Paola Chellew poses a pertinent question to some of our skilful aesthetic doctors and gets a mixed review! If you could only do one aesthetic, non-surgical treatment for the rest of your life, what would it be? And why?
In August this year, the 18th Aesthetic Medical Congress of South Africa (AMCSA) was held in Pretoria and featured over 50 exhibitors and a range of wonderful lectures by South African and international speakers. Doctors shared their knowledge through video projections of the latest procedures and techniques, as well as demonstrations of the most innovative treatments available in this ever-growing field of medicine: non-surgical Medical Aesthetics.
Now, if you started investing in your skin and have kept abreast of what’s new in treatments and procedures in the beauty industry, well done! But it’s no wonder that some women and men who are thinking about having a ‘little something’ done haven’t a clue where to start because of the mind-boggling array of non-invasive aesthetic treatments available to the consumer. Of course, we are all unique, and it’s obvious that the best way to simplify the matter is to ask yourself (and your doctor) what your own concerns are.
But I thought it would be interesting to ask a few Aesthetic doctors one relevant question: What is the ultimate treatment?
“It’s a tough choice between Botulinum toxin and soft tissue fillers. Personally, if I could only have one non-surgical aesthetic treatment on my face for the rest of my life then I would have to choose soft tissue fillers. The main reason is that one of the biggest contributing factors to visible ageing is a loss of volume. The underlying fat pads provide support in the face. Soft tissue fillers have the ability to replace volume and also provide support, therefore lifting facial structures. My philosophy is that wrinkles do not make us look old. On the other hand deep indents, gauntness, loss of volume, sagging or drooping facial structures like the jowls and corner of mouth, and a loss of definition to the jawline and chin, all contribute to an ageing face. All of these can be successfully treated with soft tissue fillers.”
“The fundamental treatment for the rest of my life- for my face- would be Thermage(R) for sagging skin. This would not be my panacea for everyone, because it depends on your skin concern. Mine is sagging skin and loss of collagen, according to my DNA tests. I do not have hyperdynamic muscles requiring regular botulinum toxin and I don’t have a loss of volume requiring fillers. I have quite a full face. Thermage works by using monopolar radio frequency that tightens collagen fibres. This is great for firming the skin. One treatment can be repeated between 1 – 3 years apart. It’s not the cheapest treatment, but at least you do not need to do it so often.”
“If I were to choose just one aesthetic, non-surgical treatment to perform for the rest of my career, it would undoubtedly be microneedling with Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) for the delicate skin around the eyes and neck. This choice is based on several key factors, with a strong emphasis on the unique challenges posed by these areas and the remarkable regenerative capacity of this combination treatment. The skin around the eyes and neck is among the thinnest on the body, making it more susceptible to damage from UV radiation, environmental factors, and the natural ageing process. Fragile skin lacks the robust collagen and elastin support that thicker skin enjoys.
Microneedling: This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the use of tiny, sterile needles to create micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating the skin’s natural healing process, which includes the production of collagen and elastin, the building blocks of youthful skin. Microneedling is highly versatile and can be customized to treat specific concerns in various skin types and tones.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): This is a regenerative treatment that uses your own blood to extract and concentrate platelets which are rich in growth factors and healing properties. When applied topically or injected alongside microneedling, PRP enhances the rejuvenation process. It promotes collagen production, improves skin texture, and accelerates the healing and recovery of the skin.
Benefits: The combination of microneedling and PRP is particularly effective for the eyes and neck due to their regenerative capacity. This treatment addresses the superficial signs of ageing and also improves skin quality and firmness, reducing the appearance of fine lines, crow’s feet, and neck creases while increasing the overall vitality of the skin.
Minimally Invasive and Low Risk: Microneedling with PRP is a non-surgical procedure that offers remarkable results with minimal downtime and a low risk of complications. This is especially important for delicate areas like the eyes and neck, where surgical interventions can be riskier and have longer recovery periods. It harnesses the skin’s remarkable regenerative capacity for long-lasting rejuvenation.”
