Posted on 03/12/2019
On the 8th-10th of November Dr Catherine Stone and our Face Place team attended the Aesthetics 2019 conference in Sydney. The inaugural aesthetic conference aims to promote the ‘Best and Safe’ standard of facial injectables care and the latest in non-surgical therapies with a focus on facial injectables and skin health therapies.
Some of the legends of the cosmetic injecting industry presented and the event was convened by renowned plastic surgeon Steven Liew. The names that lined the agenda were industry equivalents of Madonna, Beyoncé, and Elton John — absolute superstars who helped to shape and develop Cosmetic Injectables as an industry, either directly or indirectly.
Dr Cat shares her 5 biggest learnings from the conference here:
1. Humans have the flattest face of any species, and are the only species where wrinkles in the face are a sign of ageing. From an evolutionary perspective, our faces become flatter as our brain size increased. As our faces became flatter, the ‘holes’ in our skull — the eye sockets, nasal aperture and mouth — also became bigger, and the muscles around these ‘holes’ became more active, especially as facial expression became more important in communication. Our skin starts out smooth, and with continued repetitive movement of the skin, the damage causes wrinkles — which explains why often the eyes and mouth will show the first signs of ageing. Compared to a chimpanzee, who will also have wrinkles, but has them from a young age rather than developing them over time.
2. Asian faces age more in the central part of the face, whereas Westerners age more laterally, through the jawline, cheek and preauricular (in front of the ear), which contributes to our increased tendency to sag. About 60% of Asians have a retruded (weak) chin, which leads to increased activity of the chin muscle, and a dimpled chin. To prevent the appearance of ageing in Asians, we should ideally treat the midface and chin early on, which also improves their overall facial balance, whereas in Westerners we should focus on the cheeks, jawline and preauricular area as early as possible to prevent or reduce the sagging that it ageing.
3. As cosmetic injectors, the top In the world are moving back to using smaller amounts of filler, strategically placed in the face, using the retaining ligaments — the ligaments that hold up the face, and sit in a line that separates the highly mobile front part of the face, which causes wrinkles with movement, from the more stabilized ‘facial frame’ or lateral (outer) part of the face. The focus is strategic engineering rather than just volumising, so they recommend moving away from the big 12-20 syringe treatments that have become popular in some circles, and back to creating natural looking lift with just 3-6 syringes.
4. Body dysmorphia — the obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in their appearance — is on the rise, especially due to the impact of selfies, filters and social media. It is now so much more prevalent there are even subtypes of body dysmorphia, such as lip dysmorphia. As responsible clinicians, we are trained to recognise the symptoms of someone with body dysmorphia. For it to be diagnosed as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) it has to have a significant negative impact in their lives, such as avoiding going out, or certain social situations. If these people are treated with cosmetic treatments, their symptoms often become worse, as it is an anxiety-related disorder, similar to OCD and anorexia. The best treatment for BDD is counselling and antidepressants. More than half of the clinicians in the audience felt they had seen someone with BDD in the last 12 months, however often we don’t communicate effectively with them. We learned from a psychologist specializing in BDD that it’s best to let these people know that you are on their side, that we want what is best for them, and that we can connect them with someone more able to help them feel better. She advocated NOT telling them they have BDD, or diminishing their area of concern as ‘no significant’, which is the way that most of us have addressed this problem in the past.
5. In the skin care space there were some excellent talks on the future of skin care focusing on epigenetics and the microbiome of the skin, including some new pre-, pro- and post-biotic ingredients; treating melasma with microneedling, and great info on how needling stimulates a non-scarring version of healing as it doesn’t damage the dermal papillae or stimulate the arachidonic acid (scarring) pathway. There was an interesting talk on how cosmeceuticals can be used to reduce the oxidative damage of blue light from computer screens and mobile devices , which contributes to ageing. The near future of skin care includes customised skin care, such as the UNIVERSKIN range https://www.universkin.com. I attended the launch of this range in Feb 2014 in Paris, it is now in Australia, and they hope to be in NZ next year. Even more exciting is the convergence of AI, DNA analysis and customised skin care that is likely to be the gold standard for skin care over the next few years. Exciting times! The Number 1 beauty tip for skin — protect your skin from the sun and don’t get sunburned!
Bonus info: New products being released in the near future include longer and shorter acting botulinum toxins, and cheaper Korean botulinum toxins with the same structure (but not the proven history) as Botox. The shorter acting product is a Botulinum Type E (the others are all Type A), which starts working within 24h and lasts about 1 month, which we foresee will be great for training. Ready-made liquid formulations of BTX-A should be available in the next 2-3 years.
If you would like to know more about any of these key takeaways, feel free to reach out!
Dr Cat and The Face Place team.
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