THE BENEFITS OF COSMETIC MAINTENANCE - DR SARA LINTON & LIZZIE RENKERT

Former editor of Madison Magazine, Lizzie Renkert knows beauty and the important role cosmetic maintenance plays in sustaining your natural beauty. No one is perfect and like many, Lizzie has been faced with problematic skin earlier in life however, as a regular client of CCM Lizzie found our mantra of regular and subtle cosmetic treatments to be the silver bullet to those annoying imperfections that plague many of us.

I've known Lizzie for a long time and it's always a compliment knowing your client (who's job is to have an eye for beauty) trusts you unreservedly with their own. It really is an honour but even more so when this trust is extended even further for a one-on-one interview.

I recently sat down with Lizzie at CCM HQ for a chat about her treatments vs results, improvement in technology over time and dispelling some of the negative chatter on cosmetic medicine and minimally invasive cosmetic surgery.

I hope you enjoy the video and if you have any questions about our procedures, techniques or would just like further information on any of your beauty concerns - just get in touch for a no obligation chat.

I love talking all things cosmetic medicine and only to happy too help.

Dr. Sara Linton

Will you be covering up your legs this summer?

If the answer is yes, then you are either extremely sun conscious, which I applaud . . . or you may be hiding something.

Over the last 11 years of treating both women and men with leg veins, I have seen the lengths (sorry for the pun) that people will go to in order to hide these unsightly facts of life.

As I write this blog today I’m actually doing a leg vein treatment on myself!

One client was so self-conscience about her veins she had worn jeans and long pants for 20 years, another couldn’t bare the thought of going to the beach with her family whilst on holidays - so she stayed in the room while her family enjoyed themselves and another simply couldn't bare her legs, not only in public but even in front her long-term husband.

I feel almost as much despair as my clients when I hear these stories. It's heartbreaking to hear how much an average person's self-confidence can suffer when the treatment, in most cases is simple, straightforward and very effective.

Some of the reluctance to have a treatment may come from misinformation and resultant anxiety.

Sometimes people think that nothing can be done, others think they need to undergo invasive surgical procedures in hospital and others worry about the pain involved in treatments.

SCLEROTHERAPY-before-after.gif

As I write this blog today I’m actually doing a leg vein treatment on myself! With tiny injections of a salt solution at least half of my leg veins will fade away within a month. Yes, there’s a slight sting but I'm just like you - I don’t like my leg veins. Ultimately, the sting is irrelevant when I see the end result.

My patients tell me after getting their leg veins treated they have a new found confidence to show their legs over summer and feel more comfortable in their own skin.

If you’ve ever changed your outfit to cover leg veins or not gone on a beach holiday for fear of showing your legs, you don't have to put up with it. The expense on your self-esteem is far too great and the option to vein-free legs is just a phone call (and a few little pricks) away.

Dr Rachel

Why are we so scared of the "F" word?

Love them or hate them, the Kardashian brand is a marketing powerhouse but as time has progressed, many women are less enthused about emulating their cosmetic efforts.

Over the years I've noticed a gradual shift in our patient's acceptance of using anti-wrinkle treatments. But for many, fillers still conjure up images of overdone celebrities, due in part to our friends mentioned above.

Fillers are an invaluable tool in a cosmetic physician's toolbox. But how they are used has evolved over time. Gone are the days of just filling in lines.

It’s now possible for us to Photoshop or perform “real-life retouching” for our face . . .

As a whole, the 'pillow face' and ‘trout pout’ looks are simple out and should never return. Here in Australia we tend to be more reserved when enhancing our beauty and thankfully much of the industry seems to be following suit.

We now have a much greater understanding of the ageing processes of the face, including changes to skin, fat, muscle, ligaments and bone. 

The broad range of brands and products currently at our disposal means we can prevent and treat these changes better than we ever have previously. It's now possible for us to Photoshop or perform "real-life retouching" for our face, with natural improvements to all areas, so that our patients look better, not different.

Facial harmony and balance are key, which is why fillers work so well in combination with anti-wrinkle and skin treatments, such as lasers and peels. 

Our use of fillers varies, depending on several factors. It's not a one size fits all. The amount required and longevity does vary from patient to patient, so it’s important to discuss these factors and your expectations with your doctor, when deciding on a treatment plan.

