What’s Next In The World Of Tweakments? Experts Share The Top Appearance Medicine Trends Of 2024

By Ashleigh Cometti
Viva
The second coming of injectable treatments work with your skin’s own biology to achieve the most natural-looking results. Photo / Getty Images

Forget frozen or over-filled, expect to see a rise in treatments that err on the side of subtlety.

Of all the beauty and wellness buzzwords you’re likely to hear this year, there’s one worth remembering: “longevity”.

The onslaught of supplements said to de-age our DNA along with documentaries that shed

Enter the next wave of active injectable treatments, which work with the body’s own restorative processes to promote optimum skin health as we mature.

Such treatments, or tweakments, run the gamut of non-surgical, non-invasive options with the desired outcome appearing refreshed rather than overdone.

Last year, we reported on the uptick in filler fatigue, ushered in by the cohort of celebrities who were open about having their dermal fillers dissolved — including Kylie Jenner and Courteney Cox.

While fillers aren’t technically invasive, their gradual decline in popularity reflects the shift in preference towards undetectable, natural results from aesthetic treatments over appearing filled, frozen or snatched.

There’s a growing emphasis on enhancing the texture and integrity of natural skin, as opposed to making radical changes in appearance, says Dr Ellen Selkon, of Clinic 42, an Auckland-based boutique appearance medicine clinic.

“The latest trends as seen at recent international conferences are all about skin. There is finally a move away from volumising fillers (the overdone look) and a definite move towards skin texture and quality through injectable treatments,” she says.

Once solely reserved to smooth, lift and tighten, tweakments are being viewed in a new light as a means of restoring skin health and radiance, or as preventative measures to ensure skin looks better, longer.

Full face consultations

For as natural-looking results as possible, Dr Selkon says it’s important to book in for a full face consultation to ensure you’re on the same page as your cosmetic doctor or nurse.

“Doing single-area treatments, such and lips alone, are out and focusing on the face as a whole and doing a decent facial assessment and planning is ‘in’,” she says.

In addition, it pays to do your research and always book in with a highly skilled medical professional who is trained in administering injectables and can create a personalised treatment plan.

Following your consultation, your doctor or nurse can recommend a mix of treatments that will address many concerns that go beyond revising fine lines, like pigmentation, dryness or rosacea.

Sculptra

One of the many “long-game” procedures gaining pace is Sculptra, an active injectable that stimulates and revitalises natural collagen production.

Over time, the amount of collagen produced in the skin is stimulated, which results in the skin naturally regaining its structure and volume.

“Sculptra has also been making huge waves and is increasing in popularity. It is a fabulous natural way to get lift, improved skin texture and a great glow,” Dr Selkon says.

The biostimulator contains poly-L-lactic acid (or PLLA) which is injected deep into the skin’s layers, before working with your body’s own collagen production process.

Treatments take 60 minutes and are priced at $800 per vial. One to two treatments are recommended if your primary concern is skin texture and luminosity, or for those who are experiencing substantial volume loss, three treatments are advised.

Results are slow and gradual but can last for up to two years after treatment. Annual maintenance treatments are recommended.

Profhilo

Touted by Dr Selkon as one of the top players in the tweakment space, expect to see plenty of developments with Profhilo over the coming months.

“Their body treatments for skin laxity are excellent for post-partum, or for those wanting to address the appearance of ageing arms and knees,” she says of the body treatment, but adds further innovations are coming.

“Soon, Profhilo will launch a more structural form that is designed to give more lift and structure to the midface,” she says.

Profhilo is one of the many treatments available at the 80 Caci clinics which span the length of the country, where registered cosmetic nurses are trained to administer treatments to achieve long-lasting results.

According to Caci’s Melissa Soich, the bio-stimulator can be used to enhance the appearance of neck, chest and hands to both hydrate and rejuvenate skin.

Positioned as an “injectable moisturiser”, Profhilo contains high concentrations of hyaluronic acid but performs differently to hyaluronic acid-based fillers by stimulating new collagen and elastin in the superficial layers of the skin rather than just adding volume as filler would.

