Facial Treatments and Tips for Healthy Winter Skin

“Old Man Winter” is here again, affording the perfect time to pamper your skin. It happens every year: cuticles crack and peel, hands turn to leather, and our cheeks take on the consistency of sandpaper. These are some of the telltale signs that it’s time to give your skin the attention it deserves during the long, cold season ahead.

To tackle that, Colorado’s Smith Cosmetic Surgery encourages patients to approach winter skin care with the most effective triad we know: prevention, exfoliation and hydration through physician-directed products. So let’s take a look at some of the ways you can start to use these tools during your daily routine and plan ahead to care for your skin this winter.

Facial treatments and tips for healthy winter skin graphic with attractive woman
Maintaining healthy skin in the winter hinges on three keys: prevention, exfoliation and hydration.

Prevention

If we can do more to protect our skin in the first place, it may never escalate to epically dry and cracked conditions. Prevention methods work from inside and outside the body, and it’s important to consider both. What can you be doing to protect your skin from winter’s amplified elements? How can you fuel your body to nourish it from the inside out?

First, the elements: It’s cold, it’s windy and, in Colorado at least, it’s also still sunny. While many people spend more time indoors, away from harsh elements, that’s not always the case for active people. If you participate in winter recreation such as skiing, your skin is getting walloped with extreme and prolonged exposure to sun reflecting off snow, coupled with chilly temperatures and whipping wind.

Sunscreen is an absolute must, even on those cloudy days. Applying protection to the face, neck and hands (don’t forget those!) is critical even in the winter. People who commute by car, for example, tend to get sunburned on one side of their face, as the rising sun blasts through the window. Constant reflection will also scorch hands resting on the steering wheel. An easy way to counteract this problem is to keep a quality sunscreen in the console and slather on all your exposed parts. Yes, even your hands. Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent Smith sees many patients whose hands have aged well beyond their faces.

The second sneaky feature of winter is the damage skin sustains even while we’re indoors. As the heaters kick on, they further dry out the air and add dust and other particles to our homes. Meanwhile the sun may still be baking and reflecting through windows, while a skin-sabotaging fire roars in the background. It may feel cozy, but your skin is screaming for a little TLC.

Especially in the winter, skin needs a sustainable way to replace the water it’s losing through environmental exposure. The most effective way to hydrate your skin is through the fluids and foods you take in each day. That means drinking more water, which can be a struggle for many people.

Consider this your winter challenge. Think of new ways to add variety to your water intake. Heat it up and add lemon. Keep a replenishing bottle of water with cut-up cucumbers in the fridge. Add a dash of a vitamin C packet once a day if you need to.

The foods you eat in winter also affect the health of your skin. While most people are drawn to warming comfort foods during cold snaps, don’t neglect those fruits and vegetables. Plant-based foods are packed with the natural nutrients and fluids your body and skin are craving in the winter.

Exfoliation

This may sound like the ultimate contradiction, but there’s nothing more important than stripping away old skin during the dryer months. It’s counterintuitive because most people think adding more moisturizer to the face will hydrate it best. But the opposite is actually true.

When you pile on lotion to try to smooth the papery look of your cheeks, it does very little good because you’re adding salve to dead skin that can’t absorb all its goodies. Exfoliating is really the only way to remove the layers of skin that you don’t need so you can expose the ones that help you glow. When you get to the newest, freshest layer of skin anything you apply will be more effective, reaching further into the epidermis.

So what are your exfoliation options? There are lots of manual over-the-counter products, such as an electric exfoliation facial brush or scrubs with micro-beads that help remove old skin. These may be moderately effective with regular—but not over—use.

However, the optimal solutions are doctor-directed treatments, such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser procedures. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, the secret is out. Winter is absolutely our busiest time, as patients want that summer glow for holiday parties or a mood-booster to get them through the winter doldrums. A youthful appearance in the middle of winter has a magical way of lifting the spirits.

A popular wintertime treatment with virtually no downtime is microdermabrasion, a speedy in-office procedure that uses a custom copper wand with a gently suctioning tip to smooth and remove layers of skin. Counter to popular belief, microdermabrasion is not a laser-based treatment. The tool used during this minimally invasive technique is a highly efficient technology all its own.

A chemical peel can also be a smart complement to microdermabrasion. The naturally occurring acids in today’s modern chemical peels penetrate deep into newly exposed skin to bring a superior level of healing and replenishment to deeper layers of the skin. Combining these two treatments can give you that glowy look for a longer period of time.

Of course, for those patients who want something a little stronger to reverse the signs of aging, winter can be a great time to schedule a full facial CO2 laser treatment. In fact, Dr. Smith jokes that “the laser is never off” in Colorado’s driest months. With a little more flexibility to recover during winter’s downtime, patients regularly book our CO2 laser. An advanced laser’s ability to penetrate far into the dermis provides that added boost of anti-aging and collagen regeneration that patients love.

Beautiful, young and smiling girl. She wearing a scarf and cap.
Winter is a great time to consider physician-directed exfoliation services and skin-care products.

Physician-Directed Products

Last but certainly not least are the products you apply to winter-weary skin. Remember, nothing will work on top of dead skin and anything will work better on exfoliated skin. But what you use to enhance and prolong the look of more youthful skin is of the utmost importance.

We hate to be the first to break it to you, but even the most expensive over-the-counter skin-care products might be a waste of your money. The most effective applications for skin care are those products trialed, tested and directed by doctors.

Smith Cosmetic Surgery has found one of the most successful lines on the market—a treat that we share with all of our patients. Our physician-facilitated SkinMedica line leverages a hyaluronic acid called HA5. The maker describes it best: “Hyaluronic acid is a natural, ‘water-loving’ substance found in the skin—acting as your body’s natural hydrator.” HA works by retaining that vital moisture, which can make the skin look healthier and more supple. By age 50, most humans have lost half of their naturally hydrating HA, so a product that can replenish what time has taken away is an ever-popular product in our office.

Interested in showing winter whose boss with a healthier, HA-boosted new you? Ask us about our SkinMedica products, microdermabrasion procedures and prevention tips. We’re ready for the season. Are you?