In general, for patients in their 20s and 30s, it's about subtle enhancements and preventative treatments. These may include reducing under eye hollowing, enhancing cheeks and lips, and maintaining contours and jawlines. 

For patients over 40, it's usually about replacing volume and turning back time. The ‘liquid facelift’ is a great way to reduce sinking and sagging without risking both the ‘pulled’ appearance and having to undergo the costs and recovery involved with surgery. 

In either case, these treatments slow down the ageing process. At CCM we don't want to stop the aging process, simply make it more graceful so you don't have to feel shy about dropping the "F" word - We use it every day here at CCM and we're only too happy to discuss possible treatments for you - Just get in touch for more.

Dr Sara

HAVE YOU LOOKED AT CHELSEA LATELY?

Fractional Laser Resurfacing - “It’s F**king Awesome”: Chelsea Handler.

The secret’s out! Chelsea Handler doesn’t mince her words so when the 41 year old comedian and talkshow host recently shared her experience of having fractional laser treatment on her face and subsequently posted her photos on Instagram, her 2.8 million followers listened - And rightly so.

She was ecstatic: “It’s f**king awesome and no one is paying me to tell you about it.” And who can blame her? Fractional laser treatment is one of the procedures that makes the biggest difference to your skin and is the most popular resurfacing procedure at Concept Cosmetic Medicine, both for celebrities and the not-so-famous.

What Is Fractional Laser Treatment?

Fractional laser (or Profractional Laser as it is known in the States) works to even out skin tone and texture and improve complexion and pigmentation so that you can not only reverse the signs of ageing but sustain the process for 12-18 months. And because we use the Fraxel Repair laser, this can all be done in a SINGLE treatment! This is due to the ablative CO2 technology in the Fraxel Repair laser, which gives better results but less severe downtime than non-ablative alternatives.

Does It Hurt?

Most patients are very surprised by how painless the procedure actually is.  A numbing cream is applied before the procedure and at CCM we use a special technique so that any potential discomfort is reduced even further. 

How Long Does It Take?

The numbing cream takes an hour for full effect and the procedure itself takes about half an hour. So in total you will be with us for about 90 minutes.

What Are The Side-Effects?

The day following treatment you will look and feel sunburnt. The next day that redness becomes a dark “tan”. Over the next 2-3 days, this tan gently flakes off. You should accommodate 4 to 5 days of downtime: think of it as your well-deserved time off to relax and rejuvenate.

Is It Right For Me?

The Fraxel laser is revolutionary in that it can be used safely on ALL skin types. So if you’re looking for more beautiful, youthful skin just in time for all those Christmas parties and other special occasions, then it is definitely something to consider. The results generally last 12 to 18 months. I personally have the treatment once a year so that my skin can stay in a time capsule.

But if you need a star-studded testimonial, U.S talk show queen Chelsea Handler is a glowing example and ambassador of the treatment. Have you looked at Chelsea Lately?

Remember though, not all Fractional Lasers are the same. At CCM, we only use the Fraxel Repair laser and there is a big difference between our state-of-art equipment and that used by the “less certified” providers. Please, be careful of cheap imitations. There’s more information on the comparative differences HERE.

Dr Stefan Lo

SKIN HYDRATION - HOW TO BREACH THE BARRIER

An average female spends approximately $1200.00 a year on serums, lotions, creams and potions - It’s really big business. While there’s countless products available, one thing they all have in common is the promise to hydrate and rejuvenate your skin... mostly backed by the term “laboratory proven”.

No matter how beneficial a certain product is for the “luminosity, youthfulness, hydration, softness” of your skin, it simply cannot penetrate to where it really matters - as that is our skin’s primary function.

A barrier.

After a period of hit and miss, those of us who take these promises seriously, do manage to find the appropriate product that works in harmony with our skin type and texture. Most of us remain loyal to that particular brand until being seduced by more conspicuous promises, peer pressure or a change in personal life style that may render that particular promising brand ineffective. And so, the search begins again. The hit and miss cycle continues until we eventually find "the one"... Again.

In my opinion it is not a particular product that works for the skin. It is the product of a well-regimented routine and persistence that works the skin towards a more youthful and well-preserved freshness.

As the largest organ of the human body, the skin we live in is in essence, our body’s barrier to the outside world. It’s essentially one big red “STOP” sign. No matter how beneficial a certain product is for the “luminosity, youthfulness, hydration, softness” of your skin, it simply cannot penetrate to where it really matters - as that is our skin's primary function. A barrier.

