With the explosion of lunchtime rejuvenation procedures available, many women are at a loss as to what is the most suitable aesthetic treatment for their faces. The issues facing one looking for non-surgical rejuvenation enhancement techniques are: (1) the extent of what they can accomplish (2) the downtime (this varies between individuals, and what constitutes downtime for one may not be so for another) (3) the longevity of the treatment (or how long the results can last).
With this in mind, top on the podium of most popular face-enhancing, youth-reviving therapies in the last five years stand Dermal Fillers, Threadlifts and Ultherapy. Anyone who have not been living under a rock would have at some point heard about their benefits in terms of turning back the ageing clock, reducing lines and wrinkles and lifting skin.
Read More: The 4 Faces of Ageing – Which One Are You?
For those who perhaps may have been living in some kind of rock for the past decade, here is a quick run down of what each of the three aesthetic frontrunners do. DERMAL FILLERS are so called because they are made to fill the spaces in our skin which has lost volume with age, hereby showing signs of sunkness, hollowness, lines and wrinkles. Most dermal fillers used nowadays at natural hyaluronic acid fillers owing to their high safety profile and reversibility with a simple enzyme hyaluronidase. Owing to the advancements in dermal filler technology, fillers of different key strengths have emerged, each suited to deliver distinctive outcomes. For example, Restylane Hydrolifts are renowned for their lifting capacity without overfilling the face. Voluma High Definition Lift on the other hand has a greater filling and sculpting capacity and can create enviable cheeks while restoring facial volume. Revitalift Face also known as “water injections” or “skin boosters” are targeted at replenishing the collagen stores of the superficial dermis, boosting their water content, immediately improving skin complexion.
THREADLIFTS have undergone several positive revolutions; previous threads used were poorly made and not absorbable. Latest innovations such as the Infinity Instalift and Silhouette Instalift use 100% bio-absorbable threads that stimulate the formation of a supporting collagen matrix that will anchor the lift as the threads disappear in the upcoming months. and Silhouette Instalift famed for their superb lifting capacity utilizes anchoring cones cleverly sited along lengthy Poly L-lactic acid threads; this lends Silhouette Instalift the capacity to lift maximally and is known is the “Queen of all threadlifts”. If your aim is to have the maximal lift, then Silhouette Instalift would be the one for you. Infinity Instalift on the other hand uses shorter but also 100% bio-absorbable PLLA threads. They come in a myriad of shorter lengths and is more versatile. The main advantage in addition to their moderate lifting capacity s their ability to shape and sculpt the face, brow and cheeks to create a V-shape, define and elevatr the nose bridge, and even tighten up double chins. Many patients have had a combination of the two types of threadlifts (Infinity Instalift and Silhouette Instalift) to harness both their strengths.
ULTHERAPY took the world by storm when they introduced the world’s first microfocused ultrasound to contract deep dermis. Ultherapy uses sound energy – tried-and-true ultrasound – which has unique properties that allow it to bypass the surface of the skin to treat depths not matched by any other non-invasive cosmetic device. Ultherapy ultrasound stimulates collagen production in the skin’s foundation, resulting in a clinically significant lift of tissue over 2-3 months. Because there are no injections involved, many people lean towards Ultherapy as their first “babystep” lunchime facelift. To synergize the effects of Ulthera, another FDA approved skin tightening radiofrequency device Thermage can be performed. When done toether, they constitute the 3D Facelift Program, which non-invasively gives your skin the best holistic rejuvenation sans scalpel.
While each of the above treatments may have its fair share of loyal followers, we have scientifically broken them down to their pros and cons for you. Bearing in mind that your aesthetic goal may be different from another person, the same goes for capacity for downtime, discomfort etc. While this may serve as a guide, nothing will replace a good heart-to-heart talk with your trusted aesthetic doctor. A doctor whom you have known for many years preferably and whose clinic have all of the above services is ideal; this way you can be assured that their recommendation will not be biased (tainted by their restricted service menu) but rather be impartial. I remember a case of a lady who had the misfortune of visiting an aesthetic doctor doing only threadlifts, and who subsequently spent the greater part of the consultation putting down all the other treatment options (as well as other doctors who performed them as his clinic only offers the former). Unfortunately, she was ill-suited for threadlifts and lived to regret her decision bitterly over the years.
