Turning the big 3-0 no longer means what it meant – it’s a major milestone, to be sure, but with new attitudes and representations of aging redefining cultural concepts of what is ‘old’, the late twenties d ‘a person doesn’t carry the same stigma he once did.
Unfortunately, for many people, this reality doesn’t mean that the changes in appearance that begin to appear around age 30 — and the resulting insecurity about them — aren’t real either. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that $16.7 billion was spent on cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2020: this translates to approximately 137,000 minimally invasive procedures and 2,314,720 surgical procedures.
There is little reason to wonder why, now that the market for minimally invasive options available to the public has exploded. From over-the-counter skincare and at-home gadgets to filler injections, the beauty and cosmetic medicine industry has no trouble convincing people how to spend their money.
Dr. Debra Ibrahim and Maneeha Mahmood, co-founders of Aesthetica MedSpa in Bergen County, set out to eliminate some of the confusion consumers face when dipping their toes in medical spa water for the first time. They opened the doors to their joint venture in 2019 after noticing changes with their own bodies and feeling overwhelmed by the chorus of
lots of conflicting voices telling them how to proceed.
“When we start Google for skin tightening or wrinkles, so much information comes up at once. It is difficult to decipher who a reputable doctor is. What are the natural results? What can I expect from my appointment? Mahmoud said. “So Dr. Ibrahim and I wanted to bring in a concierge medical spa and really cut all the hype around everything and really have an organized menu.”
“When I hit 30, I was seeing age spots on my face and seeing my face getting older, which made me more interested in aesthetics,” Ibrahim said. “I think professionally and personally, I can relate to everyone because I am them.”
Experts in modern aesthetic offerings have recommended Jersey’s Best their top tips for those who want to try a service but feel overwhelmed, as well as which non-invasive options are right for you.
What can I expect in my early to mid-30s?
Many people panic when they start to see the changes in themselves that usually occur between the ages of 30 and 35. around the mouth.
“They say, ‘Oh, every picture I take, I see these lines and I don’t want them to get any deeper,'” she said. “So they’re all coming in for their first Botox treatment, they’ve just come into the world with Botox. When you hit 30, your body naturally starts to decrease its production of collagen, and collagen is what gives our skin a tender appearance.
Second, she added, people are starting to see sunspots on their faces from UV exposure.
How can I fight against early changes?
First, always wear sunscreen, advise Ibrahim and Mahmood, even when you’re not on your way to the beach. Prevention is the best way to maintain your desired look, so whenever you go out in the sun, be sure to lather up with at least SPF 30.
“I think that’s the secret: you can still fix a lot of things, but if you prevent it with the right skin care, the right routine, then you just don’t need as much intervention on my part at the end of the day,” Ibrahim said.
“We can’t control our genetics, but there are so many environmental factors that we can control, like sun exposure – not to say being a vampire, and hitting in the sun – but more wearing sunscreen, eating right , be hydrated, don’t smoke.”
For those who want to address their concerns with a minimally invasive procedure, the co-founders say injecting Botox into the face isn’t the only option. Today, treatments such as chemical peels and lasers can help lessen sun damage.
Microneedling is another technique that can help prevent wrinkles from forming or getting worse. A technician takes a pen with 14 super tiny needles and rolls it across the face to create controlled trauma, which the body then races to repair.
“We recommend it to all of our women in their 30s just to help counter the collagen that you won’t be producing anymore,” Mahmood said. “It’s not dramatic at all. It’s more just to keep your face the way it is, more like preventative treatments.
How to choose a medical spa?
Since people put their face on the line, making sure a medical spa is safe and has a track record of good results is essential.
“You really have to research where you’re going, think of it as a duty,” Mahmood said. “First, if you check your dog groomer reviews, you should check your static injector reviews. We want to see what the community is saying.
Next, review how your injector was trained and how long the clinic has been in business. Your first appointment should be a consultation where your injector asks you what your concerns are, makes you do different facial movements to see where your wrinkles are, and shows an understanding of your goals.
I’m interested in trying a treatment, but I’m nervous.
Facials are a way for the apprehensive to enjoy a medical spa without rushing into something more intense, the co-founders said.
At the office, patients can ask about prescription skincare, which Mahmood and Ibrahim recommend to anyone entering or approaching their twenties.
Where to start with skin care?
The skincare market is more than oversaturated and not all are created equal. Ingredients are important and consumers should be sure to pay close attention to the active ingredients and their percentages.
Ultimately, most consumers only need three products. Mahmood said every morning skincare routine should start with an SPF and a vitamin C-rich product, like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic. Vitamin C helps protect the skin from environmental damage, especially when using SPF in conjunction.
At night, experts recommend a retinol, which aids in skin cell renewal to ward off wrinkles.
I have other problems than anti-aging that I want to correct.
Turns out a lot of other people are doing it too. Some lesser-known treatments that Mahmood and Ibrahim shared include reducing veins and capillaries on the face with a laser.
“Some of the treatments are kind of underrated, but can really impact how someone looks,” Mahmood said. “The results are instantaneous. People always say “Oh my god, I had this gigantic broken capillary near my nose, my nostril, and the laser made it go away in a minute.” ”
Another common problem is melasma, or facial discoloration, which many patients don’t know can be cleared up with a chemical peel. Many women suffer from it during or after pregnancy.
“Tech neck,” or kinks on the neck resulting from long periods of staring at a phone or computer, is also increasingly common among people of all ages. It can be treated with an injectable filler, which will make them much less apparent, according to Ibrahim and Mahmood.
Is there anything I shouldn’t do?
Mahmood and Ibrahim said people who are generally happy with their facial dimensions shouldn’t feel pressured into filler. Although it may seem like everyone and their mother does, think carefully before making a decision.
“If you’re young and someone wants to give you cheek fillers, and you’re not really showing any signs of aging, something to
to consider is, ‘Do I really need fillers?’ ”
In their own practice, Mahmood and Ibrahim do not inject filler into the nose area due to the risk of it disrupting the blood supply to the skin around the nose. The consequences require additional procedures.
However, Mahmood said it is safe to inject putty into the nose, and many medical spas offer it as an option. Just be sure to do your due diligence if you’re determined to make changes to your nose without rhinoplasty.
ME Lewis is a Jersey tomato currently growing on a Brooklyn vine. She covered South Jersey, Union County and Newark and spent a lot of time discovering all that is weird and cool in her home country.
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of Jersey’s Best. Subscribe here for in-depth access to everything that makes the Garden State great.