Contact us online or call us at 888-219-1161 to learn more about our hydrating products and procedures that can help you—and your skin—flourish this winter season.

Surgical Facial Procedures for Men

Let’s address something right away: Facial plastic surgery is not a gendered practice. There’s no exclusively male or female right to feeling good about yourself and your outward appearance. We all want and deserve to find self-confidence, age with grace, and showcase on the outside how we feel on the inside.

While cosmetic surgery is open to all sexes, the reality is that historically women have been a larger audience for plastic surgery. That’s a function of modern American culture. However, men are increasingly coming around to the idea of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures and facelifts.

man and woman considering plastic surgery
More men are choosing facial plastic surgery after seeing their significant others’ results.

Through working exclusively in facial plastic surgery for more than 25 years, Dr. Brent J. Smith knows that “significant others” tend to introduce men to facial cosmetic surgery. That makes sense, given the number of women today who have had a cosmetic facial procedure.

Often men experience their girlfriends, wives or partners starting to look—and feel—younger after a facelift. All of a sudden the females in their lives have a newfound zest—they’re more social and energetic. While men may still be a little hesitant to admit it, they want that too! And at Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we think they should have it.

Dr. Smith is a great asset in showing men what they can achieve through facial cosmetic surgery. He has carefully chosen his own natural-looking enhancements over the years and truly defines the way men can have a more dignified, healthy-looking appearance without sacrificing masculinity.

The topic of traditional notions of masculinity is a great place to start a deeper discussion about other issues men confront when considering plastic surgery. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the top concerns, misconceptions and realities in men’s facelifts, plastic surgeries and nonsurgical procedures.

Winning isn’t everything.

Without creating new stereotypes, in general there tends to be a big difference in how men and women deal with any type of surgery—namely emotions. In our experience, we’ve noticed that in most cases male patients tend to focus on outcomes and are naturally more competitive. When it comes to having a facelift, this translates to things like wanting to see results quicker than what might be realistic. Men are also inclined to define “winning” as healing faster and getting back to work quicker. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we help patients establish realistic expectations regarding results and recovery time.

The discomfort dilemma.

Facial plastic surgery is accompanied by some discomfort and unfamiliar sensations, especially during the healing process. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we have plenty of professional tools and methods, such as anesthesia and a high-tech recovery system, for managing the uncomfortable times. But everyone has a different threshold for pain. Knowing that there will always be nuanced mental and physical aspects to how each individual processes pain, we walk all of our patients through these parameters and guide men and women in how to plan for the surgical and post-op experiences.

What’s the right choice?

Once men decide they’re ready to move forward on crafting a younger look, they sometimes struggle with understanding which procedure will be right for them. Dr. Smith is a great resource for streamlining this decision-making process. He has spent nearly three decades learning the distinct differences in male and female facial structures. While mini facelifts work in a similar fashion on both sexes, there are subtleties in enhancement and complementary procedures that are singular to men. For example, male brow and eye areas, as well as the chin and jowls, are distinctly different and can therefore shift outcomes when included in the surgical process. Some of our most common men’s procedures include:

man considering facial plastic surgery
There are many surgical and nonsurgical options available to both women and men.
  • Rhinoplasty: A well-defined nose can create a strong masculine look to the face.
  • Brow lifts: Often a pronounced and deep-set area on male faces, a naturally furrowed brow can create a stern look or be misinterpreted as a “mean” expression. A brow lift can help men express what they’re really feeling.
  • Eye lift: Typically a key part of a mini lift, cosmetic surgery work around the eyes can relieve the look of hooding and bagging that are typical complaints among senior males.
  • Neck lift: Just like women, aging men struggle with the effects of a softening around the jowl and neck area. Correcting the look of “turkey neck” can help men take back their masculinity.

A partner in the aging process.

As we’ve already addressed, it’s a common occurrence for men to follow the women in their lives in making the choice to have plastic surgery. We see this as an entirely positive trend and believe that couples that frame this in a healthy way may actually improve their relationships. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we refer to it as aging gracefully together—and facial plastic surgery provides a platform to move forward. Rather than watching a significant other flourishing after a facelift and feeling envious, whether outwardly or unconsciously, making the pro-plastic surgery decision together can help couples feel like they’re on the same path—and planet—for the future.

“Brotox” is a reality.

Finally, men are catching on that surgical as well as nonsurgical maintenance procedures like BOTOX®—often referred to as Brotox for guys—are perfectly acceptable for any sex. In fact, we’d argue that fillers and laser enhancements might be even more important for men, because unlike women they don’t typically have the advantage of makeup to cover imperfections. As those deeper-set lines are etched in men’s faces from years of repetitive expressions and sun exposure, wrinkles only appear more prominent. While facial hair may cover some signs of aging, men’s facial lines are exposed. Starting to schedule regular, nonsurgical procedures like BOTOX can begin to halt wrinkles from going any deeper.

Function followed by form.

One of the ways we like to introduce men to facial plastic surgery is by treating functional issues on the face first. For example, Dr. Smith regularly sees men who elect for a preventative treatment on a precancerous lesion. But perhaps too many hours on the golf course without proper sunscreen have led to some serious sun damage and premature wrinkling too. If that’s the case, Smith Cosmetic Surgery can design a plan that will address existing skin issues (function) while also generating a computer model showing how further work could make a man look like a more youthful version of himself (form).

However men come to facial plastic surgery and nonsurgical procedures that can help turn back time, we welcome them. Smith Cosmetic Surgery wants people to know that looking good is not defined by gender.

For more information about facial plastic surgery and nonsurgical services, or to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Smith, please contact us today.

Am I a Good Candidate for Facial Surgery?

At some point in life, most of us are candidates for facial plastic surgery. But knowing when the time is right is a big part of making your experience the best it can be.

The goal of facial cosmetic surgery is to provide a physical lift that also boosts self-confidence. We like to remind people that the decision to have plastic surgery, no matter when it occurs in life, shouldn’t be predicated on physical appearance alone.

woman asking if she's a candidate for facial plastic surgery
The question we’re asked most at Smith Cosmetic Surgery is, “Am I too young/too old for facial plastic surgery?”

