STOP the clock

Fillers, bo­tox, lasers and the lat­est high-tech skin­care prod­ucts… here’s your anti-age­ing guide on how to fend off wrin­kles, dark spots and sag­ging skin

Singapore Women's Weekly (Singapore) - - ANTI-AGEING SPECIAL - BY ARISSA HA

The last few years have seen a huge im­prove­ment in the tech­nol­ogy of aes­thetic pro­ce­dures, and also their pop­u­lar­ity. Dr Siew Tuck Wah from Ra­dium Aes­thet­ics shares, “I see more of an in­crease in num­bers ask­ing for in­jecta­bles now – re­flect­ing an in­creased ac­cep­tance of in­jec­tions for fa­cial en­hance­ment and re­ju­ve­na­tion.” Dr YZ Tan of Mizu Aes­thet­ics chimes in, stat­ing that “[It is] def­i­nitely much more ac­cept­able now that peo­ple re­alise that aes­thetic pro­ce­dures are safe when done by a li­censed and ex­pe­ri­enced doc­tor.” No longer do peo­ple shy away from min­i­mally-in­va­sive pro­ce­dures like in­jecta­bles and laser treat­ments to main­tain a youth­ful vis­age. Here are the new­est in aes­thetic pro­ce­dures that can help de­lay the signs of age­ing.

THREAD LIFTS

The thread lift is a min­i­mally in­va­sive pro­ce­dure, where threads with barbs are in­serted un­der the skin and pulled to give the face a more lifted ap­pear­ance. Ac­cord­ing to Dr Y Z Tan of Mizu Aes­thet­ics, threads are ver­sa­tile in their ap­pli­ca­tion. “Threads can be in­serted along the cheeks to re­duce the ap­pear­ance of na­solabial folds, or along the jaw­line to lift the jowls to cre­ate a V-shaped face,” com­ments Dr Tan. “They can also be used on the nose, for a higher nose bridge.”

The pro­ce­dure takes about 60 to 90 min­utes, in­clud­ing the time re­quired for numb­ing. An av­er­age of three to 10 threads may be used for each side of the face. Re­sults are im­me­di­ate, and usu­ally last be­tween nine and 12 months. The threads used are usu­ally made from poly­diox­anone (PDO) or poly L-lac­tic acid (PLLA), the same type of threads used in surgery that will dis­solve and be ab­sorbed by the body over time. Un­like tra­di­tional facelifts which in­volve surgery and a longer down­time, thread lifts can be done dur­ing lunch hours, and you can go about your day as usual. How­ever, it’s not ad­vis­able for those who have un­der­gone thread lift­ing to do laser or ul­tra­sound treat­ments which in­volve heat. A con­sul­ta­tion with an ex­pe­ri­enced

doc­tor is nec­es­sary, in or­der to be ad­vised on the num­ber and types of threads used for your spe­cific con­cerns. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Sag­ging jowls, frown lines, na­solabial lines and flat nose bridge. HOW MUCH: From $2,500.

DER­MAL FILLERS

Like thread lifts, der­mal fillers can be used on dif­fer­ent parts of the face to achieve de­sired re­sults. Com­mon der­mal filler brands in­clude Belotero, Resty­lane and Juve­d­erm, and they all fea­ture the main in­gre­di­ent hyaluronic acid. Dr WS Heng from IDS Clinic shares: “De­pend­ing on the con­cern as well as bud­get of the pa­tients, we can per­son­alise the treat­ments in­di­vid­u­ally. Hyaluronic acid fillers in var­i­ous vis­cosi­ties and gel hard­ness al­low us to con­tour, vo­lu­mise, and en­hance cer­tain bony pro­jec­tions of our face. Bios­tim­u­la­tory fillers like poly-L-lac­tic acid (Sculp­tra) and poly­capro­lac­tone (El­lanse) al­low longer-last­ing ef­fects as it stim­u­lates col­la­gen pro­duc­tion over­time.” Numb­ing cream will be ap­plied top­i­cally on the ar­eas of con­cern and the in­jec­tions usu­ally take less than an hour, ex­clud­ing the time needed for numb­ing. Some might ex­pe­ri­ence bruis­ing and swelling, but it is safe to go about daily ac­tiv­i­ties with the ex­cep­tion of sauna vis­its, hot yoga and any high­im­pact sports. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Sunken ar­eas on the cheeks and un­der-eye area, loss of vol­ume on lips, flat nose bridge. HOW MUCH: Be­tween $850 to $2,000.

