For girls who grew up being told they looked just like their mother, watching mum develop dry, lustreless skin or frown lines later in life can seem foreboding.
So for a generation that has grown up in an image-conscious age with Instagram filters and social media influencers openly discussing aesthetic procedures, the solution is obvious – ask a doctor to slow down time by “prejuvenating” them.
The idea behind prejuvenation aesthetic treatments is to identify and forestall or put off potential issues.
Dr Lam Bee Lan, aesthetics physician and founder of Ageless Medical, tells The New Paper all about this growing trend driven by millennials and Gen Xers who worry they may experience the same issues as their mothers as they age.
What are prejuvenation treatments?
The term is a combination of the words “prevention” and “rejuvenation”. It refers to the use of minimally invasive procedures to maintain a youthful appearance and enhance youthful features.
It focuses on prophylactic aesthetic treatments that give natural-looking effects with the objective of delaying or even avoiding more invasive procedures down the line.
Injectables, specifically neuromodulators and dermal fillers, are the leading products used to achieve these results.
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery statistics published in 2018, botulinum toxin injections have increased by 22 per cent among millennials in the past five years, and this has been in part attributed to the prejuvenation trend.
If a problem has not developed, why do these women worry that it will?
While it may not be apparent, ageing starts as early as in your 20s. Studies show we make 1 per cent less collagen each year beginning in our 20s to 30s, and by the time we reach our 40s, we lose more collagen than we can make in our skin, resulting in the thinning of the dermis and epidermis, drying of the skin, formation of lines and wrinkles, loss of volume in the mid-face, and sagging of the skin, particularly around the jaw area.
As millennials are comfortable with technology, they tend to be highly engaged in sharing images and videos online and connecting with others through social media, which leads to them being very conscious of their image and placing a high priority on appearance.
Is it helpful to see mothers and daughters together at appointments to make comparisons?
Yes, it allows us to use the mother as a benchmark to understand the process of ageing in the younger patient. It helps us identify anatomic ageing landmarks present so we can treat them now, then the signs of ageing on these landmarks will not be so severe in the future.
But ultimately, we do not have to see the mother’s face to identify ageing issues on a younger patient.
To get an idea of how you will age, do a simple exercise by bending your head down, bringing your chin to your chest, and keeping your head and chin in this position. Look upwards into the mirror and you will see eye bags, dark eye circles and a saggy face.
Often, patients come to us complaining that they look sad and angry – because of their downturned eyes and lips, and sagging lower face, which is usually due to ageing.
What are the more popular prejuvenation treatments?
Restylane Skinboosters can be used to achieve the dewy skin sported by actresses in Korean dramas.
Dysport botulinum toxin injections can be used to soften glabellar frown lines between the eyebrows due to constant squinting at smartphone screens. It can also be injected into the jaw muscles to slim the face.
Lastly, Restylane chin fillers can be used to augment the chin for a more V-shaped face.