Five non-surgical facial treatments.
You’d be forgiven for thinking banishing 5 – 10 years from your visible appearance just isn’t possible. Or, you’re curious but the idea of looking less than your real self, leaves you feeling a bit cold. You just can’t see yourself adding dermal fillers to your face, and muscle relaxing is tempting, but it’s not your thing?
These days there’s so much on offer than just dermal fillers and muscle relaxing injectables and while the applications continue to improve for achieving a natural result. They’re not for everyone, not only that; they don’t fix every problem. But what about non-surgical facial treatments?
Does this lead you to the dilemma of too many choices and more confusion? Which treatment should you have? Laser resurfacing, microdermabrasion, low-frequency or high-frequency sonophoresis, chemical peels, Light-emitting Diode (LED) facial therapy, muscle relaxing injectables, dermal fillers and then there’s cosmeceutical skincare. Phew! That’s quite a long and overwhelming list, and it’s not even complete.
So today, I’m just going to take a look five non-surgical treatments that have the potential to banish ten years from your face.
Ready to dip your toe in the water?
First up, seek out and have a professional skin consultation. It’ll make your decision so much easier.
With a plan hatched after your first skin consultation, you’ll have a perfectly designed treatment plan just for you.
Your unique skin conditions, worries and concerns all acknowledged, as well as the history and the genetics of your skin type taken into consideration.
With a treatment plan, you can decide how far you want to go, how much you want to spend or even how long you want it all to take. You have choices. By approaching your skin’s rejuvenation in this way, some of the treatments you thought you needed like muscle relaxing injectables and dermal fillers can be put on hold for a while. Or, you may find you’re so happy with the results; you just don’t need them.
Before any non-surgical facial treatment or procedure, consider commencing on a skincare routine with a high-quality cosmeceutical brand containing active ingredients like Retinol, Retin-A, L-ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Peptides should be recommended for you. They’re essential in beginning the rejuvenation process as well as Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids to refine and stimulate cell renewal.
A series of superficial chemical peels, while not essential can be an excellent place to start, especially if your skin is looking dull, lifeless and dehydrated. If you want a comprehensive guide to which chemical peels are right for you, then you can check our my Peel Series.
Getting clear and set skin goals. What do you want to eliminate?
During your initial consult, try and be clear on what bothers you. Both you and your skincare professional should agree on what’s a priority for you, what are the limitations (if any) of the recommended treatments and what the expected outcomes and results will be. Your results will vary depending on your lifestyle choices, your age, the level of existing damage in your skin and should all be taken into consideration during your consultation.
1. Fraxel Laser: Hyperpigmentation, sun damage, and acne scarring.
Laser treatments are a great option when there is more than just one skin concern and in a particular fractional laser-like Fraxel®. A non-surgical facial treatment more expensive than others on offer but very effective option.
The fractional laser stimulates change by heating the surface of the skin, but in little sectioned fractions. Columns of energy are directed into the skin, leaving the surrounding skin untouched.
Allowing for maximum results but with a less invasive approach reducing risk and less time for the skin to recover. You can expect at least 4-5 days of social downtime. Usually, after just one treatment, you can expect to see improvements.
The stimulation of collagen synthesis will soften the appearance of lines, wrinkles and acne scarring. Skin with severe damage may need several follow-up treatments to achieve the desired improvements.
2. Thermage: Sagging, tired skin with a loss of elasticity.
If you’re worried about a loss of elasticity in your skin, then a non-surgical facial treatment using radio frequency is an excellent option for you. In particular, Thermage CPT™ works by heating the deeper layers of the skin to activate collagen and elastin. Heating the surface of the skin in this way tightens sagging skin, contracts your existing collagen and stimulates the production of new collagen.
One treatment is usually enough. Results are not immediate, and improvement is gradual. You can expect to see improvements over the next 3 to 12 months. Combined with the use of cosmeceutical skincare and regular chemical peels to support your results and of course, the absence of exposure to the damaging effects of sunlight, you can expect the results to last anywhere from 2-4 years.
How good is that!! Expect to pay anywhere between $1500 – $3000 per treatment.
3. Erbium: Hyperpigmentation, lines, wrinkles and uneven texture.
The Erbium Laser is a less aggressive laser than others currently being used in cosmetic medicine, but still with impressive results.
Erbium ablates and erodes a fine layer of skin away to resurface your and smooth out the texture of your skin and encourage new cell turnover allowing unwanted pigmentation to come to the surface and stimulate better skin cell renewal.
Depending on your particular needs and objectives, Erbium can be combined with other Laser treatments like Fractional laser to give you multiple actions with impressive results. The skin will brown off and visibly peel much like a very intense chemical peel. The social downtime for this treatment is usually 5 – 7 days.
4. Fractional Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser: Lines and wrinkles, acne scarring.
Unlike traditional Carbon Dioxide Laser that comes with more risks than you may want to take, Fractional CO2 like it’s cousin Fractional Laser works fractionally.
As the name indicates, this laser works in little sectioned fractions rather than treating the whole skin. Shooting columns of the laser into the skin in this way means less trauma and social downtime but still with great results as the skin being lasered impacts on the surrounding skin tissue triggering a cascade of healing and collagen synthesis.
How intense your treatment or how close together the columns will be something you and your doctor can discuss. For some, less intensive treatment will mean less social downtime, but with more visits to the clinic. You can expect 5 – 7 days of social downtime.
5. High-Intensity Focussed Ultrasound: A non-surgical facelift?
I’ve long been a fan of low-frequency sonophoresis for its ability to improve the absorption of skincare ingredients. High-intensity focussed ultrasound(HIFU) on the other hand, is very different. So although both use the ultrasound technology the depth and heat of the soundwaves differ. With HIFU a delivery of concentrated waves of ultrasound will penetrate multiple layers of skin and body tissues without making direct contact with the epidermis (the top layer of the skin). Stabilised temperatures of 65~75°C are transferred into the targeted zones, to improve skin that has developed fat pads such as under the chin and has lost collagen and elastin which leads to a skin that has begun to sag.
Areas you might want to treat would be the pads of fat that accumulate under the chin or the jowls that appear around the mouth and lower jawline giving the appearance of sagging skin which can be sharpened to give your features a youthful appearance once again.
HIFU is an entirely non-invasive face lifting and skin tightening device that provides a customised procedure for the entire face, neck, and body.
Of course, none of these treatments come cheap, but then neither is a whole lot of skincare left languishing in your bathroom cabinet because you gave up in frustration when it all failed to deliver.
Are these treatments painful?
All of these treatments come with varying sensations and levels of discomfort, ranging from heat, to what some would describe as being flicked with a rubber band.
While they might be uncomfortable, not unbearable and personally, for me, the results are worth the minor pain. A mild anaesthetic is applied in most cases to minimise any pain or discomfort.
Depending on the clinic you visit and the outcomes of your treatment plan and the non-surgical facial treatments available, you may have a combination of treatments recommended for you.
The side effects, risks, any unexpected outcomes, and results you can expect should be explained to you very clearly at your first consultation. (If this does not happen, you seriously need to look elsewhere). Do not gamble with your precious skin.
If you’re feeling committed, have the money to invest and want to transform yourself or banish five to ten years from your face, then it’s possible, and if it makes you feel better about your appearance and boosts confidence and self-esteem, then your money has been well spent.
Just be sure to do your research when deciding where you’ll go for your treatments. For me, these type of non-surgical facial treatments should always be carried out by a trained medical professional such as a cosmetic physician, dermatologist or a registered nurse training in aesthetic medicine.
See you next time.