Regrets are something I prefer not to hold onto, but ask any woman in her 30s and I promise she’ll tell you that she wishes she took better care of her skin when she was younger. She’ll say that she should’ve stayed out of tanning beds, never picked at her pimples, used eye cream, didn’t sleep on her face and drank more water. I could go on, but I’m sure you get it – some of the things I listed are likely your skin sorrows too. So, now here we are: trying to play catch up and perfect a skin care regimen that can reverse time and capture that youthful glow that we all took for granted when we were younger.
While the actual fountain of youth remains elusive, modern science and technology are advancing: whether it be creams, acids, serums, masks, lasers, fillers, botox or facials, there’s an infinite amount of products and treatments available to help us achieve our #SkinGoals. The new challenge lies in deciphering which ones are best for you and for this, I recommend asking for help.
Ask The Experts
Cody and Barb Hemsworth, co-owners of medical spa Skin Worthy in Etobicoke, have been focusing on the practice of non-surgical medical aesthetics since 2016. The husband and wife/doctor and aesthetic nurse duo have travelled the world attending conferences, meetings with industry leaders and educational summits to further advance their understanding, skills and ability to assist their clients in achieving beautiful results. With Dr. Hemsworth’s dermatology diploma and Barb’s experience as a dermatology nurse, it’s safe to say that they, along with their team, know skin and know it well.
Our skin is our largest organ. It accounts for 15 per cent of our body weight and is directly influenced by what we consume, our genetics, hormone levels, environmental factors and our lifestyle choices. Similar to a fitness routine, our skin needs to be looked at as a whole opposed to spot checking it or obsessing over areas of concern. It’s true that lines and wrinkles may need a bit more attention, but no single treatment can correct or prevent the entire aging process. This is why many dermatologists and aesthetic specialists, including the team at Skin Worthy, believe in combination therapy.
Combination therapy pairs individual treatments together or in a prescribed order to help achieve the most desirable outcome. Depending on your goals, different layers of your dermis need to be targeted and this usually involves different treatments. The superficial dermis is treated for superficial wrinkles, the deeper dermis for tissue tightening, muscles for dynamic fine lines, the epidermis for pigmentation and superficial texture, the mid-deep dermis for large pores, and the subcutaneous layers are targeted for fat re-modelling.
Shiny, Bright And New
Up until now, there were few devices on the market that treat multiple layers of dermis but they often require significant downtime. And depending on your skin type and colour, you may not be a candidate for their treatment. When Barb told me about Morpheus8 by InMode, a new cutting edge device that can be used on several parts of your body, combines several treatments and reaches multiple skin depths, I booked myself in to try it out immediately.
You’ve likely heard of microneedling – a key component in what many clinics call their signature ‘vampire facial’. The treatment involves creating tiny punctures in the skin to trigger the body’s natural collagen production. Morpheus8 takes this a step further by incorporating radiofrequency technology. The handheld device the treatment uses looks like a stamp and has a head with gold-plated steel micro pins. Depending on the area being treated, the pins disperse radio frequency energy in preselected depths of two millimeters, three millimeters, or four millimeters. The radio frequency energy then stimulates collagen and elastin while the pins perforate the skin to accelerate cell turnover.
Unlike other devices on the market, Morpheus8 penetrates deeper, reaching a fatty layer of the skin where it goes to work tightening and creating smooth and sleek contours. Morpheus8 can be used to treat all kinds of issues like acne scars, laugh lines, sagging jowls and wrinkles. While it’s most commonly used for treating the face and neck, it can also address other areas of the body including the chest, arms and lower legs.
Upon your arrival for a Morpheus8 treatment, your doctor or aesthetic injector will complete a pre-screening interview that includes questions regarding sun exposure, active skin conditions and new health issues or concerns. About 45 minutes to an hour before my treatment, Barb applied a topical anesthetic cream to the areas that were going to be treated to reduce discomfort. Skin Worthy also offers Pronox: a nitrous oxide that helps with nerves and anxiety. The effects of this laughing gas are short-lived and you’re safe to operate a motorized vehicle 10 minutes after inhalation. For the full experience, I gave it a try. Pronox provided a few laughs and lightened the mood. I’d do it again.
The procedure itself wasn’t overly painful. I would rate it a 6.5/10 with some areas, including under the eye and near the nose, being a bit more sensitive. There is a combination of sensory activities happening simultaneously that can make the procedure somewhat irritating – the sound, smell, needles and heat together are far more of a mental strain than a physical one. A stress ball can help to distract you, but after a few minutes, you’ll acclimate. I had my entire face and neck treated with two passes over each area and in total, the treatment took about 35 to 45 minutes to complete. Immediately following the procedure, I had some blood on my face due to the needle punctures as well as some redness and slight swelling. However, It subsided after three or four hours.
The following morning, the redness was minimal but the micro lesions and scratches were visible in daylight. I was retaining some water, but that’s common in patients who’ve previously had a hyaluronic dermal filler in their face. I made the choice not to, but it’s safe to apply makeup as early as 24 hours post-treatment. That said, you should avoid all acids and retinol products for several days to allow your skin to heal. Sunscreen and gentle moisturizers are an exception and can be applied immediately.
Bang for Your Buck?
When it comes to aesthetics, I believe in full disclosure. I respect every woman’s right to privacy but it frustrates me as to why some continuously lie about what they’ve ‘had done’. If we’re all in this together, why not share what works? I’m 37-years-old and I’ve had dermal fillers, botox, hydrafacials, skin tightening procedures and microneedling treatments. Still, my main areas of concern include hyperpigmentation from sun damage, scarring from hormonal acne, volume loss and sagging skin. Before my first visit to Skin Worthy, I’ve never had a treatment presented to me that could address so many different concerns. While I was excited about the potential outcome, I was also a bit skeptical. Almost immediately after my Morpheus8 appointment, my skin felt and looked tighter. The size of my pores reduced and after 72 hours, the laxity that had been bothering me in my lower face was already more contoured. My smile lines and nasolabial folds were less visible. The horizontal lines on my neck were also softened.
Several weeks later, the texture of my skin had completely changed. It feels thicker, firmer and several old acne and injury scars have started to fade. Collagen takes time to develop, so it’ll be about three months before I actually see the most noticeable results. The recommended treatment plan varies depending on your concerns and your skin’s condition, but similar to other microneedling treatments, research suggests two to three sessions spread out over the course of four to six weeks. Afterward, annual treatment can help maintain results.
Morpheus8 is the most advanced and minimally invasive option for a non-surgical facelift on the market. Its ability to treat wrinkles, scars, irregular textures, enlarged pores, stretch marks and acne scars are added benefits.There isn’t a ‘best age’ to try Morpheus8, but the team at Skin Worthy suggests that men and women over 30-years-old who’re starting to notice the effects of collagen loss will see the best results.
I have yet to receive my second treatment due to the restrictions of the pandemic, but given the changes that I’m already seeing, I can confidently say that Morpheus8 has exceeded my expectations and I’m thrilled to add the treatment to my skincare arsenal.
Morpheus8 sessions are priced between $1,000 to $1,300 per session. Find more information here.