SkinCare. girl's face close up

Anton Maltsev

You may not be ready or willing to go under the knife in order to look younger, yet you wouldn’t mind a fresher, more rested, youthful appearance. This year, you’ll have more options than ever when it comes to nonsurgical interventions with little or no downtime.

When asked to identify nonsurgical facial rejuvenation trends for 2012, Dr. Richard Moore, medical director for The Lifestyle Center, says, “Two things come to mind: the botulinum toxins and fillers.” Botox and dermal fillers have been around for several years, but their popularity continues to increase, and manufacturers are responding.

Dysport joined Botox on the market in 2009, and in early 2012, a new competitor will be available. Marketed under the brand name Xeomin by Merz Aesthetics, the same company that sells Radiesse filler, the product was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for cosmetic use in July 2011.

While more choice is a positive development, Moore notes that all three botulinum toxins are used to soften frown lines between the brows. “There’s not a lot of difference between them in terms of what the patient will perceive,” he says. “Dysport perhaps has a little softer look and a little faster onset of action. The big thing Xeomin has going for it is that it doesn’t have conjugated proteins that can lead to resistance.”

In other words, Xeomin contains no additives that may cause some people to develop immune antibodies to the product. There have been cases of patients becoming resistant to Botox or Dysport, a problem that should be avoided with Xeomin.

Merz is rolling out another new product, also approved by the FDA last year. Belotero Balance is a new hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler, joining an array of fillers that vary slightly in composition. “Every year there’s a new product or two in these areas, and for 2012, that will certainly continue to be the case,” Moore says.

With an increasing number of products to choose from, along with advances in laser and intense pulsed light technologies, physicians can develop ever more nuanced treatment plans to address specific concerns.

Dr. Joseph Muccini, a dermatologist with Mid- America Skin Health and Vitality Center, compares his work to that of an artist: “If I had an artist’s palette in my left hand and a brush in my right hand, and the only two colors on my palette were blue and yellow, the only things I could accomplish would be to paint blue or yellow or shades of green—but that’s it. But if I added red and brown and white and black to my palette, I could make any color I want.”

Patients now can pinpoint areas they want to improve with more likelihood of a satisfying result, Muccini says. “The beautiful thing is that by using an integrated approach you’re able to pick just what you want to accomplish.”

Muccini adds that he’s seeing more male patients seeking to maintain an optimal professional appearance. “In a rough economy with a lot of competition, if you have a face that the public sees, doing that gives you a competitive edge,” he says.

With more colors now available on your dermatologist’s or plastic surgeon’s palette, 2012 promises to be one of the best-looking years of your life.