BOTULINUM TOXIN A

Per­haps one of the most pop­u­lar non­in­va­sive aes­thetic treat­ments, botulinum toxin A (more com­monly re­ferred to as Bo­tox) can be in­jected into the face to lessen the ap­pear­ance of deep wrin­kles and re­lax the mandibu­lar mus­cles so the jaws ap­pear less prom­i­nent.

Bo­tox, Dys­port and Xeomin are brands ap­proved for use in Singapore. There aren’t any real dif­fer­ences be­tween the brands, ex­cept for the pres­ence of com­plex­ing pro­teins in Bo­tox and Dys­port. As com­plex pro­teins are for­eign to the body, it is be­lieved that introducing them to the body fre­quently might cause the de­vel­op­ment of an­ti­bod­ies, which may af­fect the ef­fi­cacy of the treat­ment over time.

“[They can be used to] re­verse signs of age­ing or to im­prove pro­por­tions of shape of the face,” shares Dr Karen Soh from Prive Clinic. “Re­sults are quite de­pen­dent not only on qual­ity of the prod­uct, but also the skills and judge­ment of the doc­tor.”

The nee­dles used to in­ject the botulinum toxin A are ex­tremely fine, which makes the treat­ment al­most pain-free, with just a pin-prick sen­sa­tion when it is ad­min­is­tered. As with other in­jec­tions, some bruis­ing and swelling might oc­cur. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Frown lines, prom­i­nent jaw mus­cles and wrin­kles. HOW MUCH: Be­tween $200 to $500.

L ASER TREAT­MENTS

Lasers are beams of fo­cused en­ergy that travel at spe­cific wave­lengths, and there are dif­fer­ent types which fo­cus on spe­cific skin con­cerns like pigmentation, red­ness, acne and pim­ples, or even tat­too re­moval. The more com­mon laser treat­ments in­clude Q-switched laser (1064 nm), which can be used to lighten un­wanted brown spots, and also pig­ments from tat­toos.

One of the new­est laser treat­ments in­clude a turntable laser sys­tem called Ex­cel V – it op­er­ates on two wave­lengths (532 and 1064 nm), and has three modes to treat su­per­fi­cial pigmentation spots

and rosacea, deeper spots and veins, as well as stim­u­late col­la­gen syn­the­sis.

If your con­cern is vas­cu­lar le­sions, which ap­pear as red spots or threads on the skin, ProYel­low Laser (577 nm) would be ideal. Tra­di­tional yel­low lasers con­tain both green (532 nm) and yel­low (577 nm) light, but it is thought that the green (532 nm) wave­length leaves Asian skin more sus­cep­ti­ble to hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion. The ProYel­low Laser reaches into skin to treat vis­i­ble blood ves­sels, pigmentation, rosacea and post-acne red­ness. Aside from treat­ing red­ness on the skin, ProLaser Yel­low also has a dif­fer­ent mode to tackle pigmentation, pro­mote skin re­ju­ve­na­tion and elim­i­nate pim­ple­caus­ing bac­te­ria. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Pigmentation, un­even skin tone, red­ness and acne. HOW MUCH: From $400

UL­TRA­SOUND

Both High-In­ten­sity Fo­cused Ul­tra­sound (HIFU) and Ulthera utilise ul­tra­sound tech­nol­ogy to in­duce skin tight­en­ing and lift­ing. The­ses ul­tra­sound waves tar­get skin at depths of 1.5 mm, 3 mm and 4.5 mm to lighten su­per­fi­cial pigmentation, stim­u­late col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, melt fa­cial fats and tighten skin.

