2018 will be the year of non-surgical cosmetic procedures with an increase in 20 and 30 somethings showing increased concern about their skin health and the ageing process. Through social media trends, celebrity endorsements and a growing acceptance of cosmetic and aesthetic treatments there has been an influx of younger women (and men) lining up for these types of treatments.
“Prejuvenation” can be thought of as an emphasis on early intervention and maintenance treatments started in the 20s and 30s rather than rejuvenation procedures such as surgery which may involve more down time, costs and risks at a later date.
Today we are seeing more of those wishing to embrace their natural beauty, age with dignity and prevent the deleterious processes that come with ageing. It is about confidence and owning your age rather than turning back the clock and looking younger.
In Australia alone the non-surgical cosmetic industry is booming with the per capita spend on cosmetic treatments amongst the highest in the world. We have spent over $1 billion dollars with no signs of slowing down.
A new focus on skin health, improvements in technology and more affordable prices has meant the younger generations are now getting on board and focusing on preventative treatments to maintain, enhance and prolong their beauty. But with so many available treatments on the market what are the most effective?
Traditionally anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers have been associated with filling in lines and wrinkles, resulting in a fake and frozen look. Now we are trending towards more of a natural look using total facial analysis; where skilled doctors will take into account each individual's facial structure and expressions, using small treatments to address the ageing process and maintain natural looking results.
Anti-wrinkle injections can stop wrinkles in their tracks resulting in smoother complexions while still maintaining normal facial expressions. The most common areas to treat are the frown lines, forehead lines and crow’s feet. Dermal fillers which contain hyaluronic acid (which is a naturally occurring substance in our skin) can be used to replace lost volume, add structure and support sagging skin.
Using a combination approach of anti-wrinkle injections and fillers we can freeze the clock and prevent the need for surgery in the long term. Younger women are also using these treatments to get ‘selfie ready’ and contour their cheeks, perfect their profiles with chin and jawline enhancement and plump their lips to get Instagram ready, all with the aim of avoiding heavy makeup and contouring.
LASER AND LIGHT
There is an abundance of options in regards to skin ‘prejuvenation’ using laser and light. We are now seeing technology that allows optimal results with little to no down time which suits our busy lifestyles. Laser and light based treatments can boost collagen and elastin formation, improve skin texture and tone and treat early sun damage.
A treatment that is gaining popularity in Australia is the Forever Young BBL™ treatment. This utilizes broad band light (similar to IPL) which has been shown in studies to ‘flip the genetic switch’ and turn back the ageing process. Regular treatments with BBL will not only treat pigmentation, redness, capillaries, acne and uneven skin tone, it will make the skin look visibly younger.
Skin needling using pen microneedling devices such as Dermapen™ and newer radiofrequency microneedling devices (utilizing radiofrequency heat energy) can increase collagen levels in the skin and work to rebuild the skin from within. These treatments induce microchannels of ‘injury’ to the skin which in turn stimulates our body’s own healing mechanisms to produce new collagen and elastin, and remove damaged skin cells. The end result of these treatments is tighter, thicker and healthier skin with a reduction in fine lines, scars, pores and surface irregularities. Treatments can be done on a regular basis with little to no downtime.
Good skin care is the foundation for healthy skin as we age. There is a new emphasis on active cosmeceutical ingredients and trends moving away from department store brands. An essential in any ‘prejuvenation’ skin care regime is some type of retinol (vitamin A) which can maintain youthful skin, increase collagen levels, decrease sebum production, treat acne and improve pigmentation. Due to our harsh Australian sun, daily sun protection and antioxidants such as vitamin C are also vital in protecting the skin against environmental damage which is a main contributor for ageing.
It is an exciting time in aesthetic medicine as the savvy consumer is now focusing on skin perfection and preserving the gift of youth. The treatments available today need to focus on long term prevention and treatment of telltale signs of ageing such as skin laxity, texture and pigmentation whist offering minimal down time with a tailored and personal result. Gone are the days of seasonal and short lived trends in beauty and cosmetic medicine; ‘prejuvenation’ and a natural look are here to stay.