Perhaps you don’t use the term “anti-ageing” because it suggests you’re fighting off a completely natural process (aka the embrace-your-face mentality). Or maybe you aggressively tackle every fine line or age spot you see (the obliterate-ageing approach). Either way, ageing happens to all of us. Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of SW1 Clinic, has tips for taking the best care of the skin you’re in.
Prevention is better than cure
Everyone should embark on a good skincare routine earlier rather than later, says Dr Low. “Don’t wait until signs of ageing appear.”
“The initial signs can be subtle – collagen loss, poor skin tone, visible pores, and slight loss of volume. If you don’t take action early, by the time you see more obvious signs such as deep nasolabial lines and chronic frown or worry lines, you’ll need more drastic measures.”
Common Treatments: Botox & Thread lifts
The signs of ageing that patients most commonly see Dr Low about are wrinkles and lines, especially around the eyes (crow’s feet) and forehead (frown lines). While some people do not mind a few lines, they become an issue when they increase in number and depth due to repeated facial motions.
One solution is to use anti-wrinkle injections of botulinum toxin (Botox is one of its trade names). How satisfied you are with the result depends on your practitioner’s skill and understanding of your needs. “If my patient wants a very natural effect, I soften her lines with Botox but leave her with the ability to make a full range of facial expressions,” says Dr Low. “It’s an absolute myth that Botox removes your facial expression or makes you look fake.”
Jowls are another concern that Asian women, in particular, often seek treatment for. A more heavyset jawline than before, marionette lines (which bracket the mouth) and excess skin on the lower face indicate the appearance of jowls. Not keen on surgery? Facial thread-lift treatments such as Infinity V-lift can help. It uses innovative threads made from 100 per cent bio-absorbable collagen. Initially, the threads physically lift the facial skin, but over time, they break down and are replaced by natural collagen which maintains the lift. Effects of facial thread lifts can last a year or more.
Innovative solutions: PDRN
One new SW1 Clinic treatment that is gaining popularity is Youth Savant, a skin booster that uses a protein molecule called PDRN (polydeoxyribonucleotide). The protein is derived from sterilised salmon sperm and has been shown in studies to activate DNA repair in skin.
Dr Low says that its effects include improvements in hydration, tone and healing, so skin looks younger and suppler.
Other procedures to enhance a youthful appearance include fat transfer. This involves taking fat from areas where it is not wanted, such as the tummy or thighs, then spinning it in a centrifuge to extract the young and healthy fat cells. “Fat is a rich source of stem cells,” says Dr Low. “When the fat is re-injected into the face, it can improve skin texture and quality.” Fat-transfer treatments are increasingly popular with women who have lost some facial or breast volume. Dr Low adds that most patients say the results are visible even years after the procedure.
Dr Low Chai Ling is the founder and medical director of SW1 Clinic, which offers non-invasive cosmetic dermatology and cutting-edge plastic surgery. Dr Low believes that ageing is the accumulation of damage in our bodies. "That's why taking active steps to reduce this damage is the best thing we can do for our bodies," she says.
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