With the festive season just around the corner, we can expect our time spent hopping from one party to another. Eating one too many nibbles, and all those glasses of fizz – we want to look ready when we hit the party scene. You may have got what to wear sorted, so turn your focus to your skin. Whether you are celebrating with family and friends or getting ready for the office party, get your party-ready skin and look your best this festive season with these beauty upgrades.
With multiple treatment types available, it is recommended to familiarize yourself with the options available before making the best decision for your concerns. Cut through the confusion and get the facts that you need for an informed decision.
Chemical Peel Treatment
Improve and smooth the texture of your skin with a chemical peel, which removes the outermost layers of the skin with a gentle peeling solution derived from fruit or milk acids. When performing the treatment, this solution is applied to the skin for a duration of time ranging from three to seven minutes. The solution can include alpha-hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, lactic and salicylic acid.
With the application of the acids, the skin undergoes microscopic peeling, whereby dead skin cells which are usually shed with time, are induced to shed earlier, resulting in a fresh and radiant complexion. One should know part of the normal skin ageing process results in a longer duration of skin cell( keratinocyte) turnover, resulting in slower shedding, and this can contribute to dull looking skin. Skin cells from the deeper layers of the epidermis regenerate after the peel, allowing smoother skin with fewer wrinkles, as well as stimulating collagen in skin.
According to Dr.Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist, “I recommend the chemical peel for those experiencing acne, or as a form of anti-ageing treatment to maintain youthful skin, either alone or in combination with lasers and cosmeceuticals. My patients who come for chemical peels also look to minimize damage caused by sun damage, such as wrinkles, or other problems such as dark spots, dull or uneven skin texture, freckles and fine lines. As compared to other treatments, chemical peels can be more cost-effective as a form of maintenance and as an adjunct treatment.”
Ensure that this treatment is performed by a medical professional, and go for a professional evaluation before going for the treatment. The concentration of the acid solution applied to the skin has to be controlled, and results may vary according to either commercial brands used. A specially compounded in-house chemical peel solution is used at the clinic, tailored either for lighter, caucasian skin types, or darker asian or hispanic skin types as each as different requirements. Darker skin types should be particularly cautious as stronger peels, when used inappropriately can result in pigmentation instead.
According to Dr. Teo, ” One should be wary that over the counter DIY cosmetic skincare which tout various acids, such as lactic, salicylic acids, and AHAs all contain sub-therapeutic levels of the ingredients, as higher concentrations are illegal to be used at home without medical supervision.What this results in is simply drying out the skin, which very often does not treat acne, result in antiaging but merely causes a form of eczema known as irritant contact dermatitis. I would avoid using skincare with any of these ingredients on a long term basis without consulting a dermatologist. “
For facial rejuvenation and reversing signs of ageing, you may consider going for laser therapy. This treatment can help to reduce wrinkles, age spots, acne scars and help to tighten your skin. When a laser is used, a concentrated stream of a invisible wavelength penetrates the skin. The laser treatment can target either the surface layer or deeper layers of your skin, depending on the results you are looking for. Lasers that work beneath the surface skin layer are called non-ablative lasers.
Non-ablative lasers help to remove skin discolouration, reduce redness from rosacea and improve fine lines and wrinkles. With multiple treatments, it can also help to stimulate collagen production.
Ablative lasers work by targeting the surface layer of your skin by ‘ablating’ the surface of your skin. Such lasers can make a greater difference in your skin replacing damaged skin from sun damage with healthier, new skin. Follow-up care is necessary with ablative lasers to ensure smooth result and needs at least two weeks for full recovery. If you are rushing to be all ready for the festive period, it is recommended to postpone your ablative laser treatment.
In the hands of accredited dermatologists, laser treatment will help to dramatically improve your skin appearance. Lasers advertised by spas or aestheticians may not even be medical grade, as the HSA does not allow therapeutic lasers to be operated by aestheticians. Such “laser facials” may hence be ineffective or even outright dangerous.
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Sygmalift
HIFU is ideal for the tightening, lifting and rejuvenation of facial skin. It is safe and effective and is a popular alternative to a surgical face lift to help improve lines and wrinkles. With high intensity focussed ultrasound energy, two particular layers below our skin are targeted – the superficial muscular aponeurotic system (SMAS) and the dermis. The SMAS is a layer of facial muscles that is tightened during a facelift, while the dermis layer is made up of collagen and elastin fibres that provide the skin with strength and elasticity.
Using the power of ultrasound, HIFU is able to this energy to safely tighten and lift the skin. The safety of the treatment comes from being able to protect the surface of the skin whilst still penetrating precisely deep into the skin to treat beyond the surface layer. No damage will be done to the surface layer or any adjacent tissues.
Targeted skin tissues will be subjected to thermal heat that promotes healing, stimulating optimal levels of collagen production. Response to the thermal heat can lead to the desired effects of lifting and tightening, allowing HIFU to be a viable alternative to surgery. Energy emitted from ultrasound lasers would also melt facial fats during the treatment.
Finally, are you tempted by those advertisements offering aesthetic treatments like an ‘a-la-carte’ menu? One word of warning by our dermatologist though, “For safe and effective results, all these aesthetic treatments are regarded as medical interventions still and a trained dermatologist will not administer any of these without a thorough consultation discussing risks, benefits, costs involved and the overall maintenance required for a proper anti-ageing regimen, so as to ensure the treatment is tailored to your needs.” Armed with this guide, you are well on your way to look party-ready this festive season.
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Meet with Dr. Teo Wan Lin, an accredited dermatologist at TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, for a thorough consultation to determine the most suitable treatment for your skin.