Glowing, smooth and supple skin has long been a benchmark of beauty. But, unfortunately, not all of us naturally have the genetics to ward off premature wrinkles, acne, dullness, dryness, dark circles, or scarring.
So what to do when you are one of the unlucky ones? No need to stress about skin blemishes, as there are an array of invasive surgical procedures to consider.
Dr Sheryl Smithies -a dentist trained in Medical Aesthetics, specifically non-invasive medical facial treatments- explains that these treatments often eliminate the need for costly and painful traditional cosmetic surgeries. The variety of facial treatments, whilst confusing, also means there is likely to be a treatment for your specific concern.
Here is a checklist of the concerns that would make you an ideal candidate for non-invasive facial treatments:
- Do you think you look very tired?
- Have you gained or lost a lot of weight lately and see the results in your face?
- Do you have facial wrinkles or excess skin around your neck that is worrying you?
If you answered yes to any of the above, treatments such as neurotoxin, hyaluronic acid fillers and thread lifts may all aid to smooth and lift wrinkles, leaving you with a softer expression.
Known as the gold standard of aesthetic treatment, the procedure involves injecting small amounts of Botulinum toxin into specific muscles to cause temporary paralysis and prevent your skin from wrinkling around the muscle group.
The resulting smoother skin and softer facial expression lasts about 4 months depending on the muscle group. With only mild stinging during the procedure, many challenges such as crow’s feet, forehead lines, frown, nasal bunny lines, TMJ and grinding, and gummy smile are resolved in 3-5 days with best results settled in by two weeks.
It is one of the most economical of the treatments: a unit will cost between R65 and R80 and the treatment of the 3 main problem areas would cost approximately R3 500 -R4 500 per appointment depending on the muscle groups being treated.
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers:
Despite its chemical-sounding name, hyaluronic acid is naturally found in your skin cells and is responsible for attracting and retaining water in the skin cells and maintaining the moisture balance of skin. In this treatment, hyaluronic acid in its gel form is injected into the skin and supporting tissues. Fillers are mainly used for sculpting – building shape on the lips and cheekbones – and for filling of deep grooves and wrinkles. This treatment can also be used to treat dark eye circles and to encourage the skin to moisturize itself.
Apart from treatment on the lips, this method is relatively painless, and the results are instant. Side effects are minimal but include mild swelling and bruising which will settle over the following week. A bonus is that each consecutive treatment becomes cheaper and you can expect to pay between R3,500 and R5,500 for the first syringe, depending on the brand and type of filler used.
Threads work by causing mild irritation underneath the skin which stimulates your body to grown new collagen around the irritated area. Collagen is what all our tissues including skin, bone and muscle comprise of, and as we age our bodies natural collagen production decreases in both quality and quantity. Threads create a scaffold underneath the skin of thickened collagen that will support and prevent wrinkling, also with some lifting abilities. The procedure strengthens skin and it keeps the need for a full facelift at bay for a while.
In terms of pain the treatment is moderately uncomfortable, and patients experience a significant sense of tugging and swelling for 2-3 weeks post-treatment. However, the reduction of sagging jowls and loose neck skin is instant, and it can keep the need for a full-face lift at bay. A full thread lift would set you back anywhere between R15,000 and R60,000.
Aside from signs of aging, other areas of concern such as skin texture and condition can also be remedied with non-invasive procedures.
Here is a checklist of the concerns that would make you an ideal candidate:
- Do you feel like your skin is quite dull?
- Do you feel like you have an uneven skin tone with some dry and some oily areas?
- Do you have pigmentation areas that bother you?
- Do you have active acne or acne scarring?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions a combination of chemical peels, micro-needling, mesotherapy and laser therapy may work wonders for you. Although some of these treatments can seem intimidating or dangerous, they are perfectly safe and effective when done by a qualified medical aesthetician.
These stimulate new skin cell growth and clear surface cells and are used to treat pigmentation, fine lines, acne, acne scarring and oily skin. The deeper you peel, the better the results and although lighter peels can be done by a therapist, stronger, deeper, medical-grade peels must be done by a medical doctor.
Peels work by equilibrating your skin oils, decreasing pore size, and brightening and lightening pigmentation. A once-off treatment will brighten your skin, but a consistent set of treatments will lead to permanent results depending on your areas of concern. The treatment may sting and can feel like a sunburn afterwards.
Directly after the peel your skin will be beautifully bright for a few days after which you may experience some peeling. The cost is generally between R450 and R2,500 per treatment and you need several treatments to get serious results.
This treatment is the king of collagen induction treatments, it is cost-effective, can be done once per month in place of your facials, and maintains the integrity of the skin’s thickness. Microtrauma to the skin by a needle (with up to 12 needles heads) that puncture to varying depths, force the skin to produce collagen in the healing process and facilitates absorption of serums into the skin.
The trending “Vampire” facial seen online is micro-needling that takes PRP (Platelet rich plasma) from your blood that contains stem cells and growth factors and puts them into the skin like a serum where you need them to make new collagen.
The pain level experienced can be uncomfortable but should only feel like sunburn once the treatment is finished. The procedure is mainly preventative and leaves beautiful glowing skin and lessens fine lines helps with acne scarring and stretchmarks too. Micro-needling ranges from R1,500 for basic needling to R4,500 for PRP Vampire session.
A single needle is used to inject serums into the substance of the skin causing microtrauma and inducing collagen production, thereby allowing for the direct placement of specific mixes of serums into the skin.
The pain level is mild to moderate for each injection and is mainly used to treat overall skin texture, fine lines, and elasticity. Like many treatments, you may need a few sessions to get dramatic results and the costs vary depending on the type of serum needed but range from R1,200 to R6,000.
Lasers work with the concept of microtrauma to stimulate healing and new skin production. Various lasers treat pigmentation, acne scarring, uneven skin tone, wrinkles and more. They do come with a pain factor and longer downtime compared to some of the other treatments, but the results speak for themselves and they can treat almost any type of skin issue.
Treatments result in mild sunburn for a few days, scabbing and some peeling which ends after approximately 10 days. Depending on the type of laser used, treatments can be anywhere from R3,000 to R20,000.
About Dr Sheryl Smithies
Dr Sheryl Smithies – the newest talented addition to the cosmetics team at Enamel Dentistry in Cape Town – believes that understanding the frame of your face is key to your personal beauty. As a digital aesthetics specialist, Dr Smithies knows that mapping out the path to the perfect natural you have been made infinitely more accurate and less invasive with the innovation of digital technology.