Have you ever considered having a bit of ‘work’ done? We’re not talking surgical intervention, but lighter adjustments, like Robin Wright and her biannual ‘sprinkle of Botox’.
“A new term that’s been coined is ‘pre-juvenation’,” says dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe. “You start relatively mild, with sun protection, retinoid creams, fillers, botulins (Botox), and gentle lasers. You want to stimulate the skin with small amounts of treatment and maintain it over time.”
Raffi Eghiayan, founder of the international Facial Aesthetic Conference and Exhibition, predicts that ‘tweakments’ are the future.
“We’ve seen a distinct growth in the demand for treatments with little or no downtime, like gentle peels. Treatments that can be speedily performed post-work without sacrificing on results are key.”
Fast, discreet, fit-around-your-needs tweaks? It’s a tempting proposition, so we’ve dug a little deeper to find out more.
For Even Skin Tone
A precise fix for that age spot you always notice in photos (and wish you could airbrush out), Alexandrite lasers work by blasting intense light into skin to break up the pigment. You will see noticeable fading after one 45-minute session, but you might need as many as seven for complete clarity.
Our tester found it fast and comfortable: you simply pop on a pair of goggles, hear a beep, see a blast of light from a little pen-like device, then feel a little pinprick sensation as the laser enters your skin.
You’ll need to avoid the sun afterwards and might have redness or scabbing, but there’s no real downtime. Visit a Laserderm Medical Aesthetic Centre in Gauteng or the Western Cape.
Cost: Around R750 depending on the area at Laserderm
For Youthful Volume
Like Botox, these have a bit of a rep, but in the right hands, it will keep everyone guessing. Visit a Skin Renewal clinic based nationwide or Nanita Dalton Laser, Skin & Body Institute in Gauteng for Juvéderm fillers.
They’re made with hyaluronic acid, which plumps hollow-looking cheeks and deep nose-to-mouth lines. Some of the jabs contain lidocaine to reduce pain. The procedure takes about 30 minutes; you’ll see immediate plumping. Results may last up to a year.
For Re-Plumping Hands
Also known as an injectable dermal filler, Radiesse contains little microspheres of calcium and phosphate ions – found naturally in bones and teeth – and acts as an immediate volume replacement filler. As it is absorbed, the microspheres stimulate the skin’s natural collagen production.
Age-giveaway hands can really benefit from this. It takes around 20 minutes, is fairly painless (like other injectables), and results last up to a year. We recommend Dr Anushka Reddy at Medi-Sculpt in Gauteng.
Cost: From R8 000 per filler injection at Medi-Sculpt
For Smoothing Lines
We’ve all seen the effects of dodgy Botox, but the good stuff is undetectable, temporarily relaxing line-forming muscles for up to six months. The treatment is quick – about 10 minutes, and you’ll feel a little nip from the needle, then carry on as normal as wrinkles eerily vanish. So where you can find this ‘good’ Botox? A great doctor.
Personal recommendations are crucial – if a friend has tried and loved it, ask for a name, and go for an in-depth consultation. We rate Dr Alek Nikolic, at Aesthetic Facial Enhancement in the Western Cape, who just launched skinmiles.com, an online platform selling high-quality skincare products.
Cost: Expect to pay from R1 700 per area at Aesthetic Facial Enhancement
For A Bright Eye Area
Kim Kardashian is a fan of this one, which is also known as the “vampire facial”.
Sounds icky, but bear with us. A small amount of your blood is ‘spun’ to separate the platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which is then reinjected so natural growth factors create brighter, smoother new tissue underneath.
We visited Dr Sly Nedic at 8th Sense Aesthetic Religion in Gauteng.
It’s a little uncomfortable, as you’d expect in the eye area, but a topical anaesthetic is applied prior to treatment. Any spare plasma is massaged in after the jab.
Treatment takes about an hour, and the results are good, with even better results showing a fortnight later.
It can be expected to last up to 18 months. At least three treatments are recommended.
Cost: From R5 000 per treatment at 8th Sense Aesthetic Religion
For Body Shaping
Accent Ultra V
Blitzes body fat without scary scalpels. Small areas of an excess bulge, in our case on the lower back and stomach, are massaged with a small nozzle that uses ultrasound and radio-frequency technology to heat up the area (it’s hot enough to kill fat cells, but not others).
It’s not painful, and the nozzle has a heating and cooling system so you don’t feel uncomfortable. This ‘Laser Lipolysis’ treatment using the Accent Ultra V can take up to two hours, depending on the area.
Results last for up to five years, and you’re guaranteed to drop at least 2cm from the treated area after each visit.
Cost: From R800 per area at Laser Beautique
For Fresh Skin Texture
Fractional lasers cause mini ‘injuries’ to the skin’s upper and lower layers using heat, so your skin is forced to repair itself by producing new collagen. More targeted than traditional laser, it uses wavelengths to create a slight peel on the skin to remove stubborn sunspots.
It takes up to an hour; expect flakiness for a week in exchange for better skin tone and texture that keeps improving for up to a year (have at least three sessions for best results). Visit Skin Renewal in Western Cape or Gauteng for the Fraxel Dual fractional laser treatment.
Cost: From R2 225 per area (like the cheeks or neck) at Skin Renewal
The Smart Way To Tweak
Make it your mission to crack down on dubious cosmetic procedures. Locate trustworthy sources and stay safe by:
1. Only having skin tweakments done by a medical professional, ideally a physician who specialises in skin.
2. Doing your research. “Take your time and investigate who you’re going to see, and go to several people or clinics before deciding,” says Dr Lowe.
3. Being wary of special offers, chains with two-for-one deals, and persuasive staff.
For more info, and to find a list of registered doctors and dermatologists, visit whatclinic.com
The testimonials presented on this website are applicable to the individuals depicted only and may not be representative of the experience of others. The information provided within this site is strictly for the purposes of information only and is not a replacement or substitute for professional advice.
Intern Digital editor at woman&home magazine. … Experienced digital editor with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry.