A few pinpricks is all that stands in the way of rejuvenation and regeneration; yes, it certainly can be painful to be beautiful! Making microscopic holes, albeit in a controlled way, is one way of getting a youthful complexion, and whether it’s skin resurfacing, microneedling, fillers or injectables, ultimately it’s all about looking more youthful.

make-up and hair Renate Williams at Red Hot Ops
Image: Patrick Toselli make-up and hair Renate Williams at Red Hot Ops

1. MICRONEEDLING
Skin needling – also called microneedling therapy or collagen induction therapy – is a minimally invasive skin-rejuvenation procedure that involves puncturing the skin. A controlled skin-injury, these micro-wounds create a channel that triggers a response to producing new collagen and elastin in the dermis along with new capillaries and improving skin texture and firmness. 

The gentlest and an older form of microneedling, using a needle roller, it was originally pioneered by South African plastic surgeon Des Fernandes, founder of the Environ skincare range, in 1996, and has been popping up in aesthetic practices everywhere. Nimue’s TransDermalS (TDS) is a microneedling facial treatment that maximises essential cell nutrients and the release of rejuvenating growth factors by using a hand-held derma roller.

The Nimue microneedling technique is done superficially and can be repeated at two- to four-week intervals. Using a roller with 192 needles, product penetration is 1 000 times more intense, which ensures active ingredients sink into the skin, boosting collagen and elastin fibres thanks to the natural healing process set in motion by microneedling. 

Nimue will customise its TDS treatment according to your concerns, with different booster actives designed to improve the health of your skin and to target specific concerns, from treating environmental damage to skin sensitivity, problematic skin and hyperpigmented skin. Your complexion will soon be glowing. 

For more information on Nimue Transdermals: nimueskin.com/salon-locator/
For microneedling: Dr Heather Baylock Rejuvenation Centre, 021 180 4990. rejuvenationcentre.co.za


2. PLATELET-RICH PLASMA SKIN REJUVENATION
One of the most revolutionary microneedling techniques, platelet-rich plasma skin rejuvenation (PRP) is ideal for reducing wrinkles and lines, tackling blemishes, improving scarring and promoting even skin tone and texture. A pure plasma cell infusion treatment marries a microneedling pen and bespoke anti-ageing cocktail of your own plasma.

Really not as gory as it sounds, the “vampire facial” or “Dracula therapy”, as it is also called, involves drawing a small amount of blood, just like a blood test, and centrifuging it to separate the red blood cells from the platelet-rich plasma. Rich in growth factors, these platelets smooth and tighten the skin and boost collagen, making it ideal for volumising tired faces, plumping out cheek indentations, softening hollows and improving skin tone and texture.

The plasma is applied to the skin via injections, or the skin is fractured with a Dermapen. The resulting radiance and plumped skin will be red for a day or two, but all too soon the skin appears radiant and energised. 

Rejuv-nation Aesthetics Clinic, 011 440 9664. rejuvnation.co.za


3. INFUSION DRIPS
Vitamin therapy is said to do everything from boosting your glow to increasing energy levels. Fed directly into the bloodstream and bypassing the digestive system, it rehydrates, dispels toxins, replenishes hydration, aids recovery from illness or jetlag, refreshes cosmetic appearance, balances the skin and revitalises your overall wellness. Revive Wellness is looking to render this once-alternative medical treatment as a necessary “fix”.

Hydrating IV Treatments such as Hydromax, Ultraviv, Megaboost, Vitaglow and Royal Flush, are all formulated for specific wellness needs and reduce the time-consuming recovery from dehydration, hangovers, stress, fatigue, general illness and exhaustion. Their four signature vitamin and booster shots include 
vitamin B12 to increase energy, Slim Boost to help with natural metabolic weight loss, glutathione to promote overall wellness and CoQ10+ to power
your fitness regime. 

After a brief medical screening, prepare to settle in for the 20-60-minute drips. My personal favourite, the Vitaglow, is an anti-ageing infusion that regenerates your skin with high doses of antioxidant glutathione to restore hydration and help you glow. Treatments start at R249 for injections and R1 499 for intravenous infusions. 

Revive Wellness, 072 892 2229. revivme.com/Johannesburg


4. FILLERS AND INJECTABLES
When filling in lines and wrinkles or preventing them from forming in the first place, fillers and injectables are best for temporarily adding volume. Fillers work by plumping lines from the inside with products like Restylane or Juvaderm, used for everything from lip augmentation to wrinkle treatments and scar removal, nasolabial folds, nose correction, dark and puffy eyes, acne scars and plumping thin lines. 

New kid on the block is Genop’s Ellansé tailor-made bioreabsorbable filler, which immediately corrects wrinkles and folds. By stimulating your own collagen, Ellansé really treats the underlying cause of facial ageing. The effects are gradual and long-lasting, ensuring natural results and a youthful appearance. Amazingly, this can last from one to four years, depending on which Ellansé option your physician recommends. It can be used on temples and brows, cheeks, nasolabial folds, the jawline, marionette lines and for chin definition and is most effective for reshaping the nose.

Dr Gerhard van Niekerk (Cape Town and Pretoria) 082 775 7442; Dr Genevieve Marks (Pretoria) 012 460 7047; Dr Debbie Norval (Joburg) 082 602 6988; Dr Albert Niemann (Durban) 031 561 1277; Dr Gys du Plessis (Joburg) 087 802 2838


5. THE WRINKLE ERASER
To combat deeper lines, sun damage or scarring, the best solution is a laser treatment. Unfortunately, it certainly hurts, not immediately but soon after. Fraxel causes a controlled micro-injury to the skin and the repair process is where the magic happens. A slight pixelated effect, creating tiny micro-thermal zones, results in these areas stimulating new collagen production, which continues to improve several months post-treatment.

Depending on the setting used by the therapist, your post treatment results will vary – expect redness, puffiness and a fine sandpaper-like scabbing, which will disappear after a few days. Lasering the area around the eyes is particularly painful and the cool-air blowing hose was a welcome relief and after 10 minutes and four passes it was over. Amazingly, my face wasn’t even red but it certainly felt sunburnt.

This was soon calmed down with ice packs. Expect to see skin texture refined, especially open pores, fine lines minimised and pigmentation marks reduced. Redness, dryness and flaking are the common side-effect but the resulting glow and diminished pigmentation marks are impossible to ignore. 

15 on Seventh Aesthetics, 011 447 9977. 15onseventh.com


6. THREAD LIFT
Thread lift or “silhouette soft lift”, a facelift without the knife – involves small pricks being made in strategic positions on the face and neck. Multiple soft-coned or barbed threads are inserted underneath the skin and tightened, thereby lifting sagging skin to create an individualised facelift treatment. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the face; each thread is then inserted just below the skin surface, using a fine needle, so no incision is required.

Once inserted, the threads are then manipulated to create the desired effect. Fine cones on the threads, similar to barbs, will hold the skin in place and maintain the immediate result. Once the threads are in place, the protruding ends are simply snipped and stitched in place. Both the threads and the cones are dissolvable. Thirty to 60 minutes under local anaesthetic is all it takes and although not permanent, the effects can last up to 24 months.

This treatment is ideal for targeting sagging skin on the face, neckline, jawline or a sagging brow. The threads themselves offer prolonged collagen induction long past the final results stage.

Sandton Aesthetic Institute, 011 883 3116, Dr Alistair Clarke. sandtonaesthetics.co.za sandtonaesthetics.co.za
Sunninghill Aesthetics, 011 806 1520, Dr Martin Kelly. plasticsurgeonsunninghill.co.za


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