If age is said to be a state of mind, then why not match your look on the outside to the way you feel on the inside?
For Lela Covey, 61, who lives near Wheeling, W.Va., that meant treating herself to the occasional skin peel and fillers. A Las Vegas native, she’s a former fashion model who graced the runways of Chanel and Dior and the pages of Vogue in her day.
“I’ve always been interested in health and beauty and fitness. All of those things are intertwined,” she says. “It’s important that you work on all those aspects of your health. That’s the revolution that’s taking place.”
That philosophy — along with personal tales from friends — motivated her to pursue something more permanent, a minimally invasive QuickLift face lift at The Skin Center Medical Spa in Pittsburgh.
“It’s nice to be able to be in my 60s and feel like you’re 40 and have the energy and physical and mental health of someone in their 40s,” she says.
A rising number of boomers and beyond are trying to achieve just that, with help from cosmetic procedures — especially nonsurgical ones with little or no downtime. In the last five years, nonsurgical cosmetic procedures (think injectables such as Botox and Juvederm Ultra) have increased by 93 percent for those 65 and older, reports the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. For surgical procedures, there’s been a 58 percent spike. In just two decades, the total number of procedures for this age group is up 1,263 percent.
“People are living longer and working longer. That is what I think really is driving this,” says Pittsburgh-based plastic surgeon Leo McCafferty.
Ample information on TV and the internet has helped fuel curiosity, too. Plus, because of selfies, people have a heightened awareness of what they look like as the years tick by — particularly around the eyes and neck. In 2016, eyelid surgery (to correct drooping) and facelifts were among the top three surgical procedures for both the 51- to 64-year-olds and the 65-plus age groups, according to the ASAPS. (The other one was liposuction.) For nonsurgical options, Botulinum Toxin injectables (including Botox, Dysport and Xeomin) and Hyaluronic Acid injectables (Juvederm Ultra, Ultra Plus, Voluma, Perlane, Restylane and Belotero) were popular for both age groups, as well as nonsurgical skin-tightening procedures for 51- to 64-year-olds and skin-rejuvenating chemical peels for the 65-plus demographic.
More research and a better understanding by doctors of how the face ages has allowed for more natural-looking results.