Career Boost: How to Look Great on the Job
Certain celebrities aren't the only ones to take advantage of popular non-invasive procedures to supplement their natural looks. Here, how some people are turning to the dermatologist to stay current and competitive in the workplace.
The number one complaint that dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons hear from new patients is, "I look tired."
Despite sleep, exercise and good diet some women and men are having to battle under-eye bags, dark circles, sagging skin and sallow complexion. Nice, right? Beyond looking attractive to the opposite sex if one is single, or simply wanting to look one's best, another strong motivator to do something about looking tired has to do with the workplace.
Pressure in the workforce has never been higher, Canada and the United States are still feeling reverberations from the Great Recession, with the New York Times reporting that between 2012-2013 older jobless women accounted for half of the long term unemployed. It's not easy to show up for an interview and find all the other candidates are new graduates or young women in their twenties.
Even women who are employed need to stay current and competitive and looking "tired" won't cut it. Valerie, 54, who works in marketing, agrees. "For sure. If anyone tells you different they likely work from home, or sit behind a desk all day," she says. She goes on to explain that the people she interacts with every day dress well, and take care of their appearance. "I don't consider my goal to look younger, I just want to look my best."
Valerie turned to a dermatologist for help, using a mix of fillers and injectables to achieve her goal. "I was ready to age gracefully," she admits. "But now, I am happy to say I've found a way to slow down the process and love the person I have become, inside and out."
According to a report conducted by the makers of Juvederm, an injectable filler, one in four women either use or would consider using facial filler. As for the boys, the same report found that since 2010, men turning to injectables such as Botox has increased 84% and while demand for fillers has grown 94%.
Ted, 51, a realtor, admits that in his line of work looking tired or haggard isn't an option. "I have to look rested and relaxed during meetings and especially during negotiations to ensure my clients remain confident in my abilities so looking rejuvenated is very important to me."
Certainly as the last of the Boomer generation – forever determined to break boundaries - has entered and even passed middle age, there has been an increase in such procedures. Recent data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (which includes Canada) shows that cosmetic injectables and fillers are the most popular non-invasive procedures and have grown 748% and 253% respectively since 2000.
"It's not unusual to see people whose lifestyle has changed," says Dr. Lisa Kellett, dermatologist whose Toronto clinic is DLK On Avenue.
"They hit 50 and have to be competitive and need to look fresh, not tired." Dr. Kellett uses two different Neuromodulators in her patients, Dysport and Botox, for expressive wrinkles. Then there are the hyaluronic acids, Emervel and Juvederm. She refers to them as stealth fillers, which replace volume but the result is as though you didn't do anything. "You're using the fillers in different places and the injection technique is subtle," she explains. "You first start by fixing symmetry, and not creating a cookie cutter face, not the big cheeks."
Dr. Kellett cites celebrities Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani as two women who always look great but look like they've done nothing.
On the male side, George Clooney always appears looking his best. For the record Dr. Kellett makes no claim to doing any work on any of these celebrities nor do we know if they've even had any procedures to supplement their natural looks. But the point is simply this: look healthy, rested and vibrant. If you do go the non-invasive procedural route, the secret she says is coming back more often, say every six months for a touch up, rather than the old standard of once per year.
Other treatments such as Resurfx, a combination of lasers and resurfacing of the skin, also help reduce brown spots and improve overall skin tone, which contributes to a more glowing complexion and yes, not like you're lacking sleep.
But back to the workplace, does taking the plunge and ponying up the money for such treatments help?
"I once had a client on the verge of losing her dream house. During the offer stage she was in hysterics. We were lucky we ended up on the right side of the deal as ours was not the best offer," says Ted. "She told me after she was surprised I remained so calm, lucky for me the Botox worked wonderfully and helped hide some of the stress and pressure I was feeling."
As for Valerie, she says she's been lucky and hasn't had any personal experience where age has played a factor in career opportunities but she's certainly heard about them. "I belong to a few networking groups and it comes up in conversation quite often," she says. "Women in their 50s know that they are competing with younger candidates for work and although experience, or salary may be a deciding factor in the hiring process, it's hard not to think that age isn't a huge factor."