Diet and fitness pros will tell you there’s no quick way to give yourself a full-body makeover – it takes time, dedication and hard work to make lasting changes. While that is true, there actually are many relatively quick things you can do to upgrade your appearance and, in doing so, your self-confidence. (Being seen reading this magazine is perhaps the easiest of them all!)
Story by Robyn Passante
We asked a host of area experts for their biggest secrets and tips to help us all look a little better.
To keep your limbs and abs looking toned, drink lots of water! “The arms, calves and abdominals are similar in their fascial makeup, which are more of a longer type of fascia and muscle fiber as opposed to short,” says Katie Girardi of Core Pilates. “Think of a long skinny stream coming down a mountain; it needs a continuous river of water coming from the top of the mountain. When the water dries up, so does the stream. Our bodies crave water, and our muscles start to lose tone when we deprive them of water.”
Use over-the-counter whitening products to brighten teeth. “Whitening strips perform well if you are dedicated to using them daily until the desired result is achieved, which can take 2-3 weeks,” says Dr. Bonnie Rothwell of Rothwell Cosmetic Dentistry. “They are most successful on teeth that are reasonably straight. They do not work as well on crowded teeth, as it is difficult for the strip to reach all areas.” Rothwell says to avoid anything staining (coffee, tea, red wine) for one hour after removing the strips and brushing.
Get a boost for your whole face with an upper eyelid lift. “An upper eyelid lift is a very powerful and yet simple procedure that can instantly change the first feature that every person sees,” says Dr. Audrey Klenke of Pinnacle Plastic Surgery and PURE Medical Spa. “Some people genetically have heavy or full upper lids that makes it hard to don makeup and can make one appear tired, but all of us will accumulate the signs of aging around the eyes with time.”
Klenke says some choose to pair an upper eyelid lift with a brow lift and/or a lower eyelid lift for an even bigger transformation.
Incorporate a vigorous walk into your daily routine. The best way to tone your tummy is to walk more, Girardi says. “Walk with awareness of your feet, ankles, knees, hips and lungs working together over various types of terrain and different kinds of shoes, and your stomach will tone itself,” she says. “Walking also stimulates the gut bacteria in your body to create more wellness in the intestines, which will create tone in the tummy.”
Make the leap from glasses to contacts. “Contact lens correction is a great non-surgical option for vision correction. Being free from glasses obstructing your eyes and face can be very aesthetically pleasing,” says Dr. John-Michael Johnson, an optometrist with Bishop Eye Center. In recent years, new developments such as multifocal or bifocal soft contact lenses expanded parameters to correct high amounts of astigmatism, and the availability of affordable daily disposable contact lenses for dry eyes have made contact lenses an option for more patients. So if you were told long ago you weren’t a good candidate, ask your optometrist again!
Make the most of a professional skincare treatment by treating your skin well all the time. “I tell people I’ll get you 50 percent of the way, the rest is up to you. You have to do your part,” says Lisa Redmond, an aesthetician with Hilton Head Dermatology. “That means following common sense: Cleanse your skin twice a day, drink plenty of water, limit sun exposure, moisturize, and don’t smoke. Little steps like that make a big difference over time.”
Go for a non-invasive procedure to trigger fat loss and help tighten skin. “Some of the most exciting trends in plastic surgery are the non-invasive body treatments such as UltraShape Power for permanent fat destruction without any painful cold applicator, and Exilis 360 for face and body skin tightening,” says Klenke. UltraShape Power uses ultrasound technology and Exilis 360 is a skin-tightening treatment. “Patients are thrilled to be able to achieve some of these goals without a surgical procedure in a painless, comfortable environment,” she says.
Kick your specs to the curb with laser eye surgery. “Laser eye surgery remains one of the safest, most common of all elective surgeries,” says Johnson. “Not only can near-sighted and far-sighted refractive errors be corrected, but often the need for wearing glasses or contact lenses can be eliminated. Refractive laser surgery is highly efficacious and has an extremely low complication rate.” Johnson says an important factor in the success of the surgery is determining if a patient is a good candidate based on their spectacle or contact lens prescription and other physical parameters such as corneal thickness.
Splurge on a special treatment for your skin. Fraxel laser treatments and microneedling with either platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or hyaluronic acid (HA) are both non-invasive procedures that improve the quality of the skin. “Either treatment will stimulate new healthy skin cells and the body’s production of more collagen and elastin,” says Carrie Vormohr, owner of Serendipity Medical Spa. “The result is improved tone and texture. The skin is tighter, smoother and more luminous.”
Go for the bronze, rather than the sun. Getting a sun-kissed glow doesn’t have to come with a side of skin cancer. Opt for a bronzer, highlighter or sunless tanning lotion to get that “just been to the beach” look safely. Redmond recommends Infinity Sun Glow On the Go sunless tanning spray, which is easy to apply to your liking. “It just gives you a nice little glow.” A sunless tan can make you look great now – and skipping those harmful UV rays will keep you looking great years from now.