|In a nutshell||Usually hyaluronic acid fillers||Latest options use bio-absorbable threads||Microfocused Ultrasound|
|Benefits||Depends on type of filler and technique used:
Replaces Loss Volume
Sculpting (Chin, Nose)
Mild Lifting capacity
|Depends on type of threads used:
Can Shape face (V-Lift)
Can Define Nose (Nose Lift)
Can Lift Neck & Brows
Moderate to Max Lift
|Overall skin tightening
Can be used for mild slimming of lower face
|Key Difference||Targeted areas
Can be done over many smaller sessions
Can be done over many smaller sessions
|Usually entire face and neck for best results
Best done in one session
|Possible Side Effects||Filler lumps
Overfilling can lead to puffy looking face
|Poor technique can lead to visible threads
Infection is rare but possible
Dimpling of skin
|Temporary numbness, tingling is possible|
|Downtime||Pin prick marks
Bruising is possible
|Pin prick marks
Bruising is possible
Mild aching is possible
|Who should not do this?||Plump, heavyset faces are liable to look puffy.
People on blood thinners should not have injections of any kind.
|Thin skin may lead to visible threads.
People on blood thinners should not have injections of any kind.
|People with low pain thresholds may have limited benefits as treatment may have to performed at a lower power. Opt for sedation if needed.
|Who is this most suitable for?||Sunken, skinny faces can go for Restylane Hydrolift or Voluma High Definition Lift
Dark eye circles do well with a select group of skin rejuvenation fillers known as Revitalift Eye
Noses with humps or uneven surfaces can do well with nose fillers to smoothen and elevate the nose bridge.
People with short or receding chins can create a more enhanced chin using Chin Fillers.
Dull, lifeless skin can also undergo superficial complexion fillers known as Revitalift Face.
|People who have sagging skin, jowls, double chin.
People who wants a sharper, more defined nose and nose tip can use Nose Threadlifts
|People who wants an all-over rejuvenation and mild to moderate skin tightening effect.|
|Procedure ‘Ouch’ Factor||3/10||5/10||6/10|
|Duration of actual procedure (not including photography or numbing time)||10-15 min||15-30 min||30-40 min|
|Longevity of Effects||Depends of type and volume of fillers used.
|Depends of type and number of threads used.
|Depends on intensity (power) of treatment.
Everyone will have their treatment du jour. We invited three ladies who have undergone each of the three procedures above to give us their honest take on their treatment of choice, whether it hit the mark or if it was way off target.
Read more: My Quest for a Sharper Nose without Surgery
THE FILLER FAN
Joyce, 34 has always felt that her face lacked the suppleness of youth. For starters, her cheeks were non-existent. She had the sort of face one would describe as sad and tired. To add insult to injury, recent years have not been kind to her, adding nasolabial folds to her weary looks. Her dalliance with aesthetics was limited to the occasional facial and one course of budget laser facials at a local laser centre which not only did nothing for her skin, but has since closed down and left her with an unfinished package and nowhere to claim. She is hence very skeptical about any sort of cosmetic treatments.
“After my filler treatment, I could immediately see that my cheeks were lifted and my nasolabial lines were filled. My dark eye circles also looked at least 50% better!” says Joyce
Downtime: “I had some swelling on my undereye for a day. I was told that not bruising is rare but possible, and I guess I am just one of those people who are quite unlucky because I did get a small bruise on my right cheek. I could cover it with concealer and it was gone after 3 days. Apart from that, I wouldn’t say there was much downtime. I actually put on my makeup and went back to work immediately after my procedure, and my colleagues didn’t really give me a second look. I guess it’s the sort of downtime that only you can tell when your face is naked”
Satisfaction: “Out of all the treatments I have tried, I find that fillers have given the most difference in ONE session. What really tipped me in favour of fillers was that Dr Low had told me that she could reverse the treatment, and ‘melt’ the fillers if I didn’t like it. Right now, I am very happy with the results”.
