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Beauty Before Age: Part II

Gray hair is a sign of maturity, wrinkles perhaps evidence of a life well lived, but if you don't buy into any of that thinking, one could almost be overwhelmed by their options on the quest for maintenance, at least as far as the skin is concerned.

We'll stick to the more popular procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the peels and Botox are both non-invasive.

We'll start with the glycolic acid peel, otherwise known as the "lunch time peel" for its quickness.

Nancy Grissom, an aesthetician, says, "It's just enough to exfoliate and make the skin smoother and feel brighter and cleaner."

Aestheticians say they'll often combine the peel with a microdermabrasion, a procedure that's increased in popularity by 12 percent in 2003.

Here's how it works: tiny crystals are braised across the skin’s surface while a vacuum sucks away the dead skin cells. The next step up for an even stronger peel, aesthetician Nancy Grissom says she would add a salicylic acid, or Jessner solution.

Nancy says, "It confronts the skin with a different protocol and tends to accelerate the process."

A deeper peel sometimes used is the blue peel. It may leave the face blue for a day or two, but those who've undergone the procedure swear by it.

Ann Mitchell says, "It hurts when it's first applied, but a few minutes later it subsides and it's amazing."

And then there's Botox. We told you Thursday night how its use has skyrocketed by 153 percent, but its use is very specific.

Dr. Charles Moore, a plastic surgeon, says, "In the case of Botox, it's for what's called the glabella frown lines."

There are even more options we found, and it gets creative. There's a pumpkin peel, oxygenation treatments, the list goes on.

Debbie Myers says, "It makes you inside feel a much better person about yourself; you carry yourself better, you feel better about yourself."

Plastic surgeons say there are ways to avoid their offices, and you've heard it time and time again: don't smoke and stay out of the sun.

Dr. Moore, a plastic surgeon, says, "Ultimately you're going to pay the penalty and have leathery, cracked skin, which is very hard for the plastic surgeon to repair."

And finally, we've learned from our interviews that these cosmetic procedures are not a matter or vanity, but rather maintenance of what's always been there.

We also want to note that Tallahassee officials have suspended the licenses of three more doctors as investigators probe the use of potentially dangerous botulism toxin as an anti-wrinkle treatment. The three are accused of injecting at least 68 patients with the toxin, which can cause severe nerve damage.


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