Your Guide To Anti-Aging and Medical Aesthetics
Worried about the signs of aging?
If you’re concerned about signs of aging and your skin, then you’ve probably thought about going the route of medical aesthetic treatments once or twice. They’re readily available and so many women swear by them, it’s difficult not to be tempted, right?
We’re all in favor of doing what makes you feel good and enhancing your natural beauty (absolutely no judgment here) it’s what we do, but it’s also important to understand and get informed about the treatments you are getting into. Many treatments like botox, dermal fillers and laser treatments are touted as something that’s as “quick and easy” as getting a facial or a blowdry.
The truth is that there’s a little more to them than that, and there are risks involved, as well as benefits, to all medical aesthetic treatments out there. There’s a reason why it’s referred to as” medical” and carried out by a professional after all. While some treatments may be trendy, it’s important to do what’s right for you.
In general you want to make sure that your medical aesthetician is qualified and comes ideally by referral or at least has some solid rave reviews. Regulations and licensing changes from region to region. What one person might be certified or licensed to practice in one area, they might not be able to in another. So, when you aren’t sure what the regulations in your area really are… You may need to do some digging yourself. You want to see their work beforehand, understand their aftercare processes, ensure that they’re insured and appropriately certified or licensed and, of course, have a consultation first, at the clinic where you’ll be receiving treatment. Don’t be afraid to ask for photos of before and after treatment, and to request some thinking time if you’re not sure. Also, be sure that they love what they do. This might sound trivial or irrelevant but we have been in the industry long enough to know that if someone doesn’t like what they do or aren’t quite happy… it will affect your experience and your results. And when you are getting into more invasive treatments, you don’t want to take that risk.
So, let’s run through some of the most popular anti-aging treatments available and let you know the inside scoop on each of them so that you can be informed. Choosing the right treatment will be down to your personal preference, the needs of your skin and recommendations from the experts who will be carrying out your rejuvenating treatments.
What are some of the most popular medical aesthetic treatments?
Microdermabrasion is a cosmetic procedure that’s used to renew skin tone and texture. It’s usually used to improve the appearance of sun damage, wrinkles, fine lines, age sports, melasma and scarring.
It uses an abrasive tool - it could be crystal or diamond - to wear away the top layer of skin to remove dead skin cells and dullness. It’s the most thorough exfoliation you’ll ever experience and you’ll usually see improvements straight away. You might need repeat sessions for full results.
This is a minimally invasive treatment that you don’t have to do any special preparation for. Common side effects can include tenderness, dry or flaky skin, tenderness or redness but these should generally subside. Your skin can be more sensitive to the sun too.
People love microdermabrasion as it gives instant results and a visible glow to the skin. It’s also minimally invasive and can really deal with the signs of aging and skin concerns without damage. It is becoming less popular as people move towards treatments that use chemical, rather than physical, exfoliants in their skin care routines - newer treatments can also give the same results more easily.
A HydraFacial uses a three-step process to deep-clean, exfoliate and hydrate the skin. It’s used to help treat different skin conditions, including acne, dryness and wrinkles. It provides way more dramatic results than a facial and uses a mechanized wand to deeply exfoliate your face.
After the treatment you should expect to have smoother, more radiant skin and potentially a more even skin tone. Results are usually visible immediately and the treatment takes around an hour. It’s less harsh than alternatives such as chemical peels with far less downtime.
You can combine this treatment with others, such as dermal fillers or light therapy, but these are additional to your HydraFacial treatment. People love HydraFacial’s because it combines the best parts of essential treatments like microdermabrasion and chemical peels whilst still being a relaxing, pampering treatment. You get the benefits without the discomfort.
Billed as a super-facial, this product works with the natural processes of the body to oxygenate skin from within and can be completely tailored.. It starts with gentle exfoliation, then an infusion of antioxidants and nutrients followed by oxygenation. As well as being essential for the rest of our body, oxygen also has lots of skin-boosting benefits.
People love their OxyGeneo treatments as it’s like three treatments in one - you get exfoliation, skin rejuvenation and oxygenation, all of which have different benefits for your skin. You’ll often see improvements in texture and radiance
Also to microdermabrasion, chemical peels are used to remove damaged skin cells and deal with issues like wrinkles, fine lines, sun damage, scarring, uneven skin tone and melasma. It uses a chemical solution to remove dead and damaged cells to reveal new, refreshed skin underneath. They’re not just for your face either, you can have the treatment on your hands and neck too.
Chemical peels come in three different strengths (which will vary from company to company and brand to brand): superficial, medium and deep. Superficial are the most gentle and use alpha-hydroxy acids to exfoliate. Medium peels use trichloroacetic or glycolic acid to reach the middle and outer layer of the skin to remove damaged cells. Deep peels fully penetrate the middle layer of skin to remove damaged skin cells, and usually use phenol or trichloroacetic acid. Deep peels may be carried out as an outpatient.
