10/06/2013 06:22 EDT

Lunch Hour Facelift: Vancouver Lines Up For A Quick Fix


It's not uncommon for people go for a run on their lunch break. Often people read a book, others make a quick shopping trip. But something else is becoming popular during the lunch hour in Vancouver: facelifts.

The "lunch hour facelift," a procedure combining Botox, fillers, and laser therapy as well as the application of oxygen enriched makeup, is gaining popularity among Vancouver women.

Dr. Martin Braun of the Vancouver Laser & Skin Care Centre has been performing these procedures, which take less than an hour, for a few years already.

"People do come during lunch hour," the 54-year-old says. "I've got girls coming in, they're at work and they have an hour off so they come in and get some injections and then go straight back to work."

Because it doesn't involve surgery, Braun says the lunch hour facelift is a safer alternative to going under the knife.

"In my office, a bruise is a really bad day," he says. "There's a public perception out there that Botox is evil, even though there's never been an adult anywhere, that I know of, and in my research, that has ever died or succumbed due to Botox ... There's this irrational fear and vitriolic opinion about these things."

In 1996, Braun became the first doctor in Canada to perform laser hair removal—a procedure that was unheard of at the time, but is now widely accepted. He thinks the same thing is happening with needle based therapies like the facelift.

"It's becoming more socially acceptable to admit you've done some injections," he says. "It's more out there." Ranging anywhere in cost from $1,000 to $4,000, it's also less expensive than surgical cosmetic procedures. That being said, there is still a lot of skepticism surrounding this kind of face enhancement.

"Sometimes you get shows with a lot of sensationalism, like 'Real Housewives of Vancouver,' where we see people that are over-filled and over-botoxed," says Braun. "And then that scares thousands of women out there who might have thought of coming in for a consult to ask some questions."

And many choose more natural ways to keep skin healthy.

Adriana Ortega, store manager of Saje Natural Wellness in Vancouver's Kitsilano neighbourhood, suggests a few easy tips for keeping your skin looking young and vibrant. First, she says, always remember to put on moisturizer or makeup with SPF in it, because the sun is the number one cause of skin damage. Ortega also suggests using essential oils at night, such as lavender, rosewood, sandalwood, and chamomile, because they are "so soothing."

"As you age your skin becomes more delicate, so make sure you use products that are as gentle as possible," she says, adding that soap is not good for the face because of harsh ingredients like sodium sulfate. "Stay away from makeup that's too intense. A lot of people think that in order for them to look good they need to put a complete mask on their face, when they pretty much only need concealer and mineral powder."

Some other things we can do?

"Drink tons of water," says Ortega. "And eat foods rich in antioxidants, like blueberries, raspberries, and kale. Wash your face before going to bed, and exfoliate at least three times a week."

These remedies are useful because, of course, the facelift is not for everyone. Aside from the necessary money, patients require a certain level of dedication to upkeep. "They take care of their face like it's a Ferrari," Braun says of his regular clients. "And I always tell people, 'Have you ever seen a dirty Ferrari? Ever? Anywhere?' They're always well taken care of: washed, buffed, cleaned, all the dents are gone."

As for his own appearance?

"It's been all injected," he says. "Nothing's real on my face."

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