Like the rings of a tree trunk, a year’s worth of squinting at your computer screen and braving the blistering heat and bleary haze (remember those dreadful days in June?) of Singapore may be cast back to you in the frightful form of new crinkles and creases.
Now that we’re on the cusp of party season, you’ll see us disappearing for mysteriously long lunch breaks – and beauty buffs, you know exactly what we mean. Yes, it’s doctors to the rescue. To be sure, there are tons of topical potions and poultices on the market, but sometimes we girls need a little extra – so think of aesthetic procedures as push-up bras for our faces!
Having said that, it’s absolutely imperative to do your research: You wouldn’t want to wind up looking like a battered burn victim at your office get-together. We picked the brains of a few aesthetic medicine experts for their advice on some of the most effective treatments available today. As always, a quick caveat: Consult a doctor in real life before committing. For now, here’s an online guide to getting your party face on.
Two weeks before D-Day:
Dr Phoon-George Yi Shan from David Loh Surgery says two weeks gives her a fairly good head start to making her patients look gorgeous. If you’re annoyed by acne, for instance, Dr Shan recommends a session or two of gentle lasers and peels to ease the blotchiness of blemishes: “Done properly, these can bring out radiance with minimal redness and recovery time.”
“Enhanced modified peels containing salicylic acid, kojic acid and the like can effectively exfoliate and brighten skin; while also decreasing any inflammation due to acne outbreaks,” she adds. Average prices of these skin therapies range from $150-500 per session.
Dr Siew Tuck Wah from The Sloane Clinic warns that complete remission of existing acne usually take a couple of months, as it involves the reconditioning of your sebaceous glands. Bummer. But there is some reprieve for your aggrieved soul: Last minute fixes like a blast of ultrasonic deep cleansing can unclog pores and prevent further bumps from arising.
Like Dr Shan, he’s also an advocate for laser peels: “I like to combine a rejuvenating laser with a layer of carbon to tighten pores, reduce oil production, and improve acne. The treatment is very effective and works fast, and very popular with the high society types for last minute refreshers!”
An entire Star Wars’ worth of lasers are at a doctor’s disposal. Dr Siew says The Sloane Clinic’s Mixto Light ($1,200 per session) works great a week or two before the big day: “Mixto Light uses a carbon dioxide fractional laser to resurface the topmost layer of your skin. Microscopic crusts will form and fall off after about five days, to reveal skin with better texture and reduced fine lines.”
If you’re feeling wan and withered like a prune, consider plumping up your face with injectable hyaluronic acid fillers. Here’s a quick test to see if you’re a good candidate: Peer down into a mirror placed flat on a table. If you spy shadowy hollows under your eye, a judicious shot of fillers injected deep into the dermis in that region (impress your doctor by referring to it as the “tear trough”) can replace lost volume and make you appear like you’ve had a solid eight hours of sleep daily.
If you’re the go-big-or-go-home sort, Dr Shan’s clinic also offers what she calls a Liquid Facelift: “We use fillers to instantly plump up fine expression lines, with Botox as an adjunct to flatten wrinkles. This 15 minute procedure leaves very little downtime.” Expect to fork out between $800-2,000 per session.
Speaking of non-invasive skin tech, Ulthera and Thermage ($2,800 and up) are pretty good bets as well. These next-gen treatments employ ultrasound and radiofrequency waves to tighten saggy jowls. Best of all, Dr Shan says your skin continues to improve over the subsequent months: “My patients can look good at Christmas and even better during the New Year!”
At the eleventh hour:
If you haven’t done anything drastic by this point, don’t throw up your (hopefully unmottled) hands in despair. Dr David Loh says there are still a couple of tricks you can stash up your sleeves for the day before a big bash: “Always remember to moisturise the elbows. That is an area with exposed skin where people will touch, as a friendly gesture, in a party setting.”
If your neighbourhood dentist is open, bang on the receptionist’s desk and demand to be attended to. A gleaming grille can make a world of difference to a beat-up convertible, if you’d pardon the automobile analogy. “Teeth are often overlooked,” Dr Shan notes. “Whiten your teeth. An attractive, bright smile completes the look.”
A final bit of advice – and one that’s free-of-charge to boot: Just grin and bear it. In Dr Shan’s words: “Laugh, sing, dance. When you are happy, your skin glows with you!”