On a blustery and truly wintery day we burst through the door at number 243 Remuera Road. The first thing we saw was a gorgeous wee girl, about six years old, sitting in the waiting room watching cartoons on an i-pad. It made me think how times have changed, back when I used to wait for mum at appointments it was all about colouring books.
In a way that’s why we were at Prescription Skin Care, to find out just how much things have changed in the ever developing world of dermal fillers and of course, try it for ourselves (well I was doing the finding out and our Chelsey volunteer Allie was doing the trying it.)
Prescription Skin Care was established in 1993, so is 18 years old. Prescription Skin Care is New Zealand’s original home of botox. Founded by Plastic Surgeon Stephen Gilbert it was the first injection clinic in the country. The wonderful Angela Frazer (who we were very soon to meet) has been with them for 14 years and would have to be one of the country’s most experienced Cosmetic Skin Care Specialists with a career that spans the globe.
Today Allie was going to try Restylane and Perlane, injectables used to treat facial lines and wrinkles, and to add volume to the face. Restylane is a smooth gel made from non-animal sourced stabilised hyaluronic acid, which is a natural complex sugar and is identical to that found in the supporting tissue of your skin. In other words – it is very safe and natural. Today, Restylane is a global market leader in its field, with more than 11 million treatments performed worldwide.
After the usual form filling bits we’re taken along to meet Angela. First impressions - she is beautiful and very natural looking herself which is particularly reassuring (think along the lines of would you trust a hairdresser with really bad hair scenario). She asks AlIie to look into a mirror and point out what she likes about her face and the bits that she would like to enhance.
She spends some time talking through the process, the products and some general conversation to make us feel at ease. We learn that at Prescription Skin Care they are about creating natural looks, she has been known to turn away potential patients ‘if their lips arrive through the door before them’.
This natural look is one of the reasons she loves working with the Restylane family of fillers, as they have a number of products. For instance, Sub Q may be used to add volume and contour the face e.g. cheeks; Perlane for adding subtle volume and deeper folds and Restylane for filling pretty much any line and for lips. The latest addition to the family is Restylane Vital which is used for skin hydration and to improve skin elasticity and tone - perfect to reduce that crepey appearance and to moisturise from the inside.
We finished talking and it was time to get onto the bed for the needles. Allie was slightly nervous having had an experience a few years back with fillers where she loved the result but the process had been quite rough and particularly painful. We both breathed a sigh of relief when Angela produced the needle which was absolutely tiny.
As she began I could see Allie physically relax as each small injection was made. Angela’s gentle technique clearly miles apart from her earlier experience. She had applied a cooling, numbing gel to the skin beforehand and as she explained, having a Restylane treatment should never be overly painful!
Angela is an absolute artist. It’s about making you look like the best version of yourself, not looking like someone else.
Or in Angela’s words, “It’s not about looking younger; it’s about looking good at any age.”
I keep plying Angela with question as she works. She says she loves her job, “It’s a gorgeous industry to be in; I am working with well people and helping make them feel even better.”
And she has seen the other side (as in the unwell people) having spent two years working in London at St Thomas’ dermatology unit and then seven years in the Plastic Surgery and Burns Unit at Middlemore here in Auckland.
I probe (pardon the pun) into her view on the changing industry and differences here and overseas.
Angela says we are often using new generation fillers long before the USA but after extensive testing, the USA are often held up with FDA approvals, so as long as you go to a reputable clinic you can reap the benefits of cutting edge treatments.
Angela herself travels the world constantly attending conferences and workshops to keep herself up skilled and share information with other practitioners. In the last year Angela has visited Canada, Sydney, Boston Brisbane and soon to go to Denver.
Before long the treatment is over and Angela applies a mineral makeup as a finishing touch. Allie is told to avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water as being well hydrated helps the products.
A month down the line and Allie is still thrilled with the result.
“The deep stress lines that I had accumulated over a lifetime have almost disappeared, every time I look in the mirror I see the me that I know, not a me who looks she needs a good holiday!”
So what is Restylane?
- Millions of treatments of Restylane have been administered around the world
- It is a temporary filler, lasts 6-9 months, however can last much longer
- No allergy test is required, as it is a non-animal sourced stabilised hyaluronic acid
- There is an injectable enzyme available that can break Restylane down if you are not happy with your look. Angela has never had to use it on her own ‘work’ before, however has used it to help people who have had dodgy overseas jobs!
- Provided by Qmed the Swiss Pharmaceutical company
Details;Visit www.prescriptioncare.co.nz or www.restylane.co.nz for more information.
And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England's mountains green? William Blake, 1804–10
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