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Facial Fillers

Facial Fillers

Are Botox and Facial Fillers Vegan?


Considering anti-wrinkle injections or facial fillers? You’re probably wondering if they’re vegan-friendly?

We’ve asked leading cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Anoop Rastogi to clarify things for us, plus, we’ve discovered some innovative treatment methods.


Gently Vegan: What exactly are anti-wrinkle injections like Botox and Dysport made from? Are they vegan-friendly?

Dr. Rastogi: They are the purified protein that is released from a botulism bacterial culture. It is a totally non-animal substance, so yes it is completely vegan-friendly and very safe to use.

GV: What are some of other techniques outside of the cosmetic realm that Botox can be used for?

Dr. Rastogi: Right from the very beginning, the non-cosmetic uses were primary. We used it to treat children with Cerebral Palsy, to help them walk. It takes away the spasticity in the legs that prevents the child from walking. It was also first used on little children who had squints, so it would relax the overactive muscle and allow them to see straight.

Today, it is very commonly used to control migraines and tension headaches. I use it a lot for that, as well as painful neck spasms. Things that are closer to the cosmetic realm include using it to stop sweating under the arms, and to relax the masseter muscles in people that grind their teeth and get an over pronounced jaw.

If you don’t want to take your wrinkles away, but want to look better, we can use it raise the eyes, open the eyebrows and increase the size of the eyes, thereby alleviating the droop in the eyelid. It can also be used to lift the corners of the mouth. With age, the mouth starts to turn down and you look sad. We can inject Botox to encourage the corners to turn up, giving you the hint of a resting smile.

GV: What about facial fillers used to plump up lips, define cheekbones, or fill in pitted acne scars? Are these safe for vegan use, too?

Dr. Rastogi: Absolutely. These fillers are synthesised form of Hyaluronic Acid (HA), which is the mainstay of the fillers. It is a sugar-based product and so again, it is completely non-animal derived. It is manufactured in a lab and is 99 per cent equivalent to human HA, which is the clear jelly that is inside all your cells responsible for hydration and plumpness of the skin.

GV: Why do you think people still believe fillers are made from bovine collagen? Hasn’t it been years since doctors used collagen in cosmetic or reconstructive procedures?

Dr Rastogi: It has been at least 15years since we used collagen as facial fillers, but people still use the term. It’s a bit like the term ‘Hoover’. People use it to describe all vacuums, even though there are many brands of vacuums available, because it was the first to market.

The first filler that came on to the market was collagen and that is what made the splash. That was made from an animal product, so there are people who still think fillers are animal-derived, when this is far from the case. Today’s fillers are non-animal and have far superior use, effects and longevity.

GV: What if we visit a new doctor? Can we still be certain that the products we are using are vegan?

Dr. Rastogi: Yes, of course. None of the commonly used products contain animal products, so you can be confident with fillers, regardless of who your doctor is.

Three new non-surgical procedures that will rejuvenate and refresh your looks

1. Enerjet

What is it?

Afraid of needles? Dermatologist and Cosmetic Physician, Dr. Daniel Lanzer, is one of the first doctors in Australia to use this innovate technique where Hyaluronic Acid fillers are literally “blown” beneath your skin.

What’s involved?

The technique uses compressed air to force a microform of the filler under the skin, into the dermis. It breaks the skin and creates a tiny trauma, without using needles, and the HA enters via the tiny wound. “There are two parts to anti-ageing and treating scarring,” explains Dr. Lanzer. “One is to replace volume, so you lift things up in the skin, and the other is to try to stimulate the collagen to get tightening of the skin. We can accomplish both of these with Enerjet. The trauma it creates is much like mild laser treatments that are used to smooth the skin’s surface, but because we are placing filler in the skin t the same time, we achieve both results.” It sounds painful – does it hurt? “There’s a slight discomfort, as though someone was flicking a tiny rubbing band on your skin, but it’s not enough to require numbing cream. It depends on the patient’s pain threshold and the areas treated. There is some downtime as the skin is broken and you might get tiny wound marks on the surface for up to five days, but these can be effectively masked with make-up.”

What results can we expect?

“It can effectively treat hollowing around the eyes, add volume the cheeks or even be used for acne scars. We don’t use it for targeted areas, like plumping the lips, but it works well on wider areas like the face, around the mouth, the backs of the hands or the décolletage.”

How much does it cost?

“It’s approximately $1000 per session, with most patients requiring one treatment per month for three months and top ups every 12-18months after that.” For more information: drlanzer.com.au

2. The Beauty Booster What is it?

Ideal for dry, crepey and thinning, finely lined skin on the face, neck and décolletage, this new treatment directly delivers Hyaluronic Acid (moisture) via hypodermic microinjections with the Beauty Boost gun.

How does it work?

The Beauty Boost “gun” is a hand held tool with a head that has several needles on it, so it delivers the fine filler to a global area, rather than one needle to a targeted zone.

Does it hurt?

It’s quite uncomfortable, so you will need to arrive at your appointment one hour beforehand to have topical anaesthetic applied to the area being treated.

What results can we expect?

It takes less than an hour and results are immediate and dramatic – think dewy, hydrated, firmer skin. And because the treatment can be tailored to your needs and be combined with vital nutrients and vitamins, it can also address redness, broken capillaries and pigmentation.

How much does it cost?

It’s $750 per session with three sessions required for best results.

For more information:agelessclinics.com.au

3. Endoret Plasma Rich Growth Factor Treatment

What is it?

This new treatment, which is still being trialled by Dr. Rastogi in his Double Bay clinic in Sydney, basically uses your own tissue and growth factors to create fillers that can be used to define cheekbones, fill the lips or rejuvenate crepey skin.

What’s involved?

“It is a little bit like Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP),” explains Dr. Rastogi. “We draw blood from the patient, remove the platelets and activate those to get the Growth Factors out of it. We also take the plasma, which undergoes a heating process to transform it into a gel, which we then add the Growth Factors to. This is then injected under the skin to create filler that has the added benefits of Growth Factors to stimulate collagen and elastin formation, thereby bringing a rejuvenated and more youthful appearance to the skin.

How long does this take?

“The entire process takes about an hour,” says Dr. Rastogi. ‘It takes half an hour to make it and half an hour to inject it.”

Does it hurt?

You experience the stinging associated with needles and that of normal fillers. A dental block can be administered to the mouth area to numb any potential pain if lips are being injected.

What results can we expect and how long will they last?

“The results are permanent, in that once we add Growth Factors to skin and it produces new tissue, that tissue is there for good. The actual gel typically only remains for three months, but it is a terrific method of carrying the growth factors to where they are needed in the skin to stimulate the repair process and take it back to how it looked when it was younger. The thickness of the filler depends on how and where we use it, but at all times we endeavour to create the most natural looking result possible. We would use finer filler around the eyes and a thicker one for the naso-labial folds.

How much does it cost?

“It is roughly the same amount as a syringe of HA fillers, which is approximately $1000 – $1500 per syringe, with most people needing around two syringes. For more information: Rastogi.com.au


Beauty and Lifestyle Director Shonagh Walker

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