BOTOX ALTERNATIVES: WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE THERE?
BY JESSICA BOSCO
Most of us women get to a point where we can’t deny that our skin just doesn’t bounce back like it used to. Waking up after another sleepless night with the little ones, or after a couple of wines with the girls – the dark circles, the bags, the lines… There comes a point where we realise they’re now here to stay.
And while we’re all about embracing those lines for all the wonderful stories behind them, we also want to look and feel our best, so there’s no shame in wanting a little help when it comes to our skin. But knowing what you should be doing can be hard, and especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, knowing what you can do is even harder.
We chatted to Kaye Scott, Co-Director of renowned Sydney cosmetic practice, The Clinic, to get the lowdown on what non-invasive treatments there are these days to rival botox as well as what treatments are safe to undergo during pregnancy and while breastfeeding as well as how properly look after your skin while you are pregnant.
What treatments would you recommend if you’re not keen to get botox but still want to see results?
Kaye: We have two skin tightening modalities that are a fantastic choice for clients who aren’t ready, or perhaps uninterested, in injectables. Ultraformer or Thermage are premium, anti-ageing treatments designed to tighten and lift.
Ultraformer is suitable for all ages and is a more targeted treatment - it uses deep dermal micro-heating and contraction for a multi-layered lifting, tightening and rejuvenation effect. It promotes maximum collagen rejuvenation meaning plumper, smoother more youthful skin. There are three differing levels that can be performed (depending on the condition and age of the skin) and can be used across the full face or more commonly, under the eyes.
Our new Thermage FLX machine, one of the first in Australia, instantly lifts and contours the skin by delivering customised radiofrequency to every inch of the treatment area. It is particularly successful for ages 35-55.
It does depend on where clients see their problem areas. For example, if a client is concerned with extreme lower face and neck volume loss and laxity, this would be treated differently to a client who was concerned about fine dynamic lines and crepey skin. We always start with a consultation to ensure our clients are receiving the best treatment for their problem areas.
What are the best treatments that are safe for pregnant/breastfeeding mums?
Thermage: for skin tightening and rejuvenation (is also fabulous for the stomach, particularly assisting with that crepey, loose skin post-partum that some of us find difficult or particularly stubborn to tighten)
IPL: great for skin rejuvenation and resurfacing, especially if there has been an increase in pigmentation (however not suitable for those who have experienced melasma pigment from pregnancy)
Blueberry Peels are a great pick-me-up and the ultimate skin brightening treatment. Incorporating Lactic-Acid which gently removes the dead skin cell layer (epidermis), our Blueberry Peels can help to minimise and manage breakouts, instantly brighten complexions and correct dull or ageing skin.
We are definitely limited to what we can perform during pregnancy as we strictly follow guidelines presented to us, however there are definitely treatments that can be performed during pregnancy to help brighten skin and assist with congested skin.
Blueberry Peels (as above)
Societe Peel - a calming, hydrating peel that helps soothe inflamed skin and hydrates dry skin
Customised Hydrafacial - A medical grade skin resurfacing treatment suitable that combines a deep clean and exfoliation, extractions and a hydrating, antioxidant rejuvenation for instantly brighter, cleaner and clearer skin. We simply sub out the use of Salicylic Acid and incorporate our blueberry peel, allowing for a great deep clean that is completely safe for bub.
What products/ingredients should you be using at home for best results?
We are limited to what we can use and what we recommend during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there is no clinical data available that studies pregnant or breastfeeding women and active ingredients. We simply recommend a good cleanser and moisturiser as a great place to start. We believe less is more.
We work with our clients on specific concerns and recommend pregnancy safe products that often include an exfoliator and pigment serum as congested skin and pigmentation are rife in pregnancy.
Post-breastfeeding, a more specific regime would involve a cleanser, a high quality antioxidant product, high quality Vitamin A as well as an effective moisturiser - all suited to our client's individual skin type. When the basics are covered, we can then begin branching out to incorporate other things such as exfoliators and masks if necessary.
Is there anything specific you should be doing for your skin during pregnancy/breastfeeding?
Pregnancy can play havoc on the skin but often it's the increase / change in hormones and it's simply something you need to ride out. It always pays to see a professional to devise a plan best suited to you.
During pregnancy we aim to take as much care with the skin as we can, despite the limitations on active ingredients and treatments. We build a foundation with a good cleanser, or recommend double cleansing to strengthen the skin (depending on the individual) and an effective moisturiser. We recommend regular in-house treatments to continually address that top layer of skin during pregnancy and to keep skin bright and radiant.
These basics are simply to address the multitude of changes skin can undergo during pregnancy. Every client is different - some develop dermatitis (particularly those who come off the Pill after being on it for years), melasma and congested skin.