Which Anti-ageing Treatment are you most suited for?

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By Dr YZ Tan

Ageing is a natural process that affects everyone. It manifests in various ways, including the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and loss of volume. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to anti-ageing.

Non-invasive aesthetic treatments have gained popularity due to their effectiveness, minimal downtime, and low risk compared to invasive procedures. These include energy-based treatments that use heat from ultrasound and radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen production to lift and tighten the face.

While effective, each technology works differently. So how do you know which treatment would suit you best?

Why is collagen so important?

Collagen is a big buzzword when it comes to anti-ageing because it is responsible for the firmness and elasticity of your skin. As we age, our skin loses about 1% of collagen per year from our mid-20s onwards. This leads to the formation of lines, wrinkles, and loose and sagging skin.

Collagen loss, however, is not responsible for volume loss in areas that appear sunken. This is largely caused by fat loss or migration.

How do non-invasive anti-ageing treatments stimulate collagen?

Non-invasive anti-ageing procedures make use of heat generated by ultrasound or radiofrequency energy. This heat energy is delivered safely and precisely to different layers of the skin based on its intended results to create micro-injuries in the targeted tissue. This triggers the skin’s natural healing response, which in turn stimulates and increases the production of collagen. 

Some of these energy-based treatments can also be used for volume reduction. When targeted at the right layer of the skin, the heat energy can selectively destroy fat cells. This can help to contour the face and reduce the appearance of jowls or excess fat deposits.

So how do you know which anti-ageing procedure is the most suitable for you?

Many people mistake lifting and tightening as the same thing, but they are not.

Tightening procedures focus primarily on the skin layers to reduce laxity and looseness. They do so by focusing the heat energy in the dermis layer where collagen is produced. These treatments benefit those who have dull, crepey skin with fine lines and a lack of elasticity. 

Lifting procedures, on the other hand, aim to lift and contour the face by targeting deeper tissue and layers under the skin like the SMAS layer, fat and connective tissues. The SMAS layer is also where plastic surgeons target during a surgical facelift. The stimulation and repair of this layer gives a lifting effect, especially in the lower face and jowls, while at the same time reducing unwanted fat around the jawline for a slimmer face. Lifting procedures are most suitable for individuals with structural laxity that causes droopiness in the face. 

To determine the right treatment for you, your doctor should assess your age, skin type, face shape, degree of laxity, and facial volume.

What is your face type and which procedure can you benefit from?

Generally speaking, everyone can benefit from both tightening and lifting treatments. It is just a matter of which one would give you better results for your face type.

Faces with less volume, loose, thinner or wrinkly skin are typically prime candidates for tightening treatments such as the Sofwave and Thermage FLX.

By focusing on stimulating collagen production in the dermis layer, such treatments help to improve skin laxity and reduce lines without affecting facial volume. As loose skin tends to droop, tightening procedures can also give a lifting effect.

On the other hand, those with firmer or thicker skin quality and more facial volume accumulation rather than loose skin are better suited for lifting procedures such as Ultherapy or Ultraformer HIFU. Such face types tend to be chubbier or have fat accumulation around the jowl and double chin area. 

Pinch Test

To determine whether your skin needs more tightening or lifting, a simple pinch test often gives a good indicator.

Areas with more fat or volume would feel more solid and firmer as it tends to be attached deeper under the skin. Loose skin, on the other hand, will feel more elastic and easier to pull.

That being said, there are those who require both tightening and lifting. This is seen more often in older individuals.

Are you suitable for both skin tightening and face lifting?

As we age, some individuals will experience skin laxity, diminished deep tissue firmness and pockets of sagging fats. These individuals can potentially benefit from both types of treatment for the best results. In such cases, procedures such as Ultherapy, Ultraformer HIFU and Sofwave can all be used to customise an individualised treatment plan.

Areas of the face such as the jowls, jawline and lateral edge of the face can be targeted with Ultherapy or Ultraformer HIFU to help lift and reduce excess volume and sagging skin. Areas with loose skin can then be treated with tightening procedures such as the Sofwave to further enhance the overall improvement in laxity and deep lifting effects. 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution because everyone ages differently. In order to yield the best results, it is important that your doctor identifies what your skin needs most, and consequently the right procedure for it. This is the key to achieving the best results for you.

Dr Tan Ying Zhou

Dr. Tan Ying Zhou (Dr. YZ Tan) is the founder and Medical Director of Mizu Aesthetic Clinic, which was set up in April 2015.

Along with his keen interest in aesthetics was a fiercely entrepreneurial spirit which saw through each step of putting the clinic together.

Being in the target age group of popular trends allows Dr. Tan to react swiftly to the changing demands of his patients. He keeps himself updated with the latest procedures, and has attended more than 40 conferences and workshops around the world within the last six years!

Dr. Tan’s utmost expertise lies in nose augmentation and anti-aging solutions, like the Profhilo, Ultraformer HIFU and Thermage, personalising his treatments to each individual’s ageing and facial concerns.

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