ELLE CANADA: Minimally Invasive Treatments | January 2018
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ELLE CANADA: Minimally Invasive Treatments | January 2018

Can spending on minimally invasive treatments save time now – and your skin later?

By Victoria DiPlacido & Katherine Flemming

When Toronto-based makeup artist Sadie Crawley* decided to part with some of her hard-earned money, she took it to the mirror. “At the beginning of the year, I decided I would rather invest in my face and wear Zara than have the latest bag or shoes,” she says. “I wanted to be able to run around the city without makeup but still look as good as if I had a full face on.” She decided to purchase a series of in-office treatments that focused on improving the appearance of her skin ranging from lasers to intense pulsed light to her latest skin-saving discovery: Intracel micro-needling, which, she says, smoothed her skin like a silicone primer.

Crawley’s shift away from relying solely on makeup and skincare appears to be part of a growing trend of women who are choosing to spend their money on minimally invasive professional treatments so they can wake up looking great, saving time on applying moisturizers and makeup. According to a March 2017 report published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of non-surgical procedures (no heavy anaesthetics or scalpels) grew by 7 percent in 2016 and was 38 percent higher than in 2012. This trend is validated by the pros, who are hearing about it from their patients. “Today, people care more about how their face looks when they wake up, and they’re willing to make bigger investments in cosmetic services and corrective maintenance treatments that actually work,” says Dr. Cory Torgerson, a Toronto-based plastic surgeon, adding that non-surgical options to delay or correct skin-aging concerns are “plentiful and getting better and better.” Here’s the latest on the most high-tech, minimally invasive ways to tweak your face and bod right now.

The New Facelift
Thread lifts, or “sugar lifts,” are a way to thwart the downward drag of skin without the invasive nature of a classic scalpel-and-stitch facelift. They are part of the new wave of technology that can provide moderate improvement with limited downtime and are done under a local anaesthetic. The surgeon inserts dissolvable polydioxanone strings into the face or neck and guides skin upward to smooth and tighten the area. The treatment lasts between six months and a year before the threads dissolve and requires about two days’ downtime, as opposed to a minimum of two weeks’ recovery after a facelift.  The age sweet spot: between 30 and 60 years old. North of that, a facelift is your best bet.

Potential risks & side effects
Possible irregularities in the lift, infection and reaction to the threads. Be sure to find a doctor who is well versed in the procedure.

The Starter Injectable

Unlike fillers, the purpose of Restylane Skinboosters is not to add volume or plump lines but to improve the texture of skin, especially in areas that have scarred. “It is injected as a ‘field treatment,’ which means evenly across a specific area,” says Dr. Lisa Kellett, a Toronto-based dermatologist who participated in a five-month clinical trial for the product in 2017. (Her clinic, DLK on Avenue, was one of the first in Canada to offer the treatment; it will be available across the country next month.) Microdroplets of low-viscosity hyaluronic acid—meaning the product has a more fluid texture than traditional hyaluronic-acid fillers—are injected closer to the surface of the skin than a typical filler. “It’s good for someone who doesn’t need volume but wants to improve the elasticity, smoothness and appearance of their skin,” says Kellett, who has also had success using it to treat the neck and the backs of hands.

Potential risks & side effects
Temporary bruising and puffiness.

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You injected what where?
Injectables are being used in places beyond lips and 11s. Here are a few surprising off-label uses.

NOSE
You can mask a bump or even lift a drooping tip with filler, says Torgerson.

JAWLINE
Botox can narrow a widening bottom half of the face by relaxing the muscle you activate when you grind your teeth. With three injection sessions of “masseter” Botox, the lower part of the face can be given a softer, more oval look, says Torgerson.

KNEES
An injection of hyaluronic-acid filler can be used in conjunction with a tightening technology like Thermage to lift sagging knees.

BODY
Kellett uses hyaluronic-acid filler to reshape body deformations, such as filling in gaps on the lower legs of patients who have been in an accident.

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