‘Tweak-ments’

Giulia D’Anna was recently interviewed about small treatments that give maximum impact with little intervention. No one wants extended downtime or aggressive treatments anymore, as these are often associated with side effects, discomfort and looking starkly different. It is all about ‘natural’ now. Take a read

Has there been a shift from excessive age defying to subtle tweaks?

We all want to look great, but we do not want to sacrifice our lifestyle to do that anymore. Gone are the days where the only option was invasive procedures. Years ago, to get a great update to your look, it came at great expense, downtime and discomfort.

However the focus these days is largely on prevention and maintenance. Prevention can be all about small “tweaks” to stop the signs of deterioration or ageing from setting in. This might be about sprinkling around some anti-wrinkle (ie. Botox) injections before lines really settle in, or it might be about some overall rejuvenation procedures to maintain skin tightness. I firmly sit in this camp or just tweaking little things here or there. I want my client’s family and friends to believe that my clients look great for their age, without knowing what they had done, or that they had anything done at all.

The subtle tweaks also allow my clients to carry on their business and social activities without any interruption to their lifestyle, which is really important these days too.

Is technology catching up, allowing doctors to brighten, lift and resurface ins a way that is quite individualized?

There are just so many options available now, there is really no reason to take a one-size-fits-all approach. At Dermal Distinction, before we begin treatment, there are quite a few questions and steps in our consultation process that we need to go through before we begin treatment.

We always take photos of our clients, and also use our skin analyzer to look deep into the skin. We want to know everything we can about the skin condition and concerns so we get the best outcome. We also really want to understand what concerns our client has and also give them the most suitable options to achieve their goals. With this mutual understanding between our treatment practitioners and our clients, we can move forward safely and with the same goal in mind.

All of our treatment plans are individually based. This might mean tailoring which treatment is best for which skin condition, but also what treatment settings are used for that client too.

Technology has too many options at the moment, and this in itself can be a problem actually. In my opinion there are far too many devices that are accessible to non-qualified or under qualified individuals. Often options are given to clients that are not suitable, so I really feel that clients should ask lots of questions before proceeding with treatments, even if it seems like it is only a quick or easy treatment.

What is your favourite kind of tweakment for a woman who wants to reclaim her glow?

My favourite tweakment are skin boosters. They are simply brilliant at improving the skin condition. This is where a specific type of dermal filler is injected under the skin. Unlike most dermal filler, where the goal is enhancement or revolumisation, skin booster fillers are used like an injected moisturizer as the filler is incredibly fluid and spreads through the skin structure. To be clear, this is not infusion of hyaluronic acid (HA) via needling. Skin boosters are a medical procedure, where HA is actually injected under the skin over the whole face, with the sole intention of improving hydration levels that are off the scale.

So the goal of skin boosters is to improve the skin hydration levels exceptionally, so the skin simply glows. All cells of the body function better when they are surrounded by water, as they can absorb nutrients efficiently and also cleanse themselves of debris too. This treatment is not well known in Australia yet, but internationally this treatment is in hot demand because of the amazing results that can be achieved.

In terms of fillers, has there been a back lash to over-filling?

Overfilling is horrible. There is simply no need for that, and my clients definitely want to look natural. I have definitely noticed that even on social media, there are less unnatural lips and faces around than there used to be, thank goodness. I know that I have heard many people in the media have had their fillers dissolved, and I personally have dissolved filler done by other practitioners too. 

The proportions of a face should be maintained, never over exaggerated. I measure each clients face when I am mapping out and designing treatment for them. This keeps my clients looking great without looking ‘done’. When the proportions go beyond what looks normal, it is really distracting and becomes the focus of any conversation, rather than the conversation itself.

When a client is choosing their cosmetic injector, look at the injectors face, but also their staff around them. This will give you a really good idea of what the cosmetic injectors work looks like and also what they believe looks aesthetic.

How do get to a place were in-office treatments still celebrate our individual beauty (rather than these IG faces that all seems to look the same)?

As mentioned, it is really important when you are selecting your cosmetic injector, to look closely at both your injector and their staff. This will give you a great idea of what your injector believes is good work. Faces should be individual and not look like they are all pressed out of the same mould. If you want the IG look, there are definitely injectors out there that are known for creating that look. Their IG feed is full of it.

I love that my clients trust me to keep them looking like them. My goal is to make my clients look like the best version of themselves. I have had some clients bring in pictures of other people’s lips or cheeks, and asking me to create that look for them. Although this can be helpful to understand where they want to go with treatment, I can never stress enough that putting somebody else on their face is not only not possible, but simply will not look right. By measuring my clients facial proportions, and working with that, my treatment is really tailored at creating the best version of my client, not the best version of someone else.

What are the latest  applications for fillers or wrinkle relaxers like Botox for these more subtle refresh? What are your favourite applications?

There are a few newer types of dermal fillers on the market these days, that integrate into the skin better than the older style of fillers. Old style of fillers used to look great when the client had their face at rest, but once they were animated, for example smiling or talking, you could see the outline of where the filler was placed in the cheeks or lips.

