Non or minimally invasive procedures are set to dominate in the new year as patients and doctors chase painless and more natural-looking results. HELLO! consults with top aesthetic practitioners to unveil interventions that are likely to trend.
What is the right choice for me? That is the pivotal question on everyone’s mind when contemplating procedures to shed weight or reverse the signs of aging. The landscape of cosmetic procedures and aesthetics has come a long way in giving people their desired face and body, offering non-invasive or minimally invasive options for achieving desired changes in appearance, minimising the risks associated with surgical interventions.
Thanks to ongoing medical advancements and evolving standards, what works (and what does not) as of today differs from yesterday, and tomorrow. Innovations, research and development are quick in this field and there’s a constant influx of improved technology coming in only to make the last one quasi obsolete. Does that mean the filler you did last year is not the right thing for your under-eye area rejuvenation? No. It only means that there is better technology available now compared to what was perhaps considered gold standard then.
As we step into the new year, HELLO! consults with top aesthetic practitioners to unveil treatments expected to trend in 2024.
What: This treatment, also referred to as Ultherapy, uses focused ultrasound technology to stimulate collagen production in the deep layers of the skin. During the procedure, ultrasound energy is delivered to the targeted areas, promoting collagen regeneration. It is primarily used for lifting and tightening sagging skin on the face, neck and décolletage.
Expert Speak: However clichéd and ‘been there and done’ it may sound, it remains the unanimous choice from the desks of top cosmetologists.
“There are three main reasons why Ulthera is still preferred over any other procedure for a face lift. Results, results and results! The client satisfaction rate is very high,” says Dr Simal Soin of AAYNA, adding that while there are more options that give similar results, they are yet to launch in India. Ulthera typically delivers a younger, fresher and tighter-looking face without surgery. “Using targeted energy, Ulthera heats tissues to the ideal temperature for robust collagen production, delivering impressive results without surgery,” Dr Chiranjiv Chhabra of Alive Wellness Clinics says, elaborating, “What also sets it apart is its exclusive feature that provides visual guidance before and during treatment, ensuring precision, customisation and enhanced comfort.”
While patients may experience some discomfort, Dr Simal notes that the level of pain depends on the operator. “In the right hands, it does not hurt that much. We have patients coming back for years because the results are astounding and last almost 2-3 years. We follow our own protocol, and that is very important in keeping the pain to a minimal level,” she explains.
Why We Love It: While it has been a longstanding option in India for years, nothing quite compares to Ulthera when it comes to a facelift – the closest alternative is going under the knife. It is still considered the gold standard of facelifts to date. It’s not for the faint-hearted (it does hurt!), but nothing comes close to giving you a defined jawline and an overall lift, and even correcting areas around the nasolabial folds, like Ulthera does. You may explore threads, fillers and even non-surgical lifting procedures like High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), but you’ll eventually find your way back home to Ulthera. The only caveat: discuss with your doctor if you are the right candidate.
What: Using a device that delivers controlled radiofrequency (RF) energy to heat the deep layers of the skin to stimulate collagen production, this procedure is used for skin tightening and contouring on various areas of the body, including the face, eyes, abdomen and thighs.
Expert Speak: Dr Simal typically recommends face and eye Thermage, although the choice depends on several factors. “Face Thermage with monopolar radiofrequency doesn’t penetrate as deeply as Ulthera, so the decision is tailored to the patient’s specific needs at that moment.” She asserts that AAYNA’s eye Thermage can be equated to non-surgical blepharoplasty [a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of your eyelids], a procedure perfected by few in the country. “I can confidently say that it stands as the sole non-surgical option for blepharoplasty,” she claims.
Why We Love It: When performed correctly, it can potentially eliminate the need for blepharoplasty entirely, taking off five years from your face – a result unmatched by anything else.
What: A non-invasive procedure that combines HIFES (high-intensity facial electrical stimulation) and radiofrequency (RF) technology to enhance facial muscle density and boost collagen and elastin production. The RF heats the dermis layer, boosting collagen and elastin production by 26% and 129%, respectively. It selectively contracts facial muscles, improving their density and quality. The procedure targets key facial muscles — such as the frontalis in the upper face and the zygomaticus minor, zygomaticus major, and risorius in the mid and lower face — by enhancing their “resting tone” by around 30%.
Expert Speak: Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta of Isaac Luxe refers to it as the “no-sweat gym” for the face and stands by its effectiveness. According to her, while both Emface and Ulthera are non-invasive facial treatments that aim to improve skin tone and lift, Emface holds a notable advantage in reduced discomfort compared to Ulthera, making it appealing for those prioritising a gentler approach to facial enhancement. The choice between the two depends on individual preferences, pain tolerance and desired outcomes. It should also be noted that Emface does not address the neck and décolleté areas, unlike Ulthera, which is FDA-approved for the entire face and these additional areas.
Why We Love It: If you’re not ready for the pain of Ulthera for a lift, consider Emface. While it comes with a similar price tag, the good news is that it’s pain-free and can help you postpone Botox. The result? A natural lift. The downside? You still need Ultherapy for the jawline.
