Having been in the beauty industry for many years (and with the amount of fancy anti-ageing treatments, lotions and potions applied to my skin daily) I’ve often joked that one day it’s all finally going to kick in and I’ll actually start ageing backwards. Last week, I attended a launch that made me realise this joke could actually become a reality and this not-so-new treatment should be top of your skincare list for 2016.
Skinboosters are set to become the new buzzword in skin rejuvenation, but this ‘new kid on the block’ has actually been doing the rounds for years – eight to be precise – and women all over the world have been benefiting from the results. Dr Michelle Emett of Refine Anti Ageing and Laser Clinic in Hermanus has been using the treatment for years, having trained for it overseas, and reckons it’s one of the most versatile and cost effective treatments for skin rejuvenation around. I chatted to her at the launch before she went to town on my own face to show me exactly what the procedure entails.
What are Skinboosters?
Created by Restylane (a world leader in cosmetics fillers) they consist of stabilised hyaluronic acid, an incredible molecule comprising partly of sugars that is found naturally in the skin. Think of these guys as glorious little skin sponges, holding up to 1000 times their weight in water and drawing moisture into the skin. The benefits?
# boosted hydration and plumpness
# increased elasticity and radiance
# a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
# a healthier skin barrier
# a reduction in inflammation (making it great for sensitive skin)
FYI Imagine your skin as a building. Among other things, it’s made up of collagen proteins (the building blocks), elastin (the framework) and hyaluronic acid (the cement that holds it all together).
So why do you want stabilised HA rather than other forms? ‘Stabilised HA is cross-linked (with a stronger bond), that ensures the longevity of the product and cohesion in the way the filler sticks to itself, such as in blobs or spreading like water,’ explains Dr Emett. Restylane also uses NASHA technology, known as micro-sieving, which determines the size of each molecule allowing the creation of thicker molecules for use in lifting or contouring cheeks or the jaw line, or very fine molecules. ‘Skinboosters uses very small molecules that can spread like water in the skin and draw lots of water in,’ says Dr Emett. This essentially results in molecules that are all even and closer to the natural HA found in your skin. ‘All this technology allows us to administer precisely the right dose for the ideal result in skin texture, with a product that will stay where it is put for much longer than a non-stabilised form of HA, which the body metabolises faster.’ In a nutshell? Think deeper hydration and smoother, more natural, longer-lasting results.
FYI One gram of hyaluronic acid is able to hold up to six litres of water!
And it’s not just your face that can benefit from Skinboosters. ‘Women often spend a great deal of time and money taking care of their face but neglect their neck, décolletage and hands,’ says Dr Emett. ‘This is an instant giveaway of a person’s true age and areas that need to be addressed in order to provide a more complete rejuvenation of the skin.’
Who’s it for?
Everyone! Do you want gorgeous, glowing, plumped, smooth, healthy skin? Then it’s for you.
In your forties or fifties? It’s ideal if you suffer from wrinkling, loss of elasticity from a decrease in collagen and elastin, or a general loss of volume caused by a reduction in underlying fat pads of the skin.
In your late twenties or thirties? It’s also incredibly beneficial for younger women plagued by dry, lacklustre skin with an impaired barrier function (with amazing results on eczema too) who want to plump up the skin in general as well as fill in fine lines and wrinkles. But that’s not all…
Embarrassed by a scar or uneven texture caused by ice-pick acne-scarring? In addition to treating dry, wrinkled or thinning skin, Skinboosters are a fantastic way to remedy scars. ‘When treating scarring, we insert a cannula (blunt tip) needle underneath the scar, breaking up the collagen bonds which are pulling the scar downwards,’ explains Dr Emett. ‘We can then deposit microdroplets of HA which help to lift the scar, resulting in a smoother skin surface.’
FYI In addition to depositing HA, the process is also stimulating platelets and the formation of growth factors due to the needling, which all result in skin rejuvenation.
What to expect?
One full face treatment takes about 20 minutes using either cannula needles (ideal for treating larger areas of volume loss or specific points of scarring) or the amazing Vital Injector machine, which inserts 50 microlitres of HA into the skin using five needles with every zap. Downtime can vary from a few days to a week, with temporary after-effects including redness, tiny bloodspots from the needles, mild bruising in certain patients and occasionally some uneven texture in skin (most often caused by the molecules being inserted too close to the surface of the skin).
While you’re notice an immediate plumping effect in treated areas, the big results are yet to come and well worth waiting for, unlike other rejuvenation treatments where the results tend to dissipate as the months go by. After four weeks you’ll start seeing some real differences as your skin begins to draw in more moisture, and after your second and third treatments, the real magic begins where an optimal level of moisture can be reached thanks to the biggest presence of HA.
For the best results three treatments are recommended over three months, followed by annual top ups. ‘After these initial treatments, you should get to a point where you will only need to book a top up once every year to maintain the results,’ says Dr Emett, making this a far more cost-effective treatment long-term than many other forms of skin rejuvenation (not to mention no need for constantly shelling out for fancy face creams that can only administer HA topically to the surface of the skin).
You’re looking at roughly R2000 to R6000 a session, depending on the amount of treatment and the area.
Wanna see this magic-maker in action? Keep an eye out for my experience coming soon.
Photography Ian McRobie