‘Downtime” is IN

Gone are the days when lunchtime procedure rule the roost. “Lunchtime procedures” rose to prominence right alongside Botox — hard on the heels of Y2K (apocalypse, averted; world breathes collective sigh), when lasers were said to “tone” the skin, cow-derived collagen was the filler of choice, and many of today’s most beloved baby-step treatments were still but twinkles in their founders’ eyes. As years passed, and the noninvasive landscape evolved, clocking out for an hour became more meaningful. We could plump our lines with safe sugar gels, restore radiance with gentle fractional lasers, freeze away bulges with CoolSculpting, and still have time to scarf down a salad before our next meeting — at which, of course, any “work” we’d had done would go unnoticed, quietly reflecting the essence of the lunchtime tweak: zero evidence, zero downtime.

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There however is a hard shift in the other direction, with millennials opting for procedures that show even bigger results. In fact, cosmetic surgeries of all kinds are spiking, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). So are resurfacing lasers that transform skin dramatically, putting to shame the no-downtime toning lasers which require a gazillion sessions to see results.

Here are some of the latest darlings of the millennial generation.

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Yes, the price tag of a threadlift is bruising and puckering that may last up to a week or two. But the extent of the lift you can achieve with a threadlift is much greater than what you could ever achieve with a laser.

The threadlift is not new, but now it’s better than ever.

As the thread-lift’s popularity continues to soar, its fans are getting younger. “Some patients start inquiring about the procedure in their 30s, but most often, it’s a good choice in the 40s and the results can easily be maintained with injectables to very natural effect,” says Dr Kenneth Lee from SW1 Clinic. Call it the new face of prevention. “The most common comment I hear from patients after having a threadlift is, ‘I should’ve done this years ago,’” he adds. Beyond the plain-and-simple fact that younger bodies heal faster, Gen-Xers can typically manage the required off-time just as easily, resuming work duties the day after with some clever makeup application.

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Ever since the picosend laser technology hit the market, it has given traditional lasers a run for its money. Not only can picosecond lasers treat pigmentation better, in its fractionated setting, studies have shown it creates LIOB (laser induced optical breakdown) cavitation that promots a super abundance of collagen growth. These focal collagen stimulation in turn leads to a host of skin benefits from increased smoothness, reduced pores and overall skin tightening.

When UV damage is more extreme, Dr Low Chai Ling may even tag on an ablative blasting of deeper wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. “There is a small price to pay for beauty, and in this case, pinpoint redness that can last anywhere from 1-3 days” says Dr Low, “But not in any pain — and then, once that heals, the skin is beautiful and smooth like a whole new complexion”. Tinted sunscreens are a godsend during this stretch, she advises.

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Eyelid tightening is top on many women’s wishlist, explaining why this is one of the most requested treatment in the clinics of SW1 in Singapore where Dr Chua Han Boon runs a thriving practice. Understanding that there is a limitation for Asian skin types is key to the success and safety of this treatment. Despite this, women are wanting to push the envelope to see even greater tightening of their upper eyelid skin sans surgery.

The price for Neogen Eyelift is skin that is mildly pink for a day, and a waxy appearance of the treated skin for 2-3 days. “But the results are incredibly good” says Dr Chua Han Boon. While the power of this plasma laser resurfacing treatment can be adjusted to suit each patient, the most fascinating aspect is that more than simply accepting such side effects, people are actually embracing them — wearing them as badges of honor. “These patients have a clear goal in mind; they’re determined to achieve it as quickly as possible; and they’re less embarrassed to leave the office red or flaky,” says Dr Chua. In fact, some so strongly associate recovery with results, that “if they don’t see that peeling and redness, they don’t believe they’ve had a worthwhile treatment, and they’ll request something stronger next time,” he says.

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