The world of cosmetic enhancements is constantly evolving, so we spoke with aesthetic RN, Min Lim, (who removed our founder Jena's broken capillaries with laser genesis) to find out the latest in nonsurgical anti-aging and beauty treatments. We talked about everything from threading, an incredible, nonsurgical way to achieve a facelift, to microneedling with radio frequency and PRP. Min shares the best ways to increase collagen and improve sagging skin without looking like you’ve had work done, as well as tips on how to slim areas of the face and body without going under the knife.
The threading technique that you use for nonsurgical facelifts is fascinating. Can you explain how it works and what its benefits are?
Basically, a PDO thread is a dissolvable suture with little hooks. They are placed under the skin and the hooks reposition the tissue to give it a nice lift. It is a great alternative to those that don’t want surgery and are feeling like their face is “falling down.” The benefit of thread lifts last approximately a year and there is an added bonus of collagen stimulation as the threads begin to break down. All of my patients return for their follow up appointment with glowing skin from the collagen stimulation.
What else can threading be used for? How long does it typically last for?
There are several different types of threads on the market that will lift and give structure as opposed to stimulating collagen. The longer barbed thread is for lifting tissue such as the cheeks, jowls, jawline, or eyebrows. There are also threads that can give you a contoured nose or lift the nasal tip. Smooth threads serve a different purpose to stimulate collagen. They are tiny threads that are placed under the skin to tighten loose skin, help with acne scars, or add some volume. Smooth threads are commonly used in the under eyes, fine lines, neck, chin, and marionettes. The lifting type of thread usually takes one treatment and lasts about a year while the smooth threads may take up to three treatments and lasts about a year as well.
Aside from threading, are there other treatments you recommend for sagging skin?
My favorite procedure for loose skin is microneedling with radio frequency, which is essentially, microneedling on steroids. This procedure uses teeny tiny needles to puncture the skin, and then zap underneath with a little bit of radio frequency. The micro injury from the physical needle causes the skin to work to repair itself while the heat from the radio frequency pretty much acts like shrink wrapping from inside out. Most patients require 3-5 treatments spaced one month apart and most patients notice a visible improvement in skin texture. This procedure works especially well to tighten skin, reduce pore size, minimize fine lines, and is wonderful on acne scars.
What’s the best way to combat frown lines?
The absolute best way to combat frown lines is to stop activating the frown muscles. Neurotoxins, such as Botox, Dysport, Xeomin, and Jeveau are great ways to temporarily stop the muscle from moving.
You do a very natural lip. Do you have a filler you prefer when working with the lips? Is there a certain amount you usually stick to for someone who wants a natural look?
I love aesthetic treatments and am a firm believer in natural looking results. I do not have a specific filler that I gravitate towards, but I can say that I tend to steer clear from fillers that are very heavy and supposed to be placed on bone or fillers that love to draw in extra water, causing puffiness. Not all lips are created equal, and I like to choose the consistency of the filler that will complement my patient’s lip tissue and desired result. Typically, I will use one syringe on the lips to start. Sometimes I will use a tiny bit less but it really all depends on the type of tissue I am working with.
Do you Botox lips?
Botox can be used around the lips to reduce a gummy smile, create a temporary lip flip, or to reduce smoker’s lines, however, it is not used in the lips.
Can you explain how microneedling and PRP work? What are the benefits and how often do you recommend these procedures to achieve optimal results?
Microneedling is a wonderful procedure that helps stimulate collagen for improved skin texture. Microneedling creates tiny wounds on the surface of the skin. While the skin starts to heal itself over the course of several days, it triggers collagen growth. PRP stands for platelet rich plasma. We draw a vial of blood from a patient and then separate the blood cells from the liquid plasma. The liquid portion is PRP and is full of platelets, which are a natural source of growth factors. The liquid can be used as a serum to glide along the skin during microneedling and will aid in faster skin healing as well as skin renewal.
Microneedling with PRP works well to tighten loose skin, decrease the appearance of fine lines and stretch marks, reduce acne scars, and improve the overall texture of skin. The procedure is recommended once a month for 3-5 treatments total to achieve optimal results.
It’s amazing what can be done now without surgery. For example, you use Dysport to achieve a slimming effect. Can you explain what Dysport is, how it works and what you use it for?
Dysport is a brand of neurotoxin and essentially does the same thing as Botox. I always compare the two as Adidas and Nike, similar product but different brand names. There are so many uses for Dysport other than eliminating wrinkles such as reducing muscle tension, slimming of face/body, migraines, and sweating, to name a few. Dysport is used to temporarily reduce muscle movement and can use this as an advantage to treat certain areas of the face and body. For example, it can be placed in the chewing muscles to help with TMJ and also to slim the face. On the body, it can be placed in the traps to create a longer and leaner neck while reducing tension on the shoulders. Dysport can also be used in the calves to create slim legs. There are many possibilities of treatment options with Dysport, so make sure to ask your practitioner about how it can be used specifically for you.
What’s the best nonsurgical treatment for a neck lift? Can lasers help?
There are many treatment options for the neck. If loose skin is a concern, it is always best to tighten the skin with microneedling with radiofrequency, CO2 laser, smooth threads or hyperdilute Radiesse. Double chins can be reduced with Kybella injections and jowls can be lifted with PDO threads. Filler can be used to disguise deeper lines on the neck such as tech neck.
What treatments do you recommend for someone who wants to look a little more refreshed without looking like they’ve had work done?
As an aesthetic practitioner, I’ve tried a lot of different treatments, but my absolute favorite area to treat is the skin. You can erase years by treating the skin well and keeping it healthy. I love Vivace treatments three times a year to maintain the collagen that is constantly depleting every year of our lives. I use great skincare products and make sure that my routine consists of a retinol at nighttime, vitamin C during the day, and SPF. I also do Dysport treatments 2-3 times a year to prevent deeper lines from forming on my forehead and frown. I’m 39 years old and don’t look like I have a lot of work done, I most likely could use more work, but maintaining my skin has been my way of looking refreshed.