5 trends in aesthetic medicine in Autumn 2020

We may not have had access to our skin clinics for much of this year, but curiosity around skin health and popular treatments grew exponentially during lockdown as people had more time to explore social media. Dr Kim discusses a few of the trending topics in aesthetic medicine.

1. The buzzword of 2020 is “Tweakments”

It used to be that the reassurance for having had “good work” was that your friends would ask for your doctor’s phone number. But times are changing, anti-ageing science and technology are advancing, and increasingly, the best indication of a successful “tweak” is that your friends tell you that you’re looking relaxed. More people are looking for ways to achieve a naturally refreshed appearance, communicating graceful self-confidence and good health.

The demand for subtle, less invasive treatments is increasing, including softer anti-wrinkle treatments and fewer requests for traditional dermal filler. Collagen induction and biostimulation are the hottest search terms, with treatments like radiofrequency microneedling (eg VoluDerm HE, Legend M2 and Morpheus 8) and Profhilo dominating the searches and the media attention.

2. The rise of the Superfacial

Celebrities coming out of lockdown with a desperation to deal with their Zoom Face ensured that treatments that deliver fast and effective results have been a hot topic on social media. It seems to make sense that having 2 or 3 treatments at a time instead of only 1 should lead to greater satisfaction, and every aesthetic clinic now has their own version of the combination superfacial. Some of these treatments are more hydrating and reviving like the Geneo 4-in-1 and the Hydrafacial, but others will combine regenerative medicine and cutting edge products with microneedling, radiofrequency, ultrasound and/or lasers for advanced skin rejuvenation.

The most advanced treatments aim to address every layer of the face, helping to achieve results that are described as rivalling a face lift, but with minimal downtime. Mixed modality treatments like the celebrity favourite, the Pyramid FaceLift, will induce collagen production, tighten, volumise and resurface the skin, and tone the facial muscles and the all-important SMAS layer of the lower face for a non-surgical lifting of the face and neck.

The difficulty for many doctors has been a lack of evidence for the improved efficacy of these combinations. Treatments often combine technologies from rival companies and regenerative treatments that have only recently been accepted as having scientific validity, so reports at conferences have been largely anecdotal. As aesthetic medicine has moved back into the academic arena there has been a demand for robust evidence encouraging technology companies to partner with academic researchers to conduct clinical studies. This has gone a long way to providing reassurance for some of these treatments, and it is worth requesting this evidence from your clinic before investing in your skin.

Voluderm Treatment for improved volume, tone, texture - Face after treatmentVoluderm Treatment for improved volume, tone, texture - Face after treatment

3. PRP combined with microneedling to prevent hair loss

Kourtney Kardashian underwent a hair restoration procedure and documented her experiences on Keeping Up With the Kardashians, helping to popularise a treatment that was already widely used for facial rejuvenation (partly thanks to Kim Kardashian who filmed herself undergoing a Vampire Facial at the height of her social media fame). The use of platelet rich plasma combined with microneedling, or administered via a special needling device (Aquagold® or Wow® Infusion), is widely used to repair damaged follicles and encourage thicker, fuller hair growth in both women and men.

PRP with microneedling is performed as a course of treatments, and it is advisable to have this procedure performed in a specialist clinic. It is usually done in conjunction with supplements, medication and lasers.

4. Jawline definition

Well defined jawlines and smooth necks have always been more difficult to achieve in ageing skin – as we know from witnessing countless Hollywood personalities with unlimited budgets and turned-up collars. Requests for treatments to refine the jawline and help manage double-chins are increasingly coming from those in their 20s and 30s, in order to enhance their selfie profiles. The skin in this area is thinner, with less natural oil production, so has traditionally been a more difficult area to manage. Newer technologies like RF microneedling have changed this equation, along with new fillers and superior thread-lift techniques that allow for some impressive non-surgical lifting of the neck and jawline.

5. The skin reflects whole body health

The pandemic has heightened our awareness of the impact of our lifestyle and environment on our whole body and the need to address inflammation and cellular health. The skin is the largest organ in the body and it makes sense that it reflects our overall state of health, so treatments that address oxidative stress in the body and skin at the same time have understandably been in the spotlight. Popular new treatment trends – see Vit It and The VitraLift© – combine bespoke intravenous and dermal nutritional infusions with skin rejuvenation treatments in a single visit.

Your doctor is now very likely to include nutritional advice into your skin regimen, with particular emphasis on vitamin D levels at this time of year. We’re rapidly moving into an era of personalised approaches to medicine and finger-prick testing kits can be used at home to analyse your nutritional status so your doctor can recommend supplementation based on your results.

Exciting new products and developments appear on our social media feeds every day! It’s difficult to keep up with them all, but the good ones will hang around, so keep watching and waiting and let your friends try the new things first! I like to look at the science behind the treatments to ensure they don’t appear too good to be true (and that there are no nasty side-effects cropping up down the line) but am excited to have brought in a number of new treatments recently where the science and results appear to live up to the social media hype.

Dr Kim Prescott practices Aesthetic and Lifestyle Medicine from the Penrose Private Clinic in Fetcham Park House and the PSMD Clinic in Cobham, as well as lecturing and training in advanced aesthetic medicine.

For more information, please send your questions to Dr Kim: info@drkpclinic.co.uk or drkim@psmd.co.uk

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