Aging means wisdom, long-lasting and wonderful relationships, and increased levels of success. Aging also means changes to our skin and appearance, like wrinkles, lines and folds, areas of lost volume and sagging skin. If you’re seeing unwelcomed deep lines and folds along with other signs of aging, call Lux: A Medical Spa in Bluffton, SC and ask about the amazing benefits of Bellafill.
What Causes Changes to Our Skin?
When we’re young, it seems like our skin holds up to anything. Makeup looks perfect on young women, and their skin looks smooth, supple and dewy. Our expressions don’t seem to change our appearance, and we always feel moisturized. Why does young skin have everything going for it? It’s got optimal levels of three youthful powerhouses: collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid.
What Is Collagen?
Think of collagen as the building block of skin. It’s the most abundant protein in the human body, found in our bones, muscles and tendons, and it makes up 80% of our skin. Collagen holds the human body together and forms a strong scaffold that gives our outer skin structure. We have three layers of skin: our outer layer or epidermis, our middle layer or dermis, and our deepest layer, the hypodermis. The fibrous collagen packs tightly together in the dermis.
When our middle layer of skin is strong and smooth, there are no weaknesses for our top layer of skin to fall into, so we have no wrinkles. It seems our expressions don’t change our complexion and its strength keeps it tight and taut. This also forms the platform for our cells to regenerate quickly and healthily. This makes our skin bright and even. Collagen works with elastin and hyaluronic acid.
What Is Elastin?
Elastin is another protein our bodies produce to keep our skin and other organs flexible and elastic. Elastin is the reason organs like our lungs can expand and then go back to their original position. The same is true of our skin. When we make repeated expressions, elastin is the reason our skin snaps back to its starting position without sagging or falling.
Elastin fights gravity and works with collagen to keep the deepest layer of our skin in place. This secures features that rely on the fat pads, like our cheeks and cheekbones. Our skin adheres tightly to our underlying tissues and bone structure. Elastin works with hyaluronic acid to keep our skin supple.
What Is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar our bodies produce to keep our skin, connective tissues and eyes lubricated and hydrated. Each molecule of this sugar holds 1000 times its weight in water, and when we’re young, we have plenty of it so our skin always looks and feels hydrated. Hydrated skin looks healthy, and small lines and wrinkles are plumped away.
Young skin is supple and looks dewy because it has locked in so much moisture. When we’re younger, we don’t require thick or emollient moisturizers to keep our skin looking great. Hyaluronic acid coupled with collagen and elastin creates the trifecta of healthy, radiant and flawless skin.
Around the age of 20, we lose about 1% production of collagen per year. When collagen declines, so do elastin and hyaluronic acid. As collagen production slows, its density reduces. Before, when we made expressions, we had so much collagen there was nowhere for it to go, so our skin stayed taut on the surface. Now, there’s less collagen, so, as our faces move, collagen gets moved around. This eventually creates crevices, creases, and other weakened areas.
Because we have less elastin holding our skin in place, our epidermis falls into those crevices creating lines, wrinkles and folds. Those fat pads in the deepest layer of our skin slip because their anchor to the dermis weakens. When this happens, places like our cheeks and cheekbones can flatten while other areas, like our under eyes and temples, can look gaunt.
Other Collagen Damage
It’s not just the passage of time that causes our collagen production to decline, but your genetics may disposition you to just having less collagen than others. There are other lifestyle choices we make that do damage to the collagen we have and can speed up the signs of aging we dread so much. The biggest factor in premature aging is sun exposure. Protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is the single best favor you can do for your skin. Other things to avoid to protect collagen include:
- Excessive alcohol
- A diet high in sugar or processed food
- Prolonged unmanaged stress
- Not getting enough sleep
- A poor skincare routine
While this all may sound disheartening, there are innovative solutions available to help you restore a youthful appearance. We offer our clients an array of solutions to meet their needs. One of the most exciting treatments we offer is the dermal filler Bellafill.
What Is Bellafill?
This treatment belongs to a family of injectables called dermal fillers. Fillers have become one of the most popular physician-administered cosmetic treatments in the world, second only to neuromodulators like Botox. Most fillers are made of synthetic hyaluronic acid suspended in a smooth and pliable water-based gel. These fillers offer immediate results, but those results slowly dissipate over the course of 6-12 months depending on the filler chosen. Then it’s time for a touch-up. Bellafill is different and can last five years or more. This treatment is perfect for the nasolabial folds that run from your nose to the corners of your mouth.
