Top 6 quick-fixes to look good for CNY

Top 6 quick-fixes to look good for CNY

There’s no better time than Chinese New Year (CNY) to put your best face forward.

Meeting your family and friends is an opportunity to showcase one’s state of health in the past year. And as they say: the face speaks a thousand words.

But what if work and play activities have been taking their toll, and you are looking less than stellar lately? CNY is just around the corner, and a facial, week-long diet and a quick couple of runs won't transform you in time.

However, there are a few cheat methods that can take 10 years off your face and body, just in time to stun your relatives and friends.

From teeth whitening, botox, chemical peels and body sculpting and toning procedures, many Singaporeans are turning to aesthetic quick-fixes. 

Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Medical Director of Singapore Aesthetic Centre, told Your Health that the number of patients seeking aesthetic treatment increases from an average of 15 to 20 a day to 25 to 30 a day in the run-up to Chinese New Year.

We here at AsiaOne have compiled the top 10 beauty quick-fixes for CNY:

1. Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a bleaching process that lightens discolourations of enamel and dentine.

There are 2 types of whitening:

• Take-home teeth whitening system

The Take-Home whitening system is a gradual process and results are usually seen in a week. This system uses a mild solution of carbamide peroxide in a custom-fitted tray that is worn over teeth.

The trays can be left on for 30mins, or overnight - depending on the gel concentration that the patient chooses.

• Chairside teeth whitening system

The Chairside tooth whitening system is a one and a half hour tooth whitening procedure done by the dentist.

It consists of hydrogen peroxide gel material that is applied to teeth and activated by a UV lamp.

The gel and light work together to gently penetrate the teeth, breaking up stains and discolourations in enamel and dentine.

Both the Take-Home whitening and Chairside whitening systems provide similar effectiveness. The main difference would be the speed it takes to see the results.

Is the whitening effect permanent?

The colour achieved tends to fade over eight months to a year, depending on your diet, oral hygiene and social habits.

Usually chairside touch-ups can be done every six months to a year.

Otherwise, the patient can choose to maintain the results obtained with a Take-Home (maintenance) Kit. This can be done every three to six months for three days.

Is it painful?

The procedures do not hurt, but some people may experience mild sensitivity, which is transient and disappears within 24 hours.

How much does it cost?

Take-home teeth whitening system: from $374.50
Chairside teeth whitening system: $963 to $1,926

Information and prices provided by Dr Lynette Ng, Dental Director of The Dental Studio, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group (SMG).

Read also: 7 secrets to whiter teeth

2. Botox

Botox is safe and remains a top aesthetic treatment of choice for many.

It erases frown and worry lines in a simple and painless 10 minute procedure that takes decades off your face.

Besides its common use of smoothening the skin for a more youthful appearance, botox can also be used for facial slimming, face lifts and other medical problems such as overactive sweating.

Is it painful?

Botox injections are a quick and almost painless procedure.

However, those afraid of needles should take note: The doctor will use a small insulin syringe to administer the botulinium toxin.

What is the downtime?

Almost none. The great thing about botox is it is truly a lunchtime procedure.

The main side effect of botox, if at all, is bruising at the site of injection.

Two to three per cent of patients experience a mild temporary droop of the eye lid. However this side effect rarely occurs and is easily treated with a medicated eye drop.

How long before visible results?

The effects of botox can be seen within the week. However, the results are not permanent and you'll probably need to go back to your doctor after three to four months.

How much does it cost?

$18.50/unit, not including consultation costs of $60. The number of units you will need injected depends on the severity of your lines, and can range anywhere between 10 to 50 units.

Information and prices provided by Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Medical Director of Singapore Aesthetic Centre, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group (SMG).

3. Fillers

Over time the face deflates with formation of age lines and sag. If age or stress has etched deeper lines on your face, you may have to opt for fillers.

Fillers are used to plump up your skin volume, hence restoring the natural curves of youth.

Fillers of harder consistency can be used to correct age lines/sagging skin, and even create the look of implants for the cheek and nose!

Softer consistency fillers can be injected into the dermis to hydrate the skin.

Some innovative fillers such as sculptra can even help in collagen stimulation, giving you firmer and more youthful skin.

Is it painful?

Injections are painless, as they often contain the anaesthetic agent lignocaine.

How long before visible results?

Hyaluronic fillers immediately fill up any defect, and flaws are corrected immediately.

The newer collagen stimulating fillers like sculptra need two to three months for the benefits to be seen.

The effects of fillers last up to 18 months.

What is the downtime?

