Dr. Barbour’s Answer: First of all, “need” is a relative word when it comes to quality of life issues. It’s really about what you want and your priorities in life. Also, remember that the best cure is always prevention, and sometimes prevention can take a whopping amount of discipline. But what does one “need” to have an appearance that pleases them and the people around them? Absolutely, it’s a look of health, and the best way to have that is to be healthy!
The relatively free things are good nutrition with as close to a healthy vegetarian diet as you can comfortably get. A great book to read if you’re not too sensitive to some humorously liberal language is “Skinny Bitch” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. The second thing is to have some kind of exercise program that includes both resistance and aerobic exercise. Always check with your doctor if you have any health conditions. As we age, exercise becomes more and more a factor for longevity and quality of life. Looks-wise, it’s great for your circulation, for your figure, and ultimately for your self-confidence. All of us, no matter how busy we are, can make time for it. Trust me on this. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Self-discipline. No excuses. Do it.
Now that the proselytizing is out of the way, what’s next? As I’ve said elsewhere on the website, the foundation of external beauty is healthy skin. Numero uno is avoiding sun damage and I’ve also covered that. Just about everybody should be on some form of a topical retinoid. Your best bet is to have one prescribed by your doctor as she or he will be there for you to make sure it’s working and not causing undue irritation to the skin. Another relatively inexpensive form of upkeep is to have a good, deep-cleansing facial by a licensed aesthetician every four to six weeks. A good aesthetician will help keep your skin healthy and recommend a simple skincare regimen that is optimal for you. With professional recommendations you have someone there for you and what you spend on their services is probably less than what you’d end up wasting on products that may not be for you or may not deliver the results they claim.
Regarding procedures, many of my younger patients or people that have never had cosmetic work done in the past will start with Dysport or BoTox to relax the muscles that make the face look tired or angry. When these muscles are properly treated, some of the happy muscles that seem to lift the face a bit are actually allowed to work more efficiently.
The best way to proceed is to contact a doctor whom you feel you can trust and let them evaluate and guide you.