Our lifestyles, and attitudes towards beauty, are constantly evolving. Over a decade ago, getting aesthetics procedures like Botox done would have been a hush-hush affair. This is a stark contrast from today, where women can choose to catch up with one another over Botox parties instead of mani-pedi sessions at the nail salon. And, if regular exercise and a strict diet regime are no longer enough, fat-freezing and body sculpting machines can now help keep you taut and trim without you lifting a single barbell. Need more proof of how times have changed? Just look at your neighbourhood physician, who can inject some fillers to go with your flu antibiotics. It’s a clear reflection of how much non- and minimally-invasive anti-ageing procedures are in demand.
“As many patients are working full-time, they want visible and immediate results without the downtime associated with surgery,” says Dr Lam Bee Lan, Medical Director of Ageless Medical Centre. She adds, “Minimally-invasive procedures have more pros than cons compared to radical plastic surgery in that most have minimal or no downtime or side effects, and the patient can get back to his/her activities immediately, without anyone realising.” If you want to appear like the best version of yourself, here are the new technologies to know, just in time for your next derm appointment.
THE NEW FILLER: TEOSYAL
Best For: Restoring facial volume at tear troughs and cheeks, and enhancing the nose bridge and chin
Similar to other existing fillers in the market like Juvederm or Restylane, TEOSYAL fillers are largely made up of hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally-occurring substance in our body that is also a key ingredient in topical skincare focused on providing hydration. What sets TEOSYAL apart, however, is the presence of a unique Dermo Restructuring Complex (a blend of antioxidants, amino acids, minerals and vitamin B6), which provides a synergistic effect to redensify the dermis. Manufactured using a highly specific patented process, TEOSYAL fillers preserve skin’s softness while supporting each and every facial movement. TEOSYAL fillers come in varying densities, and can be used to address a wide range of concerns from the hollowing of under-eye fat pads to enhancing facial features. According to Dr Lam, “the lifespan of TEOSYAL fillers depends on their density,” lasting about six months for those that are less viscous to about two years for denser ones. She adds: “Like any hyaluronic acid filler, bad habits such as smoking and prolonged exposure to the sun can shorten the lifespan of TEOSYAL fillers in the skin.” TEOSYAL fillers also contain lidocaine, which helps to further reduce any pain or discomfort.
TEOSYAL is available at Ageless Medical Centre, #01-11 Orchard Parade Hotel
THE NEW LASER: DISCOVERY PICO
Best For: Targeting pigment disorders, and rough and uneven skin texture
Like its name suggests, Discovery PICO is a device that emits lasers in picosecond pulses, which means each beam lasts only one-trillionth of a second. This drastically reduces the exposure of the surrounding tissue to the laser, minimising any potential damage. “With each laser beam emitted, the laser light energy is delivered directly to the area where pigmentation is present, and it breaks up the melanin cluster into super fine pigment dust. These pigment dust particles are then eliminated by the body naturally,” explains Dr Steven Ang, Medical Director at Dr Steven Aesthetics & Laser Clinic. Those on-the-go will appreciate that one session targeting the cheek area takes only about 15 minutes and there is minimal flushing post-treatment. And if you’re worried about pain, there is hardly any discomfort even without numbing cream, apart from a slight snapping sensation around the nose area. Another bonus? Discovery PICO also comes with a Photo-Thermal mode, which gently warms skin tissue to stimulate collagen rebuilding for plumper, smoother skin. “While there will be visible improvements to skin tone and texture in one session, we generally recommend a course of five sessions for optimal results,” adds Dr Ang.
Discovery PICO is available at Dr Steven Aesthetics & Laser Clinic, #01-86 Block 75D Redhill Road
THE NEW BOTOX: XEOMIN
Best For: Reducing wrinkles
Did you know that each time you frown, the muscles around your eyebrows contract and, along with them, the skin furrows? Over a long period of time, these folds can result in permanent wrinkles known as glabellar lines, or frown lines between the eyebrows. This is where Xeomin comes in. A form of botulinum toxin type A such as Botox and Dysport, Xeomin is injected into facial muscles to reduce the appearance of glabellar lines. According to Dr Angela Hwee, Head Doctor at DRx Medical Aesthetic Clinic,“Xeomin works by blocking chemical signals from the nerves to the muscles. The muscles no longer receive instructions to contract, therefore becoming less stiff or more relaxed.” Unlike Botox and Dysport, “Xeomin is free of complexing proteins, which studies have shown might increase the formation of antibodies against botulinum toxin type A, thus making patients develop resistance and leading to treatment failure,” says Dr Hwee.
Xeomin is available at DRx Medical Aesthetic Clinic, #03-01B Wisma Atria
THE NEW BODY SCULPTOR: CRYO-LIPOLYSIS
Best For: Eliminating stubborn fats
Combining two body-shaping devices, the Z Lipo and Z Wavepro, this non-invasive procedure targets localised fat tissues and firms skin at the same time. Firstly, the Z Lipo applicator is placed over the area of concern, and the treatment area is cooled to destroy fat cells without damaging any surrounding tissue. These fat cells are then passed out of the body via its lymphatic system over the next two to three months, resulting in gradual inch-loss. According to Dr David Loh, Medical Director of David Loh Surgery, “One of the improvements in the Z Lipo machine is the special suction massage to relieve discomfort, boost circulation and break down frozen fat cells. It also has a pulsating suction to improve lymphatic drainage and metabolism.” The Z Wavepro(which emits radial shockwaves) is then administered to tighten skin’s connective tissue and stimulate collagen for firmer skin. Patients are able to resume their daily routines, apart from some soreness and bruising, which should subside in a week.
Cryo-Lipolysis is available at David Loh Surgery, #05-16 Wheelock Place
This article was first published in Harper's Bazaar Singapore.