Prejuvenation is the way forward to age-prevention in your 20s, and here’s what we tried
Quick reality check: This happens to be my last year in my twenties. And honestly, it's pretty harrowing. Suddenly birthdays aren't exactly so excitable anymore. Sure, the 30s seem to be a grand way forward into a profound chapter of adulthood, but if I were to gauge how my skin and face (re social media reminders of what you used to look like 5 years ago) yielded to every passing year, as compared to that glow on my 21st big hurrah, stepping into my 30s is frightening to fathom.
Of course, with anything, there's always hope. Beyond eye creams and anti-wrinkle serums, medical technology has evolved so much so, that we can instantly resolve the problem. Hence, we prejuvenate. A coined term which merges prevention and rejuvenation into one. These are minimally invasive procedures designed to maintain a youthful mien (as you are in your 20s) as well as to ideally delay visible signs of aging. Basically, nipping the problem in the bud, before the problem even occurs. Which makes a world of a difference, especially if getting treated earlier can prevent you from getting more invasive procedures down the line.
You'll find solutions within a plethora of treatments and injectables from Merz Aesthetics — where I had the chance to try during my prejuvenation journey at Ageless Medical, which stands as one of the most renowned aesthetic clinics in Singapore. At the helm of this institution, is Dr. Lam Bee Lan, one in our city's first pioneers in the aesthetic industry, with 17 years in the field.
Apart from lifting and tightening (basically the sexiest terms to entice any woman into a facial service), Dr. Lam observed an asymmetry in the way my face was shaped. It was slightly asymmetrical, which led to my mouth and chin area slanting to one side — a prominent occurrence whenever I smiled. The end goal, was to create a more symmetrical face.
The holy grail in course of actions was implemented. Basically, a combination of treatments to ensure an optimal result: bringing together EBD (Energy Based Devices), such as Ultherapy along with hyaluronic acid fillers, and botulinum toxin injections. Cue the heavy breathing, but I could safely say, I was in the best hands.
First things first, there's always numbing cream. Which is paramount for better comfort during the treatment process. Ultherapy is touted as the only U.S. FDA-cleared non-invasive ultrasound skin-lifting device set to tighten sagging skin by building collagen. Jolts of micro-focused ultrasound energy penetrates into the layers of your skin, with a brief bout of heat in the mix. Dr. Lam made sure to cover the main areas like the cheeks, under-chin, and forehead. It really depends on your tolerance, but I found the process only to be a tad bit stinging. If you can get through facial extractions, you can get through this.
On the subject of myth debunking, you'll be surprised to find that there is no one brand of filler in the market. What you end up opting for can make a world of a difference to the end result. In my case, a type of hyaluronic acid filler with Cohesive Polydensified Matrix (CPM) technology was selected. It is in fact made of the same volumising and moisturising component (hyaluronic acid) in the skin. So you could say it would be a natural route to go about obliterating lines and wrinkles. Its merit has to lie in its subtlety, especially when the goal is refining your face without altering it drastically. Pretty much like the no makeup-makeup look. Dr. Lam administered a total of 11 syringes of fillers into my face, specifically around my cheeks, chin, and lips. And I can safely say, after all that, I still look like me. In the process, there's rehydration, the plumpness in my cheeks, and even contouring the entire face. There's more to the misunderstood term than just "filling", but rather according to Dr. Lam, fillers can open up the eyes, and even lift the corner of a lip. Despite the numbing cream, there was quite a bit of pain to endure especially in the sensitive areas such as the lips and the chin where there's more bone. But all that would be momentary, no pain will last till the moment you walk out of the clinic. Another upside to minimally invasive procedures, there really isn't any downtime to sacrifice in my own experience.
Right after fillers, it was time for more jabs. This time, Dr. Lam used a purified botulinum neurotoxin that is free from complexing proteins to prevent frown lines between my brows and crow's feet at the corner of my eyes. The entire process only took about less than five minutes.
The aforementioned sounds like plenty of work to undergo, but fortunately, I still look like me. After two weeks of a little bit of bruising and swelling around the sensitive areas, I'm embracing this slightly more symmetrical, and perhaps more sculpted version of me. I was told that the results can last between 6 to 18 months, depending on the density/thickness of the fillers used and each individual's body and natural ageing process. So here's to hoping — perhaps an update of this story when I'm in my 30s would be interesting.