Young, fresh looks – the identity of people in their twenties and twenties. Charming faces, accentuated by plump skin, brimming with health and vitality. That period between our late teens to early twenties is evidently the most enjoyable period for us; during this time, ageing skin was not even a blip on the radar of your carefree, confident, happy lifestyle.
Pause, and fast forward to the present.
You are in your early thirties, and the magic seems to be fading with every passing. Until one morning, you look into the mirror and stare in disbelief. The tell-tale signs of ageing have begun making their presence felt. When you smile or frown, the crinkles no longer vanish. They remain in sight as fine lines, going on to form wrinkles. Welcome to the reality of jaded looks, saggy skin, fine lines, sunken eyes, laugh lines, wrinkles and pigmentation. Yes, you guessed it right. AGE is catching up with you. Predictably, your first reaction is that of despair. But actually, you don’t need to because there’s good news in the form of facial rejuvenation.
The past few years have witnessed rapid development in the field of non-surgical facial rejuvenation technologies.
So, how does facial rejuvenation treatment work its magic?
In a nutshell, facial rejuvenation attempts to undo the damaging effects of ageing using an array of injectables, dermal fillers, laser treatments, and other energy-based devices. The process involves addressing the four basic factors that influence the impact and severity of ageing on our face and its skin.
Behind the scenes with your skin
As we age, our facial skin also tends to age with the rest of the body. Since the facial skin is relatively more delicate and the face is the most exposed part of our body, it’s evident that the signs of ageing will be most pronounced in this area.
In physiological terms, ageing impacts our facial region in four ways. According to Dr Chiam Chiak Teng, resident aesthetic physician at Ensoul Medical Clinic, the area suffers from a combination of volume loss, deterioration of the skin quality & texture, reduced skin elasticity, and increased pigmentation. Unfortunately, these changes begin to manifest as early as our late twenties.
#1 Volume loss
Attributed to the onset of ageing, this occurs due to loss of bone mass and depletion of fat cells. As a result, the skin begins to look jaded and lifeless – imparting the face with a dull and patchy appearance. Due to the laws of gravity and facial design dynamics, the onset of bone mass loss usually happens in the cheekbone, brow, and around the eyes. As a result, the accompanying fat loss is also pronounced in the related areas – beside and under the eyes, the cheeks, and near the nostrils. Saggy skin, drooping cheeks, nasolabial folds, crows’ feet, and fine lines beside the eyes, are all indicators of volume loss in the face and skin.
#2 Skin elasticity
Also known as elastosis, skin elastosis is a major casualty of the ageing process. In simple terms, as the skin stretches, it loses its inherent ability to regain its original shape fully. The result is saggy, crinkly skin with a leathery touch and feel. This condition arises because the elastin reserves begin depleting within the skin. The areas that face regular exposure to sunlight tend to suffer more from loss of elasticity, also known as actinic elastosis. That’s why the facial skin suffers most from loss of skin elasticity.
#3 Skin quality and texture
Pores, fine lines, wrinkles and dryness are indicators of poor skin quality and texture. Now, the quality and texture of our skin depend upon three components – collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Our skin derives its body and volume from collagen. Similarly, elastin contributes to the skin’s springy quality, and hyaluronic acid is responsible for its smooth feel. As we age, certain fundamental changes in our skin’s composition negatively impact the skin’s quality and texture. The inner layer or dermis gradually thins down due to collagen and elastin loss. Simultaneously, the outer layer or epidermis gradually thickens.
A natural fallout of the ageing process, this component of skin deterioration is caused by the deposition of pigments in the various layers of the skin. Apart from age, the causative factors include excessive exposure to sunlight, genetics, hormones and allergies. This condition leads to the formation of age spots, liver spots, and melasma.
Skin Rejuvenating Treatment for ageing skin in Singapore
At one level, facial rejuvenation treatments address the problems caused by the loss or depletion of the components of youthful skin – collagen, elastin, fat, and hydration. The second aspect of treatment involves eliminating skin pigmentation issues.