What Is Bellafill Made Of?
It’s the active ingredients in this treatment that make it so different. Where a lot of other fillers are made of hyaluronic acid, this one is made from sub-microscopic beads of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) suspended in a collagen gel. This FDA-approved ingredient isn’t absorbed by the body, and the microscopic beads, or microspheres, settle in the dermis. The presence of microspheres causes our bodies to produce collagen.
Collagen fibroblasts grow around the microspheres, and because they aren’t absorbed by the body, collagen growth can last five years or more. This unique formula provides the longest-lasting results of all dermal fillers available. This filler not only works on moderate-to-severe wrinkles and folds but also on acne scarring, changing the surface texture from uneven and bumpy to smooth and even.
What to Expect
We always conduct a thorough consultation to make sure we match the right solution to your areas of concern. We’ll examine your skin, listen to your concerns and talk through your expectations. Once we decide this is the right treatment for you, we’ll give you just a few instructions to follow before your appointment.
This is a minimally invasive treatment, so the pre-treatment instructions are also minimal. To reduce the chances of bruising, which are already low, avoid taking blood-thinning over-the-counter medications and supplements. These can include but are not limited to:
- Ibuprofen medications like Advil and Motrin
- Naproxen sodium medications like Aleve
- Fish oil
- High doses of vitamin E
- Gingko Biloba
You should avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours before your appointment. Avoid direct sun exposure for a week and ablative facial treatments like microneedling and microdermabrasion for two weeks before treatment. We want you to keep your body’s inflammatory response down so we can accurately see how much filler you need.
During Your Appointment
On the day of your appointment, we’ll cleanse the treatment area and apply a numbing cream just to ensure you’re completely comfortable during your session. Another benefit of Bellafill is that the company adds lidocaine, a local anesthetic, to its formula. This makes treatment even more comfortable once it begins. We’ll make a series of small injections to the treatment area.
We can see immediate results during your appointment so we can make immediate adjustments to ensure you get the results you’re looking for. Your appointment will last between 15-30 minutes.
Once your appointment is over, you’re free to go. There is no downtime associated with this treatment, so you can go right back to your routine. Many people make an appointment for their lunch break and immediately go back to the office after treatment.
You shouldn’t drink alcohol for 24 hours after treatment. Avoid those harsh topical cosmetic treatments for a few weeks and stay out of direct sunlight for at least a week. Follow any specific instructions we give you to maximize your results.
You’ll see immediate results because of the collagen gel the microspheres are suspended in. Those deep folds will be plumped and you’ll look years younger when you walk out of the office. Your results will continue to get better, and you’ll see optimal results between 3-5 months. If you’re receiving treatment for acne, you can expect results to last a year or longer.
The longest results are seen for the treatment of nasolabial folds. You can expect results to last five years or longer. The more activities that harm collagen you avoid, the longer your results can last. 83% of clients report they’re still thrilled with results at the five-year mark.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
If you’re unhappy with the way deep lines and folds are aging your appearance or are tired of a complexion full of acne scars, talk to us about this amazing treatment. Most healthy adults over the age of 21 are good candidates. To be ready for treatment:
- The injection site should be clear of acne, infection or rashes
- You should be free of certain health conditions, which we will review with you
- You can’t be susceptible to hypertrophic or keloid scarring
We will do an allergy test on each patient to make sure they tolerate it well. We may also suggest you try less permanent fillers first to make sure you like the results. Because this specific treatment isn’t easily reversed, you may be more comfortable with a temporary “trial run” with a hyaluronic acid filler. If you like those results you can use those fillers to help with lip enhancement, replacing lost volume and even as part of a non-surgical facelift. These fillers can include:
- The Juvederm family of injectables
We offer injectables to address most areas of concern. We’ll assess your areas of concern and recommend the right injectable solution, which may include:
Why Wait for a Younger Appearance?
If you’re unhappy with the signs of aging you see in the mirror and other bothersome imperfections, you don’t have to put off feeling great about how you look. Call Lux: A Medical Spa in Bluffton, SC. Our mission is to be your premier choice for medical aesthetics and enrichment services. We look forward to helping you look and feel your best.