In the pursuit of fresh, natural, and radiant beauty, many of us strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle, choose in the right foods, and meticulously follow a solid skincare routine. However, there are instances when these efforts fall short, prompting a quest for assistance from the realms of science and the ever-evolving beauty industry.
This is where the world of Aesthetic treatments steps in. But with a plethora of options available, each promising transformative results, how does one navigate the choices to ensure safety and suitability for specific concerns? To unravel this topic, we sat down with Dr. Freya Bakko – a plastic surgery trainee with a specialised focus on facial aesthetics, trained at the Harley Academy in London, – and we delved into a conversation with her to shed light on the subject and demystify the world of aesthetic treatments.
Dr Freya, tell us a bit about you and your background…
I am a surgical doctor and aesthetic specialist. I have advanced injectable aesthetic training from Harley Academy, and alongside aesthetics I work as an NHS surgical doctor in London. I love the balance between reconstructive plastic surgery and non-surgical aesthetic treatments, and I am passionate about safe aesthetics practice and providing great results.
Let’s dive straight into it; what do you think it’s the biggest misconception or ‘myth’ about aesthetic treatments?
I believe the biggest misconception about medical aesthetics is that it makes you look “fake”. Many believe Botox makes you look frozen and with minimal facial expressions, and that fillers make you puffy and unnatural. However, when performed correctly by practitioners who have an in-depth understanding of anatomy and indications for treatment, including the physiology of ageing and facial tissue, aesthetic treatments can look completely natural and even go unnoticed aside from a healthy, youthful, contoured appearance.
Do you think that nowadays aesthetics is more ‘mainstream’ or common practice than a few years’ ago, or are people still scared or wary of some treatments?
The world of aesthetics has boomed in recent years, resulting in a widespread increase in knowledge of advantages and possibilities of aesthetic treatments. Much research has gone into aesthetics over the past few years, allowing for increased safety and range of products on the market. With both the increased knowledge of the public, and an increased number of practitioners being trained, aesthetic treatments have for many become part of routine beauty treatments rather than luxury services.
Although it is great that aesthetic treatments are becoming demystified and more accessible, the increased popularity has resulted in a rise in untrained and non-medical practitioners performing these advanced treatments. At
present, the aesthetics industry is highly unregulated, and injectable treatments being performed by practitioners who have undergone nothing more than a weekend course is concerning. I am a big advocate for educating the public about safe practice, benefits as well as risks of treatments, and the importance of consulting a trained healthcare practitioner for all injectable services to ensure safe and successful results are achieved.
Let’s talk about treatments and options within the aesthetics range: what’s what and what treatment is suited to what concern?
The terminology in aesthetics can often be confusing!
Anti-wrinkle injections are a muscle-relaxing treatment used to smooth and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Anti-wrinkle injections are commonly used in the frown lines and forehead to relax these muscles in order to prevent and smooth wrinkles. This treatment is indicated for most people but is particularly effective as a wrinkle-preventing agent, and is therefore popular amongst clients in their 30s, 40s and 50s. When targeted and dosed correctly the results can be incredibly natural yet effective.
Dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid-based products that work to increase volume in certain areas of the face. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a natural substance formed by our body which acts as a gel-like product which sits under the skin and/or muscles of the face to increase volume. Fillers are used for “beautification” purposes in the younger age categories to plump lips and contour areas such as cheekbones, chin and jawline. They are also used for “rejuvenation” purposes to increase volume caused by age-related volume loss which is commonly seen in the cheek region, smile lines and jowls.
Skin boosters are also known as injectable moisturisers. One of these treatments is Profhilo, a hugely popular bio-remodelling treatment. Profhilo is a thin hyaluronic acid-based substance which works to hydrate and plump the skin, as well as stimulate collagen and elastin production to achieve a long-term wrinkle-reducing and tightening results. Skin boosters are suitable for all age-ranges, and provide beautifully hydrating, glowing and plumping effects.
Can anyone have any treatment or is there any contraindication for specific types of skins or concerns?
All clients undergo a thorough medical consultation prior to considering treatment options. Certain cohorts are unsuitable for all injectable aesthetic treatments, including pregnant or breastfeeding women and those under the age of 18. There are several other contraindications to treatments, including certain medical conditions, medications and allergies. These will all be very individual and assessed on a case-by-case basis. In light of these contraindications and the potential risks associated with improper medical assessment, it is imperative that all aesthetic treatments are undertaken by a licensed healthcare practitioner – something I strongly advocate for in the aesthetics industry.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part of the job is by far the wonderful clients I meet throughout my practice, and the confidence aesthetic treatments can provide. Aesthetics can make you feel youthful, glowing and refreshed, and providing beautiful results with my clients’ safety as an utmost priority is very rewarding.
What’s the most popular treatment you perform?
The most popular treatment is anti-wrinkle injections. This is a very low-risk
treatment which when performed correctly produces natural, long-lasting anti-ageing results. The treatment has no downtime and is therefore popular for those with an active lifestyle.