The Next Generation In Beauty

There’s a new wave of beauty treatments that claim to enhance, contour and sculpt, all without you needing to go under the knife.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

There’s a new wave of beauty treatments that claim to enhance, contour and sculpt, all without you needing to go under the knife.

Walk in, walk out…

Non-invasive beauty, commonly referred to as appearance medicine, is a rapidly growing market. Scientific breakthroughs have paved the way for visible results, without going under the knife. Dr Melvin Tan, founder of Epion Clinic, says, “In recent years, medical facial treatment devices have gone from strength to strength, becoming more effective, safer, with less discomfort and downtime. While facials are good for making the skin feel nice, medical lasers, lights and similar devices can help address problem areas that run a little deeper, such as pigmentation, pores, acne and broken capillaries.”

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For The Face

We asked the experts about the advanced world of non-invasive facial treatments, what’s involved and what these stateof- the-art technologies can deliver


Skin consists of three layers: The epidermis (uppermost layer), dermis (mid-layer) and subcutis (lower fat layer). As we age, so do these layers of skin. The dermis, which is responsible for collagen and elastin production, becomes thinner, accounting for the appearance of wrinkles and sagging skin. Prior to fractional laser treatment, laser techniques targeted either the epidermis or dermis layer, whereas this technology works on both.

During the fractional laser treatment, a device delivers a laser beam, divided into thousands of microscopic treatment zones that target a fraction of the skin at a time, hence the name. The wavelength of the laser determines how deeply it penetrates the skin, and in turn, the level of results. Epion Clinic’s Dr Tan explains, “Fractional lasers excel at treating deep wrinkles and scars, which may have developed after acne, surgery or skin trauma. They are especially effective for improving the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the delicate areas around the eyelids and mouth.” Epion Clinic’s Superb Skin Repair treatments combine the use of ProFractional XC Laser along with chemical peel and LED to help improve scarring, pigmentation and wrinkles.

The intensity of the laser can be adjusted according to one’s needs and the downtime can also vary accordingly. Skin might be red and swollen, which can last up to 48 hours. The treatment area will also be covered in micro-scabs which will last around three to seven days post treatment. Skin’s texture usually sees an improvement after the first treatment, but deeper scars and wrinkles require anything between three and eight sessions over the course of three to six months to treat. Treatments cost from $3,880 (5 sessions).


In-clinic peels use acids, such as lactic, glycolic or trichloracetic acid, to exfoliate dead skin cells, help increase cell turnover and stimulate collagen production. Lily Kew, Founder of Kew Organics and Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, shares, “Regular facial peels are crucial for decongesting clogged skin, creating instant radiance and stimulating sluggish cellular activity.” Her signature Sugar K Organic Peel Treatment, $65, takes just 15 to 20 minutes and comes in three different strengths.

A stinging sensation can be felt and in some cases, redness and mild irritation may occur. Chemical peels are often used to treat uneven skin texture or to reduce the appearance of fine lines and scars. Unlike superficial treatments such as facials, a peel penetrates deeper, therefore results are more gradual, but continual. A course of peels is recommended for optimum results.


A cosmetic facelift is a major procedure with a longer downtime. Coupled with cost and surgery risk, it’s no wonder more people are turning to non-invasive facial treatments.

Treatments like Ultherapy and High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU, for short) are now commonly used for skin concerns like decreased skin elasticity, sagging and wrinkles. Dr Tan YZ, founder of Mizu Aesthetic Clinic, explains, “HIFU can be used for skin tightening and firming, as well as fat reduction especially around the jowl area. It concentrates ultrasound energy at 3 mm and 4.5 mm beneath the skin to partially damage the skin’s collagen structure to induce repair and collagen regeneration.”

Ultherapy is also another form of ultrasound treatment where focused ultrasound energy targets beneath the superficial layers to trigger collagen synthesis. During the treatment, the machine’s applicator uses ultrasound imaging to determine the placement of ultrasound energy. This constant feedback provides accurate delivery of these ultrasound energy.

Numbing may be required depending on the intensity and a dull aching pain would be experienced during the treatment. There will usually also be soreness that can last a few days. As collagen takes time to regenerate, the best results can usually be seen two to three months after the treatment.

HIFU treaments cost from $1,500 for lower face, while Ultherapy treatments cost from $3,748.


Whether it’s for scarring, hyperpigmentation or enlarged pores, dermal needling is increasing in popularity. Skin needling is based on the skin’s natural ability to repair itself after encountering physical damage and what microneedling does is allow for controlled micro “injuries” in the skin to trigger new collagen structure.

EstheClinic offers it as part of their “3 Days to Instant Youth” Intensive Anti-ageing Programme”, $990, where the dermal roller promotes collagen and elastin production, while allowing skincare products to penetrate deeper into skin. There is usually little discomfort during the treatment, although some redness and sensitivity can be expected. Skincare products containing acids or an astringent in nature may cause stinging, so it’s best to avoid them directly after the treatment.

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For The Body

From no-knife fat removal to hand rejuvenation, the scope of what can be achieved is ever evolving. We home in on the procedures making wakes right now to slim, trim and tone


No-knife fat removal procedures are becoming more popular as awareness increases of minimally invasive alternatives to more aggressive forms of surgery such as liposuction. The key difference with surgery and non-invasive options is that the latter is only suited to those with a healthy BMI. Technologies like CoolSculpting work to combat stubborn fat, which has resisted efforts through diet and exercise.

CoolSculpting is a fat reduction treatment using cryoliposis technology, which claims to freeze and help reduce fat cells. Once the targeted fat cells have been treated, they gradually disappear through the body’s natural metabolic process, resulting in a reduction of fat tissue in the area. The results are usually visible when the fat cells die off at six to eight weeks, but you usually need to commit to a course of four sessions, at a cost of $600 per session.


As many as 35 per cent of adults suffer from bulging purple or dark blue varicose veins in their legs. What used to require invasive surgery and two to three days in the hospital to remedy now only takes 60 minutes, with no major downtime.

Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) treats these enlarged veins with a laser fibre that is inserted into the vein and passed up to the groin where the abnormal valve is. The laser is then turned on and slowly withdrawn to effectively seal the varicose vein, all while the surrounding vein is numbed by local anaesthesia. The procedure, which costs from $12,000, is performed by a vascular surgeon who is assisted by ultrasound to guide the laser effectively.


Your hands can tell your age but they’re often neglected. The good news is sun damage and pigmentation can be easily targeted through Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), from $770.40 (6 sessions), which uses pulses of light to break down pigment spots and redness, while boosting collagen production.