PHOTOGRAPH BY SHUTTERSTOCK

“If I could turn back time…” Although singer Cher’s plaintive cry is about lost love, it could easily apply to lost youth. Fortunately, a wealth of procedures supported by new technology can help anyone recapture the visual freshness of days gone by.

The time to think about doing something is now. “You’re only going to keep getting older,” says dermatologist Timothy Jochen, who heads Contour Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Center’s three Coachella Valley locations. “I believe the sooner, the younger, you start making cosmetic tweaks, the more natural it’s going to look. The patients who look the best are those who come in every six months for fillers or Botox or a laser treatment — little tweaks here and there. They consider it maintenance and they look like they never age. I keep them looking fresh and natural.”

The best plan is to pick a cosmetic surgeon you trust and stick with them as opposed to bouncing from practice to practice. “Find someone who can help you achieve what you want, give you a vision and work with you as you age,” Jochen says.

Botox, dermal fillers, skin rejuvenating lasers, and body contouring procedures such as CoolSculpting are among the top requested noninvasive cosmetic treatments. At Desert Med Aesthetics in Indian Wells, cosmetic specialist Doriana Cosgrove offers a new, nonsurgical solution to sagging jowls. “PDO Threads are synthetic surgical sutures inserted strategically into the skin to create a supportive structure that follows the natural shape of the face,” she explains. “As the sutures are inserted, sagging tissue is gently caught and repositioned into its original position.” Unlike past threads made of metal, Cosgrove uses threads made with a synthetic absorbable material commonly used in major operations such as open-heart surgery. “PDO Threads are 100 percent absorbable and safely dissolve into the body during the months following placement.”

Meanwhile, Jochen is introducing a new line of dermal fillers known as the RHA Collection by Swiss manufacturer Teoxane SA. They are the first and only FDA-approved hyaluronic acid fillers designed to address dynamic wrinkles and folds. Expected to last up to 15 months, the fillers move with facial expressions to lend a more natural result. Contour Dermatology will also offer the manufacturer’s wrinkle-relaxing injectable, which is projected to have a longer duration than Botox.

There’s never a bad time to undergo a procedure. In fact, one could say the pandemic has presented a perfect set of circumstances. “There aren’t any public events so we currently are experiencing a huge interest in plastic surgery,” says Mark V. Sofonio, a Rancho Mirage-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has performed procedures on more than 10,000 patients and administered dermal fillers, Botox, and laser treatments for many others. His practice offers Vanquish, the newest body contouring and fat reduction technology, in addition to the popular CoolSculpting.

There are as many points of entry into the world of cosmetic surgery and rejuvenation as there are personal goals. Dermal fillers can provide great natural looking results that simply refresh while managing to avoid looking “done.” “If you don’t like the look, they can be dissolved with an injection of hyaluronidase,” Jochen explains. Those willing to wade in deeper might consider one of the four top minimally invasive cosmetic procedures Contour Dermatology offers: NeoGraft hair transplant, blepharoplasty (upper and lower eyelid surgery), tumescent liposuction, or a mini facelift. In her practice, Cosgrove regularly fields requests for breast implants. Choices hinge on what an individual is seeking to achieve.

Credit the sheer depth of minimally invasive cosmetic surgery and rejuvenation options to today’s improved technology. Furthermore, the majority of procedures are complemented by minimal downtime as well. Could there be a better time to pursue some measure of improvement, however small or large? Consider how radically methods of communication have changed this past year alone. As Jochen points out, “Everyone is in front of a camera these days — whether on social media or in Zoom meetings, we’re all media people now.” It never hurts to boost one’s confidence. “Feeling psychologically better about oneself by fixing those things that make us feel insecure can help build up one’s self esteem,” Cosgrove says.