The main side effects of fillers are bruising at site of injection, which usually disappears within two to three days.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are very safe and need no sensitivity tests.

How much does it cost?

$963 to $2,085, depending on the type of filler.

Information and prices provided by Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Medical Director of Singapore Aesthetic Centre, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group (SMG).

4. Skin refining

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)

A quick pick-me-up for the skin is IPL treatment.

IPL is more commonly known as a hair removal procedure, where high intensity light is focused onto the skin surface. However, it can also be used to treat acne, redness caused by broken capillaries, age spots/freckles and wrinkles arising from photoaging.

What is the downtime?

There is almost no downtime with no damage to the epidermal surface. The procedure is relatively painless.

The benefits of IPL treatments may last up to three months.

How much does it cost?

$375 for IPL Face Revitalisation

• Lasers

Deeper age spots and pigmentation may require the use of lasers. Ablative lasers, which causes epidermal burning, can also be used against acne scars.

Less aggressive non-ablative lasers that conduct heat to deeper dermis layers can help to rejuvenate the skin, stimulate collagen production and close pores.

What is the downtime?

There may be a short downtime of five days if it is necessary to burn off the pigmentation.

The benefits of lasers may last up to six months. Procedure is relatively painless, but any pain experienced can be minimised with topical analgesic.

How much does it cost?

$428 for Laser Face Revitalisation

Chemical peels

Chemical peels work by dissolving the dead skin that accumulates over time with the application of simple glycolic acids.

The removal of these dull dead cells reveal the newer cells underneath to give the skin a "refreshed" look.

What is the downtime?

The length of the downtime after a chemical peel depends on the strength of the peel solution and the sensitivity of your skin. The redness and peeling for milder solutions should last no more than a few days.

How much does it cost?

$125 (face), $180 (back)

Information and prices provided by Dr Yeak Hwee Lee, Medical Director of Singapore Aesthetic Centre, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group (SMG).

Read also: 8 power foods for healthier, brighter skin

5. Body slimming and reshaping

VASER LipoSelection

In VASER LipoSelection, gentle ultrasound waves dissolve your fat into a liquid. The fat is then sucked out of the body, resulting in a slimmer you.

It is especially recommended for stubborn fats that can't be removed with exercise and diet alone.

Only one procedure is usually required, as the changes are clear and always noticeable.

Is it painful?

The procedure itself is painless, as you will be sleeping, but you will feel some muscle soreness in the first couple of weeks.

Most patients can go back to work or do light housework after resting at home for one to three days. Patients can resume light exercise within two to three weeks.

What is the downtime?

A pre-op scan will be done before the operation to ensure the patient's suitability. Afterwhich, the process itself will take about one to three hours, depending on the areas of the body being treated.

Results are apparent immediately after the operation. However as the body swells up after the surgery, the results will likely be obscured within the first day.

Results will be visible within a couple of months, and will continue to improve over six months to a year.

How long will the effects last?

The changes are permanent if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

How much will it cost?

Cost depends on the size of the area being treated. For example, doing just your abdominal flanks will cost $1,549. Doing your whole belly area will cost about $4,647, as it includes the upper and lower abdominal areas as well.

However, this does not include the doctor consultation cost, day surgery cost and other additional charges.

A consultation with the doctor is advised for a comprehensive price plan that suits your budget.

Information and prices provided by Dr Kevin Teh, Medical Director of Singapore Lipo, Body & Face Centre, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group (SMG).

Read also: No to lipo? Try fat  freezing instead!

6. Bust Enhancing

2-in-1 LipoSelection & Fat Transfer to breasts

This combination procedure removes fat bulges through liposuction and transfers the harvested fat immediately into your breasts, enhancing their shape and size.

The best thing about this procedure is that it reuses your own fat cells, hence there is no risk of allergy, tissue rejection or disease transmission.

The fat transfer will be immediately apparent. Most ladies will notice a one cup-size improvement.

This fat transfer procedure can also be used for achieving fuller buttocks, or any '"dents" in your body shape.

What is the downtime?

Your breasts will feel sore for about a week. Patients are advised to avoid vigorous or contact sports for 3 months.

How long will the effects last?

The changes are permanent if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Medical researchers have shown that the results of fat transfer will reduce over a few months, but stabilise and reasonably permanent after 1 year.

How much will it cost?

The cost of the fat transfer procedure to your breasts costs $4,000 to both sides of the breasts. Add that amount to the liposuction cost as agreed upon with your doctor.

Information and prices provided by Dr Kevin Teh, Medical Director of Singapore Lipo, Body & Face Centre, a subsidiary of Singapore Medical Group (SMG).

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