Facial laxity, ‘sagging’ or ‘jowling’ is a common complaint, but what are the non-surgical treatment options available?

As we age, we lose volume in bone, fat and skin. Skin also loses elasticity & strength which all contribute to hollowing of the face, and ‘sagging’ and wrinkling of the skin tissue. Non surgical treatments help improve the quality of the skin tissue improving wrinkles, skin tone and elasticity and replace lost volume and create facial ‘lift’.

At Vamp we offer 3 non-surgical treatments for facial laxity – dermal filler, silhouette soft© thread lifting and Profound Radiofrequency deep skin needling. All three treatments are performed in clinic under local anaesthesia and have minimal downtime, however, there are important differences between treatments that may influence:

Placement of Dermal Filler

Skilled placement of dermal filler in the cheeks, jawline, temples and chin not only restore lost volume in these areas but help lift the skin tissue. Think of treatment with dermal fillers like ‘scaffolding’ for the face helping to improve facial structure whilst lifting the skin tissue. Overtime, hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers also stimulate collagen improving the quality of the skin tissue. Dermal filler are our most popular treatment for treating facial sagging, and volume loss. Treatment takes approximately 30-45 minutes to perform, the results are immediate and there is no downtime at all. There is always a risk of bruising with placement of dermal filler but this is usually minor.

Cost typically ranges from $1500 up to $4000 and results are variable but typically last up to 18 months.

Before and immediately after dermal filler in the cheeks, jawline, ‘marionette lines’ and lips. Note the lift created in the lower and mid face.

Profound Deep Skin Needling

Profound is a unique radiofrequency delivery device unlike any other device based treatment used to treat facial laxity. It’s the only device on the market that delivers real-time, temperature-controlled radiofrequency into the deep dermis – the area of skin most responsible for strength and elasticity of the skin.  What this means for you is, stimulation of the tissue to precisely the temperature it needs to be to produce the greatest regenerative effect. Studies have shown a single treatment of Profound creates up to 5 times the elastin, 2 times the collagen, and increases production of hyaluronic acid (HA), the stuff that’s needed to improve the quality of the skin. The treatment takes approximately 2 hours to perform and best results are seen at around 6 months following treatment and can be considered permanent (keeping in mind one will still age at the same rate).

The advantages of the Profound treatment are – it offers the most in terms of improving the quality of the skin tissue in that it stimulates the most collagen, elastin and HA resulting in softer, smoother, lifted skin that will last, but like most device based treatments, results take time. Another advantage of the Profound RF treatment is, we’re not injecting any substances into the skin tissue which is important to some people, we’re stimulating your body’s own ability to make more collagen, elastin and HA. Expect noticeable improvement in 3-6 months with results continuing to improve up to 12 months post treatment. There is downtime associated with this treatment, you can expect mild to moderate swelling peaking 48 hours post treatment, and bruising peaking 4 days post treatment. Bruising can be covered with concealer and make up 24-48 hours post treatment.

It’s important to remember that treatments like Profound RF are bio-stimulatory treatments. What this means is the device is stimulating your body’s own ability to produce collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid and this declines with age. Typically, results are unpredictable for clients over the age of 65 years.

Cost is $3900 but keep an eye out as we frequently have promotions each year on our device based treatments from April-November.

Before and 12 weeks after Profound Radiofrequency in a woman >65 years

Silhouette Soft Threads

The Silhouette Soft thread lift involves placing anchoring sutures under the skin with a needle in order to lift and reposition sagging tissue and stimulate new collagen production in the area. Usually 3-4 threads will be inserted into each side of the face under local anaesthetic and positioned to lift the facial tissue.  There will be some instant lift, however, best results are seen after 6 to 12 weeks and are expected to last up to 18 months. The threads consist of a single filament and multiple anchoring cones, which are composed primarily of polylactic acid (PLLA).  PLLA has a long history of use in many biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. It breaks down into the naturally occurring substance, lactic acid, and has an excellent safety record.

We receive a lot of enquiries regarding silhouette soft threads. The results are excellent in that the lift is immediate, but what is not shown on the promotional videos is, there is significantly more downtime involved than with treatment than with dermal filler and Profound RF treatments. There are noticeable entry and exit sites where the needle has entered and exited the face to place the thread, which are noticeable for 1-2 weeks post treatment. Also, expect some ‘puckering’ following the treatment where the skin tissue has been repositioned to lift the face. This puckering typically only lasts a few days to weeks but can persist for longer.

The treatment takes approximately 2-3 hours to perform. Due to the nature of the biomaterial used for the threads the cost of the treatment is more expensive at $3500-$4800 for placement of 3-4 threads each side of the face.

In Summary

That’s our take on 3 popular treatments used to treat facial laxity. Which do we recommend? The biggest bang for your cosmetic buck, we think is a combination of Profound RF to improve the quality and longevity of the skin tissue, and placement of dermal filler as ‘scaffolding’ for the face to replace lost volume and improve facial structure. As this is a popular treatment combination in our clinic, this year we’ve decided to offer Profound RF + Dermal Filler packages to be released around April 2020. Keep watching our social media and our website for more information.