What you don’t like about the treatment: “If there is one thing I don’t like, I guess it would be the fact that there are injections. While Dr Low was very gentle during the treatment, it was more the fear of needles, than any actual pain”.
Pain factor (If bikini waxing was 5/10, where would this treatment rank): “3/10? I must say I have a high pain tolerance in general.I just don’t like the idea of needles.”
Read more: 3 Dream Treatments to Replace a Facelift
Aiza, 30 had just welcome her baby girl a year ago. She hasn’t completely lost all her pregnancy weight, and is beginning to despair. Apart from looking a little heavyset on the face, she also looks tired. People have often commented on her cute “chipmunk” cheeks when she was younger, but now as she enters her third decade, “cute” have been replaced by “tired” and “saggy”. She’s no stranger to aesthetic treatments as she has had fillers, lasers and other treatments in the past.
Disclaimer: She had eyebrow tattooing done.
“I was slightly nervous before my threadlifts. Both Silhouette Instalift and Infinity Instalift were surprisingly quick, over in about 30 minutes. My face was slightly puffy after, likely from the anaesthetic injections, but that was a godsend as it made the procedure relatively comfortable”
Downtime: “I had Silhouette Instalift done first as I was nervous about doing more, but when I saw how fast I recovered the next day, the relative ease of the procedure and the difference it made, I immediately signed up for Infinity Instalift the next week.”
“I was told that Infinity Instalift was more for the shaping of my face which I really wanted because I found my face too round and chubby. I had the Infinity V-Lift with threads over my lower face to contour my jawline. I had some swelling for a day, and one small bruise on my left hairline which lasted for three days.”
Satisfaction: “I was immediately happy with the result of both threadlifts as the effects were very visible right after. However owing to the swelling and mild bruising, it wasn’t until Day 3 that I fully appreciated what a big difference it made to my face. The compliments started coming in after that!”
What you don’t like about the treatment: “After threadlifts, you have to be careful not to open your mouth too wide and not to have too many extreme expressions as this will cause some tenderness as the skin tugs on the threads. This means that I had to eat in small bites for the first night”.
Pain factor (If bikini waxing was 5/10, where would this treatment rank): “4/10. I mean Bikini waxing is pretty painful, isn’t it?”
THE ULTHERAPY UPHOLDER
Karen, 40, is adamant she wants to Age as naturally as possible In fact the only thing she has ever done to her face in the last 10 years were the occasional facials and she can’t say with conviction that she enjoyed it to any great extent. Unfortunately her fortieth birthday and a recent class reunion made her re-examine her convictions and she decided to take the plunge into the world of aesthetics to try Ultherapy. She knew she wanted to tighten her saggy skin all over but nothing too drastic that would make her look different or unnatural. Reading that Ultherapy was a FDA approved ultrasound skin tightening treatment assured her that this treatment fit the bill.
“I must have told Dr Kenneth Lee at least five times before the treatment that I want to look completely natural! Thankfully, he patiently reassured me throughout the 40 minute session. The ultrasound shots felt like little ant bites and while most were comfortable, some felt quite painful. Dr Lee asked if he should turn the power down a little, and I yelled NO. I mean I am here to get the best results so if I can withstand it, I ought to take the highest power possible”.
Downtime: “Dr Lee must have spent at least 15 minutes going through all the possible downtime— swelling, tingling, aching. To be honest, I cannot remember his entire speech. But I had no redness or downtime whatsoever. I went back to work, and no one knew I had a treatment done”.
Satisfaction: “Dr Lee warned me that this isn’t a treatment where you see immediate results, and so I was prepared not to look very different the next day. I didn’t really mind as I was more worried about looking unnatural or horrifically different. I did however notice that my skin looked and felt tighter at the end of the second week. For someone who has only gone as far as facials, this was a very exciting improvement”.
What you don’t like about the treatment: “There was some discomfort with some parts of the treatment. Certain areas such as the jawline was a little more uncomfortable than others”.
Pain factor (If bikini waxing was 5/10, where would this treatment rank): “5/10. I have not done bikini waxing but I think it should be about the same”.
Read more: The 5 ‘Au Naturel’Facelifts you need to know