On the bright side

Me­gan Bed­ford has the go-to glos­sary for the lat­est facial treat­ments to re­fresh and brighten your ap­pear­ance.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BEAUTY -

If you’re put­ting in the ef­fort with good skin­care prac­tices but not get­ting the re­sults you’re af­ter, it can be a good idea to speak with an ex­pert. The op­tions avail­able at skin clin­ics through­out New Zealand run the gamut from a one-off facial to brighten your skin, to more ad­vanced ap­pear­ance medicine op­tions de­signed to ad­dress some of the com­mon signs of age­ing. How­ever, de­ci­pher­ing treat­ment menus from skin­care clin­ics can be in­tim­i­dat­ing and over­whelm­ing! A rep­utable prac­ti­tioner will take plenty of time to talk through any op­tions with you, but it helps to have an idea of what’s avail­able and the out­comes you might be hop­ing to achieve. With new trends and tech­nol­ogy con­tin­u­ally ad­vanc­ing in terms of what’s pos­si­ble, we look at some of the most pop­u­lar op­tions.


In­jectable gel fillers were once only used to plump out sig­nif­i­cant lines around the fore­head, eyes and mouth. These days it’s more about boost­ing vol­ume loss that hap­pens nat­u­rally with age. Us­ing the hyaluronic acid so­lu­tion, which dis­solves over six to 12 months, fillers boost lips and cheek­bones, soften hol­lows un­der the eyes, strengthen the bridge of the nose and firm the jaw­line. Ex­ten­sive use is some­times re­ferred to as a “liq­uid facelift”, de­signed to lift and firm the face.


Also known as dermal rolling or col­la­gen in­duc­tion ther­apy, dermal needling works by har­ness­ing the skin’s nat­u­ral abil­ity to re­pair it­self. A roller or small pen-like de­vice with a num­ber of tiny nee­dles inside is used to gen­tly make a se­ries of tiny pricks (mi­cro in­juries) into the der­mis, or sec­ondary layer of skin. This causes cells to pro­duce more col­la­gen and elastin, the foun­da­tion of smoother, firmer and brighter skin. It can help min­imise acne scar­ring and is handy for ar­eas like fine lines around the lips.


Patchy pig­men­ta­tion, sun dam­age, bro­ken cap­il­lar­ies and brown spots can be treated with IPL (In­tense Pulsed Light), a con­cen­trated light source de­liv­ered to the area of dam­age be­neath the skin via a hand­piece, with­out breaking the skin’s sur­face. The pulses of light break down the pig­ment, which di­min­ishes over time. It’s also used to per­ma­nently re­move un­wanted hair. Sev­eral treat­ments are usu­ally re­quired and should be per­formed in au­tumn/win­ter, when it’s eas­ier to avoid sun ex­po­sure.


The moniker “vam­pire facial” refers to PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma treat­ment, or us­ing some of your blood’s own heal­ing plasma in com­bi­na­tion with dermal filler to re­ju­ve­nate

skin. Drawn from your arm and sep­a­rated by cen­trifuge, the plasma is de­liv­ered by nee­dle or a nee­dled Derma Gun. It’s long been used to treat dam­aged tis­sue af­ter in­jury and Dr Catherine Stone at The Face Place has also been us­ing it to treat hair loss and sex­ual re­ju­ve­na­tion for both women and men.


The op­tion that ex­cites skin ex­perts the most, be­cause of its abil­ity to achieve more youth­ful skin on the whole, is laser treat­ment. That means smoother, stronger and more evenly coloured skin. The key to good re­sults is a qual­ity laser op­er­ated by an ex­pert in this field. Like dermal needling, the re­sults hap­pen be­neath the sur­face as the skin is stim­u­lated to re­pair the mi­cro­scopic treat­ment zones cre­ated by the laser. Skin looks bet­ter in the short and long term as more col­la­gen is pro­duced. Tra­di­tional lasers di­rectly tar­get the sur­face layer of the skin, while more ad­vanced frac­tional lasers, con­sid­ered the gold stan­dard in the in­dus­try, dif­fuse the burst of en­ergy into a grid of much smaller “pin­pricks” that work on a far deeper level for more ef­fec­tive re­sults.


Microdermabrasion is one of the quick­est ways to achieve a brighter com­plex­ion. It in­volves re­mov­ing the gunked-up top layer of dead skin with a vac­uum hand­piece that uses small crys­tals to ex­fo­li­ate. It’s es­pe­cially good for thick, oily, black­head-prone skin, but isn’t ideal for more sen­si­tive types as it is abra­sive, so in­creas­ingly al­pha hy­droxy fa­cials or “peels” us­ing acids de­rived from fruit are be­ing used for resur­fac­ing in­stead.


Low-fre­quency sound waves are de­liv­ered via a flat metal hand­piece that is moved over the face in con­junc­tion with skin-boost­ing serums – in short, it takes a facial to the next level, with vi­bra­tions proven to help in­gre­di­ents pen­e­trate deeper into the skin.


Bo­tox is an in­jectable medicine used to re­lax lines by tem­po­rar­ily im­mo­bil­is­ing the mus­cle be­neath the skin. The ef­fects wear off over sev­eral months. Long lauded for its im­pact on the face, Bo­tox is now be­ing used in more var­ied ways. Lift­ing the brow line, treat­ing ex­ces­sive sweat­ing, mi­graines and teeth grind­ing, slim­ming the jaw­line and re­lax­ing a gummy smile are all Bo­tox treat­ments car­ried out in New Zealand. PEELS

While they sound in­tense, top­i­cally ap­plied treat­ment peels help your skin do what it does nat­u­rally, but bet­ter. That means re­mov­ing the dead, dull top layer of skin to re­veal bright new skin be­neath and bring healthy cells to the sur­face – a nat­u­ral process that slows as we age. Usu­ally ap­plied as a mask dur­ing a facial, peels can aid in in­creased col­la­gen pro­duc­tion, and im­prove the ef­fi­cacy of your cur­rent skin­care rou­tine.


A lesser-known but useful way to tighten slack skin on the face and neck with­out surgery is ra­dio fre­quency treat­ment. Us­ing a metal con­duc­tor, it’s ad­min­is­tered through the skin to gen­tly heat tis­sue and stim­u­late col­la­gen in the deeper dermal lay­ers and tighten it from the inside out.

Long lauded for its im­pact on the face, Bo­tox is now be­ing used in more var­ied ways.

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