For this reason, the best moisturiser for the skin to date remains ample oral hydration and the best rejuvenator still is a well-balanced nutritious diet…. Well, at least to begin with.

An ageing skin loses its ability to remain hydrated for extended periods due to the loss of its proteoglycan (glycosaminoglycan) content. A dehydrated dermis not only looks dull and lifeless but also has higher levels of MMP (matrix metalloproteinases), which are intimately involved in all aspects of skin aging. So how to deal with the stubborn barrier to make the barrier itself look healthier?

Imagine a moisturiser that can pierce through your natural barrier forces of the skin and hydrate it from within.. like painting the inside of a wall.

Hyaluronic Acid based Injectable moisturisers are specialised, naturally occurring sugar molecules used to provide lasting hydration for months from within the skin. These molecules are hydrophilic that means they love and attract water, giving off a physical effect of allowing the skin to look plump and luminous.

More water content in the dermis means more oxygen concentration and easy access of nutrition to the skin. This contributes to the physiological effect of collagen and glycosaminoglycans synthesis by Fibroblast stimulation. It’s a very thin and non-structural Hyaluronic Acid, so it doesn’t contribute in shaping or volumising like other Hyaluronic Acid based dermal fillers. However, it does last for months like other HA based dermal fillers. This makes it a great product to be used pretty much anywhere for skin rejuvenation and fine wrinkle treatment. My patients particularly love it under the eyes, around the lips, neck and décolletage area.

I have some interesting conversations with people who are aware of their hands as much as their face. Our hand gestures at times over take our facial expressions even in face to face communication. This awareness leads to queries about modalities for hand rejuvenation by my patients. Injectable moisturisers have amazing results in hand rejuvenation giving the skin a more elastic, firmer and better toned appearance.

Injectable moisturisers are a valuable maintenance tool for skin care and keep your skin perfectly moisturised from within, in a slow release lasting fashion. The treatment is incredibly efficient and cost effective only requiring annual to bi-annual treatments, depending on individual patient needs and the area to be treated. On your next visit to CCM, do ask your cosmetic physician about further information on Injectable Moisturisers.

While resilience is a human trait admired by many, Injectable Moisturisers are indeed one of the little things in life worthy of getting under your skin!

Dr Tauseef Zia

Vampire Facials: Immortal Beauty or Bloody Waste of Time?

As Cosmetic physicians, we often see increased demand for a particular procedure straight after celebrities get them. Their strong social media presence influences the masses and will quite often initiate these “trends”.

But while the exposure is excellent for raising awareness of these procedures, they're not always the best procedure for everyone - We're all unique with unique needs and circumstances.

<< A prime example of this is the “Vampire Facial” which was championed by Kim Kardashian a few years ago. This is still a hot topic and a procedure I’m asked about on a regular basis, so let’s look at this procedure in more detail.

WHAT IS A VAMPIRE FACIAL?

The “Vampire Facial” or Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) involves taking of a person’s blood, spinning it to separate and obtain the part of the blood called Platelet Rich Plasma. The PRP is then injected into a targeted area.

SOUNDS FREAKY - WHAT'S IT SUPPOSED TO DO?

Although it’s only recently that PRP has received a lot of media coverage, it has been around for decades and is based on sound scientific theory. Platelets are a part of our blood that are first to arrive at sites of injury and release growth factors which assist in healing. Therefore the theory is that if we can concentrate these little packages of healing goodness and put it into our areas of need, we should be able to stimulate healing and regeneration. In fact PRP has become a popular marketed treatment in the treatment of arthritis, soft tissue injuries, baldness, skin rejuvenation and even sexual dysfunction.

DO VAMPIRE FACIALS WORK?

This is the million dollar question and the short answer is no-one really knows! Certainly there has not been any conclusive studies to prove that it works. Patients certainly leave the procedure looking plumper and more “lifted” but this is only a result of the volume of liquid that has been injected into their face. As this settles down over the next few days, they will return to the way they looked before the procedure. The PRP effect is supposed to take effect over the next few months but there is insufficient evidence from rigorous clinical trials that this will happen.

The reason for this is that these special healing platelet packages actually need an injury and the other associated players in the inflammation process to be activated and simply injecting them therefore may not be sufficient. Then again, even in the soft tissue and joint pain medicine where PRP is most heavily marketed, there is insufficient evidence that it is significantly better than placebo.

