betty July 28, 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many new norms including remote working and mask wearing which have become a regular part of life. With most meetings now being held online and with masks being an integral part of the going-out wardrobe, there’s been even greater emphasis on the face.

Besides encountering skin woes such as “maskne” – which refers to the pimples, blackheads and whiteheads caused by sweat, bacteria and dead skin trapped while wearing a mask, there are people who have become more conscious of the area above the nose.

Dr Elaine Tan, an aesthetics doctor at Mode Medical Clinic, says: “More patients are asking for treatments that focus on the forehead and eye area where face masks are not able to cover.”

She adds: “They are now more concerned with frown lines, crow’s feet, fine lines on the forehead, tired-looking eyes, droopy eyelids and dark circles. Treatments for these include Botox injections on the upper face for wrinkles and fine lines, and skin booster injections for the eyelids and forehead zone to achieve smoother-looking skin.”

Another trend that Dr Tan has observed is that patients increasingly want to look more youthful, but in a natural way.

“In my opinion, the trend of people wanting to look good nowadays is due to the social media world we live in, where everyone loves to take selfies. So they care about their image more,” she says.

However, not everyone is willing to go under the knife to help them attain that youthful look. Available is a range of minimally-invasive treatments, such as the Profhilo hyaluronic acid (HA) injectable moisturiser, that requires less downtime or none at all. Dr Tan says, “Such treatments are increasingly popular because, now, many patients like the idea of having radiant, glass-like skin, without having to use makeup.”

She answers questions on the latest aesthetics treatments and what they can do to help promote a more youthful appearance.

How can I effectively get rid of “maskne” and prevent further breakouts?

While Dr Tan says that it is best to consult your doctor who will analyse your skin type to recommend the best solutions for “maskne”, one way she would address this concern is to use a non-ablative laser to control and manage excess sebum production, which is one of the main causes of acne and “maskne”. She explains, “This treatment would also help lighten persistent acne marks. If the breakout is severe, one of the latest acne treatments is a photothermal procedure which helps reduce breakouts by weakening active oil glands, without damaging the healthy skin surrounding the problem area.”

I already use skincare. How else can I make my skin look more radiant so that I look better in video calls and photos?

Topical serums and moisturisers may help in diminishing the look of wrinkles but due to their molecular size, they are usually not able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin.

Dr Tan adds that dermal fillers and skin boosters, like Profilho injectable HA, can give a longer-lasting effect. Profilho, for instance, requires a minimum of two sessions before most patients see any results which are generally able to last up to nine months. They are injected directly into the deep dermis layer which is responsible for the stimulation of collagen and elastin, which contribute to plumping up the skin and giving it a lifted appearance. She explains, “As it uses 100 per cent HA, it is able to stay in the skin for a longer time to stimulate collagen, elastin and fat stem cells.” Profhilo is also stabilised through a thermal crosslinking process so it doesn’t degrade so quickly inside skin.

My droopy eyes make me look perpetually tired. What can I do to make them look more alert and brighter, as well as firm up the eye area?

Dr Tan says that depending on how severe the condition is, there are different treatments for droopy eyes. Examples include Thermage Eye which uses radiofrequency to stimulate collagen production and lift up the eye area, Neogen Plasma Eye, Rejuran I Skin Booster Injection, Teosyal RD 1 Skin Booster injection and Eye Threads.

How can I get a sharper jawline? I can’t have surgery.

Dr Tan says that thread lifts can help sculpt the face for a more contoured look. The procedure uses medical-grade suture material to “stitch up” your skin so that it’s drawn taut.

“Thread lifts are suitable for someone in their late 30s to early 50s who is concerned about sagging skin and starting to notice signs of ageing,” explains Dr Tan. “Also, there are those who can’t have a surgical facelift because of underlying medical conditions that make the use of general anaesthesia dangerous.”

Topical serums and moisturisers may help in diminishing the look of wrinkles but due to their molecular size, they are usually not able to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. According to Dr Tan, dermal fillers and skin boosters, can give a longer-lasting effect. (Picture posed by model.) PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES 

Surgical sutures known as PDO (polydioxanone threads) and PCL (polycaprolactone threads) are used as the threads. Dr Tan shares: “PDO threads last an average of six to 12 months before they dissolve naturally in the body. PCL threads are the latest option and their effects underneath skin can last for 12 to 18 months. The procedure takes about 30 to 45 minutes and can be done on various parts of the patient’s face in one session, depending on his or her concerns and comfort levels.  You can expect some minor swelling or soreness on the treated area which should subside in two to five days. Some may experience bruising for up to two weeks.” Dr Tan adds that where and how the threads are inserted depends on each individual’s needs.

Is it possible to make my nose look more defined without having to go for plastic surgery?

Dr Tan says a nose thread lift can help those who wish to have a higher but natural-looking nose bridge.

It uses the same absorbable surgical sutures used in a face thread lift, and is a minimally invasive procedure. However, it is not a permanent nose enhancement procedure. Rhinoplasty, a nose job procedure, requires a longer recovery time. In some cases, it serves the functional purpose of correcting collapsed nasal valves and improving the patient’s breathing.

Dr Tan says: “In a nose thread lift procedure, fine suture threads are placed along the nasal bridge to lift it. These threads can also trigger a healing response from within the skin, causing the body to direct a larger surge of collagen to the treated area.”      

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