It’s the hot ticket in Monte Carlo – the annual Aesthetic & Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress (AMWC), where doctors from all around the globe gather to hear about groundbreaking research, to watch live demonstrations of just-launched products and to learn about the most innovative procedures coming to the market. So here are the things that YOU need to know about for the year ahead. Your face and body will thank us.
Belotero Lips, due to launch at the end of April, was unveiled – and it’s got people excited. The first lip-specific filler from Merz, it is available in two strengths – ‘Shape’ and ‘Contour’, designed to be used in combination. London-based Dr Uliana Gout, who demonstrated the technique at AMWC, says: ‘With the lips, it’s not always about volume – ensuring that we have good definition is key. Women use lipstick to create the perfect shape, and that line they trace is called the ‘vermilion border’. ‘Contour’ is an elegant solution to strengthening this outline, whereas ‘Shape’ helps to create fullness.’
The world’s first ‘hair filler’, from South Korean brand Caregen, has launched. Billed as a ‘total hair-growth solution’, it combines hyaluronic acid (HA) with growth factors and peptides, and is injected into the scalp to stimulate follicle activity. Four sessions, two weeks apart, are recommended, alongside an at-home regime. Receding hairlines everywhere are rejoicing.
LED face masks are nine to the dozen in cosmetic clinics. But Chromospace is a full-length bed containing over 20,000 LEDs, which claims to improve a wide array of conditions, from acne and muscular pain to stretch marks. Sessions take 20 minutes and there are moveable panels for targeting specific areas of concern, such as shoulders or the face. It’s currently not available in the UK; you can, however, find it in France. We are planning a trip imminently.
Submental fullness, otherwise known as a double chin, is still the buzzword in the cosmetic sector – and according to Allergan, 73 per cent of consumers are bothered by it. Treatments to tackle it include Profound, a micro-needling device that combines with radio-frequency (to a depth of 6mm) to create new collagen, helping to tighten the lower face. Then there’s CoolMini, part of the CoolSculpting family: it freezes fat cells by means of a small applicator that sits beneath the chin, before evacuating via the lymphatic system. It’s recently gained FDA-approval for skin-tightening, and Dr Tracy Mountford says: ‘The fat goes first, then the skin retraction follows at around 24 weeks.’ (In London, see Magda at the Cosmetic Skin Clinic.) And the hugely anticipated Belkyra (already available in the US; the UK launch is still to be announced) is said to be a game-changer. It contains deoxycholic acid, which permanently destroys fat cells when injected below the chin (it is also said to work beautifully on other areas of the body, though it is not yet approved).
Vivacy, makers of the fillers Stylage and Desirial, has launched its new Bi-Soft Injection Technology syringe – and it’s going down rather well. Doctors say that the soft, silicone-padded syringe gives greater control when injecting, and that it feels more comfortable too. Available in five colours, they’re also rather cheerful to look at, making them an excellent distraction.
Allergan’s newest campaign, ‘Trust in Beauty’, revealed that only one in 10 patients considering injectables takes the time to actively research them before they opt for treatment. And only 38 per cent of patients assessed for the study said that they felt their doctor adequately answered their questions. In a booming industry where aesthetic treatments are on the rise, it highlights the importance of doing your homework – before you go in for a consultation. And, if needed, of challenging the doctor who plans to administer the treatment. At the very least, a good doctor or aesthetician should be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC).
The Real-Life Test
French filler brand Filorga performed a live demonstration on three generations of women – grandmother, daughter and granddaughter. Treatments included NCTF for the youngest (mesotherapy, an injectable cocktail of HA and vitamins, to boost skin radiance); strategic use of medium-strength Universal Art Filler for the mother (to improve fine lines); and the grandmother was treated with the slightly denser Volume Art Filler (to restore facial structure and proportion). The brand states it believes in maintaining beauty, not creating it. Indeed, the end result suggested that an ‘improvement’ is often preferable to a ‘transformation’.
Canadian surgeon and dermatologist Arthur Swift led many a talk at AMWC this year and was characteristically charming. And some of his insights were fascinating: ‘As we age, we become caricatures of who we are. For example, our smile becomes fuller and broader, so you can see the back teeth. This happens as a result of that loss of natural movement, because the muscles are getting weaker and they’re pulling against skin that is also weakening.’ Swift is championing the use of fillers, ‘to dampen muscle activity, and to moderate the way that the muscles move – helping you to express, but not overexpress. The concept should be moderation, not obliteration.’