Cosmetic surgery, like many optional enhancements we make in life, won’t live up to its potential if you do it to look like someone else, chase a younger version of yourself, design a face for social media, or “keep up” with the Joneses.

Likewise, it’s important not to make a rash decision about a facelift based on emotions alone. For example, we encourage our youngest prospective patients to make sure they’ve gained enough real-world experience; we ask those who find themselves single following a long-term relationship to pause before pushing the reset button; and we urge people of all ages to find a healthy state of mind when they finally commit to cosmetic surgery.

Guiding patients through this decision-making process is an extra step we take at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. Board-certified Denver plastic surgeon Dr. Brent J. Smith has been performing mini facelifts for more than 25 years and is able to recognize when someone is not in the right place to move forward with facial plastic surgery. It doesn’t mean that person will never be a candidate (as the modern mini facelift can be customized for nearly everybody); it just means the timing isn’t right.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most common physical and emotional motivations we address with prospective patients at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. By far, the question we field the most is: Am I too young or too old to consider plastic surgery on my face?

Am I too young?

These days there is a trend toward considering plastic surgery at a younger age, as well as nonsurgical procedures like BOTOX to achieve a certain look. Plastic surgery in general is discussed more openly than ever before.

We would never suggest that someone in their 20s, for example, is not a candidate for rhinoplasty or a mini lift.  Dr. Smith performs many nose jobs among the younger set to help make one of the body’s most prominent features complement the rest of the face. He’s also performed his mini lift technique on women in their 20s and 30s who have benefited greatly from the procedure.

However, we always guide our younger patients through a series of inquiries about their motivations for choosing surgery. Making a smart decision always comes down to this: If there’s something that’s always bothered you, such as a nose that’s never quite fit your face, then it’s the right time to make that adjustment.

These kinds of physical concerns tend to escalate during puberty, when the body is going through so many other changes. Self-consciousness about inherited facial traits may also become heightened as young people enter the professional workplace or a specific job where they are regularly on display or in face-to-face communications a majority of the day.

There are, however, some impulses that don’t always align with plastic surgery being a good option. It could be trying to fit in with those we perceive as “cool,” or trying to resolve an unhealthy emotional state through a physical change. In these instances, we work with younger people to develop patience while they work on deeper issues or to consider nonsurgical options that could refresh their appearance and help prevent some early signs of facial aging.

For example, regular BOTOX treatments can go a long way in preventing fine lines and wrinkles from setting in prematurely. Then, at the right moment later in life, a mini lift really may do wonders.

Am I too old?

On the flip side, we encounter many prospective patients who wonder if they are too old to have a facelift. We like to say that you’re never too old to stop aging in its tracks.

If a person is in good general health, there is no reason men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and even 80s can’t have the appearance they dream of. Dr. Smith specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face to give people of all ages a new lease on life. There’s no expiration date on wanting to look our best.

To date, the oldest person to have facial plastic surgery at Smith Cosmetic Surgery is an 89-year-old female. She’s a shining example of what our senior patients can achieve later in life.

After running some baseline tests to assess an older patient’s ability to undergo the surgical procedure, anesthesia and healing process, we set realistic expectations for mature clients. A mini facelift on a 70-year-old will never look like one on a 30-year-old.

Like all areas of the body, the skin on the face becomes less elastic and the underlying muscles weaken over time. So where a younger patient may see results that seem to last longer, older patients will notice a slight softening of results sooner.

That said, facelift recipients will always look more youthful than they did pre-surgery.

Knowing when the time is right

Even with these guidelines it can be hard to discern when to have a facial plastic surgery procedure. Every person is different. People come to Smith Cosmetic Surgery in different physical and mental states of health. And the decision to have plastic surgery is very personal.

Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent J. Smith
Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent J. Smith knows the best outcomes occur when a person is patient, prudent and prepared for surgery.

To help, Dr. Smith and his staff have developed a line of questioning that gets to the heart of why patients begin to consider plastic surgery in the first place. If you are unsure about whether or not to move ahead with a mini lift, start by asking yourself these important questions:

  • Putting physical appearance aside, are you otherwise pleased with the person you are?
  • Does feeling like you look older than others—friends, parents, coworkers, family members—frustrate you?
  • Looking deeper, are you actually trying to fix something else (failures or frustrations in relationships, work, parenting, etc.) by “fixing” your face?
  • Are you captivated by the ways others perceive or judge you? Or do you think you have a healthy self-image that emanates from within?
  • Have you ever been through any surgery before? Do you feel prepared both physically and mentally for the procedure?

These are just some of the questions it’s important to ask yourself before scheduling a facial plastic surgery procedure at Smith Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Smith has been performing facelifts for well over two decades. He knows that the best outcomes occur when an individual is patient, prudent and prepared.

If you’re considering facial plastic surgery or nonsurgical options to rejuvenate your appearance, please call Smith Cosmetic Surgery at 303-741-2211 or contact us online to learn more about our services or schedule your personal consultation.

Not Ready for Surgery? These Nonsurgical Procedures Combat Aging

There are a variety of reasons you might not be ready for facial plastic surgery. While it remains the only long-term fix for an aging face, it just may not be the right option for you now.nonsurgical procedures to fight facial aging

  • Maybe you feel like you’re too young and want to focus on prevention so you postpone surgery for a few years.
  • Maybe you’re wondering if improving the surface quality of your skin could provide the temporary “lift” you’re looking for.
  • Maybe you currently have an extremely busy schedule that won’t allow for proper recovery from facial plastic surgery.
  • Maybe you’re looking for a way to test the waters in facial skin enhancements for your specific problem areas before stepping up to a mini facelift.
  • Maybe you’ve listened to the professionals at Smith Cosmetic Surgery and know that nonsurgical procedures are a great way to maintain your new look after a facelift.

However you come to consider nonsurgical procedures, know that there are many to choose from and you may need a little guidance on what will work best for your unique genetic history, skin type, age and lifestyle to achieve the results you desire.

