fountian-of-youth

How Tom Cruise has turned into Benjamin Button

Feb. 27, 2012 at 2:23 PM ET

Mark J. Terrill / AP
Tom Cruise presents the Oscar for best picture onstage during the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Each year, the Oscars culminate with the dramatic presentation of the award for Best Picture. But last night's big surprise seemed to be more about the man holding the envelope: Tom Cruise appears to have turned back time.

"Tom Cruise is totally Benjamin Buttoning" tweeted @Buzzfeed. "I think he's 14 now. He's going to die a baby" tweeted @BillDixonish.

Cruise, who turns 50 in July, looks at least a decade younger than he should, noted Dr. Anthony Youn, a Detroit-area board-certified plastic surgeon who runs the blog "Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery." 

"I don't think he's found the Fountain of Youth, but he's done the next best thing -- found a good plastic surgeon," says Youn,  a regular contributor to msnbc.com and TODAY.com. "He looks like someone who has had a plethora of the best cosmetic treatments available."

Youn, who hasn't treated Cruise, believes he's had multiple procedures done. "To look as good as he does, it's not possible to have had just one thing done."

For starters, he suspects Cruise has had Botox injections to smooth the lines between his eyebrows. He also thinks he's had a filler like Restylane injected into the deeper wrinkles of his face, particularly the nasal-labial folds that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth.  

Youn believes he's also had injections of facial plumper, such as Sculptra. "This guy is very lean, like the Madonna of men," says Youn. "He has almost no fat on his body yet his face has retained softness.  A 50-year-old guy with no body fat should be rugged looking, gaunt and have no fat on his face."

Scuptra is typically injected every six weeks for three or four treatments. The effect is so gradual that people often don't even spot it. "It literally is the Benjamin Button effect," Youn says.

But Youn noticed that it's not just Cruise's face that looks younger - his neck does as well. At his age, he'd expect him to have loose skin under his neck, which he doesn't, Youn says. And while he doesn't think Cruise has had a facelift, he suspects he's having regular skin-tightening treatments. One candidate is ReFirme, a light-based treatment that combines radio frequency and infrared light. Typically that's done about once a month on a regular basis.

All these treatments can cost tens of thousands of dollars, Youn says, and the effect will vanish unless they're repeated. "For a normal person on a budget it would be hard to keep up, but for him, it's not a big deal."

Youn says while Cruise looks as good as he did back when he was starring in 1992's "A Few Good Men," he wouldn't recommend he do anything in addition besides maintenance.

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