Lasers have emerged as a popular treatment modality for treating ageing facial skin and helping it rejuvenate. These non-invasive energy-based devices are safe, effective and convenient compared to surgical treatments. Some popular lasers used in facial skin rejuvenation include Q Switched ND: YAG laser, Pico lasers, Yellow laser, Erbium laser, and Long-pulsed laser.
Depending upon your specific skin issues and other factors, lasers are used separately or in combination with each other. They are also used in combination with other options such as fillers and skin peels. Lasers help your skin to revive itself by minimising the appearance of enlarged pores, reducing pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, apart from improving the overall texture of the facial skin.
The different types of lasers have specific wavelengths and properties, each one capable of working on specific layers of the skin – either the dermis or the epidermis. When used on facial skin, these devices cause speed up exfoliation of dead skin cells and, kick-starting the production of collagen and elastin – crucial components in skin health and vitality.
Other Energy-based skin rejuvenation treatments
In addition to lasers, we have several other treatment options that use other forms of energy to generate heat when coming in contact with skin cells under the surface.
This is a light-based therapy but does not belong to the class of lasers. In IPL therapy, the device releases light of various frequencies in quick succession, resembling a photo flash. IPL harmlessly bypasses the skin’s top layer, to penetrate its inner layer. In this process, the pigmented skin cells get destroyed when they absorb the light energy.
The RF skin tightening treatment is a non-invasive skin therapy that targets the tissue beneath the outer layer of the skin known as epidermis. It depends on radio frequencies for producing the heat energy required for boosting collagen and elastin production deep inside the skin. The renewed production of these components helps to improve the overall skin quality through erasing wrinkles, fine lines, and reducing its laxity. A clinically safe and effective skin tightening treatment that does not require downtime.
This is a popular therapy for rejuvenating facial skin, particularly in terms of elasticity. It can target the deeper supporting structures of the facial skin and help restore skin elasticity in a non-invasive manner. As the name indicates, HIFU or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound therapy uses concentrated ultrasound waves to create energy and target the skin layers under the surface. The best known HIFU device is the Ulthera. The energy that is generated in the process causes cell regeneration resulting in the production of collagen as part of the healing process. HIFU tightens the deeper layer also known as the SMAS (Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System) to achieve an immediate face lifting effect at the same time stimulating the dermis area to promote the regeneration of elastic fiber. This treatment can also help improve skin elasticity apart from reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Injectables such as dermal fillers, Profhilo and Botox are often used in combination in facial rejuvenation. Fillers add volume to areas on our face with fat loss for plumped-up and youthful complexion. For many years, Botox has successfully used to erase wrinkles on the face by relaxing overactive muscles, thus impeding the formation of dynamic lines, and preventing future static lines. Finally, the skin’s depleted hydration reserves are replenished by injecting the dermis with hyaluronic acid which is a powerful humectant.
Dermal fillers can effectively replace the depleted fat reserves in the face. Dr Chiam asserts that fillers are safe and effective in replacing the volume loss caused due to ageing.
Ready for Facial Rejuvenation?
Now, that we have answers to the question of what is facial rejuvenation? You’re probably wondering if you’ll make a good candidate for the procedure.
For starters, the first step begins with a detailed consultation at a trusted medical aesthetic clinic. An experienced doctor can certainly make a difference in skin rejuvenation. Here are some tips on helping you to choose your trusted aesthetic clinic.
Embark on your quest for youthful skin. Following a thorough evaluation of skin quality and texture, volume, elasticity, and pigmentation, Dr Kenneth Thean or Dr Chiam Chiak Teng, with decades of hands-on experience in skin rejuvenation procedures, diagnoses and recommends the appropriate treatment. The ideal facial rejuvenation regimen is finalized only after considering age, genetic makeup, and severity of the condition.
Thanks to facial rejuvenation techniques, healthy, youthful-looking skin is no longer a pipedream of the past generation. The best part is that you, too, can benefit from scientific advances to FACE the world AFRESH!