Dr. Brent J. Smith and his exceptional staff are available to walk all patients considering both surgical and nonsurgical procedures through the suite of different options available today.

Dr. Smith, who has focused exclusively on facial plastic surgery for more than 25 years, uses only the best and most proven techniques, laser technology and skincare lines.

Which nonsurgical procedure is right for me?

So you can make the most informed choice possible, it’s important you understand how Smith Cosmetic Surgery thinks about its nonsurgical procedures. Because there are so many different fillers, resurfacing lasers and skincare products on the market, we think it’s easiest to first focus on which area of the face each is designed to treat.

Upper third of the face

The popular and highly effective BOTOX® Cosmetic injectable is made to treat the upper third of the face—forehead wrinkles, lines between the brows and crow’s feet—by relaxing muscles overtaxed by constant expression.

BOTOX is injected under the skin at the site of specific problem areas and delivers a lasting, age-defying lift that patients love. It works by gently calming the tiny muscles around the forehead, eyebrows and corners of the eyes so they can’t wrinkle as easily from the repetitive expressions we make all day and night.

When we’re busy with work or life’s tasks, often we have no idea how much we are squinting, frowning or focusing. BOTOX helps reduce these movements, in effect preventing new wrinkles from forming, while still maintaining a very natural look.

Denver facial plastic surgeon Dr. Brent J. Smith offers many nonsurgical services to address common signs of facial aging, including dermal fillers and laser skin care.

People in their 20s are now coming in for BOTOX treatment as a preventative measure, so they can head off and slow the face’s inevitable signs of aging. It’s no wonder it’s one of the top-requested nonsurgical procedures in the world.

Lower two-thirds of the face

The lower two-thirds of the face may require a different type of dermal filler, known as a volumizer, to redefine gaunt cheeks, fill out smoker’s lines or tastefully plump disappearing lips.

Leveraging well-respected brands, such as gel-filler Juvederm® and the fast-acting Radiesse® volumizer, we take a conservative approach to the lower portion of the face. Because the cheeks, for example, are so prominent, our talented RN takes time to fill facial features so they look entirely natural—never over-injected.

The beauty of fillers for the lower section of the face is they not only start working the day they are applied under the skin, but they keep on working after you leave our office by stimulating the skin to do its own work. The filler procedure actually stimulates the skin to grown new collagen—the critical stuff that supports the structure of our faces.

Wherever the injectable is applied, it will send a signal to the body to start making more of its own collagen. How’s that for an added benefit?

All-over resurfacing and refreshing

Of course, outside of specific nonsurgical fillers and volumizers, there are a wide variety of skin enhancements that can deliver a temporary glow of youth or fix pigment issues such as uneven skin tone or sunspots.

One of the most effective is Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s fractional CO2 laser, which can be applied to treat almost any issue on the face, neck and even the upper chest or décolleté. These can include softening stubborn wrinkles, reducing the appearance of large pores and equalizing uneven pigmentation.

Laser technology has allowed Dr. Smith to offer a completely custom nonsurgical procedure that works on specific problem areas and can go as deep as necessary to produce results.

If you’ve already had a mini facelift or laser skin resurfacing and are looking for a way to refresh after or in between surgical procedures, regular skin treatments are a great way to enhance that youthful look and feel.

The skin treatments at Smith Cosmetic Surgery range in type, from a laser facial meant to go a little deeper to a gentle exfoliating peel. Our skincare professionals have been doing this for decades and know exactly what will work best for each patient.

Facial treatments can target specific issues like acne, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, melasma, rosacea, or simply slough away old skin and create that glow we’re all looking to achieve. Options include:

Microdermabrasion: Considered today’s skin-maintenance must, our “crystal-free” microdermabrasion offers mild resurfacing with low irritation, cleansing the pores for a healthier, more refined look.

Laser facial: This facial leverages our custom laser to treat fine lines and wrinkles while stimulating collagen production for maximum effect with minimal down time.

Glow skin treatment: Patients report feeling like they “glow” after this 90-minute treatment, which includes microdermabrasion, a light chemical peel, concentrated hydroxy acid masque and LED-light session.

DermaPeel: Exfoliate to the extreme with this hour-long combination of microdermabrasion, a light chemical peel and extractions, ending with a soothing, hydrating masque.

Acne facial: Target those troublesome oil-trapping pores and promote cell turnover with a safe acne peel, which uses alpha and beta hydroxyl acid to reduce excess oil and diminish the appearance of large pores.

Skincare for sustaining your look

We also recommend physician-directed skincare products and healthy daily routines to make sure the results of any of our nonsurgical procedures are amplified daily on your fresh face. 

Now that you have a clean slate, the key is keeping skin clean, well hydrated and protected from the elements. You don’t need to buy—or apply—layers of over-the-counter products if you focus on a high-quality moisturizer and a high-potency anti-aging serum with retinol, the only ingredient proven truly effective on maturing skin. These choices will actually save you money in the long run.

Smith Cosmetic Surgery is happy to walk all new patients through smart skincare routines following any nonsurgical procedure at our office in Denver. Have more questions about which nonsurgical procedure is right for you? Please contact us to schedule an appointment to learn what will work for you, your individual skin and your lifestyle.

Common Questions About Facelifts

Even people who are convinced that they’re ready for a rejuvenating facelift have a lot of questions about the procedure, and there are some good reasons for that:

  1. Many misconceptions and plenty of misinformation exist in the marketplace about facelifts and the procedure that is now referred to as a mini lift.
  2. A friend’s facelift will always be different from your personal facelift procedure.
  3. It’s hard to understand how even a masterful facial plastic surgeon can turn back time to reveal a new, younger-looking you while maintaining your natural appearance.
gallery of facelift and mini facelift results
We consider it an honor and our top priority to customize each facelift procedure for your needs.

At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, a big part of what we do during each complimentary consultation is provide answers to these questions and more. Since Dr. Brent J. Smith and his team at Smith Cosmetic Surgery address these types of concerns every day, we’re very aware and in tune to what you might be wondering about right now.

