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
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.
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.
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
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
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.