If you don’t want major cosmetic surgery, but you do want a few subtle changes, you’ll love the latest non-invasive aesthetic treatments. They’re relatively painless (although they’ll certainly put some strain on your purse) and they’re designed to fight signs of ageing, sun damage and scarring. The upsides: little-to-no recuperation time, fewer severe side-effects and, in some cases, immediate results.
Problem Sagging skin
Solution Titan Laser
Known for its tightening effect, Titan has been hailed as a bright new kid on the non-surgical facelift block. The laser is used to combat ageing by stimulating collagen below the skin. By heating the skin’s collagen layer, micro-injuries are formed in the dermis (the second layer of skin), resulting in the production of new collagen in the months following the procedure, and a plumper and firmer complexion.
Downtime Swelling and redness is localised to treated areas and should subside around a day after the procedure.
Cost Between R1 500 and R2 000 per treatment, depending on the number of laser shots required.
Problem Dark under-eye circles, stretch marks and cellulite
Solution Rioblush Carboxy Therapy
Designed to counteract the ageing effects of stress and exhaustion, this procedure involves injecting tiny amounts of carbon dioxide below the surface of the skin, breaking down fatty deposits and stimulating oxygenation and circulation.
Downtime There’s no downtime required, but you can expect some temporary localised swelling and tenderness in the treated area.
Cost R500 per area.
A purified form of the botulinum toxin, which paralyses and softens muscles, Botox is injected into areas like the forehead to smooth skin, temporarily freeze expression lines and prevent existing wrinkles from deepening. When done correctly, the effects of Botox should last between four and six months.
Downtime Although the side-effects are minimal, you may experience a slight headache or swelling for up to 48 hours post-procedure. Avoid rubbing the area or lying down for at least five hours afterwards as the Botox needs time to settle.
Cost Approximately R1 500 per area injected, but prices fluctuate according to the number of units used.
TIP Don’t exercise or exert yourself after a cosmetic procedure, no matter how small.
Problem Sagging skin
Solution A dermal filler like Restylane or Juvaderm for deep wrinkles or features
A synthetic gel form of hyluronic acid (HA), which is a sugar produced naturally by the body, dermal fillers plump lips, accentuate cheekbones or fill fine wrinkles, scars or folds. The effects last around 18 months. A dermal block or local anaesthetic is recommended for sensitive areas like the lips.
Downtime There are no major side-effects, although you may experience slight redness, bruising or swelling.
Cost About R2 600 per syringe used.
Problem Acne scarring, sun damage or pigmentation
Micro-dermabrasion tackles the outermost layers of the skin with microscopic crystals, and it’s useful for blemishes, scarring and stretch marks.
Downtime There’s no downtime with this procedure, although mild redness and sensitivity may occur for a day afterwards.
Cost On its own, micro-dermabrasion costs around R300, but when included in a deep-cleansing facial, expect to spend approximately R600.
TIP Research procedures thoroughly before receiving any cosmetic treatment.
The Big Coverup – makeup methods to camouflage life’s little indiscretions
Bruises and spider veins Whether it’s caused by Botox, a sporting injury or a criss-cross of purple veins, use a solid concealer the same colour as your skin for the most natural-looking cover. Finish off with a luminescing concealer pen to help hide any dark patches. When there’s a large surface to cover, like on your legs, use a body foundation. Apply by feathering out with a brush or blending in with a damp sponge.
Dark circles Apply your foundation first, but be sure to avoid products that are too dry – they’ll settle into fine lines and leave you looking older. For purple circles, use a yellow-toned concealer; for brownish-grey, use pink hues; and if the circles are bluish, orange tones work best. Apply with a concealer brush with tapered edges to work product into corners.
Acne scars Often pitted, acne scars must be filled in to be hidden. Using a dense concealer or foundation that’s the same colour as the surrounding skin, cover each groove with a concealer brush. Set everything with a light dusting of translucent powder and apply blusher to add a natural flush.
Where to go…
Try the following practitioners, but be sure to do your own research before proceeding with any treatments.
â– CAPE TOWN Dr Andries Van Schalkwyk, Chelsea Aesthetic Centre 021 797 5001
â– JOBURG Dr Maureen Allen, Skin Renewal 011 807 0934
â– DURBAN Dr Albert Niemann, Renew Time Restoration Clinic 031 561 1277
… And 4 almost free anti-agers:
1 Wear sunscreen daily Invest in a light lotion with SPF 15, and a stronger formulation if you’ll be in the sun for a long time. Ensure that your sunscreen protects you from both UVA and UVB rays.
2 Use your skincare products properly Some products can multitask, but others simply can’t. Body scrubs are not intended for the delicate skin on your face; the same applies to body lotions. If in doubt, be cautious with any beauty buy.
3 Eat fruit, vegetables and fish Improving your eating habits will improve your health and skin. Talk to your doctor about supplementing your diet if you feel you’re lacking in certain nutritional areas.
4 Be conscious of how and when you touch your face Do you scrub vigorously when washing your face? Forceful movements can stretch your skin. Instead of rubbing, pat dry gently with a towel and apply eye cream with your ring finger, as it’s your weakest digit.