Okay, so last week Elle magazine didn’t exactly live up to the promises inferred by its miraculously titled article “FOREVER 21” — IN ALL CAPS. I mean, a promise is a promise right? And ALL CAPS? Well that’s serious.
But we’re not one to toss a good relationship in the trashcan without giving it a second chance, so let’s forgive and forget and move forward — sure the beauty mag didn’t exactly provide us with Forever 21-looking hair, but surely they wouldn’t under-deliver on the face, right? “RIGHT?” she said threateningly.
And just how does one maintain a Forever 21-looking face? According to Elle: Get thee to the nunnery… er… dermatolog-ery… doctor-y. (Oh… that didn’t work at all, did it? Hurrumph.)
The article turns to Nashville-based dermatologist Michael Gold, MD, who is apparently “taking powerhouse anti-aging topicals into new territory.” Like a modern-day Lewis and Clark, Gold is venturing farther than the layer of skin we can actually see and going deeper, ‘cause hey, those underlying layers of skin are where he can fight the signs of aging faster. This guy is a hero.
As one gets older, your skin’s sci-fi sounding fibroblasts begin to slack off (slackers), which slows down the production of collagen. Without collagen, you lose elasticity and one morning you wake up and your face has sagged (along with your other parts), down to your knees. As your connective tissue slacks off, your pores begin to widen and soon it seems as if you can park your car in them. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic — but I’m proving my point, folks. Am I right?
This isn’t something that a simple night-cream can combat, which is why doctors like Gold and NYC-based dermatologist Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD (whew) often take a multi-staged treatment approach to get the best results possible.
Gold, for example starts by prepping the face with a fractional laser, creating microscopic holes (eek!) in the dermis which he immediately fills with a variety of topicals like hyaluronic acid for plumping and vitamin C for brightening. Then he pushes the ingredients farther into the skin with an ultrasound device’s acoustic pressure (someone call the DJ.) Oh, wait… once again Gold’s treatment isn’t yet approved by the FDA (*sigh) (Calm down folks, Gold is a part of a trial study.) Making us wonder why Elle would be so cruel as to dangle yet another anti-aging carrot in front of our faces and then snatch it greedily away.
To be fair, the magazine does offer up Alexiades-Armenakas’ two stage treatment, in which the good Dr. slathers on a thin layer of a light-activated cream (Allumera) and then follows that with an IPL (intense pulsed light) laser to “turn on” the cream’s “active ingredients.” Alexiades claims that the pores are noticeably smaller after a single treatment, but we’re wary. And we blame Elle, and it’s seemingly habitual dangling of carrots.