Lo­cated at the depth of 4.5 mm, the Su­per­fi­cial Mus­cu­lar Aponeu­rotic Sys­tem (SMAS) stim­u­lates skin tight­en­ing and helps it ap­pear lifted when ul­tra­sound is ad­min­is­tered.

Numb­ing cream or in­jec­tions are used for the area re­ceiv­ing the treat­ment. Pa­tients may ex­pe­ri­ence some prickly pain dur­ing the treat­ment, and some dull ache on the bones like the jaw­line. There is vir­tu­ally no down-time, and re­sults will take around two months to be­come vis­i­ble. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Skin lax­ity, loss of firm­ness and un­wanted fats on the face. HOW MUCH: From $800

SKINBOOSTERS

Like der­mal fillers, Skinboosters also use hyaluronic acid to re­ju­ve­nate skin and main­tain skin hy­dra­tion lev­els. “Skinboosters treat­ment uses a spe­cialised filler from Resty­lane to im­prove tex­ture, re­store hy­dra­tion and im­prove fine lines,” com­ments Dr Siew Tuck Wah from Ra­dium Aes­thet­ics. He uses an in­jec­tion de­vice which has five mi­cro-nee­dles, mak­ing the process quicker and more pre­cise. The noz­zle of the in­jec­tion de­vice lifts the skin via a vac­uum, and in­jects the sta­bilised hyaluronic acid filler un­der the skin. How­ever, some doc­tors may choose to in­ject Skinboosters di­rectly with a sy­ringe, de­pend­ing on the con­di­tion of your skin.

The Skinboosters treat­ment was de­vel­oped by Resty­lane specif­i­cally to im­prove fine lines, skin elas­tic­ity and hy­dra­tion lev­els. It is al­ways pru­dent to check if the clinic you are vis­it­ing utilises Resty­lane Skinboosters in­stead of a filler from a dif­fer­ent brand, which might not yield the re­sults you are look­ing for.

As Skinboosters are usu­ally in­jected

all over the face, it is com­mon to have pin-prick marks and swelling es­pe­cially over sen­si­tive ar­eas like the un­der-eye. These would usu­ally go away in a cou­ple of hours, but it’s ad­vis­able to sched­ule the treat­ment in the evening for skin to re­cover overnight. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Dry, dull and age­ing skin in need of a boost. HOW MUCH: From $800.

CACI (COM­PUTER AIDED COSMETOLOGY IN­STRU­MENT)

The CACI Lux­ury Non Sur­gi­cal Face Lift from SWUK Aes­thet­ics uses a com­bi­na­tion of mi­cro-cur­rent and ra­dio fre­quency to tone and firm skin. Mi­crocur­rent stim­u­la­tion mim­ics the body’s own bio elec­tri­cal field and is usu­ally not felt, ex­cept for a slight tin­gling sen­sa­tion dur­ing the treat­ment. It tones mus­cles, in­creases blood cir­cu­la­tion, and pro­motes col­la­gen and elastin pro­duc­tion. The treat­ment is per­formed us­ing con­duct­ing wands, to stim­u­late all 32 fa­cial mus­cles on the face to achieve mus­cle re­lax­ation for frown lines, and mus­cle con­trac­tion for sag­ging skin.

The CACI Lux­ury Non Sur­gi­cal Face Lift also uses Ca­pac­i­tive Ra­dio Fre­quency tech­nol­ogy, which pen­e­trates the skin deeply to strengthen skin tis­sue and pro­mote col­la­gen syn­the­sis, for firmer-look­ing skin. Lines, wrin­kles and droop­ing skin are vis­i­bly im­proved. WHAT IT TAR­GETS: Sag­ging fa­cial mus­cles and wrin­kles. HOW MUCH: From $270.

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