In the past, they were few and far between, found only in the world’s metropolises: “metrosexuals”, masculine men who are heavy consumers of cosmetics, devote time to fitness and are prepared to resort to cosmetic treatments and medicine (artificial tanning, body hair removal, nips and tucks…), in search of aesthetic perfection.
Now they are everywhere and make no attempt whatsoever to hide their narcissism. On the contrary, they are more than happy to use the same remedies as women, but with that little extra something. They have to leave as few marks as possible on the skin and the few that they do leave have to disappear immediately. The watchful eyes of their colleagues and women are always on them!
Here are the most popular treatments for men.
No to acne scars
Greasy, shiny skin. It might seem strange, but for men this is an aesthetic nightmare. Especially if impurities and open pores turn into acne. The responsibility lies with the male hormone testosterone, as it stimulates secretion by the sebaceous glands, which are smaller than those of women. When the damage has been done and acne has left its scars, all they can do is try to minimise them. There are two possible ways of doing this. The first is the fractional laser, used in conjunction with Co2, at a very high wavelength. It produces thousands of tiny holes under the surface layers of the epidermis (alternating with intact areas), which trigger speedy tissue regeneration.
All you need is a local anaesthetic cream, and any rash or swelling vanishes within 4 or 5 days. Then there is a mechanical bio-reshaping technique called “Skin Needling”. This uses the mechanical action of a handpiece which perforates the epidermis with special micro needles, arranged in rows on the surface of cylinders with varying diameters, to stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin. After the session – to be repeated 3 or 4 times – the skin will be red for about 15 hours. For a smoother skin, mitigating wrinkles and surface scarring, men also ask for chemical peeling treatments containing Tca (trichloroacetic acid), which are also an excellent alternative to a deep facial cleanse.
Smoothed wrinkles and natural lips
And what about wrinkles? They aren’t as “macho” as they used to be and they disturb the male incipient vanity considerably. Especially those on the forehead or, worse again, around the eyes. What could be better than a little filler (with hyaluronic acid or sodium carboxymethylcellulose) or Botox to eliminate them? In the first case, the type of material is the same used for women. What might change is its consistency and the amount needed to fill furrows and wrinkles. This is because men’s skin is thicker and more resistant than women’s skin. Even more popular with the “stronger” sex is Botox, which combines an anti-wrinkle effect with the complete absence of bruising. Injected in tiny doses at the ends of the muscles concerned, it prevents them from contracting. The effect is visible after 5-14 days.
And lips? Men want full, clearly contoured but very natural lips.
The best way to achieve this result is with classic hyaluronic-based fillers, injected more gradually (in 2-3 sessions) than with women. The technique is different too. Due to the smaller amount of mucous membrane than in the female mouth, the specialist inserts the needle perpendicular to the lip, depositing small serial amounts of product associated with a local anaesthetic.
Full face and (lots of) hair
Sunken cheek bones add on several years to the way we look but the introduction of malar implants in the cheeks (malarplasty) is obsolete. There were too many side effects: the face looks older and its natural volumes are altered. The presence of fixed implants only serves to disturb this delicate balance. The surgery is also rather invasive and can cause infections, oedema and swelling for up to a month. It is better, in this case too, to use a hyaluronic or sodium carboxymethylcellulose filler. To remould male cheekbones however, at least two vials are needed. The same solution is also used to fill the cheeks, especially the very hollow cheeks of a smoker or an athlete. The implanting technique changes though: no more needles, but a microcannula to distribute the product more evenly.
Anther myth to be dispelled? Baldness as synonymous with virility. In actual fact there is nothing that men hate more than losing their hair (androgenic alopecia). Cosmetic medicine proposes an innovative method of regenerative treatment, PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), which is capable of stimulating the activity of the stem cells in the hair bulbs that are still present, but silent or suffering. In this way, hair is strengthened and is able to grow again. The important thing is to treat only patients who still have some active bulbs. PRP is carried out on an outpatient basis and takes about 30-45 minutes. After anaesthetising the area to be treated, the specialist passes a roller with micro-points across the scalp, causing a slight abrasion to favour the activation of the hair’s growth factors. Lastly, the specialist injects the solution obtained, massaging the scalp to favour distribution. No convalescence is necessary.