“My choice would be biostimulators. Biostimulators are products that are designed to activate your own cells to function optimally. Results will always look natural as it’s your own collagen and elastin that is created. It’s impossible to look overdone or fake from biostimulation.
The most important cells that are stimulated by biostimulation are called fibroblasts. These dermal cells are responsible for producing all your skin’s collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid (natural endogenous moisture) and who wouldn’t want more of these?”
“If I were to choose only one treatment it would have to be one that is likely to be necessary to most people, giving them a balanced and natural result, while being rewarding for me to perform day in and day out without becoming bored! So I would choose Mid-Face Volumisation with hyaluronic acid fillers.
The face loses volume as we age. Returning that volume to the places where it has wasted, restores a youthful appearance naturally.
The midface is the natural “spine” of the face, giving elegant volume and contour to the whole. The lower face hangs from the midface. We all lose midface volume as we age; facial tissues sag, flattening youthful contours and forming the nasolabial folds and jowls.
So replacing volume to the midface reforms the youthful curves of the cheekbones and lifts and supports the lower face tissues, jowls, mouth corners and nasolabial folds. It’s a single procedure which gives a benefit in three key areas of the face. 20% of the total work and expense that a face may need which yields 80% of the total result one would only achieve with multiple procedures.
There is no pain, bruising or downtime and results are immediate. That makes patients happy, making me happy. It’s why I love my work.”
“For me, it would definitely be neuromodulators (wrinkle-relaxing injections of botulinum toxin).
I have hectic crow’s feet lines – I suppose I just smile too much! Neuromodulators relax the whole of my upper face and in the lower face lift drooping corners of the mouth. The lower third of your face tends to shorten as you age, so botulinum toxin injections decrease the orange peel appearance of the chin by relaxing the dynamic muscles.
I also think it’s a great value-for-money treatment. For the rest, I’d rely on good skin care and loads of sunblock all year round!”
“I would choose Botulinum Toxin as my enduring aesthetic treatment for a multitude of reasons. This versatile treatment offers a wide array of applications, making it invaluable in the field of aesthetics. It reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as addressing conditions like chronic migraines, muscle spasms, and hyperhidrosis. Botulinum Toxin’s utility extends further by effectively managing facial flushing and reducing pore size, addressing not only cosmetic concerns but also dermatological ones.
Additionally, it’s a more cost-effective and efficient alternative to a solely facial care regimen. While skincare routines can undoubtedly be beneficial, Botulinum Toxin provides targeted and lasting results that are often challenging to achieve through topical products alone.
The enduring benefits of this treatment allow me to address both aesthetic and medical needs, providing holistic care for my patients and myself over the long term.”
Considering what the doctors have said, you can conclude that everyone is different with their unique DNA. How we age is dependent on our genes and our lifestyle- there is no Holy Grail treatment! An ethical, considerate Aesthetic Doctor will take this into account and will advise you on the best treatment that is suitable for your concerns and your budget. Ditch the notion that you have to have someone’s cheekbones or a celebrity’s lips- rather, follow the doctors’ examples and choose what’s best for you!
Paola Chellew is a freelance journalist and regularly writes for a number of publications. A former professional contemporary dancer, she has always loved the arts in all their forms. She has been a freelance writer for many years and has been published in various magazines including Live Out Loud, Private Life and Do It now magazines. Her passion for beauty and skincare started in her teens, when she would read every beauty editor’s picks and reviews. Serious about skincare, she has researched medical-grade products for over ten years, as well as aesthetic treatments to restore and repair skin to look its best. Having turned 60 last year, she has dedicated her blog to the “over 50s and beyond Club”, shining a spotlight on a generation that is seemingly side-lined by the beauty industry. “There is no age limit for when you stop being beautiful – a gorgeous lipstick, a sexy fragrance, radiant skin- these are not synonymous with youth- they are just things that add an extra sparkle to my day”.