We don’t have flying cars, but we did just get another movie from the Fast and the Furious franchise—it’s easy feel like progress is a little stuck these days. But one area in which society has made great strides in the last few years is in botox for men and other cosmetic procedures to make you look a little bit younger. Consider the modern, imperceivable hair transplant. (Ever wonder why male celebrities don’t go bald anymore?)
A similar slow revolution has happened with skin procedures, too, and minimally-invasive treatments like botox and laser resurfacing are increasingly commonplace. If you’ve got acne, you can combat it with far more than topical treatments like tretinoin and salicylic acid. Similarly, a simple injection can prevent or hide wrinkles and a thread lift can tighten skin.
Here at GQ we’re Switzerland-neutral about whether you should get any work done—that’s entirely your business, and your doctor’s. However, we did want some insight about just what our options are, so we consulted a professional, Dr. Gary Linkov on the most common cosmetic procedures for men these day. If anything here sounds interesting, you’ll want to take the same approach: Consult with a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or comparable board-certified medial professional. Cost for these procedures can vary widely—from a few hundred bucks for some light filler to thousands for many rounds of laser treatments, and will depend on lots of subtle factors and even where you live. So while we can’t give a complete picture of what botox for men or any other cosmetic procedure will work for your face, here’s where to start.
For Acne and Acne Scars: Laser Resurfacing, Microneedling, and Fillers
We talk a lot about resurfacing in skin care: It’s the process of bringing your healthiest, brightest, newest skin cells to the forefront. This is essentially what exfoliation does, as well as peeling ingredients like lactic acid and salicylic acid. And for especially acne prone individuals whose pimples, blemishes, and scars heal at a glacial pace, there is laser resurfacing. In this case, though, it takes exfoliation to the Death Star levels, removing the outermost layer of the skin and stimulating the skin to produce more collagen and regenerate faster. Linkov says some patients will require multiple sessions, spaced months apart, for optimal results.
A less invasive option, especially for dark or surface-level acne scars, is microneedling. This process also works to resurface the skin by creating thousands of imperceivable “micro wounds” on the skin which in turn trigger collagen production. (It’s not as painful as it sounds.) Some treatments add radiofrequency waves to create similar “thermal wounds” beneath the skin to the same effect.
As for deep “ice-pick” scars: “If it is too deep to improve with lasers or microneedling, fillers can be used to fill-in the deep valleys,” says Linkov. “Alternatively, surgical options exist for the more resistant areas.”
For Hyperpigmentation: Intense Pulsed Light or Q-Switched Ruby Laser
Men in their 40s and 50s can begin to experience “sun spots” or “age spots” which is typically caused by overproduction of melanin in the skin. Your dermo may start you on retinol to promote resurfacing, or hydroquinone, which produces reversible lightening of the skin by interfering with melanin production. As for procedures, mild chemical peels and certain lasers, such as intense pulsed light (IPL) or Q-switched Ruby laser can help in some cases as well. “IPL therapy targets areas of hyperpigmentation without affecting the epidermis or the subcutaneous tissues,” Linkov notes. “IPL energy is absorbed only by specific cells responsible for the hyperpigmentation.”