What: A proprietary protocol developed by Dr Kiran Sethi of Isya Aesthetics, this skincare treatment harnesses the power of air to infuse nourishing actives into the skin and scalp. The term “CloudSkin” is inspired by the treatment’s utilisation of pressurised air, producing a cloud-like effect on the skin, leading to a smoother, calmer and more radiant complexion.
Expert Speak: According to Dr Kiran, CloudSkin can penetrate up to 1.5 centimetres into the skin’s surface, delivering remarkable results without the discomfort typically associated with needles and invasive procedures. “This dreamy, painless treatment is suitable for a wide range of skincare and scalp concerns, including improving skin glow, addressing pigmentation, combatting acne and reducing the signs of aging. Additionally, CloudSkin can be used to enhance hair health by infusing growth-promoting actives into the scalp,” she says, adding that the versatility of this innovative technology extends to plumping and brightening lips, as well as improving the appearance of eyelids and under-eye areas.
While Jet Peel technology has been employed, the protocol for CloudSkin is exclusively crafted by Isya Aesthetics. A typical session lasts approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on the specific area being treated. Dr Kiran recommends eight weekly sessions of CloudSkin for each condition. It starts with a personalised cleanse and deep exfoliation. A targeted anti-pigmentation serum is then applied to even out the complexion, followed by the crucial step of hyaluronic acid infusion for lasting hydration and a dewy effect. “Patients can anticipate brighter skin with noticeable improvements in their specific skincare concerns. Fortunately, this treatment comes with no side effects, downtime or pain,” she asserts.
Why We Love It: In essence, jet peel technology offers a needle-free and comfortable procedure. It delivers growth factors without needles, making it a painless option for hair growth. With a massage-like feel, it effectively brightens the skin and enhances texture. When administered under proper medical supervision, it is considered safe.
What: A favoured treatment for facial rejuvenation among Hollywood celebrities, this device combines the use of microneedling and radiofrequency (MNRF) technology. Unlike traditional fractional lasers and other microneedling techniques, Morpheus 8 employs micro-pins to administer controlled RF energy. This enables precise targeting of deeper tissue layers, fostering collagen production and improving skin texture.
Expert Speak: A key treatment at Dr Geetika’s clinics, she emphasises its advantages over fractional lasers or microneedling. According to her, while all these methods provide excellent results in enhancing skin texture, tone and stimulating collagen, Morpheus 8 can target deeper skin layers with minimal downtime. “Sure, the downtime can vary person to person, but it is generally shorter compared to more invasive procedures,” she explains.
Dr Geetika highlights that results from this FDA-approved technology can last for months, and achieving the best outcomes may involve multiple sessions.
Why We Love It: By focusing on the deeper layers of the skin, it promotes a natural anti-aging process with minimal damage to the dermis, resulting in a remarkably uniform effect. Also, unlike other MNRF treatments that require monthly sessions for results, this doesn’t need to be done monthly.
What: As we age, our skin tends to sag, and the body’s metabolism slows down, resulting in visible signs of ageing. Endospheres therapy is a high-tech, deep tissue massage that targets the root causes of cellulite, leaving your skin smooth, firm and toned.
Expert Speak: Dr Ishan Sardesai of The Face Centre explains that this treatment utilises micro-vibration and micro-compression to enhance the appearance of cellulite, wrinkles and fluid retention on both the face and body. Typically, 12 sessions are required for the face and body. “Thighs, buttocks and upper arms see dramatic improvement, but the face also shows a better contour post the required sessions,” he states. The Face Centre offers Endospheres technology to address concerns such as cellulite reduction, skin tightening, lymphatic drainage and overall rejuvenation.
Why We Love It: Endospheres therapy is a non-invasive, painless, and relaxing treatment. Beyond its aesthetic benefits, it aids in pain reduction and bloating by targeting regional blood circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage. This versatile therapy can be applied to both the face and body, contributing to muscle toning and the reduction of stubborn fat in some cases.
What: This body-contouring procedure combines electromagnetic energy and radiofrequency to induce muscle contractions and eliminate fat cells.
Expert Speak: This treatment, known as another “no sweat gym” by Dr Geetika, is suitable for individuals with realistic expectations. It is not a substitute for weight loss but offers a targeted approach to improving muscle tone and reducing stubborn fat. Candidates for Emsculpt Neo are often individuals seeking to tone and strengthen muscles in specific areas, particularly in the abdomen and buttocks, while simultaneously reducing localised fat. Does it work? Well, clinical studies have shown an average of 30% reduction in subcutaneous fat and 25% increase in muscle thickness following this treatment. “While individual responses may vary, many patients report a more sculpted and toned appearance after completing the recommended sessions,” Dr Geetika claims.
Why We Love It: If you want to tone your muscles without hitting the gym, you can lie down and let the machine do the work for you. Imagine 20,000 muscle contractions in 30 minutes, something humanly impossible to achieve in the gym.
Disclaimer: All procedures should be strictly performed under the supervision of a doctor.
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s January 2024 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!