SHOULD I TRY A VAMPIRE FACIAL?

At Concept Cosmetic Medicine we do offer PRP for people that are adamant to try it however we wish all our patients to receive the best treatment for their needs and circumstance so PRP is not a treatment we would normally recommend. Chances are, if you come and have a chat with us, we would be able to advise you on a treatment that would better address your concerns for the investment you wish to make to have more confidence in yourself.

Dr Stefan

The 6 Most Common Questions I’m Asked About Sunscreen.

Hellen Keller once said “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow”. 

Keep doing this and you will see wrinkles, sagging skin, pigmentation and skin cancers.

Ahhhh, the love hate relationship that humans have with the sun. The permeating warmth of the sun on our skin in summer is wondrous. It’s essential for vitamin D synthesis and has amazing mood benefits. However, the damaging effects of UV radiation are known all too well in this country. 

Sunburn, pigmentation, skin cancers - thanks UVB!

Photo-aging - that’s wrinkles and sagging - thanks UVA!

Summer is essentially upon us so it’s only prudent to take a refresher course on sun safety. Here’s 6 of the most common questions I’m asked surrounding sunscreen.

1 - Do I need sunscreen on a cloudy day?

YES. 80% of UV radiation passes through clouds.

 

2 - Dark skin doesn’t need sunscreen, does it?

YES. I have this conversation with a lot of patients with darker skin types who, although they don’t sunburn readily are still as susceptible to UVA radiation which is the one that ages us!!

 

3 - Should I use an organic (chemical) sunscreen or an inorganic (physical) sunscreen?

Something is better than nothing. I wear sunscreen on my face, neck and hands year round - rain hail or shine. It’s the best anti-aging bottle in my cupboard.

I like the micronized and nanonized Zinc preparations.

Zinc is great because it’s:

  • Stable
  • Low irritating and fine for acne prone skin
  • Doesn’t rub or sweat off too easily
  • Protects against all types of UV

 

4 - What SPF should I use?

SPF 15 is fine for general daywear. Be careful if you’re using combined makeup/sunscreen or moisturizer/sunscreen that you put enough on and it covers against both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum).

SPF 30 or higher is needed for fun in the Aussie sun though.

 

5 - How much should I put on?

Studies have shown that we put on about 25-50% of sunscreen that we actually need. Assuming everyone wears a cossie an average person needs 6-9 teaspoons to cover their body with the recommended thickness, applied 15mins before sun and re-applied every 2 hours.

 

6 - Can UV get though my car window?

YES. UVB doesn’t penetrate but UVA, the photo-ager does which is why eventually we all get more wrinkles and pigmentation on the right side of your faces! Think about tinting your car windows as this can help or have a sunscreen bottle handy in the car.

 

Thanks for reading and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions on this or any other topic for maintaining beautiful skin.

Dr Rachel

SHINING LIGHT ON BETTER-LOOKING SKIN

Our 3rd post in this blog series for better skin focusses on facials . . . “So our skin looks the same or better in 10 years time“.

Traditional Facials - Feel Fantastic Do OK

Laser Facials - Feel OK Do Fantastic

The first 2 blogs in this series concerned skin care and anti wrinkle injections.

This post continues the theme of medical grade skin maintenance with a discussion of “Laser Facials”.

Like anti-wrinkle injections, they can be done just when you want a “buff and polish”. They also can be part of a regular maintenance regime every 6-12 weeks, often in conjunction with a low dose, anti-wrinkle injection top up.

The term “Laser Facial” is a generic one and can mean different things to different practitioners, and different clinics.

Here at Concept Cosmetic Medicine, we use the term “Laser Facial” to describe a process that:

HAS:
- NO PAIN
- NO DOWNTIME

IS:
- WALK-IN, WALK-OUT
- LOW COST
. . . And
- OK to do in parallel with TRADITIONAL FACIALS which feel so good - Albeit at different times.

All 3 Skin layers – Epidermis, Dermis and Subcutis are treated with various laser and topical treatments.

By doing this, people not only feel a “wow” that lasts for weeks/months after, but little by little changes the architecture of the skin to be more youthful.

The regular use of “Laser Facials” also allows to go on regular ‘Blemish Hunts’ where a ‘real life photoshopping’ of capillaries, pigments and barnacles means they don’t ever get out of control.

