Giving true expression to the way you feel inside.

Smooth, glowing skin provides the cosmetic foundation to look good whatever your age. However, your skin has a natural cycle and changes at every phase of your life. Some of these changes you can comfortably live with. But what about the ones that don't express the real you?

Gone are the days when cosmetic rejuvenation techniques were the exclusive domain of celebrities and socialites. Now more and more people,men included, are turning to these techniques to make sure their faces express the way they feel inside.

Better still, you don't have to resort to drastic measures to get the looks you want. Thanks to today's rapidly evolving technologies, some ofthe most effective procedures are relatively quick and simple with minimum to no recovery times. They generally help fight skin aging by the following:

1. Directly address the causes of skin aging, such as sun damage or unwanted habitual expressions, to stop further damage

2. Soften deep lines by relaxing underlying muscle activity or by restoring tissue volume

3. Improve skin texture and tone by light therapy or topical creams

This web-site provides a more detailed look at these cosmetic rejuvenation techniques and answers some of the commonest questions about them, to help prepare you for your consultation with your doctor. Your physician may offer additional treatments not listed on this website.

Remember --the clearer you are about your needs, the better your doctor can evaluate which treatment is right for your type of skin and expectation level. That will bring you one step closer to having the face that expresses the real you!

1. Directly addressing the causes of skin aging:

Our Skin and How it Ages

Our skin consists of two layers. The thin, outer layer, called the epidermis, is our body's protection from the environment. New epidermalcells are constantly forming to replace dead skin cells that flake off at the surface. The dermis, or inner layer, contains blood vessels, nerves, oil and sweat glands. It also contains, to a large extent, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, substances that support and maintain your skin's shape.

Over time, the effects of sun, wind, facial expression, aging and hormones can cause changes in your skin. These appear as fine lines,age spots and sun damage.

With early aging of the skin, fine expression lines (like frown lines), may begin to appear on the face. These become etched into our skinfrom excessive folding of the skin when we frown or otherwise express ourselves. Over time, especially with repeated sun exposure, collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid begin to wear out. This leads to the formation of deeper lines, grooves and folds in our brow, next to the nose and down to the corners of our mouths. In addition, facial blood vessels often increase in size and pigment discolorations can occur.

Preventing Skin Aging: Sunscreens

As mentioned above, deepening facial expression lines, wrinkles, brown spots and broken blood vessels are all signs of skin aging. To agreat extent, many of these cumulative changes can be prevented. The daily use of sunscreens provides protection against harmful ultraviolet rays which can discolor the skin and contribute to the development of wrinkles and broken blood vessels. Many excellent sunscreens are available on the market to suit all skin types. They should be used regularly by anyone interested in preventing the visible signs of skin aging.

"Stop the clock" with BOTOX Cosmetic®.

Habitual frowning can leave its mark on your face, making you look more tense and angry than you actually are. BOTOX Cosmetic®, anintramuscular injection derived from a purified protein, relaxes the underlying muscles that cause wrinkles. Regular use of this simple treatment will soften expression lines and "stop the clock" on the development or further deepening of lines which, once present, may be difficult to otherwise do away with.

2. Softening lines / restoring tissue volume:

Relax your frown line … and your whole face will look more refreshed

One or two wrinkles in the wrong place can really change how people react to your overall facial appearance. BOTOX Cosmetic®, aA quick,almost painless injection between your brows has the effect of making your whole face look more rested, approachable and youthful looking.

One 10 to 15 minute treatment usually takes effect after several days and keeps your face more relaxed looking for 3 to 4 months. If youchose not to have further BOTOX Cosmetic® treatments, your lines will eventually return to pre-treatment levels.

Q.  Will BOTOX Cosmetic® give me a fake, frozen look?
A. Not if you are treated by an experienced doctor, who will be able to determine the right dose and injection technique for you. BOTOX Cosmetic®works only on the specific area being treated, so that the other elements of your facial expressions remain active. It also has no effect on the sensory nerves, so you will still have normal feeling in the treated areas.

Q. Does BOTOX Cosmetic® have any side effects?
A. In the amounts used for the treatment of frown lines, side effects - if they do occur -- are usually temporary and localized to the area ofinjection. The most common side effects, such as bruising, are temporary, and limited to the area of injection. Side effects may occur within the first week following injection. Localized tenderness, bruising and headache may be associated with the injection procedure. Ptosis, which causes the brow or an eyelid to droop, can occur, but it is rare especially in the hands of an experienced doctor.

Q. What is the history of BOTOX Cosmetic®?
A. In addition to its use for cosmetic purposes, BOTOX® has been used for over ten years at much higher doses to treat patients in a varietyof medical conditions including cerebral palsy in children as young as two, adult spasticity, movement disorders and hyperhidrosis (excessivesweating).

As well, more than a million people have used BOTOX Cosmetic®, making it the most popular and fastest growing, cosmetic procedure in North America.

BOTOX Cosmetic® is a prescription only medicine and as such is only available from a doctor. Furthermore, since treatment results depend very much on the administration, it is important to go to doctors who are experienced and well trained with the use of BOTOX Cosmetic®.

For more information about BOTOX Cosmetic® and to download “A consumer’s guide to BOTOX” visit www.botoxfacts.ca

Dermal Fillers - adding volume where needed

Fillers are similar to BOTOX Cosmetic® is that they can diminish or completely eliminate lines for months. However, rather than relaxingthe underlying facial muscles, dermal fillers are substances that are injected beneath your skin to "fill" creases and deep furrows. Areas most commonly treated with dermal fillers include the furrows which run from the sides of the nose down to the corners of our mouth, deep smile lines, frown lines and crow's feet. They can also be used to plump up lips or smooth out uneven lip lines.

Some fillers, such as collagen, are temporary and are gradually absorbed into the body after several months. The older kinds of injectablecollagen products are manufactured from purified bovine (cow) collagen, while the new ones contain purified human collagen.

Both Hylaform® and Restylane® are made of hyaluronic acid, a modified form of hyaluronan, a natural compound in the human body thathelps keep your skin plump and elastic. As you age, the amount of hyaluronic acid in your skin decreases, resulting in increased lines. When injected into your skin, these products temporarily replace your body's lost hyaluronic acid to create the volume needed to fill out problem areas for a period of several months.

Other products, such as Artecoll® and Dermalive®, offer more permanent corrections. Artecoll® contains tiny acrylic beads suspendedin cow collagen. Following collagen removal by your body, the beads remain behind resulting in long-lasting improvement of wrinkles or lines.

Q. How long will the treatments take?
A. Dermal filler treatments take about 15-30 minutes, and may require a little local anaesthetic to numb the area. During treatment, the fillermaterial is injected into the skin with a very thin needle to smooth out and give natural volume to the wrinkle, fold, or groove. One treatmentmay not be enough for particularly deep smile lines, and a second treatment may be required some weeks later. The longer-lasting treatments, Artecol®l and Dermalive® are usually administered a bit at a time over several treatment sessions. BOTOX Cosmetic® treatments may be provided at the same time as dermal fillers for patients who require both preventative muscle relaxation and volume filling.

For most people receiving temporary dermal fillers, a top-up injection is needed every 3-6 months to maintain the desired level of correction.Collagen, Hylaform® and Restylane® dissolve over time, and your skin will gradually return to the way it looked before treatment.

Q.Are there side effects?
A. Some side effects, which are temporary, may include mild redness, itching, swelling and pain. These typically resolve spontaneously within one or two days after the injection into the skin and one week after injection into the lips. Acne like lesions have also been reported at the injection site with Hylaform® and Restylane®. In rare cases, persistent redness, red spots and bruising may occur. In addition to these side effects, long-lasting lumps or bumps have been reported to occur,on occasion, with Artecol®l and Dermalive®.

All of the injectable filler substances listed here are intended for treatment by or under the direct supervision of a physician.,

3. Improve Skin Texture

IPL - A New Wave in Light Energy

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology is a new, non-invasive, highly targeted therapy that uses pulses of light energy to treat a widevariety of skin problems. As with BOTOX Cosmetic® and fillers, there is virtually no down time, allowing you to return to normal activity immediately following treatment. IPL treatment can produce smoother, even-toned, more youthful skin by simultaneously improving all of the following:

  • broken blood vessels on the face, neck and chest
  • redness from rosacea and flushing
  • brown pigmentation or freckles caused by sun damage
  • skin discoloration and mottled pigmentation
  • fine facial wrinkling
Q. How does IPL work?
A. IPL delivers intense bursts of light energy (similar to a camera flash), through very specific filters, to your skin. When this light energy is applied to problem such as a brown spot or broken blood vessel, it is absorbed by the skin and heats up that area. This causes the brown spot or broken blood vessel to be fragmented, without affecting the rest of your skin's pigmentation.

