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 • Health & Wellness  • Express Yourself!

Express Yourself!

Our faces are always in motion. We express our thoughts by smiling, laughing, crying, frowning, winking, blinking, kissing and more. Did you know that the majority of wrinkles and crinkles around the eyes and mouth are created simply by expressing ourselves? In fact, they are called expression lines, which are part of the aging process. As we age, we lose bone mass, and facial fat migrates downward, adding to the wrinkle/crinkle factor. But there is no need to frown about it because there are ways to keep you smiling…and defying age at the same time!

Injectable Fillers. To minimize deep-set lines, doctor’s use a combination of injectable fillers like Juvederm Voluma and Vollure XC, which subtly lift cheeks and gently ‘fill’ in the nasolabial folds (also known as marionette lines) to reduce the look of “parenthesis” around the mouth area.  Results can last up to 2 years.  The cost can average from $400 to $800 depending on the area treated. 

Laser. Treatments using lasers are among the most beneficial nonsurgical treatments for skin renewal and resurfacing. The resurfacing laser improves the look of wrinkles, scars, stretch marks and uneven pigmentation issues by generating new collagen production. Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin that gives it strength, elasticity, smoothness and youthfulness. For example, think of a brick wall. The bricks are skin cells, and the mortar represents the collagen, which holds the bricks firmly together. Without a firm foundation, the bricks (skin cells) break away. Treatments take about 30 to 45 minutes and cost, on average, from $2,100 to $2,300.  

Universal Professional Peel. This treatment improves the appearance of dull and uneven skin tone and texture, fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots and sun damage, discoloration, large pores and skin roughness. “The Universal Peel is not a lunch-time peel,’’ explains Gaylin Vanderbroucke, master esthetician for West End Facial Plastic Surgery. “This is a true medical-grade, blended chemical peel that features layered technology, meaning the active ingredients work together over the course of a few days peeling the skin, resulting in a noticeable, beautiful and radiant skin in a week’s time.” A one-hour appointment can cost about $125.

Radio Frequency (RF). The RF procedure is used for non-surgical tightening of the early signs of loose or sagging skin; ideal for those people who don’t want a surgical procedure. The Accent, Pelleve, Thermage and Tripollar RF devices are used to treat skin laxity by facial tightening and is best suited to patients with mild to moderate sagging of facial tissues. It is commonly used to treat the forehead, under the eyes, cheeks, mid-face, jaw line and neck. “This treatment is wonderful for revving up your skin’s elasticity,” Vanderbroucke says. “I recommend a series of three treatments spaced every three to four weeks for optimal results.”  Appointment time is about an hour, depending on the area(s) treated. Cost averages $200 to $500, depending on the treatment area covered.  

Oxygen Infusion Facial. Topical hyperbaric oxygen pressure to the skin is used while applying an anti-aging mixture of lightweight Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A, C and E, and Green Tea. It is pressurized to increase the skin’s absorption of the treatment’s highly effective serum cocktail. Results — which are not only instant but continue to improve in the following days — include smoother skin with reduced fine lines and wrinkles, better volume and increased firmness. For optimal results, a series of treatments are recommended. A one-hour appointment can cost an average of $120 to $150. 

Okay, maybe you are not ready to age-defy. You can always age “deflect.” One of the surest ways to deflect is to enhance your eyes. After all, the eyes are known for being the windows of our souls, so why not premiere your peepers?  

Lash Extensions. Once reserved for proms and weddings and then peeled off at the end of the night, eyelash extensions now add a dose of glamour to everyday life and can last for weeks. Today, licensed professionals attach the tiny lash extensions one-by-one to your eyes to create a look that’s dramatic yet natural. If your lashes have lost volume, or are naturally sparse, adding lash extensions could be a way to bring a fresh wink to your look. Appointment time varies from one to two hours depending on lashes needed. The cost averages from $150 to $200 and lasts about four weeks.

Eyebrow Microblading. If your eyebrows are thinning, sparse, or barely there anymore, and eyebrow pencils can no longer fill in, microblading could be the answer for fuller, natural-looking and face-framing eyebrows. A small hand microblading pen is used to create fine strokes to mimic individual hairs. Unlike a tattoo, semi-permanent ink is applied rather than permanent ink. The end result is much more natural looking than the old tattooing of the past and lasts between two and three years. Average appointment time is two hours, and costs between $600 and $800.

Let’s face it. Your face is uniquely yours — your very personal calling card. Now, thanks to the incredible advancements in the beauty industry and skilled licensed professionals, tweaking a thing or two is easier than ever.  

Susie Galvez is an international image consultant, esthetician, speaker, author, and beauty industry expert. For more, visit

In addition to writing for local publications, Jody Rathgeb contributes to Times of the Islands in the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she lives part-time. She also writes fiction that is based in the islands. In 2018, she placed her fifth short story in The Caribbean Writer, the literary magazine of the University of the Virgin Islands, and her second story in Poui, literary magazine for the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Her author/mosaic artist website is


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