Every face tells a story; Cliff Richard has even written a song about it. The lines on our face give the reader some insight into our character, personality traits and mood. In fact, face reading is a science say experts, based on how the brain fires through the facial nerves. Face readers study both physical features and lines on the face, the combination makes each person’s face unique. Employers are using it as a recruitment tool, and interestingly it seems so did the ancient Greeks. Face perception is instinctive, everyone does it unconsciously, it is a highly developed visual skill we all have.
Smiles are all different, some people show barely the hint of a smile, while others beam broadly. Our wrinkles become as unique as the face wearing them. However, a problem arises when these lines are permanent. A person may not be grumpy or tired, but their lines paint a different picture. Addressing this incongruity is one of the most common reasons that people seek cosmetic procedures, including cosmetic injectable treatments.
When facial muscles contract, the skin creases at right angles in the direction of movement. In the young it simply bounces back and looks smooth again. With recurring movement, and loss of elasticity as we age, permanent changes in the skin develop forming facial lines. At first these are small but they get larger and deeper over time. The elements also take a heavy toll. Sun damage is responsible for age spots, freckles and sun spots.
There is some evidence that repeatedly losing and gaining weight stretches the skin, especially in the face. This is particularly associated with the yo-yo pattern of weight control, where overweight women lose weight, but then put it on again, and then try to lose it again, only to put it on yet again. This can contribute to sagging facial lines.
It is also believed that the position favoured for sleep can influence how we look. Given how much of our life is spent in bed, over many years this position can cause creases to form in the face and neck where the skin is bunched up in contact with a pillow. This is thought to happen particularly when sleeping on our front or side.
Popular suggestions beyond such basics as cosmetic injectable treatments is to counter wrinkles with facial exercises. These are also called face yoga, face pilates, facial toning, or facial aesthetics. There is really no evidence as to whether they work or not. It likely doesn’t matter as people who do facial exercises report feeling younger. Blood flow to the face is enhanced, which may be a good or bad thing.
The term ‘facial rejuvenation’ covers a broad spectrum of skincare treatments ranging from laser skin resurfacing, micro-dermabrasion, cosmetic injectable treatments and fillers, all the way to light therapy and combination techniques. Research and technology development within the last decade in the skincare field, particularly anti-ageing, has really exploded. The topic is extensive and worth exploring in detail if you are considering any form of anti-wrinkle or anti-ageing skin treatment.
Shine Clinic in Brisbane offers an array of facial rejuvenation treatments. From cosmetic injectable treatments that relax wrinkles and restore lost volume, light and radiofrequency energy therapies, to rejuvenating skin with platelet rich plasma, new procedures are available using the most up-to-date medical technologies.
While many of these procedures may focus on one aspect of the face, it is important to keep the face in balance paying attention to all parts of it. We work with our clients to design the kind of facial rejuvenation program most suited to your unique needs, from individual procedures to packages that combine complementary treatments.
It is most important that when interested in any anti-ageing skin treatments you thoroughly investigate and research all options available to you. This will ensure you are making an informed choice and one that will work best for you. Consult with a doctor to help select the right treatments for your needs, our Dr Kathy Gallagher is very experienced at guiding patients through the options.
For questions regarding the age at which cosmetic treatments may be started, check out our blog post When is it too Young to Start Cosmetic Treatments?
Cosmetic Injectable Treatments
Neural Blocking Agents – Muscle Relaxing Injections
Anti-wrinkle injections are probably one of the most sought out treatments. They have become the most frequently used and widespread of all procedures in cosmetic medicine. Over-active muscles lead to the formation of unsightly lines, wrinkles, and creases on many parts of our faces that deepen over time. The eyes are very susceptible to such changes as the skin around them is so delicate. These injections work by blocking the chemical signals that trigger muscular contractions. This results in relaxation of the muscle so the wrinkle line can’t form.
Our emphasis is always on a completely natural appearance with the face looking more relaxed, softened, and less stressed. With sufficient expertise and artistry, selective injections can enhance the shape, symmetry and contours of the face. This is known as ‘sculpting.’ Effects may not be immediately seen; it may take 3–5 days before any improvement of wrinkles is noticed. The results of these injections are only temporary. Further injections are generally scheduled two or three times a year. Over-activity of particular muscles can be treated in conditions including crossed eyes (strabismus), uncontrollable blinking (blepharospasm) and involuntary contractions of neck muscles (cervical dystonia). For more information go to Neck Tightening – Fact Sheet.
Dermal fillers are injectables that work by drawing in water and holding it there as a means to plump up the skin in the target area. The filling effect of these injections is immediate. This results in softening and smoothing of skin, making it look fuller. Dermal fillers work in many areas of the face including the temporal hollows, forehead, cheeks, jawline and lines around the mouth and nose. The filler used at Shine Clinic is made from a naturally occurring sugar that is a component of the skin (so no allergic reactions).
