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TOO busy for a leisurely and relaxing spa treatment? Fortunately, the aesthetics industry has been rolling out express treatments of late, which are fuss-free with little downtime, for busy executives who want to look good on the go.
CryoSculpt Body Slimming and Tightening Cambridge Therapeutics
Ngee Ann City Branch: 391 Orchard Road, #08-05A2 Ngee Ann City Tower B
Tel 6733 6729
Shaw Branch: 1 Scotts Roadd, #03-03
Tel 6235 0728
Price: S$300 per area
Let's face it - this is the dreaded time of the year when one tries to squeeze into a cheongsam for the festive occasion or a memorable snapshot. While early body-slimming techniques in clinics were like torture techniques, technology has now caught up with the human desire to get slim effortlessly. CryoSculpt sees you lying on the therapy bed, and undergoing minimal discomfort of an object pressed down firmly around your abdomen.
It's like taking an ultra-sound except that the round head on the prod is much bigger, and it feels like the therapist is ironing out your abdomen, especially with the slight warmth generated. But this time, the warmth goes right through the skin, rather than heating it up. That's the fat cavitation bit, where the ultrasound breaks up fat cells. After about 20 minutes, the skin is tightened with radio frequency treatment for another 20 minutes.
"CryoSculpt is meant to complement exercise, as one can't choose where one wants to lose the fat. So the machine is useful as in it can target the tummy, arms and buttocks," explains Elizabeth Leong, general manager of Cambridge Therapeutics. "The average shrinkage is about 1.5 to two inches, and can sometimes go up to four inches."
The "Hollywood Facial" procedure
The Lifestyle Clinic Singapore
1 Orchard Boulevard
#16-03 Camden Medical Centre
Tel 6733 0788
Price: S$300 for up to an hour
This is the red carpet facial for Hollywood stars, apparently, which Dr Komathy Rajaratnam recommends for its rejuvenation and repairing of skin. "This facial will give you that added 'glow', and I've seen it repair acne-scarred skin as well as those with big pores," she says.
Patients first go through microdermabrasion with infusion of Hyaluronic acid which exfoliates and hydrates at the same time. The second step is laser genesis treatment with an ND-YAG laser - which heats up the dermis to stimulate collagen and close up pores. The final stage is a glycolic peel at 30 per cent strength for about two minutes before it's neutralised. "And the result is glowing hydrated skin with a rosy hue," Dr Rajaratnam explains.
The results are best the day after, but if patients get a facial every three to four weeks, lines and spots will disappear and the skin will get tighter. "Chemical peels alone are stronger, and need some downtime for the healing. But the 'Hollywood facial' is a combination of a light peel with other procedures," she says.
It's suitable for all skin types - especially those with skin more prone to acne scarring, because of the repairing element.
Depending on the skin type, Dr Rajaratnam might also recommend the Hydrafacial (S$230) which is suitable for those with good skin as it brings out the best in it.
"Then one's skincare regime should be able to help maintain the effect of the Hollywood or Hydrafacial, although treatment is recommended every three to four weeks, depending on how fast the skin loses its glow," she notes.
V-Shape Facial Contouring with Botulinum Toxin A Prive Clinic/Prive Vitale Clinic
#03-03 Palais Renaissance 390 Orchard Road
Tel 6737 6639
#02-25 Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place Tel 6535 3328
Price: Starts at S$680 a session
The ideal face shape desired by Asian women is the oval shape, but sometimes, some of us have larger muscles behind our jaws - rendering a more masculine look. "For the Asian woman though, the feminine ideal is for the lower half of the face to be narrow and have softer edges," says Dr Karen Soh of Prive Clinic.
The V-shape facial contouring treatment then uses Botulinum Toxin A injections to create this illusion of weight loss and face shape. Botolinum Toxin A is injected into the masseter muscles which are used to clench jaws and crunch food. The injection inactivates the muscles and, thus, they will shrink and atrophy over time.
"It takes about one week to see the result, and two weeks for the maximum result. Although there can be a visual effect from the first day onwards," she says. It's just a 15-minute procedure, and needs to be repeated every four to six months which is when new muscle fibres regenerate. "Most of the patients we see have a problem with teeth grinding while the other group are those who like to chew gum or hard foods like bak kwa or beef jerky," explains Dr Soh.
As everyone has these muscles, they will grow bigger over time. But the treatment doesn't affect the use of one's jaws or the way we eat.
As for the repeated treatments in the long term, Dr Soh notes that the treatment effects do accumulate because the muscles are attached to the bone, which also shrinks because of the lack of stimulus. "But this takes time. I've seen patients with one to two years of treatment (who have had) the jawline reduced. And this is also clinically recorded."
While most women go for this, she sees some men as well - mainly those who want to balance their face if it's asymmetrical. "But the youngest I've treated is an 18-year-old patient. But patients can be as old as 50, as it's not an age-related issue," she adds.