The preparation and recovery times are different depending on which peel you have. Some of the risks include darkening or lightening of the skin (this can be more common in people with darker skin), scarring, infections and in the case of deep peels damage to the heart, kidneys and liver due to the chemicals used.
People love chemical peels because they target so many different types of skin issues in one go - they’re great for scarring, dark spots, wrinkles and sun damage. You can see the process actually working as your skin starts to peel and reveal the fresh skin underneath.
Laser resurfacing is one of the most advanced skin rejuvenation treatments available. It removes fine lines and wrinkles, tightens skin, evens out discoloration, repairs sun damage and smooths out rough skin. It’s also good for scarring and hyperpigmentation.
This treatment uses thermal energy from lasers to penetrate the skin and vaporize damaged skin. It also stimulates the body’s natural healing process to encourage collagen production and cell regeneration. There are two types, ablative and non-ablative. Ablative destroys the top layer of skin, which means more time to recover but increased cell generation.
You’ll see results soon after treatment with continuous improvements over 3-6 months. You may need more than one treatment and it can be done on your face, neck, chest, hands and arms.
More commonly known as just “fillers”, these are injectable gel-like substances that are used to plump up the skin to add volume and fullness. This can smooth out your skin, including wrinkles and lines. They can also be used in your under-eye area, cheeks, chin, hands, chest and nose. As we age we lose collagen and some of the natural volume of our face and lips, which can make us look older.
Hyaluronic acid fillers (you might have heard of Juvederm or Restylane) are currently the most popular. This is naturally produced by your skin and great at hydrating and firming your skin. Other types of filler include calcium hydroxylapatite, collagen stimulators (used to help your skin naturally produce collagen rather than plump out itself) and fat injections from your own body.
Side effects can include itching, swelling at the site of the injection and bruising immediately after treatment. Usually your skin will be numbed ahead of the injections, but you may experience some discomfort. After treatment, side effects can include allergic reactions, lumps and bumps, filler migration, blurred vision or infection.
It depends where you have fillers placed, but they usually last between 6-12 months before needing topped up. Some women get their fillers dissolved before they have a top-up to avoid filler migration and build-up.
IPL Skin Rejuvenation
IPL uses pulses of light to treat wrinkles, age spots, sun damage and things like broken blood vessels. It works in a similar way to laser but is less focused and releases light on many different wavelengths. Your skin absorbs the light, which is converted into heat and zaps different pigments in your skin.
You might need to avoid certain activities before (and after) your treatment, but your provider should tell you this. Some people liken the treatment to the feeling of an elastic band snapping on your skin. The time it takes varies depending on the area you’re having the treatment on, and your skin will need to heal between treatments - usually you’ll need to have 3-6 treatments to see the full results.
As a side effect you may experience mild redness or swelling, bruising, blistering and more severely changes in skin color or infection
Microneedling uses a small dermaroller tool with tiny spikes on it. The idea behind it is that these spikes cause tiny micro-tears to your skin and that the skin responds by renewing itself and producing more collagen. The new skin is likely to have a more even tone and texture, which can be great for signs of aging and things like acne scarring, age spots and larger pores. It also means your skin will look brighter and firmer.
The treatment shouldn’t be painful, but may be slightly uncomfortable. Afterwards, you might feel minor skin irritation but this should subside and it’s unlikely you’ll need any down time. You may also experience slight bleeding, bruising or peeling after treatment. Infections are possible too.
You can buy derma rollers to use at home but these aren’t as effective as the treatments you’ll receive in the clinic - and not typically something that we recommend.
Pretty much everyone has heard of Botox - it’s actually a brand name for a muscle-freezing botulism toxin. Rather than fill out wrinkles, it temporarily paralyzes the muscle which causes them, thus reducing their appearance.
The treatment itself is minimally invasive and is administered using an injection. It’s most commonly used around the eyes, in the forehead and between the eyes. You might have minor bruising or discomfort during the treatment (many practitioners use a numbing agent on the area first) but more serious side effects can include swelling or drooping, tiredness, headaches, neck pain, double vision, dry eyes or allergic reactions.
Depending on where you have it, your metabolism and how often you have Botox, it will usually last somewhere between 3-6 months before you want to have it topped up. This will be different for everyone and usually your first round of Botox may wear off more quickly.
Overall, only you can decide about whether aesthetic treatments are right for youAesthetic treatments aren’t a replacement for taking care of your skin and health, these factors will actually support your skin.. It’s also essential to maintain a skincare routine and your overall health for best results.
None of the aesthetic treatments we’ve outlined are permanent either, so if you like the results and want to continue, be mindful of your budget and the ongoing costs of having the treatments carried out several times a year.
One thing we can say for sure is that even when you indulge in the more advanced medical aesthetic treatments, you need to maintain a strong at-home skin care routine and get (or give yourself) regular deep-cleansing facials. With our professional and luxurious at-home spa treatments, we will help make sure that your skin is ready and receptive to any additional treatments you get. You might even get a nice does of relaxation while you are at it! Check out our full collection here.