Q. How is the treatment performed?
A. A cold gel is applied to the area that is being treated and the smooth surface of the IPL hand piece is gently applied to your skin. Eachpulse of light produces a slight sting. A topical anesthetic cream may be used to reduce discomfort. Further pulses are provided until the entire area has been treated. IPL therapy of full face may take 20 minutes while larger areas of the chest and neck may take up to 45 minutes. There is usually a bit of redness which may last for a few hours. Slight darkening and flaking off of pigmented spots occurs after about 2 or 3 weeks. By dividing the treatment into several sessions, gradual improvement is achieved with low risk and no down time. Typically, 4-6 treatments are done approximately 3 to 4 weeks apart. A full treatment will therefore often take 4 - 6 months to complete.

It is important to avoid sun exposure after IPL therapy. You must wear a hat and sunscreen after this treatment.

Topical Creams - Exfoliating your way to better skin

Acid based exfoliating creams have long been used by medical professionals to treat chronic skin problems such as eczema and severe acne. Lately, milder formulations of these creams have been used for cosmetic purposes to remove dead skin cells from the skin's upper layer to reveal the fresher skin beneath.

Today, sun damaged skin is one common concern. Skin characterized by wrinkles, uneven pigmentation, brown spots, and a leathery appearance canbe treated with an exfoliating cream. One such product is Tazorac® cream. Clinical research has shown that Tazaroc® cream significantlyimproved sun damaged skin, fine wrinkling, pigmentation problems and enlarged pores. Side effects may include mild to moderate irritation and redness.

Products containing Vitamin A Acid (tretinoin) have also been found to be of value in reversing some signs of skin aging, including finelines, uneven pigmentation and sallow skin color.

Tazorac® and tretinoin creams are prescription products and as such are only available from your doctor. On the other hand, since these products are classified as pharmaceutical products, they had gone through stringent clinical studies to prove their safety and effectiveness before they were approved by Health Canada.

Q. Can anybody use exfoliating creams?
A. Exfoliating products can irritate sensitive skins. The following skin types have a high sensitivity to exfoliating treatments:

  • Fair-skinned, freckled, blue-eyed Celtic (such as Irish or Scottish) people who burn easily and tan poorly
  • People with skin that stings intensely after using perfumes, sunscreens or astringents
  • Blushers and flushers, whose faces turn red and feel hot when they are embarrassed or drinking
A. The innovations that have revolutionized cosmetic rejuvenation techniques are also coming to creams and lotions. A new breed of facial products called "dermocosmetics" or "cosmeceuticals" combine dermatologic and pharmaceutical properties to offer an alternative way to refresh your look. Many of these products, such as those containing alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids, work in the same manner as a chemical peel or dermabrasion - but less invasively - to exfoliate, increase cell production, repair sun damage and diminish uneven pigmentation. Others, such as stable vitamin C products, have been shown to reduce fine lines and repair some aspects of sun damage in the skin.

Q. How do the new "cosmeceuticals" differ from BOTOX Cosmetic® and fillers?
A. BOTOX Cosmetic® and fillers have the ability to instantly and almost entirely erase existing lines for months. "Cosmeceuticals", on theother hand, may take months to diminish even fine lines.

Check with your dermatologist first to make sure a facial product is right for you and that their claims are valid. Also, do not mix different"cosmeceutical" products together as they may burn or irritate your skin.

Which treatment is right for you?

Having a wide choice of simple and accessible cosmetic procedures means you can make a more informed decision about the face you wish toproject to the world. Be sure to make an appointment with a Dermatologist, Cosmetic Surgeon, or other physician with special knowledge of cosmetic facial treatment to discuss your individual case.

In many cases, your regular physician can refer you to the appropriate specialist. Otherwise, you can easily find an appropriate physician inyour local area by entering your postal code into the Physician Referral Page and clicking "search". He or she will help you make choices basedon your age, skin condition, expectation level and overall health. The cost of treatments will vary, depending upon the options most suitablefor your situation. You should discuss these with your doctor prior to treatment.

Join the growing numbers of people who are turning to simple, noninvasive cosmetic rejuvenation techniques to make certain that their faces mirror the way they feel inside!

All of the information on the www.botoxfacts.ca website was developed by SkinCareGuide.ca to provide you with accurate information about approved indications for and emerging uses of BOTOX®. SkinCareGuide.ca is founded by a prestigious group of international dermatologists with extensive knowledge and achievements in clinical, academic and business aspects of dermatology. It is created to serve as a source for reliable and in-depth information on skin care, dermatology, and cosmetic treatments. All information on this website is based on published clinical papers and is reviewed by independent physicians to ensure that it is accurate and up to date.

  BOTOX Cosmetic® and Tarzorac® are registered trademarks of Allergen Inc. Juvéderm® is a registered trademark of laboratories D’esthetique Appliquee Corporation, a member of the Corneal Group. IPL® is a registered trademark of the Luminus group of companies.