Instead, the result is skin that’s hydrated, tighter and more lifted, with a visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles alongside improved skin tone and skin laxity.

A minimum of two 15-minute treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, are recommended to achieve optimum results which last between six and nine months. Soich adds many clients book in for “top-up” treatments every six months to maintain results.

Treatments are priced from $1600, with maintenance priced at $850.

Mesotherapy

For healthy, glowing skin, consider mesotherapy, a skin-boosting treatment that works in harmony with an at-home skincare routine.

Mesotherapy is available at Auckland’s Clinic 1, where it’s known as FillMed NCTF. The minimally invasive technique sees a cocktail of 59 ingredients (including hyaluronic acid, vitamins, minerals and amino acids) injected into skin to target and prevent the visible signs of ageing.

It can be administered to the face, neck, hands and decolletage, and works by feeding the skin’s epidermis with the ingredients it needs to thrive. In particular, by fostering an optimal environment for the fibroblasts which regulate the skin’s natural collagen, elastic and hyaluronic acid.

Five treatments are required for best results, with the first three sessions every two weeks, and the final two sessions every four weeks. A 30-minute FillMed NCTF treatment is priced at $550 per session.

Beyond these three treatments, Dr Selkon says a handful of existing tweakments are finding favour once more.

“All of our old favourites for skin like DermaPen, radio frequency skin tightening and PRP (which have taken a backseat over the past few years) but are back in vogue,” she says.

Topicals to try

Supercharge your results by smoothing on our picks of science-backed skincare said to complement the effects of in-clinic treatments at home.

La Prairie Platinum Rare Haute Rejuvenation Face Mask, $2725, supports the skin’s own natural rejuvenation process. Designed to address the visible signs of ageing, this two-step skin treatment refines skin texture, smoothes wrinkles, boosts firmness and elasticity and restores radiance to skin with its blend of active ingredients which draw on 90 years of Swiss innovation.

Emma Lewisham Supernatural Vitale Elixir, $158. Rather than tell you what it does, let me tell you what it’s done for me. Typically, I get Botox every four to six months (depending on my budget). I was due for my Botox appointment when I was gifted this serum three months ago, and I haven’t been back to the clinic. Says it all, really.

Environ Focus Care Youth+ 3D Synergé Filler Crème, $151, is touted as the brand’s “smart serum”, Environ’s filler-free innovation targets volume loss in the skin to leave it fuller, smoother and firmer thanks to three powerful ingredients that stimulate the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid to plump skin from within.

Murad Retinal ReSculpt Eye Treatment, $164. The latest innovation from Murad is this encapsulated retinal-rich eye cream, said to target deep-set lines and wrinkles, drooping or sagging eyelids to leave them looking lifted, firmer and tighter.

L’Oreal Paris Revitalift Filler 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid Anti-Wrinkle Serum, $65, is a non-greasy serum that contains hyaluronic acid in two different molecular weights (0.5 per cent macro hyaluronic acid and one per cent micro hyaluronic acid) to deeply penetrate the layers of the skin and plump out wrinkles.

Essano Needle-Free Filler Serum, $30, harnesses a 16 per cent concentration of copper peptide complex which penetrates the different layers of the skin to improve its texture, firmness and tone.

Glow Lab Filler Effect Lifting Facial Serum, $30, is a peptide-rich serum said to mimic the effects of a microcurrent facial device, lifting cheeks, eyelids, eyebrows and crow’s feet thanks to its proprietary ingredient — Up-Levity E-Lift (or tetrapeptide-1).

Ashleigh Cometti is an Auckland-based beauty journalist with more than 12 years’ experience in the industry. After joining the Viva team in 2018 and being appointed as beauty editor in 2020, Ash has fine-tuned her skills at sniffing out new fragrance launches, discovering the next generation of talented makeup artists, and writing about all things that feed her obsession as a skincare fanatic.

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