Until recently the main method of addressing slack and drooping skin, which characterises an ageing face, has been to plump it out artificially. But how much better would it be if we could encourage the body to replace its own diminishing collagen, so we regain our own youthful appearance?
That is the principle behind the next generation of dual-acting regenerative treatments, which are changing the way progressive aesthetic doctors are rejuvenating ageing faces. Two of the most contemporary – Silhouette Soft skin-lifting treatment and Ellansé dermal filler – work by stimulating our own collagen production by provoking the body’s natural reaction to foreign bodies.
According to Dr Ian Strawford: “Collagenesis is the process of stimulating the body to replace lost collagen, which starts to ebb away in our 20s and gallops by the time we reach our 40s. Without the underlying collagen, ‘age-sliding’ of the skin tissues results in nose-to-lip folds, lip-to-chin lines, jowling jawlines and pooling neck skin.”
As clinician trainer Dr Strawford, who was an early advocate of the dual treatments from Sinclair Pharma, explains: “Collagen stimulating treatments offer the potential of regenerative lifting and volume restoration, allowing us to create a far more naturalistic appearance. The results are so impressive, no one will notice that ‘work has been done’, rather they will think someone looks progressively better over a period of months.
“At different stages in our lives we may need one or both treatments so I classify my patients into four types according to their facial degeneration, drooping or excess of skin to help me determine when to lift or combine the treatments. With these combination treatments we can achieve natural regenerative results akin to facelift surgery, without the risks of going under the knife, and achieve impressively sustained results.”
Skin lifting with Silhouette Soft sutures involves a unique two-stage process – an immediate lift and gradual collagen regeneration. Think of it as the creation of scaffolding for skin, reversing the southward droop of necks, jowls and cheeks. The sutures are peppered with a series of tiny cones and introduced just under the top layer of the skin. The cones are bi-directional, which secures the sutures in place in the subcutaneous layer and allows them to be pulled in two directions to lift the skin.
The results are so impressive, no one will notice that ‘work has been done’
The sutures and cones are made from polylactic acid, which is the same material as dissolvable stitches, and in the ensuing three months before they are absorbed by the body they bring about the process of collagenesis. This is the method the body uses to repair a damaged area, in this case created by the agitation of the cones. This brings about a biological lift, where the skin becomes firmer and tighter as a result of the augmentation from newly laid down collagen underneath the surface to fill it out naturally.
Silhouette Soft has been chosen to hold back time by a raft of celebrities thanks to the subtle nature of the results it achieves. Those who have spoken publicly about it include actress Gillian Taylforth, presenter Meg Mathews, and Olympian and TV sports interviewer Sharron Davies.
Holy Grail of facial rejuvenation
“The Holy Grail of facial rejuvenation would be the ability of a skin injectable to stimulate controlled, lasting collagen production.” So says one of Europe’s leading consultant dermatologists, Dr Nick Lowe. Gratifyingly this Holy Grail has been achieved with the development of Ellansé from the Sinclair Pharma stable. It is the first dermal filler that provides both instant and gradual results; increased volume occurs immediately post-injection, however volumisation continues to develop for up to four months. The results can be tailored to last between one and four years.
“I still look like me… just a better version of me”
The 42-year-old model, actress and presenter Nancy Sorrell, who is also the wife of comedian Vic Reeves, is a firm Ellansé fan. She says: “I was starting to see the lines from my nose to my mouth deepening. My doctor advised that a little Ellansé filler would lift and smooth out the lines, and it worked instantly and got even better over time.”
Dr Kuldeep Minocha, who trains other doctors worldwide for Sinclair Pharma, concludes: “Whereas once upon a time the aesthetic community was focused on fixing lines and wrinkles, we now have a shared understanding of the many factors that contribute to facial ageing, not least of which are loss of volume and skin quality.
“A more holistic approach, appreciating the three-dimensional nature of ageing, is more likely to achieve the effect of a more youthful appearance. Using muscle-relaxing injections as the only treatment modality for clients as they age can be limiting, especially when we have treatments such as Silhouette Soft and Ellansé in our armoury of minimally invasive procedures.
“Both these treatments encourage the body to produce type 1 collagen, which is the most flexible type, compared with type 3 which is scar tissue. This allows full facial movement, and as a consequence brings about flexible, nuanced and natural-looking results.”
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