So let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions about our most popular procedure: the facelift.

What’s the difference between a facelift and a mini lift?

Just words, really. Facelift is now considered a rather dated term for describing modern facial plastic surgery, especially for medical professionals who specialize in the head and neck region. In the past, facelifts were performed with larger, more invasive incisions, often with less customization and fewer technologies available for speeding the healing process.

Today, most surgeons, including Dr. Smith, refer to a facelift as a mini facelift or “mini lift.” Why? Because while this widespread procedure is still a surgery involving incisions, the industry has become smarter and more efficient and effective at performing it.

The tricky thing about the phrase “mini facelift” is that it can mean slightly different things to different plastic surgery practices. For example, some offices have gone so far as to call the contemporary facelift a “lunch-time lift.” At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we are careful not to use such terminology, because although the procedure moves relatively quickly and healing times have shortened, all facelifts still require surgically manipulating muscles, tissues and skin to address the ways the lower face ages.

When Dr. Smith performs surgery he is very clear with patients that while this may feel like a “mini” surgery, particularly in the careful hands of someone medically trained to work specifically on the face, it is still an operation that demands healing time.

How long will my facelift last?

The quick—and promising—answer is “forever.” By that we mean, we all continue to age, but you will continue to look more youthful than before a mini facelift procedure with Dr. Smith. In effect, a facelift is a surgical procedure that “starts you over.” Think of it as beginning to age from that point forward.

There will always be genetics and lifestyle choices that play into how long a particular patient can “hold” the look of a fresh facelift, but there’s one consistent theme at Smith Cosmetic Surgery: You will look naturally younger than you are right now.

Will my mini facelift look natural?

When building a customized mini facelift map for your specific needs, it’s as though Dr. Smith is referencing a youthful picture of you that symbolizes how you’d look if you remained “forever young.” Somehow he already knows what you’ll look like. It’s kind of like magic, but not quite: It’s practice.

After perfecting his art on as many as 200 patients a year over nearly three decades, Dr. Smith has become an authority on natural-looking facial plastic surgery. Because he’s become known as the Denver surgeon who produces some of the most natural-looking results, people come to Smith Cosmetic Surgery from around the city, state and across the country to look like a younger version of themselves.

In fact, many of our patients have told us about the questions they are asked after getting a rejuvenated face from Smith Cosmetic Surgery. Interestingly, they are never about the name of the plastic surgeon or how “taut” their skin looks, but rather about how they got such a rested and vibrant look. Comments often involve what the patient might have changed about their eyes or hair. We know that this is a sign that the results of the facelift are exactly how Dr. Smith planned them to be—completely natural.

Will I see scars after my facelift?

First, let’s address the word “scars.” With the finely tuned instruments Dr. Smith uses to make incisions during a mini facelift there’s really no visible marking that resembles a scar following a facial plastic surgery procedure.

The tiny incisions where Dr. Smith gently manipulates muscle tissue to enhance the look of the face are virtually invisible. What’s better? Even if you were looking for them, these incision points are well hidden at the hairline and inside the ear. While you might be able to detect them with a magnified glass, one would be hard pressed to see these minuscule healing points with the naked eye.

While these hidden incisions may take between six and eight weeks to disappear completely, you don’t have to wait to get on with your life following a mini facelift. Women, for example, can wear their hair up in a professional setting or while working out without anyone knowing they had surgery.

How much downtime should I plan for?

The answer to this question varies by person. If you are coming to Smith Cosmetic Surgery later in life with weakening skin collagen—or after many years of smoking, drastic weight changes or heavy sun exposure—clearly your skin and its supporting structures will require an additional level of surgery than a younger individual with healthy skin and lifestyle.

We don’t judge our patients. We consider it an honor and our top priority to customize each facelift procedure for your needs and then set expectations for a realistic recovery time for your specific mini facelift. With that in mind, we are confident in reporting that, with a little concealer, most Smith Cosmetic Surgery patients are ready to go out to dinner in as few as two weeks.

One of the most interesting things about recovering from facial plastic surgery is that it’s not really downtime, but rather healing time. Like any surgery, the first few weeks require your body to work extra hard at recovering and regenerating skin cells. After that initial window, your face continues to rejuvenate in small increments each day and reveal your new look over several months. In fact, it’s a beautiful process as a younger more naturally looking appearance comes to light each morning.

Smith Cosmetic Surgery is happy to answer any questions you might have about our mini facelift procedure. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our trained professionals or schedule a complimentary in-person consultation with Dr. Smith himself. We are here to put your concerns to rest.

Why Nearly Everyone is a Candidate for Laser Resurfacing

Lasers made for skin resurfacing have come a very long way—and as a laser pioneer, Dr. Brent J. Smith has been there for the journey.

As one of the first facial plastic surgery centers in the country to perform full-face laser skin resurfacing, Smith Cosmetic Surgery has leveraged laser technology to create younger-looking skin on more than 10,000 patients for more than 25 years.

laser skin resurfacing candidate
If you desire smoother, younger-looking skin, laser resurfacing may be right for you.

The CO2 lasers we use at Smith Cosmetic Surgery are safe, highly effective and customizable for most all skin conditions. Laser skin resurfacing is a wonderful way to complement and extend the look of a surgical procedure, such as a cheek, neck or chin lift.

In fact, we often see that it’s the secondary skin resurfacing procedure that enhances mature skin in the most dramatic way. Sometimes we call it the magic eraser, because while we can’t rely on it to surgically lift and contour angles of the face, we can count on laser resurfacing to gently remove older layers of skin to smooth and erase some of the most visible signs of aging – from brown spots and wrinkles to acne scarring and sun damage.

In fact, there’s rarely a person that walks in the doors of Smith Cosmetic Surgery that could not benefit from the powerful revisions made possible by today’s most advanced cosmetic lasers. That’s why we say that most everyone, really, is a candidate for laser skin resurfacing.

It’s about your skin as much as your cheekbones

One of the biggest misconceptions is that the most outwardly visible signs of aging are structural issues such as drooping jowls, wrinkling foreheads and turkey necks. But that’s simply not the case.

Have you ever seen someone with amazing cheekbones but horrible skin? All you can focus on is the weathered, spotty or pockmarked skin, right? This surface layer says so much about who we are—and how old we are. The real impression we have of others starts with healthy skin.

Let’s look at another example: an outdoor athlete whose face has been beaten by sun, who looks both extremely weathered and gaunt. Which issue is worth fixing first?

We’d argue both. If you add some plumpness to sunken cheeks with a well-crafted facelift and beautifully sculpted fat grafting, you’re still left with a lifetime of leather on your face. That’s why lifts and lasers go hand-in-hand.

Once Dr. Smith explains the benefits of scheduling both procedures, some 85 percent of Smith Cosmetic Surgery patients choose to have laser skin resurfacing in combination with a facelift.

The inside line on facial laser practices

It may be surprising, then, that most people don’t request laser skin resurfacing alongside a modern mini facelift. Although Dr. Smith and staff see the extraordinary benefits of lasers every day, there are several reasons that laser-guided resurfacing is still considered the stepsister of facial plastic surgery:

  • There are a lot of myths floating around about skin lasers
  • Early lasers were less precise and required more recovery time
  • Not all lasers (or practitioners) are created equal

So let’s address each of these.

First: Myths. Myths exist for all elective procedures, whether it’s Lasik or laser skin resurfacing. Usually these are singular stories overheard and passed along, either by word of mouth or online. By the time they reach you they have morphed into a tragic half-truth. There is also a lot of misinformation on the internet and broadcast to consumers daily in the form of misleading advertising.

Many myths related to lasers have to do with misunderstandings about how they actually work—and how far they have come since they were first used for skin resurfacing. There are widely varying myths about how deep lasers go, how they make your skin look, how long it takes to recover from resurfacing and how long the effects last.

The only way to know if something like laser resurfacing is right for you is to come in for a complimentary consultation and learn about the state-of-the-art CO2 lasers and techniques that we employ at Smith Cosmetic Surgery.

Second: the evolution of lasers. Dr. Smith will be the first to admit that early lasers used in cosmetic work were crude compared to the remarkably precise CO2 laser machines used today.

Because of early lasers’ high heat output sometimes skin would turn redder than expected and recovery times for skin to return to normal tones was quite long. Today, the top lasers on the market have fine-pulsing energy streams that doctors can customize for the needs of each patient—only going as deep, long or wide as necessary.

Likewise, old lasers often left a more distinct line of demarcation between where the laser was applied and where it wasn’t. That often left certain parts of the face looking “waxy,” which was not an ideal outcome for anyone.

Modern lasers like the fractional CO2 lasers we use at Smith Cosmetic Surgery are blending masters. They are so fine-tuned that Dr. Smith can merge resurfaced skin right into the neck, jowls or forehead, for example, in a natural and nearly unnoticeable way.

Recovery times will always vary by patient. The more aggressive the laser work for deeply damaged skin, the longer it will take to regenerate new collagen and skin over top. But typically, healing can occur in as little as three to five days for lighter, finer laser work and 10 days for deeper laser applications.

Lastly: Not all lasers (and surgeons) are the same. At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we have purchased our own suite of CO2 laser equipment, considered some of the best on the market today.

Did you know that many plastic surgeons rent lasers for certain days each month and squeeze in all of their skin resurfacing patients on those days? Often, rented lasers are bounced around during transportation and used in unknown ways by other surgeons. We don’t trust that approach—and neither should you.

Most importantly, your first priority should be choosing a surgeon or registered nurse for laser skin resurfacing who is highly trained, stays current on new laser technology, performs hundreds of laser procedures a year and truly understands how to customize the experience for every individual face. You don’t want a tech performing laser work; you want a trained surgeon or medical nurse.

As the country’s original full-face laser treatment surgeon, performing over 400 procedures each year, you can trust Dr. Smith to show you all the beauty and benefits of contemporary skin resurfacing.

Is Facial Plastic Surgery a Wise Investment?

It’s tax season and you may be wondering how to invest your refund wisely. There’s more than anecdotal evidence that putting that refund toward a renewed and refreshed look could be a very rewarding long-term investment.

A well-known study from the Mayo Clinic even went so far as to suggest that women who have facelifts might live up to a decade longer than women who don’t. The boost from a facelift seemed to come not just from the more youthful physical changes research participants experienced, but also from the impact that a more healthy-looking face had on positive self-image and outlook on life.

Plastic surgeons around the country, including Dr. Brent J. Smith, agree that they see this mind-body phenomenon happen every day. There’s certainly a link between enhancing the appearance of the face and the impact it has on our perception of self.

We’re not sure about your take on the report, but to us getting a new lease on life—and potentially extending it by several years—seems like a worthwhile investment.

First, give yourself permission

The first step in actually putting hard-earned money toward something for yourself is believing that you’re worth it. And for many people, especially women, that can be a challenge in and of itself.

Due to cultural traditions (which are changing), women often feel guilty about using money on themselves. There can be a sense of self-indulgence or vanity that seems to come with exploring a plastic surgery procedure, for example.

We’d like to put that notion to rest once and for all. Investing in yourself is not a luxury; in many ways it’s a necessity. Think of another physical modality, such as a regular massage, that you may have come to appreciate and need for both mental and physical health. Plastic facial surgery is really no different and the results can be far more long lasting.

Here’s another way to think about it: Remember last month’s quick fix for wrinkles? Didn’t work, did it? How about all those fancy age-defying lotions you spend money on? That’s expensive. What about the in-office procedure that your friend swore was the magic treatment? Didn’t last.

You have spent more than enough on short-term solutions. Now is the time to invest in plastic surgery: the only proven long-term solution for aging skin.

When is the right time for a facelift?

At Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we often consult with patients who are experiencing life changes that can make a facelift feel more like a “life lift.” Here are some of the scenarios we see regularly:

  • You’re 60, recently laid off and need to make a great impression for a big job interview.
  • You’re back in the single world and are finally ready to enter the dating scene again with a fresh look.
  • You’re in a midlife state of re-evaluating everything that really matters to you—and you realize that time is ticking too fast.
  • You’re the spouse of a prominent business person who is constantly in the social spotlight—and therefore constantly feeling judged by others.
  • You’re a grandparent and want to finally look as young as you feel when you’re with the grandkids.
  • You are young, single and finally have a disposable income (plus a tax refund), and you are ready to change a nose that has never really felt like your own.

The reasons people of all ages and backgrounds come to Dr. Smith for plastic surgery are varied, but there’s one universal need we all share: to feel happy, healthy and accepting of ourselves.

Dr. Smith would like to extend an invitation today to give yourself permission. To no longer feel guilty for putting yourself first. And to start seeing mind-body procedures like plastic surgery for what they really are: a long-term investment in self-confidence and contentment.

Pay for plastic surgery like a Porsche

Yet another way to validate investing in a facelift is to think about plastic surgery purely in financial terms. When most people buy a new car, especially a dream vehicle like a brand-new Porsche, they don’t prolong the process while gathering money for an all-cash, one-time payment. We finance our cars so we can drive and enjoy them right now.  A facelift can be thought of in a similar way. Why put off all the positives that come with facial plastic surgery for a rainy day when you can get your procedure done now instead of waiting for all the stars to align? In fact, you might think of this year’s tax refund as an investment in this spring’s facelift. And, at Smith Cosmetic Surgery, we are pleased to work with patients on creative payment plans to fit your budget.

Ready to give yourself permission and invest your tax refund in something that is personally rewarding? Don’t wait. Call Smith Cosmetic Surgery for a complimentary consultation today. Ask as many questions as you like about your procedure—and about our financing options. You might be surprised by what we can do to get you on your journey to a whole new you.

What makes a Smith Cosmetic Surgery nose so unique?

Nose jobs Colorado Among plastic surgeons it is widely accepted that noses are the most difficult to do correctly. That’s why patients should think long and hard about the surgeon they choose to sculpt a new nose, whether for cosmetic or medical reasons.

Operating on noses takes a highly experienced surgeon because there’s very little room for error. This facial feature sits prominently in the middle of the face.  It’s a big part of the way we present ourselves to the world, not to mention one of the first things others notice when they meet us.

That means plastic surgeons that perform rhinoplasty, or “nose jobs”, must do so with great precision and intent. There’s no hiding a “mistake” on a nose the way one could hide an imperfection from plastic surgery on the belly, for example, with clothing. Your nose will always be front and center.

The decision is obvious: Dr. Brent J. Smith consistently performs between 180 and 200 facelifts each year, most of which include eyelid surgery, a nose job, and possibly chin and ear procedures.

Every nose is a new blueprint

The other thing that makes noses the most challenging cosmetic surgery is, like a fingerprint, each nose is totally unique. Getting it right for each patient means shaping the nose to fit with the rest of the face in a way that looks natural.

There is no routine, one-nose-fits-all rhinoplasty procedure. “Having a broad skill set allows me to individualize each and every nose,” says Dr. Smith, who is double board certified by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Academy of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery to work on both the inner and outer aspects of the nose. “This is not a cookie-cutter surgery. Each one must fit with the face so the nose looks like one they were born with, and so that it ends up complementing other features rather than detracting from them.”

Having practiced plastic surgery exclusively on the face for more than 25 years has given Dr. Smith the hands-on experience to perfect his art—bringing out the aesthetics of each nose. Achieving specialization in ear, nose and throat, affords Dr. Smith an even more significant advantage: knowing how the nose must function physically with the human body.

For example, if a patient comes in with the ideal of achieving the thinnest, tiniest nose possible, Dr. Smith will communicate the issue of how the nose must still be able to function properly by bringing air to the lungs. Will there be enough room to circulate, humidify and filter air? These are all critical functions that a nose must be able to perform to keep the body working in a healthy manner.

“If someone wants the nose to be too pinched or narrow, I explain that not only won’t it look right, but it also won’t function well,” Dr. Smith says.

Luckily the trend these days is not toward “tiny” or the upturned “Twiggy” nose, but rather toward noses that look the most natural on the face. Everyone has been scared by over-corrected plastic surgeries that play out in public, most notably in Hollywood. We can reassure patients that their nose will look appropriate to the features of their face through the use of specialized computer imaging software and by showing photos of patients who have consented to us sharing their results.

That said, every patient comes into Smith Cosmetic Surgery with different ideas, expectations and goals for what they wish to achieve through plastic surgery on his or her nose. This only underscores the uniqueness of each and every rhinoplasty procedure.

One patient may not like a hump in their nose; another’s appears too bulbous or droopy; still another is unhappy with how much the nostrils flare. Is it a genetic predisposition? Was there an accident or trauma to the bone or tissue of the nose that never healed properly? These are all questions that Dr. Smith will address with each individual patient in order to set expectations and choose the best course of action to sculpt a nose that’s made for each person.

Keeping the natural in every nose

To achieve the most natural look, Dr. Smith will also take into account other facial features as he customizes a surgical approach. That’s because other aspects of the face impact the look of the nose. The chin is the most significant feature tied to the appearance of the nose. For example, a recessed or “weak” chin can make a nose look larger and vice versa.

Because the nose is so intimately tied to other facial features it is not uncommon for Dr. Smith to suggest a complementary procedure at the same time as the rhinoplasty. Work on the chin is the most common, followed by liposuction around the neck area, which can provide more shape and contouring to an area that best highlights the nose. These twin surgeries are routine and would be discussed during a complimentary consultation about the best approach for your individual nose.

The craft of rhinoplasty truly lies in an individual surgeon’s ability to mask his or her own work, meaning the best-looking noses don’t appear to have had any work done at all. They simply look like they belong—like a nose you were born with.

Smith Cosmetic Surgery encourages each patient that comes in for a rhinoplasty consultation to go through computer imaging to see what their new nose can look like. Dr. Smith and his highly qualified staff will take a picture of your current nose, feed it into a computer and create a model of how natural your nose will appear after a custom procedure.