I recently spoke with Ada Nicodemou, of Channel 7’s Home and Away amongst other TV and movie fame. We talk about the importance of laser facials in the world of HD TV, as well as discuss a more general cosmetic industry overview.

Dr Neal

Anti-Wrinkle Injections, Not Naming Any Names But . . .

The 2nd of this blog series concerns anti-wrinkle injections.

Soft and natural rules!!!

“Stiff and stupid” is just that!

Cranky Lines, Forehead lines, Wolf Lines, Smokers Lines, Brow Lifting, Neck Bands, Jowl Line refining and Face Shaping are some, but by no means all, the domain of Anti-Wrinkle injections.

Together with home skin care (the subject of the last blog), they represent THE 2 KEY things we can do so that our skin looks its’ best both now and over the years ahead.

Highly purified Botulinum Toxin is what is used and there are 3 brands available in Australia.

Doctor’s aren’t allowed to name them by federal TGA laws (but journalists can – go figure!), so suffice to say I will use “BTX” to signify all the 3 brands from Galderma, Merz and Allergan. All three are produced by multinational and highly reputable companies.

At Concept Cosmetic Medicine we have all 3 brands but, all of our Dr’s feel a preference for the Galderma product.

It’s what we use on ourselves and our families. It’s not uncommon to receive feedback saying it works quicker and it lasts longer but also our Doctors feel it gives the best value for money at the moment.

Now while I’ve performed literally thousands of anti-wrinkle injections my key message has always remained the same - LESS IS MORE!

Soft and natural rules!!!

“Stiff and stupid” is just that!

Apart from the “#11” cranky lines between the eyebrows, ALL other areas of the face should be respected and left with enough movement to look and be natural. Any lines in the area treated will progressively soften and over time, will mostly fade anyway.

Think of this as SAME DOSE/SAME COST BUT SPREAD OVER A YEAR.  

The amount of $$$ dependent on you’re your personal budget and skin maintenance goals and desires, but spread over more clinic visits.

No obvious ‘ups and downs’ of too heavy a result followed by too too much of a wear off. Just a smooth consistent result with analogous to hair colouring, never left to leave “GT stripes”.

Scheduled maintenance is the key to deliver a far better and more natural result.

If you don’t have a Medical Practitioner and we are too far away to discuss this more nuanced approach to Anti-Wrinkle injections, the list of Fellows and Members of the The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia is a good place to start. 

Next week I’ll discuss “next level” skin maintenance. When and why some may consider, the LASER FACIAL

Dr Neal

WHICH MOISTURISER SHOULD I USE DOC?

This a question I get asked a lot (skincare is a vexed topic for Cosmetic Doctors) and the short answer is is ‘anything that suits you!’

If it feels good - it does good! BUT… we still want more for our patients.

Let me explain it like this:-

Even as an Associate Professor of Clinical Aesthetics I still have NO BUSINESS getting between you and your favourite Beauty Counter or Advisor.

If you have a liking, or maybe a need, for vast quantities of what the ‘ground floor cosmetic counters’ have to offer, then go for it!

All good!

If, however, you are a minimalist and want what works best, the following might help:

 

A.M.

 

Sunscreen (Of your choice)
+

Makeup (Of your choice)

 
 

P.M.

 

Cleanser (Of your choice)
+
Moisturiser* (Consider Professional Advice)

*Why? 

Because the night time use of “Medical” moisturisers represent a higher standard (sometimes they are called Cosmeceuticals).       

Best choice deserves professional discussion but may include:

  • Fruit acids known as AHA’s (Glycolic, Lactic, Salicylic)
  • Vit A’s Retinol (Retinaldehyde is best here)
  • etinyl Palmitate Retinyl Aceteate (usually a bit weak for my liking)

OR

If you have access to a Cosmetic Doctor and practice for Medical Skin Maintenance,
Ask them about:

  1.         Prescription Vit A-  Retinoic acid 
  2.         Prescription Estriol(if post-menopausal)
  3.         Prescription Hydroquinone (if pigmented)

These “Medical Moisturisers” change, repair and preserve the skin’s architecture, especially sun damaged Aussie skin, for the better and not just conceal and cover.

If you don't have an expert cosmetic Doctor, then the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australia’s website, it's a good place to start.

In my next blog I'll discuss anti-wrinkle injections and the different types available.

Dr Neal Hamilton