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Knife free anti-ageing

Contemplating a face-lift but don’t want to go to such extremes? The latest craze of cosmetic procedures enable you to look younger without having to go under the knife-and it can all be done in your lunch break.

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Non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Choosing the right professional is important.

04 August 2009

By no means am I encouraging you to go out there and try it, but you can’t deny the fact that minimally invasive anti-ageing cosmetic procedures such as Botox and microdermabrasion are growing in popularity.

Why? They’re more affordable and recovery time is quicker.

Whilst I’m all for microdermabrasian and laser, I’m not a fan of Botox which requires a lot of maintenance and can sometimes look very stiff and unnatural.

Here’s a run down on some of the popular procedures.

Dermal fillers/hyularonic injections

Dermal fillers are products injected into the dermis which fill or replace the lost volume in static wrinkles, lines and folds.

They work by replenishing hyularonic acid in the skin, a natural ‘volume providing’ substance in the skin that diminishes with age.

Unlike anti-wrinkle injections like Botox, they do not affect facial muscle contraction.

Best for

Reducing lines and folds commonly in lips (such as lipstick bleed lines and lines at corners of mouth), nose, cheeks, eyes and brows.

They are also used to redefine and add volume to lips, as well as correct hollows under the eyes that contribute to bags.

Results Verdict

Results are noticeable almost immediately and can continue to improve over two weeks.

The treatment lasts for 6-18 months, which means you will have to top up about annually.

Botox injections:

Anti-wrinkles muscle relaxant injections derived from the dangerous botulinum toxin, Botox reduces wrinkles by temporarily relaxing muscles to create a smoother appearance.

Best for

Smoothing out lines such as ‘crow’s feet’ around the eyes and frown lines between the eyebrows.

Results verdict

The results will be evident within a week, although are temporary, lasting about 4-5 months.

This means you will have to top up the treatment about twice a year to maintain your look.

There are also potential side effects, including temporary eyelid droop, facial pain, swelling, muscle weakness, and sometimes double vision.

But dermatologist Dr Greg Goodman says that Botox works as a wrinkle preventative as it can help prevent dynamic lines (those that appear with movement such as frown lines) from becoming static or entrenched.

Laser treatments

Certain lasers emit light wavelengths that penetrate deep into the skin to boost collagen.

Laser can correct numerous skin conditions, including sun damage, brown spots, unsightly veins, and improve skin tone and texture.

Best for

Sun damaged skin, acne and scarring, rough or thickened skin, open pores and broken capillaries.

Results verdict

The time it takes to see results depends on the skin condition being treated and the type of laser.

Dr. Goodman says that a fractional cO2 laser is great for treating fine lines and will only take one treatment.

Other skin conditions such as scarring, may take several treatments.

The stronger the laser, the more effective but it also means that you will have more downtime.

Skin needling with derma roller

Involves puncturing the skin with small needles attached to a roller.

The concept behind this is that the needles cause thousand of microscopic injuries to the skin which tricks the skin into regenerating and repairing itself by producing collagen.

Best for

Scarring and wrinkles.

Results verdict

Dr Goodman says that skin needling improves the look of the skin, but is not as effective as other treatments like laser in reducing wrinkles.

Multiple treatments are usually needed to achieve a significant improvement in the appearance and depth of scars and lines.

Microdermabrasion

A heavy duty form of skin exfoliation. A hand held machine featuring a crystal head or abrasive diamond-shaped crystals combined with suction works to slough off the surface layers of skin and stimulate collagen growth.

Best for

Scarring, rough or thickened skin, acne and congestion, and general rejuvenation of the skin.

Results verdict

Dr Goodman says that the treatment will enhance your skin’s glow and provide a more even complexion so that you look younger but it won’t actually slow your development of lines or wrinkles.

In terms of treatment, you will need a series of weekly to two weekly treatments to get optimal benefit, with significant scarring requiring at least half a dozen treatments.

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