Recently I introduced you to an amazing skin rejuvenation treatment which uses hyaluronic acid and has me incredibly excited. Over the next few months, I’ll be letting you in on my Skinboosters journey and revealing all the ins, outs and results as I experience them with Dr Michelle Emett of Refine Anti Ageing and Laser Clinic in Hermanus. Here’s what went down at my very first session.
After being introduced to the technology behind Restylane’s Skinboosters during the presentation (and asking a hundred questions to satisfy my curiosity and thirst for information) I was eager to understand exactly how this treatment was administered. Never one to shy away from experiencing things first-hand to get a real account of the procedure, I jumped at the chance to have it done on my skin.
Here’s my before (with make-up). Although it’s not that noticeable in this image, I had also developed these terrible hollow areas under my eyes, which made me look very tired and years older than I really am. It meant I always had to use loads of concealer and foundation to cover the shadows they produced and even then people were constantly telling me I looked drained and tired (thanks guys, way to make a gal feel confident).
Before diving into the Skinboosters treatment, Dr Emett suggested a solution to my problem – tear trough fillers (now is the time to look away if you’re squeamish). It was something I had considered a year ago but never really had the guts to sign up for as I was weary of finding the right doctor to perform the procedure. Essentially, it uses a thicker form of Restylane Hylauronic Acid filler which is injected into the area below the eye onto the bone. This helps to plump up the skin above this area, diminishing the hollows and resulting in a more youthful appearance.
It looks horrendous and I realise the idea of inserting a needle into such a sensitive area scares the daylights out of most people, but don’t be put off. Honestly, I barely felt a thing! My quarterly blood donation injection is more painful and if I could have this done every month instead of waxing my legs I would trade it in a heartbeat! Sidebar: can we just take a moment to appreciate my lashes in this shot?
It was over in five minutes and the results were instant, and they even improved over the next few days. This quick procedure took years off my face and because the fillers last around nine months, I’ll get to enjoy the benefits for a long time. Just check out the difference between my before shot at the top and the after shot at the bottom. And now, onto the Skinboosters review.
Restylane Skinboosters Treatment using Vital Injector (R2 000 – R6 000 per session)
After removing all of my make-up using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (R180), a topical anaesthetic containing 30% lidocaine was applied to my entire face in order to provide some numbing of the tissue. I must admit that even after 10 minutes I didn’t feel the effect and I plan to have my second treatment without it to see if it really made a difference and be able to explain the feeling without any numbing.
Dr Emett chose to use the Vital Injector to administer my treatment. This device uses five micro-needles to inject between 25 and 50 microlitres of hyaluronic acid (5 to 10 for every needle) into the skin with every zap. In addition to providing an easy, quick way of injecting these microdroplets, the machine can also be set to the exact depth at which a doctor would like to insert them (in my case 2.4mm below the surface of the skin) allowing for precise insertion.
The Vital Injector was used all over my face including cheeks, chin and above the lip, before the depth was decreased to 2.2mm for it to be used around the orbital bone and eye area where the skin is thinner, and over the forehead where it lies closer to the bone than the cheek area.
I have a fairly high pain threshold and I also tend to compare everything to a bikini wax, so if you can stomach that this will be like a trip to the spa. The machine uses a clever suction action to lift up a small area of skin before the needles are inserted in a movement that feels like someone just touching a pin to the surface of your skin. I couldn’t call it painful or even uncomfortable (honestly, if you put me on a vaguely comfortable bed and tell me to lie still and not work I’m in seventh heaven and won’t get up ’till you make me) and I could have lain there for hours having it done and not minded. The most ‘painful’ part, was probably the area above the lips, which is more of a quick, sharp sting than actual pain. Again, I’m keen to try this treatment on my second visit without anaesthetic to be able to share both sides and see if there is much of a difference. Don’t say I’m not committed to the process!
See it in action
After 20 minutes I was done, having had a 1ml vial used over my face, with the application of an ice pack before and after. Dr Emett also applied a layer of Restylane Recover Cream (about R300) which contains shea butter, niacinamide and arnica extract to assist with skin soothing, calming and general recovery.
The Results My skin felt instantly fresher and more awake, but I also think this was caused by the general stimulation and application of cooling ice pack. It definitely looked more revitalised, healthier and with an overall plumpness and youthful glow. I was also surprised by how little redness I had (mostly a few fine bloodspots from the needling) and only a few small bumps across the skin, which you could only feel slightly and not see. Within about 45 minutes, most of initial redness had gone. I felt quite comfortable going back to the office or hitting the shops without make-up but you can apply make-up to cover any residual redness if you prefer. So far, I’m very impressed with the initial results and I cannot wait to see the changes my skin is going to experience in the next few weeks, and the difference the second and third sessions are going to make. Stay tuned, and feel free to throw any questions you have my way.
The below was straight after my treatment, and the second image about 40 minutes later by which time most of the redness has gone (except for one bloodspot under my eye from the tear trough injection). The first image used a flash and the second none.
Dr Michelle Emett
Refine Anti Ageing and Laser Clinic
Hemel-en-Aarde Craft Village, Hermanus
Tel 028 316 1532
Photography Ian McRobie and Lauren Watters