As the pandemic rages on for the third year running, with Zoom face and maskne still being a mainstay, it’s no surprise that within our beauty regimes, makeup has taken a clear backseat, with many of us choosing to focus on achieving clearer and brighter skin, using whatever means necessary.
While a regimented and effective skincare routine definitely helps, at some point, we have to accept that there is only so much they can do. As a result, many are turning to aesthetic doctors for little “tweakments” to enhance our looks.
Thinking of trying out one of the various treatments out there? If you’re planning to take your pursuit for beauty to the next level, here are the top aesthetic trends to look out for in 2022.
If you own a social media account, all you’ll have to do is scroll through your feed, and you’re bombarded with an endless amount of gym selfies and thong-clad bikini fit pics. All of that exposure makes it hard not to succumb to the pressure of having a good body.
But sometimes all the healthy diets and fitness workouts in the world can only do so much. There are many parts of our body that require a more targeted approach. While going for a full-on BBL (Brazillian Butt Lift) feel intimidating no matter how many influencers you see get one (we’re looking at you, the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan), there are ways that can help to tone and sculpt your body without going under the knife.
One way of melting unwanted fat is Laser Liposuction. Advancements in technology have now enabled medical professionals to craft treatments that are not invasive and require no downtime.
Instead of surgery, the low-level diode lasers safely penetrate the skin to help reduce fat and cellulite, and can even be used as a body-shaping treatment. During the treatment, fat cells are broken down after being absorbed by the laser light. This stimulation opens pores in the fat cell wall and breaks down the contents within the fat cell, hence allowing the fat to escape through the pores. The fat cell shrinks and collapses before it is safely removed by the body’s natural metabolic process.
While lasers were already big in 2021, as clear skin continues to be the main focus for 2022, we foresee them to continue being a treatment of choice for those looking for an effective way to achieve radiant complexions with smoother skin textures.
You can now treat hyperpigmentation and dark spots in a shorter period as opposed to waiting months using a topical skincare product. Q-switched Lasers have become a staple in almost all aesthetic clinics due to their ability to quickly remove hyperpigmentation with almost close to no downtime. Just remember that one person can have several types of pigmentation, and it’s important to consult your doctor to ensure you are receiving the right one. Lasers shouldn’t be used as a one size fits all approach when it comes to your skin issues.
Besides that, lasers are also a great way to kill P-acne, the bacteria that cause pimples and acne. It can also help to shrink the oil glands in the skin, helping you with oil control in the long run. Acne also tends to be less inflamed after the treatments and can help to reduce the number of marks after a breakout.
While injectables such as Botox helps to reduce the presence of wrinkles, they don't prevent skin sagging. With ageing comes the natural progression of skin sagging, and now there are all sorts of non-invasive skin tightening treatments that are now available in the market that can work as preventative measures to help correct the early signs of ageing.
One method is Ultherapy, a treatment that can help to tighten the skin on your face, neck, chin and even eyebrows. How this treatment works is that it uses micro-focused ultrasound beams to boost the production of collagen which is essential for younger-looking skin. The procedure uses a specialised applicator to transmit ultrasound energy to the same skin depths that cosmetic surgeons treat during surgical facelifts. The ultrasound energy then heats up the skin tissues through thermocoagulation to stimulate new collagen and elastin proteins. This allows the practitioner to zone in on depleted areas of collagen, allowing them to treat the skin precisely and safely in the areas that need it most.
A similar method is HIFU or high-intensity focused ultrasound. While both methods use ultrasound energy, HIFU focuses on all layers of the skin from the epidermis through to the SMAS layer. It achieves this by using 10Hz velocity ultrasound, which stimulates collagen and triggers dermal collagen fibre regeneration. Besides the improved tightening of the skin's structure, the procedure also reduces fat and is especially effective in making chubbier cheeks and fat pads under the eye look better.
""There has been a big rise in untrained, unscrupulous and untraceable “ghosts” making thousands of pounds a month administering Botox or fillers in people’s homes and abandoning clients when things go wrong, a campaign group has said.
The issue is a critical one, an expert has said, which the government has failed to address in its proposed new legislation to introduce a licence for non-surgical cosmetic procedures.
“We’re very disappointed that the government has ignored the evidence we gave them about these ‘ghosts’ and the serious and permanent damage they do to their clients,” said Ashton Collins, director of Save Face, a national, government-approved register of accredited non-surgical treatment practitioners.
During lockdown, said Collins, there was a dramatic rise in adverts for “at home” cosmetic procedures on social media. The only contact clients have with these practitioners is their social media account and a mobile number.
“These laypeople have literally no idea what they’re doing: at best, they might have watched a few videos on YouTube,” said Collins, who submitted evidence to the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) on what should be in the new legislation.
“After a couple of days, when things start to go wrong and the client needs their help, they disappear, shutting down their social media accounts and disposing of their untraceable pay-as-you-go phone,” she said.
“They disappear, leaving clients, who have quite often suffered serious and permanent harm at their hands, to desperately seek help from someone who might be just as unscrupulous,” said Collins.
“They, of course, simply open a new social media account and get a new mobile phone – then go on to target further clients. They have no fear of being caught, because they can’t be.”
Sajid Javid, the health secretary, has said that people administering Botox or fillers will be required to have a licence under new laws after an “unacceptable” rise in reports of botched cosmetic procedures in the UK. “Far too many people have been left emotionally and physically scarred” when things have gone wrong, he said.
The legislation to protect against rogue practitioners will make it an offence to perform such non-surgical work without a licence. It will aim to bring in consistent standards that people carrying out non-surgical cosmetic procedures must meet, as well as setting out hygiene and safety standards for premises.
In the Commons on Tuesday, Laura Trott, Conservative MP for Sevenoaks, asked Javid how the “proposed licensing machine will keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape of these treatments?”
Javid said the “details of the regime will be set out in regulations, meaning it will be flexible, it will be agile and it will change in response to changes in the cosmetics industry”.
Minister for patient safety Maria Caulfield said the amendment is the “next step on the road to effective regulation of non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England”.
She added: “The spread of images on social media has contributed to an increase in demand for cosmetic procedures such as Botox and fillers.
“While these can be administered safely, we are seeing an unacceptable rise in people being left physically and mentally scarred from poorly performed procedures.”
The all-party parliamentary group on beauty, aesthetics and wellbeing carried out a year-long investigation into the industry.
Carolyn Harris, the group’s co-chair, said: “We found that the regulation of cosmetic treatments remains fragmented, obscure and out of date, meaning anyone can carry out any treatment, anywhere, with next to no restrictions on what qualifications they must have to do so.
“This has left consumers at risk and undermined the industry’s ability to develop.”
Harris welcomed the proposed new legislation but added: “A licensing framework set in law is an important step in the right direction, however this must be underpinned by mandated national minimum standards for practitioner training.”
Save Face has seen complaints increase from 378 in 2017 to 2,083 in 2020. In one of the most serious cases, a woman said she had such severe wounds from treatment that she contracted sepsis and ended up in hospital in a coma for five days.
But the number of complaints was likely to be the “tip of the iceberg”, said Collins: “There are lots of severe medical side-effects that come along with these treatments – but because they’re classed as beauty treatments, anybody can do them.”
Of the treatments complained about, 86% were carried out by beauticians, hairdressers or laypeople, with 81% of complainants finding their practitioner on social media.
Clients were often unaware of the risks, said Collins: 93% were not warned about serious complications and thought the treatments were low-risk beauty treatments; 83% did not give informed consent'; and 84% were ignored or blocked by their practitioner when they tried to seek help.