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Garry Cussell Clinic Barangaroo

Injectables: What To Do When You’re Staying Home & Can’t Get Them

April 27, 2020

In case you missed our Facebook Live event with Dr Cussell on what you can do when you’re staying home and you can’t get injectables, here’s a summary of everything he discussed, plus answers to the questions we were unable to get to.

What can I do for fine lines under the eyes instead of injectables?

Until you can come back in for anti-wrinkle injections for crows’ feet or filler underneath the eyes, Dr Cussell recommends an eye serum to improve the quality of the skin and preserve youthful plumpness in this thin, delicate area.

He suggests using something with multiple active ingredients. RejuvAus E2 i-Active Rx serum has Arnica and Vitamin K to help improve circulation and reduce dark circles, as well as Hyaluronic Acid for plumping and hydration. This ingredient is what they use to make dermal fillers, and when it is applied topically, it helps bind water to the skin to keep the skin cells plump.

What are the top anti-ageing ingredients in skincare?

Dr Cussell explains that in medical grade skincare, which really is medicine for your skin, he says, there are three main categories of ingredients. The first category is the antioxidants/vitamins, second is pigment regulators and third is your collagen peptides.

Most important is the antioxidant group, and the most important antioxidant is Vitamin A. Vitamin A comes in several forms and it is the most active and beneficial ingredient you can put on your skin. In our RejuvAus band SkinFit brand products, we use Retinaldehyde because it is not irritating. Some forms of Vitamin A, such as Retinol and Retinal can cause irritation, but retinaldehyde is stronger and less irritating.

The next most important antioxidants are Vitamin B, particularly in the form of Niacinamide as it helps to regulate moisture and soothe the skin, and Vitamin C which helps to synthesise collagen and brighten the skin. You can read more about the antioxidants in our skincare here.

Pigment regulators help even out the skin tone, which can help to enhance a more youthful appearance.

Collagen peptides are protein peptides that help improve cellular function of the skin in metabolising collagen, which ultimately helps improve the skin’s texture.

It is important to note that the active ingredients need to be in a pure form that is able to penetrate the surface of the skin, and in a form that the skin cells are able to use.

Do any skin care products we apply to the skin actually prevent wrinkles the way that injectables do?

According to Dr Cussell, we generally use anti-wrinkle injections in the forehead or crows’ feet where the muscles are constantly folding and creasing the skin. As the skin loses elasticity, those creases turn to lines that remain consistent, so we want to relax those muscles and release that expression.

When anti-wrinkle injections are not available to you, skincare can improve the quality of the skin, so it is not as prone to lines from creasing, but it cannot stop the muscles from contracting, so there’s not a great advantage in skincare over anti-wrinkle injections, but it can definitely help.

Fillers have a unique asset, Dr Cussell says, that can’t be reproduced by skincare. Fillers create volume where you’ve lost volume before. You can use fillers for cosmetic enhancements, but their greatest asset is volume. “We have fat pads in our skin, and with age, those fat pads tend to atrophy and we lose volume, so that’s the best place for dermal fillers.”

While there isn’t a direct substitute for fillers at home, a proper anti-ageing skincare routine with the ingredients discussed above can improve the quality of your skin and help to hydrate and plump the surface until fillers are available to you again.

Can skincare tighten and strengthen the skin?

Skincare can only treat the surface, epidermal layer, or the top 20% of your skin. Dr Cussell points out that, contrary to a lot of advertising, skincare does not penetrate to the deeper, dermal layer of your skin. To tighten and strengthen your skin, you need to do it from this layer.

This is where we use skin-tightening treatments with ultrasound energy. These treatments create deep heat in the dermal layer of your skin to strengthen, contract and tighten it.

That being said, topical skincare can make a difference to fine lines and texture. When you treat the epidermis with skin care and it’s healthier, smoother, as well as plumper and more well hydrated with Hyaluronic Acid, when the epidermis is in a better condition in general, it gives the appearance of being tighter.

The real, honest value of skincare is to keep quality and evenness, pores, structure and tone healthy.

Many brands advertise that they can tighten skin?

Dr Cussell acknowledges this as “a lot of false advertising.” We know from scientific evidence, he says, that topical skincare cannot penetrate to the deeper dermal layer.

Will taking collagen supplements help?

There is no real direct evidence that taking collagen, which really are a form of protein supplements, directly make the skin stronger. There is some anecdotal evidence, but not enough to say they will help with confidence.

What Dr Cussell says is more important is a well-balanced, nutritious diet. He also recommends SuperShot superfood supplement to help support gut health, which in turn helps our bodies absorb nutrients we need from our diet. When the right nutrients are in circulation, they can help the health of our skin and our general health.

Topically applied collagen peptides certainly help to strengthen the surface epidermal layer of skin, but they are not absorbed into the deeper layers. Only blood circulation can deliver nutrients to the subdermal layers of skin, and you cannot guarantee that collagen supplements taken orally will end up in your skin.

Is there anything I can do to prolong the results from anti-wrinkle injections or fillers?

If you improve the texture and health of your skin through medical grade skincare, it can make the skin appear more plump and youthful.

Dr Cussell recommends a three step routine. First, exfoliate and cleanse the surface layer to remove dead cells and improve penetration of your serums. Second, apply serums with the anti-ageing antioxidants, pigment regulators and collagen peptides discussed above. Third, apply a moisturising, physical sun block to prevent ageing caused by UV damage.

Closing Thoughts

One of the most important things to prevent ageing (and other damage) in your skin is a really good sunblock. RejuvAus M1 Super Moisturising UV Lotion is a high protection, physical sunblock in a light, non-occlusive lotion, safe for acneic skin. It is light yet hydrating with Hyaluronic Acid. If you were to do only one thing for your skin, protect it with a hydrating UV lotion.

We look forward to seeing you again in clinic soon.

Are you interested in injectable treatments?

Contact us for a complimentary video consultation with one of our doctors!

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