The newer fillers are a better structure, where they move more like the natural skin does. When clients smile, laugh or speak, the filler is indistinguishable and very natural looking from the moment it is placed. This technology of filler fabrication is outstanding, and I simply love what this does for clients.

Wrinkle relaxers are being used in much smaller doses than they used to be too. Instead of targeting every muscles fibre possible, most cosmetic injectors are looking at the face in animation, rather than line chasing. This means that we will leave some areas untouched, and focus on creating lift with botox to work against gravity. Two particular applications of this are a brow lift and jowl lift. Both work applications are used to work against the effect of the downward pull of gravity. Only small doses are needed to achieve both a brow lift and a jowl lift, but the result is just beautiful.

What are your thoughts on microneedling? Does it get good results?  

Microneedling is great! The results can be outstanding with minimal downtime or complications. The treatment can be modified for each patient to target the concern directly. Microneedling produces limited trauma and no heat to the skin, so it is safe for all skin types. There have been a number of philosophical changes that have occurred over the last few years, with microneedling too, which makes it safer. 

There are a few TGA listed devices now, which is really important to ensure that treatment is without complication and tested and verified. The depth at which non-registered practitioners, like beauty therapists, is more restricted as they can no longer supply and use topical anaesthetics that are prescription products. This theoretically should mean that deeper treatment is left to registered practitioners, or those therapists working alongside registered practitioner, which keeps everyone safer.

What about radiofrequency microneedling? How do they work and is there a way to get the benefits with less downtime?

Radiofrequency with combined microneedling is seriously amazing. One treatment is like having 3 microneedling sessions. When the therapist is using the RF microneedling device, RF energy is delivered deep in the skin through the needles. This really resets and rejuvenates the skin. The device that really sets this category apart is Venus Viva. There are quite a few long-term studies done with Venus Viva now and this is also a little faster to perform for the client too.

All the devices transfer heat energy to the skin which transforms the collagen and elastin structure and quality, but also produces new skin elasticity which is just beautiful. These types of treatments are suitable for most skin types too, except those with hormonal pigmentation.

I would recommend 3 session of RF microneedling, four weeks apart to begin with to really kick start the rejuvenation journey. From there, one session every six months will maintain the skin beautifully and keep the skin tight. Who doesn’t love that!

What are the fillers best for making those subtle enhancements that people won’t be able to put their finger on? What are some examples? Can you lift brows or minimize dark circles?

As I touched on before, for an overall skin glow, you cannot look past Skin boosters as it is so similar to injecting long-lasting moisturizer under the skin. With this treatment, there are no areas that are volumised, but the entire skin of the face is enhanced and functions and looks beautiful.

For tweaks, my favourite fillers are medial cheek enhancement. This is the part of the cheek that sits just below the under eye area. By slightly volumising this area, under eye circles/bags disappear as the skin is ‘tented’ or pulled forward and drapes better over the orbital bone, creating a lovely perspective in both the under eye and cheek area. This gives a really good result without treating the often harder to navigate under eye area.

Another tweak that might not be so obvious is treating temples. As we get older, the temples tend to sink in, giving a more aged look to the face. The other thing too, is that the temple volume really helps to “prop” up the whole face when it is volumised. And no one will pick temple filler either. Win, win!

Lip filler can also be a good tweak too. The trick is to use dermal filler with the natural elasticity and volume properties. I definitely have some fillers that I prefer for this kind of result. The filler needs to be placed so that we see more lip without it protruding too much. This kind of natural lip takes a lot of artistic ability from your injector, so again look for someone who can show you before and after photos of their work. The duck lip phase is fading fast, thank goodness for that!

What about treatments like hydration or light therapies? What’s new in terms of applications or stacking procedures ro optimize our skin and also results?

When a client really wants to improve their skin for an upcoming event, we are always looking at treatments that have no downtime and make the skin radiant. There are a number of options that work well. They can all be done individually or “stacked” or layered so that we bring out the best in the skin, without pushing the skin to freak out.

Stacked treatment is all about maximizing a result, by targeting different layers of the skin within the same treatment.

LED facials have been around for a while. The humble LED produces light of a particular pure colour, and when the skin is exposed to this colour, the skin cells absorb the energy and their function is enhanced.

A relatively new treatment in the dermal therapy world is Allumera. This is a cosmetic form of photo dynamic therapy. Photo dynamic therapy is where the dermal therapist uses therapeutic serums on the skin and allows them to penetrate for around one hour. Then the skin is exposed to LED light to activate the serum throughout the skin, thereby maximizing the light efficiency and outcome. 

To enhance this treatment even more, performing either a light aqua peel or a light diamond abrasion to the skin beforehand, allows the Allumera serum and light to penetrate further. This is because the dead skin cells and pore impurities are cleared from the surface are cleared. 

Thanks for reading!

Written by Giulia D’Anna

BDSc (Melb), MRACDS, Graduate Diploma Dermal Therapies (AACDS), Cert. Practice Man (UNE) + | + 3 Belmore Road, Balwyn North, Victoria, Australia 3104 + | + Founder of iDental and Dermal Distinction

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