“After we discuss goals, we take pictures, put them on imaging and show them what we’re thinking,” explains Dr. Smith. “This allows us to have another conversation and develop common ground. The idea is patients are never going into this procedure blind.”

If you are considering changing your nose, remember just how unique you are. Make sure you choose a surgeon who routinely performs this type of plastic surgery. A nose is not the place to take chances, because errors are far too obvious. Find a cosmetic plastic surgeon that knows the nose—and will never let you go into your rhinoplasty blindly.

The Importance of Surgical Safety

Smith Cosmetic Surgery Surgical Safety Smith Cosmetic Surgery goes to great lengths to ensure the well-being of their patients

You may be surprised to hear that there’s no mandatory U.S. accreditation for plastic surgeons or plastic surgery offices. Therefore, patients need to be extra careful when selecting a doctor to perform a facelift or other plastic surgery procedure on the face or body.

You should be asking these surgical safety questions:

Does the office keep regular business hours or are they operating at all hours of the night?

Do staff members have the proper certifications and training?

Does the surgeon perform plastic surgery on the face specifically or on all areas of the body?

How many facelifts has the surgeon performed before yours?

Where’s the accreditation certificate in the office?

Unsavory answers to any of the above should raise some serious red flags.

Today we’ll highlight two significant considerations to keep in mind when interviewing a plastic surgeon to perform a medical procedure on you: accreditation and specialization. Let’s start with accreditation.

Accreditation keeps us accountable

While there’s no formal standard that plastic surgeons are held to once they open a private practice, there is a voluntary accreditation program that’s highly valued and sought after in the industry: AAAHC. It’s considered the leading stamp of approval in plastic surgery, among other healthcare professions.

AAAHC stands for Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, Inc. This non-profit organization, which has been operating since 1979, is designed “to assist ambulatory health care organizations in improving the quality of care provided to patients,” according to the official AAAHC website.

A certificate of accreditation from AAAHC means you can rest assured that the plastic surgery practice is undergoing regular, thorough external reviews to certify that it’s delivering safe, high-quality patient care. The third-party organization measures against nationally accepted standards, as well as its own policies, procedures, processes and outcomes.

The accreditation includes an extensive, on-site survey by AAAHC health care professionals. Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s staff describes the process as “looking at us under a microscope.” AAAHC evaluates everything from how sanitary plastic surgery operating rooms are, to whether proper anesthesia practices are followed, to how clinical teams communicate and follow up with patients during recovery.

Additionally, each practice monitored by AAAHC is required to participate in quality-improvement studies: on-going self-evaluation, peer review and education to continuously better care and services. Likewise, AAAHC is constantly establishing, reviewing and revising standards to continue to create medical practices where patients can feel safe. 

The process is extensive, both for review and for a practice to maintain the standards AAACH expects going forward. It requires a significant amount of time and resources to stay current, but Dr. Brent J. Smith is a firm believer in going the extra mile to attach this independent seal of approval to the Smith Cosmetic Surgery brand.   

Specialization is the secret sauce

While accreditation is critical, so is your plastic surgeon’s focus, dedication and experience in operating on a particular part of the body. Specialization in plastic surgery is just as important as in every other field of medicine. You likely wouldn’t have a family-medicine doctor perform your hip replacement – is a breast and tummy surgeon the best choice for your facelift?

While we believe accreditation is critically important, we also think there are significant advantages to finding a plastic surgeon that is fully focused, dedicated and experienced on one particular body part or area.  Think of it this way – just as your family doctor isn’t the best choice to perform your knee replacement, a breast or tummy specialist may not be the best consideration when it comes to your facial procedure.   You want a specialist. Surgical doctors go to school to learn about a specific region of the body; so do the best plastic surgeons. Doctors performing elective surgical procedures have gone through extensive schooling and training to become experts in not just their field, but also their chosen area of focus and expertise. 

And, Dr. Smith is a great example of that. He chose the face because it’s the physical body’s special way of “expressing outwardly the unique qualities we all have inside,” he says. A perfectionist, Dr. Smith has built a 25-year career around crafting beautiful, natural-looking faces that make patients smile for years to come. He specializes in facial plastic surgery and performs as many as 200 facelifts each year. 

It took some hard work and dedication on Dr. Smith’s part to achieve a sub-specialization in the facial region. Following graduation from Stanford, Dr. Smith went on to Indiana University School of Medicine and residency at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the Department of Otolaryngology and Maxillofacial Surgery. A fellowship followed with Devinder S. Mangat, MD, FACS, of The Facial Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Center in Kentucky.

Dr. Smith is also uniquely double board certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery. A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, he is a member of six state and national academies and boards dedicated to furthering best practices in plastic surgery.

Dr. Smith also continues to further his education and outreach through leading and participating in professional courses on new and improved surgical techniques, nasal and facial anatomy and the latest laser techniques. Additionally he attends seminars on medical ethics and law, and frequently contributes to publications and makes media appearances on behalf of the facial plastic surgery specialization. 

The reasons accreditation and specialization matter are clear: This is your face we’re talking about. You want to be absolutely certain you have found someone you can trust—who will take legitimate responsibility for your wellbeing and has a track record proving a commitment to education and ethics in facial plastic surgery.

Don’t discount the importance of either of these concerns when making the choice about your facelift. Trust is essential to a positive experience and outcome in facial plastic surgery.

Have more questions about Smith Cosmetic Surgery’s accreditation and Dr. Smith’s specialization? Our dedicated staff is here to help.

The realities of recovering from a mini facelift

mini facelift denver There is a reason that year after year people continue to consider, explore and schedule facelifts: They work wonders! However cosmetic plastic surgery is still surgery and requires thoughtful and realistic consideration.

The concept of a “lunchtime facelift” is unrealistic.  The advanced mini facelifts that Dr. Brent Smith performs are medical procedures that require manipulating skin tissue and muscle. There’s no way around that reality if you want the natural-looking, long-term results that specialty facial plastic surgery doctors like Dr. Smith create. Continue reading “The realities of recovering from a mini facelift”