Breakfast this morning. My sinful peanut butter and jelly generously spread on a warm bed of thick white toast. I looked across the table, my husband was about to dig into his freshly prepared maple syrup waffles. Before that, he scooped up a teaspoon of creamy vanilla bean ice-cream.
Do I like peanut butter? Not really. Then why do I love peanut butter and jelly? My imagination took flight as my lips sank into the savoury and sweet toast.
Red wine and cheese.
Pizza and beer.
Batman and Robin.
Sarah and Shannon!
Just like how I typically talk and my husband listens, me typically befuddled and him methodical, some pairs just “work”. One element plays off another, and you have a synergistic effect that is even more powerful than just adding one to one.
Beauty treatments are no different. I asked Medical Director of The Sloane Clinic, Dr Low Chai Ling, what their beauty dynamic duos are.
1. Botox and Fillers
Gone are the days where people had their faces frozen with Botox to eradicate wrinkles. 50 year-olds without any lines on their faces jars my brain. People are less concerned about wrinkles and more worried about shadows and facial irregularities now.
A plump, moveable face is the smarter tack these days. “Instead of chasing lines, Botox is now paired with fillers and is a more holistic and acceptable approach because it looks so natural, like your younger self” says Dr Low. That means natural dermal fillers are used to fill and contour, while a light dose of Botox is used to soften some deep lines, such as crow’s feet. The result is a filler lift, with deep lines improved and the shape of the face somewhat restored to what it was about five years ago.
Because facial proportion is important for filler rejuvenation, Dr Low says she prioritizes some areas over others, such as the cheeks and chin, followed by tear troughs, temples, forehead, then nasolabial lines and lips. For someone most bothered about her deep nasolabial lines, recommending cheek fillers for me instead of nasolabial fillers or Botox first is counter-intuitive. The clever way is to restore volume deflation in the cheeks caused by sagging skin and cheek fat over time. Dr Low admits that she rarely performs Botox to freeze muscles in this region anymore. “Fuller cheeks will indirectly improve the nasolabial lines as well because of the cheek lift and you now have juicier cheeks and softer smile lines with fillers placed singularly in the cheeks”. Instead of regular Botox, she performs micro-Botox, a series of diluted Botox injections into the skin to tighten and lift, akin to a mini facelift, without the scalpel.
So the next time someone offers you to Botox all your lines away, consider a filler lift at the same time for a synergistic and natural-looking effect.
2. Dream Sculpture and SmartX Lite
Those who face collagen depletion issues complain of sunken hollows, loose, crepey skin, enlarged pores, dull skintone, and are usually challenged when trying to find a program to revive their skin and restore facial volume at the same time.
Dr Low suggests first plumping your skin with your own natural collagen with Dream Sculpture. Comprising of a series of injections beneath the skin in sunken areas of the face or areas with deeper wrinkles, Dream Sculpture uses Sculptra, a natural collagen stimulator to increase one’s own collagen reserves to achieve a plumping effect.
Next, Dr Low’s patients book in for SmartX Lite, a carbon dioxide laser using gentle settings to resurface the skin, stimulating the skin’s natural cell renewal cycle, promoting skin elasticity, and thus eradicating fine lines and dramatically softening deep wrinkles.
This combination is a “win-win” not only for patients with ageing problems, but also for those with acne scar woes. Collagen stimulated with Dream Sculpture encourage smoothening of scars due to the natural “filling effect”, while SmartX Lite provides further scar revision without much issue of downtime associated with most resurfacing lasers.
3. Coolsculpt and Thermage Body
Coolsculpt and Thermage Body are both treatments with proven track records in body shaping. To some, combining Coolsculpt and Thermage Body may sound like an overkill, but is it really?
Imagine how wearing your favourite pre- fat loss jersey tights would look like after you have successfully shaved off a size with Coolsculpt. It would hang off your hips and thighs like an old and stretched pantyhose, losing its first purpose of hiding bulges and the making skin appear taut and smooth.
“What people don’t always realize is unlike true weight loss, body sculpting is hardly measured in numbers, but viewed entirely in shape and skin” says Dr Low.
Dr Low further explained that while Coolsculpt works marvelously to sculpt one’s body shape, sometimes Coolsculpt alone is inadequate because the skin is also stretched and wrinkled over time. At The Sloane Clinic, the art of body sculpting is remarkably well thought. In addition to Coolsculpt where unwanted fat is frozen off, Thermage Body is sometimes done to complete the loop by firming the skin such that bulges, wrinkles and dimples are smoothened out.
The marrying of both treatments sound promising especially for those who are fed up with stubborn bulges and wrinkles on their body, but Dr Low warns that such treatments are not for the obese, and are instead more suitable for those who have tried a diet and exercise regime and are still unable to get the body shape they want. If this sounds like you, speak to your doctor and figure out a treatment plan to get the body you have been wanting, once and for all.