IYAC sub-05

We all dream of having beautiful, youthful skin. And this has led the beauty industry to offer a wide array of aesthetic treatments to help turn these dreams into a reality.


In the past, cosmetic corrections often involved painful invasive surgeries with lengthy healing periods. Today modern technology has made aesthetics treatments safe and mostly non-invasive. These treatments are popular as they’re reliable, involve little to no discomfort and require minimal (or no) recovery time.

The following are popular procedures available today.



1. CoolSculpting


CoolSculpting (also known as cryolipolysis) is a safe, non-invasive body contouring procedure that freezes fat cells beneath the skin. The frozen fat cells crystalise, which destroys them. The body then naturally absorbs and eliminates the dead fat cells.


This procedure is effective on stubborn fat, especially in areas resistant to diet and exercise. Common areas that are treated include:


  • Under the chin and upper neck
  • Arms and under the armpit
  • Back and “bra fat”
  • Flanks and abdomen (muffin top and love handles)
  • Hips
  • Thighs (inner and outer)
  • Buttocks and under the buttocks


CoolSculpting is safe, involves zero downtime and results are effective and long-lasting because the fat cells (and unsightly bulges) are permanently eliminated. According to research, CoolSculpting works well for fat reduction and body contouring and presents a compelling alternative to liposuction and other invasive methods. Click here to find out more about Coolsculpting.



2. Botox and Dermal Fillers


Botox and fillers are injected under the surface of the skin, but the science behind the two treatments are entirely different. Botox is a purified protein derived from bacteria, and tiny amounts injected into a muscle relax muscle movements and lines created by facial constrictions.



On the other hand, dermal fillers refer to a category of substances that add volume to the face. Fillers are injected into the skin to fill in wrinkles and bring back a youthful firmness to the skin. There are several types of fillers available for a variety of purposes – lip augmentation, cheek plumping, wrinkle treatment, scar removal, facial contouring and more. Juvederm and Restylane are two of the most common.


The success of this treatment depends on the health of the patient’s skin, the type of filler used and the expertise of the aesthetics doctor. Many dermal fillers are made of hyaluronic acid and are considered to be safe, with a very low chance of allergies or other side effects.


Both processes are relatively painless, making Botox and dermal fillers two of the most widely used non-invasive aesthetic treatments today.


On the flip side, Botox and dermal fillers are not permanent solutions and original facial lines and shapes gradually reappear. Botox usually needs to be repeated every three to four months. Dermal fillers are eventually absorbed into the body and typically last between six months and two years, depending on the type of filler used.


Although there is no downtime with Botox, patients may experience slight bruising and swelling immediately after a treatment. This can be covered up with makeup. There are no side effects with dermal fillers, so patients can get back to their everyday lives after a treatment. To find out more about Botox, click here



3. Exfoliation


Cell renewal is a natural body function that unfortunately slows down with aging. As the rate of cell turnover diminishes, dead skin cells start to accumulate on the surface of the skin, making your complexion dull and uneven. Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells, unclogs congested pores and inhibits blackhead formation. The result is skin cell turnover and improved facial tone and texture.



There are two types of exfoliation:


I. Microdermabrasion (physical exfoliation)


Physical exfoliation uses a hard substance to manually remove dead skin cells. A good example is microdermabrasion, where fine crystals or other exfoliating surfaces are used to buff the face and dislodge dead skin cells and other impurities, which are then suctioned off. Taking this abrasive action as an “injury”, the body automatically replaces the removed skin cells with fresh ones, while also encouraging the formation of collagen.


This aesthetic treatment stimulates blood flow and nutrition to the skin cells, which in turn improves skin tone and texture, as well as reduces pore size and the appearance of minor scars and fine lines. Medical research shows it is a viable resource for skin rejuvenation.


Microdermabrasion is not recommended for people with skin conditions, such as eczema, severe acne or sunburn, as the procedure can further irritate the skin.

DIY microdermabrasion kits can also be found in selected stores, but the threat of infection from skin perforations makes it advisable to approach a qualified facial therapist for this treatment.


II. Chemical Peels (chemical exfoliation)


Chemical peels are a popular form of chemical exfoliation. Studies show that chemical peel treatments are effective for a number of conditions including acne, superficial scarring, photodamage and melasma.


During a chemical peel, a safe form of acid (like salicylic, glycolic, lactic or trichloroacetic acid) is applied to the skin causing accumulated dead skin cells to slough off. Chemical peels can diminish the appearance of fine lines, sun-damage, pigmentation and acne-scarring.


At higher acid levels, collagen production can help drive the formation of new skin. Peel solutions come in varying concentrations to address different skin problems, but usually the higher the acid strength, the more visible and long-lasting the results. However, stronger treatments can also be more uncomfortable and require longer recovery times.


Note that treated skin can experience redness, inflammation and blistering. So, although DIY peels are available in the market, it’s best to seek professional help when using chemical peels, especially those involving higher acid concentration levels.



4. Laser and Light Therapies


It’s easy to confuse laser skin resurfacing and light therapies because of the many similarities, but they are two distinct types of treatments.


In laser skin resurfacing, a laser is used to gradually strip away thin layers of the skin to diminish the appearance of scars, wrinkles, pigmentation and sun damage. This procedure is more invasive than light therapy, requires more downtime and is generally used for more acute skin issues. Consultation with a qualified professional is a must.



In contrast, no skin is removed with light therapy. Instead, light spectrums are emitted by specialised equipment onto the skin to promote collagen production, impede wrinkle development and remove pigmentation and broken capillaries.


There are two types of light therapies - Light-Emitting Diode (LED) and Intense-Pulsed Light (IPL).



I. Light-Emitting Diode (LED)


LED is suitable for minor skin issues and sensitive skin. A narrow spectrum of light eliminates acne-causing bacteria and boosts the formation of collagen. It's mild, painless and doesn’t burn the skin.


II. Intense-Pulsed Light (IPL)


IPL is ideal for more serious conditions or for tackling multiple problems at once. Scientific studies have shown IPL to be effective for treating acne, pigmented lesions, actinic keratosis and even some forms of skin cancer. An IPL treatment sends a strong light blast at extremely high energy levels, and the heat from the light may cause some discomfort.

Both LED and IPL require a series of treatments to attain desired outcomes. Although less invasive than lasers, light therapy can cause skin agitation if newly-treated skin is exposed to UV rays.

Click here to find out more about IPL.


5. Radiofrequency and Ultrasound


Both radiofrequency and ultrasound treatments work by directing heat energy into the deep layers of the epidermis to induce collagen-making. The result is an overall tightening of the skin with reduced fine lines, lifted skin and a more contoured jawline. These are popular treatments as they afford the least discomfort and require the least downtime – even when compared to other non-invasive aesthetics procedures.



Whereas radiofrequency harnesses energy generated by electromagnetic waves, ultrasound makes use of sound waves. The energy created in radiofrequency dissipates throughout the skin tissue, and it does not penetrate as deeply as ultrasound. In addition, multiple sessions are necessary for radiofrequency, while most people need only one ultrasound treatment to achieve their preferred outcome. While this may make ultrasound seem like the clear choice, it is also more uncomfortable due to the higher heat concentration involved.


Speak with your medical aesthetics doctor to have a better idea of which treatment is ideal for your skin condition and personal aesthetic goals. Some treatments may even be customised to combine both to achieve optimal results.



6. Thread Lift


Temporary sutures are used to pull back excess skin, providing an overall lifting and tightening effect to drooping facial tissue. Comprising knots that hold the lifted skin in place, the punctures created in this treatment also prompt the body to produce more collagen and stimulate a natural rejuvenation of the treated areas. The threads are made from the same materials used to close surgical wounds – although advances in the technique use new materials for sustained results.



While the effects are not as dramatic and don’t last as long as a traditional facelift, threadlifts also doesn’t involve deep incisions and generally only require two to three days of recovery time. Also, the threads can be easily removed or will dissolve on their own after a short period of time. To find out more about threadlifts, click here.