An abundance of sugars like this contributes to the moisture and volume of young skin. As we age, the production of these sugars declines, resulting in a loss of skin hydration, volume and elasticity. All dermal fillers used at Shine can, in the unlikely event of a reaction or poor outcome, be dissolved with an enzyme injected into the area. This is rarely needed, but enhances the safely of such treatments. Eventually fillers are broken down by the body and must be re-injected at regular intervals to maintain their effect. For more details go to Neck Tightening – Fact Sheet and Dermal Fillers and Volumizers.
For questions regarding cosmetic injectables read blog post Cosmetic Injectables -“Too Much is Wrong”
Elos Triniti System
ELOS is an effective facial rejuvenation treatment for contouring facial skin laxity by stimulating repair processes and reversing the signs of ageing, while also being relatively risk-free with minimal recovery time. There are several ways to experience ELOS treatment. The TRINITI option is a system that uses three different types of devices to enhance the application of both intense pulsed light (IPL) and radiofrequency (RF) energies in combination. Finally, the Sublative Rejuvenation applicator uses RF energy alone. The Elos Triniti series provides total facial renewal, as well as addressing loose skin on the neck.
It’s the ultimate in facial skin care, when done in one session, synergistically delivering a more even skin tone, with lifting and tightening of face and neck, together with improvement in overall texture. The best results are obtained with a series of three Triniti treatments at approximately 4–6 week intervals. After each session collagen production will be boosted further and ultimately skin will be smoother. Reduced pigment will also be observed. A further session after 6–12 months may be beneficial to maintain the skin’s improved colour, tone and texture. For more details go to Facial Rejuvenation – Fact Sheet.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
Like cosmetic injectable treatments, this procedure is particularly suitable for delicate areas such as under the eye and the loose skin on the neck. It is excellent for improving overall texture and is perfect to follow other skin treatments that stimulate collagen production, for example after the Elos Sublative RF resurfacing procedure. PRP is a natural volumiser, rejuvenating the skin by stimulating collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid at all levels – including the epidermis, the dermis, and the subdermal tissues.
It is becoming more popular as a cosmetic treatment, but has been used in other areas of medicine for some time, eg wound healing and to promote healing in sports injuries. An initial course of three treatments performed 6–8 weeks apart is recommended. Every treatment will further stimulate collagen production. Skin quality and texture will continue to improve over several months. Generally a single follow up treatment every 6–12 months will help to maintain results. For more details go to Neck Tightening – Fact Sheet.
Laser Skin Care
Laser skin care has become one of the most widely used modalities to treat ageing skin. A focused high-energy beam of light is directed at a particular skin area to selectively heat and disrupt its target. Ablative lasers vaporise the outer skin surface to a very precise depth. This is known as laser resurfacing. It is very similar to other resurfacing techniques like chemical peels and dermabrasion which selectively remove surface skin cells. Non-ablative lasers are much less effective for resurfacing, but risk of infection seen with ablative lasers is much reduced. Deeper layers in the skin are heated while the outer surface of the skin is kept cool.
Fractional lasers treat only a fraction of the skin, by making microscopic wounds, but leaving the majority of the surrounding skin intact, unlike with non-ablative lasers. The holes are tiny with lots of healthy skin adjacent to the treated spot so wounds heal rapidly. For more details go to Skin Rejuvenation – Fact Sheet.
Ageing skin develops dilated small blood vessels as well as small red spots on the face. Lasers specifically target and vaporise these abnormal blood vessels in our skin. They are able to do this by only heating the red pigment in blood cells. This allows only the inside of the blood vessels to be vaporised, while the surrounding skin is unaffected.
It is common for ageing skin to develop age spots, freckles and sun spots as a result of sun damage. Laser technology has made it possible to safely vaporise most benign pigmented changes. This is achieved by precisely adjusting the wavelength of the laser, targeting the pigment containing sacs within the skin cells. Most pigmentation can be removed with minimal damage to surrounding tissues. Combining laser treatments to simultaneously remove pigmented areas and unwanted blood vessels is often called a photofacial.
Our ELOS Triniti treatments can help with a variety of improvements in ageing skin that is showing signs of sun damage. ELOS treats fine surface blood vessels and brown pigments effectively, to deliver a more even skin tone, lift and tighten skin and improve the overall texture of the skin.
Sleep pillows, pillowcases, and sleep masks
The obvious way to prevent such lines is to sleep on our back, but this is uncomfortable for many women, especially those with back problems or who are prone to snoring. Some nifty pillows are available that not only help us sleep, but also keep us cool. Others also claim to prevent wrinkles. Special wrinkle-busting sleep masks are also sold and supposedly act by cushioning the sleep-squashed skin. Whether these actually work is unclear, but it’s probably time that, at the very least, most of us bought a decent pillow. Also many cosmetic practitioners recommend satin/silk pillowcases to reduce friction on facial skin during sleep.