Elevate Magazine, May/June 2015, Neck & Neck
NECK & NECK
The décolleté gets its due rewards with the latest technologies to hit the market
By Catalina Margulis
Thanks to all the advances in anti-aging, women are aging better than ever—at least our faces say so. But, often, as eyes scan down, a glance at our décolleté betrays our true age (hello, Madonna!) and the jig is up.
“It’s easy to spot a woman whose face doesn’t match her décolleté,” says Dr. Diane Wong, MD, cosmetic physician and owner and founder of Toronto’s Glow Medi Spa. “Most women take care of their faces and neglect their décolleté—and hands too. They haven’t been as willing to treat issues with their décolleté due to cost, pain or downtime.”
And yet, the décolleté can be even more vulnerable to aging. With thinner skin, fewer oil glands and more sun exposure, the décolleté is especially prone to sun damage, says Dr. Wong.
So, as the apparent age of your décolleté begins to outpace your face, it’s time to turn your attention to this often-overlooked area. Beyond extending your skincare regimen to your chest area (see “3 At-Home Remedies”), historically, options for treating the décolleté have been few and far between. “Standard filler options were offered, [but they] often caused irregularities,” says Dr. Cory Goldberg, BSc, MD, MASc, FRCSC, FACS, a plastic and craniofacial surgeon in Toronto. “Aggressive chemical peels could also be used, but had long recovery times.”
Fortunately, a whole host of procedures are now available to treat this most age-revealing feature, offering a quick, easy and affordable solution with minimal pain or risk and little to no downtime.
INTENSE PULSED LIGHT
We’ve heard about intense pulsed light (IPL) for the face, but it can also help treat aging in the décolleté area, including superficial brown spots, redness and fine lines. According to Dr. Wong, IPL treatments use a broad spectrum of light to target brown pigment (freckles, age spots) and redness (broken capillaries, spider veins). “Collagen is also stimulated in an IPL treatment, which helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and give skin a healthy glow and more homogeneous appearance,” she says. Dr. Wong recommends three to five treatments. Redness may appear for an hour or so, but it’s easy to cover up with makeup, she says, and there’s no downtime or anaesthesia required.
COST: Approximately $475 per treatment.
The crepey texture of an aged décolleté is a particular pet peeve for many women at a certain age. According to Dr. Goldberg, a fractional laser, such as Fraxel, can help smooth the surface of the décolleté by stimulating new collagen growth. He recommends a series of three to four treatments. “It leaves about two days of redness afterwards,” says Dr. Goldberg, who notes that results can last for three to four years. The Fraxel Dual laser is the latest version of Fraxel, according to Dr. Wong. She explains that it has two different laser wavelengths: a deep, penetrating wavelength ideal for deep lines and wrinkles, and a more superficial wavelength for treating sun damage and pigmentation. Bonus: The outer layer of the skin remains completely intact, which means that side effects and downtime are minimized.
COST: The Fraxel Laser costs $399 per treatment, according to Dr. Goldberg, while the Fraxel Dual Laser costs $850 per treatment, according to Dr. Wong.
For a no-downtime solution, Dr. Wong loves VoluDerm by Pollogen, which uses fractional technology, radiofrequency, galvanic electrical energy and microneedling technology to deliver controlled damage and trigger the healing process, resulting in new collagen and stimulating the body to generate hyaluronic acid (natural fillers). “It creates smoother, plumper skin that completely rejuvenates the look of the aging décolleté,” says Dr. Wong. Though there’s no downtime, redness and swelling can occur from anywhere from an hour to three days following treatment, says Dr. Wong, though she says it can be easy to hide with makeup. No anaesthesia is required. Dr. Wong recommends three to five treatments.
COST: Approximately $500 per treatment.