off, which usually is around 3-6 months. By the time your hair grows out and you show your forehead again, everyone will be sure to tell you how great you look, but they won’t be able to pinpoint why or how. Hopefully the muscles that produce the wrinkles will be a bit weaker and thus not able to produce the same deep wrinkles when your treatment has worn off. The “full freeze” would require planning in advance and is not always possible for the working actor who’s always on the go.
FILLERS for performers
The use of injectable fillers, such as Juviderm™, Restylane™, Perlane™ and Voluma™ (just to name a few!) can help turn back the clock. As we age, we lose subcutaneous fat in the temples, underneath the eyes, in the cheeks, around the mouth, and in the lips. It is very subtle at first and many times we can’t pinpoint exactly how our faces have changed. It is, however, that subtle thinning of the fat pads in our faces over time that differentiates a 20-year-old face from a 30-year-old face. The example I use the most is Princess Leah from the first to the second movie (I know I am dating myself!). These changes are most obvious in the thinnest performers; those are usually the dancers. If you’re very thin, it’s especially prudent to start early because the use of filler in the appropriate places can lead to collagen production, which helps you fight the aging process more effectively. Although there are minimal and rare side effects, this is not a procedure without risk. It is important to discuss them at length at the time of your consultation. Sometimes, there may be bruising after the procedure and, depending on the areas treated, swelling. To minimize bruising make sure you haven’t taken aspirin, ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, fish oil, or vitamin E at least two weeks before your filler treatment, unless directed by a doctor to continue these agents. If you experience bruising, try eating pineapples and using arnica cream before and after your procedure which can be helpful. It all depends on the areas you want treated and how much swelling you are willing to risk. A working dancer can hide all bruising and swelling underneath pancake makeup or, one of my favorite cover-all make ups, Derma- blend™, which can hide even the largest discrepancies skin color.
Keep in mind that as a person ages, it becomes easier to notice new lines forming on the face. Sometimes it’s not the line that needs to be treated with filler, but the area of the face that has lost volume and is causing the line that needs to be treated in order to make a face more youthful. The most natural rejuvenation procedures do not focus on changing lines, rather they focus more on restoring the youthful architecture of the face. They do this by volumizing areas that have, unbeknownst to you, deflated overtime. Fillers are very popular among actors and especially models, who are judged very critically on their appearance. They can make the difference between getting work and not and can also help keep you in a younger demographic if that’s where you want to stay.
Fillers can also be used to enhance features, regardless of age. We’ve all seen Hollywood big and small-screen actors suddenly appear with larger, fuller lips. Lip enhancement can have a significant effect on how you are perceived as an actor. Thin, dry, and tight lips are often associated with age, severity, and austerity, while full, soft lips are perceived as young, vibrant and attractive. When done properly, lip enhancement can open doors to new casting patterns in an actor’s career. Your anatomy does determine what kind of enhancement you can achieve and this can also be addressed at the time of your consultation.
The HIGH DEFINITION performer
Are you a Television performer on high-definition TV? The most challenging part about being an HD performer is maintaining a perfect complexion at all times. We can help you achieve that goal. Make an appointment with us right away to inject any active acne cysts. We also offer Silk Peel treatments™, a type of advanced microdermabrasion system that also increases cell turnover. It acts to lift stains left by old acne breakouts while simultaneously clearing and shrinking pores. This often speeds up the clearing process for acne while also providing the added benefit of slowing down the aging process. There’s no downtime so you can apply make-up and return to work immediately afterwards. This makes it a common procedure before red-carpet events and public appearances. Break outs are the enemy of the high definition performer and unfortunately treatments for break outs require time and commitment, some trial and error, and a little bit of luck. Before trying anything that could potentially make it worse, come in right away for some expert advice!
The AGING performer
Not quite ready to be cast as “the mother” just yet? Or do you want to be seen as the “youngish” parent? Are you concerned about the fine lines and wrinkles that are putting you into that older demographic? Our microneedling procedure gives you results comparable to resurfacing laser technology, but it is a fraction of the price and only a few days of downtime allowing you to be back on the set in just a few days. The collagen production induced by the procedure also continues months afterwards, so your results get better and better as time goes on. We also have a photofacials available for age spots that tend to make everyone look older.
Additionally, our performer’s Botox™ package is perfect for performers in this demographic as it works to slow down wrinkle development. Wrinkle development can accelerate over the years and, before you know it, you’re looking at a deep wrinkle that is very difficult to treat. I have also found that filler around the mouth can take years off the face, without hinting that something “was done” in this area. The lips simply look younger and a casual observer will not be able to pinpoint how.
Combining any of the treatments mentioned tends to make each more effective and last longer than if it were done on its own. You may also notice that, as you age, different procedures will be needed to maintain your look. All of these treatment have a common goal: to look refreshed and more youthful while avoiding a drastic change in appearance. They all work together to protect your investment, your appearance, to get you the most amount of work and to extend the prime of your career. Most of our patients are pleased with their natural, more youthful appearance. They’re thankful that those closest to them are unaware that the anything “has been done,” but only say that they look great, like they’ve just returned from a relaxing vacation.
While you are deciding on a treatment, if any at all, make sure you are maximizing the potential of your anti-wrinkle regimen by using the most powerful anti-aging creams. Many of the creams that are available make claims and promises they cannot keep, often with a hefty price tag. Ask us at Rose Dermatology and we will be happy to advise you on the best creams available. We also carry private label and niche products that are difficult to find elsewhere. Remember at the base of all anti-aging regimens is a good sunscreen. You can’t fight wrinkles without SPF!
As a working performer, are any of these options for you?
Schedule a consultation and find out!