Women in Singapore are largely of Chinese, Malay and Indian heritage, so you can imagine how beautiful they are and how many beauty secrets they hold. There is really something very special about them. They are positively radiant with glowing skin and beautiful smiles. Is it the humid environment they live in, the food they eat, or the easy access to a multitude of aesthetic treatments? Inquiring minds want to know, so I made it my mission to unravel some of these secrets during a recent trip to this gorgeous Southeast Asian island city-state.
Thanks to a good friend from Singapore, I was able to connect with Elizabeth Leong, manager of the Singapore Aesthetic Centre (SAC), and her staff to learn more about these secrets from a medical point of view. Medical-grade beauty treatments are offered to Singapore’s five-million-plus residents, so I decided to pick their brains on which treatments are most effective, as well as get some practical youth-preserving tips we can all use no matter who we are or where we live.
Scroll down to watch the Facebook live stream!
Here is a summary of what we talked about both on and off screen.
Zora: Thank you, Elizabeth, for taking some time to share some of your beauty secrets with us. Tell me a little bit about the demographics of your clients. Who are the kind of people who come to your clinic and what kinds of treatments are they looking for?
Elizabeth: Aesthetic medicine is a relatively new field and SAC founder Dr. Hwee Lee Yeak is one of the pioneers, which is one of the reasons why she is so successful. It is a rapidly growing industry as society becomes more accepting of having cosmetic procedures done to enhance or preserve one’s look.
All of the machines we have are medical-grade and approved by our local equivalent of the FDA. We offer only evidence-based treatments. Apart from using advanced tech equipment, technique and know-how are equally, if not more, important.
Our clients are 70% women in their mid-thirties to -fifties looking for treatments to reverse signs of aging. They may have wrinkles and skin pigmentation that are starting to bother them, so they mostly go for Botox and microdermabrasion or laser treatments. Skin pigmentation is a big concern among Asians.
Zora: How long does a Botox treatment last?
Elizabeth: Our Botox treatments generally last 120 days, but we have clients who can stretch it to even six months. You can make a Botox treatment last longer if you take care of yourself, your health and don’t abuse the skin. Excessive stress and frowning wears out the Botox faster.
Zora: But are these treatments REALLY effective?
Elizabeth: Botox treatments are really effective and it’s why our patients keep coming back. The treatments we offer are safe and approved. Plus, we look carefully at evidence-based studies before offering a treatment to be sure of its efficacy.
Zora: I had a laser treatment before, but what is light therapy and how does that differ from lasers?
Elizabeth: Lasers can treat a broader spectrum of skin tones. Additionally, lasers revitalize skin to help give it a youthful appearance by promoting collagen production through a thermal effect. Lasers can also improve the appearance of acne scars by stimulating wound healing. Light passes harmlessly through the upper layers of your skin, stimulating the cells deep below the surface to produce natural collagen. The collagen and elastin fibers will continue to multiply after your treatment. Hence, you will continue to see improved results as the months pass. With this treatment, your skin is not subjected to harsh chemicals or intense aftercare, which are associated with other facial revitalization treatments. Laser skin revitalization protects the sensitive surface layers of your skin, allowing the laser light to penetrate to deeper levels to stimulate collagen growth.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) is broad-based light therapy. The broad spectrum of wavelengths penetrates the dermis at various levels, resulting in skin revitalization. As a result, skin looks fresher, more radiant and glows. IPL can also help eliminate freckles, age spots and sunspots. This is because the darker skin pigments pick up more light energy than surrounding normal skin and are hence ablated in the process. IPL can further help improve the appearance of acne scars. Facial flushing can be reduced easily and the appearance of pores can also be refined.
Zora: What are the risks of some of these beauty treatments we talked about?
Elizabeth: Non-invasive surgery has very low risk. In our centre, at most your skin is a little irritated in a way that may look like a sunburn, but it goes away quickly.
Zora: One of your signature treatments is the CoolSculpting® to get rid of some body fat. Tell me more!
Elizabeth: CoolSculpting® is an FDA-cleared non-surgical body contouring treatment that freezes stubborn fat, which is then naturally eliminated from the body. It allows for noticeable reduction in unwanted bulges without the need of needle or knife. You can read more about it on the Procedures page of our website www.sgac.com.
Zora: Can CoolSculpting tighten and firm the body too?
Elizabeth: No, it is designed for losing fat. Skin tightening is better achieved with the Indiba treatment.
Zora: I’ll be doing the Indiba treatment today. What should I expect?
Elizabeth: INDIBA® therapy is a non-invasive radiofrequency (RF)-based treatment for both face and body. Based on the patented ‘Proionic action’, the treatment facilitates the exchange of positive and negative ions between the extracellular and intracellular matrix of the cells to create a balanced state of ions (healthy cells). This results in benefits that range from increased metabolism, improved blood and lymphatic circulation to increased collagen and elastic fibre production which results in firmer and smoother skin.
INDIBA® therapy can be used on both the face and body. Recommended treatment protocols include treatment of facial wrinkles and expression lines, bags under the eyes, overall skin rejuvenation and tightening, reduction of the appearance of cellulite and firming of breasts, saggy underarms, abdominal and thighs.
For best results, a series of 6 to 10 sessions, 2 times a week is recommended during the initial treatment stage. Thereafter, 1 session per month is recommended for maintenance.
Zora: Well, sounds like I have to get started! Before we go, can you please give us some tips for men? What should they be doing to take care of themselves?
Elizabeth: Men, like women, need to spend some time taking care of their bodies and skin. We recommend that everyone, men and women, use sunblock. In addition, we would likely recommend a Hydrafacial, which is suitable for all skin types. It removes dead skin cells and impurities while simultaneously bathing the new skin with solutions that contain cleansing, hydrating and moisturizing properties. The best thing to do, however, is to get a private consultation to really determine his skin type and what treatments need to be done.
Zora: What are the three best tips to having such beautiful skin like yours? What are the secrets of Singaporean women?
Elizabeth: Other than getting regular facials, I would say first is to drink plenty of water. Our bodies are made of about 60% water, so drinking clean water is crucial to clear skin.
Second, have a nutrient-dense healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Lastly, and one that you probably haven’t heard before, is to choose one sustainable skin care regimen. Most people start very ambitious 20-step skin care regimens only to end in failure. Choose a skin care regimen that coincides with the amount of time you have, your needs and your budget. If you can only cleanse and moisturize with a facial once a month, then start with that. Gradually add on a toner, serum, eye cream, sunblock and whatever else you need accordingly.
If you are confused about the steps (when and how) to good skincare, check out our page Beauty Care Treatments Simplified.
Zora: What is the one mistake you see 40+ women make over and over again?
Elizabeth: Please, don’t forget to treat your neck, décolleté and hands the same way you treat your face. It is a pity to have a perfect face and then to see a stark contrast right below. It doesn’t take much more effort to apply a little moisturizer or serum to these areas, and the difference in the long run will be huge.
Zora: Thank you Elizabeth for your time. You have been very informative and generous in sharing your beauty secrets. Any last words before our Indiba treatment?
Elizabeth: Yes. Be the best that you can be!
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Established in 2008, the Singapore Aesthetic Centre (SAC) is a one-stop medical practice that offers a winning combination of physician expertise and evidence-based aesthetic procedures to address all your beauty needs comfortably and safely with minimal downtime.
Singapore Aesthetic Centre (SAC) is contoured around the talents of Dr Yeak Hwee Lee. Dr Yeak continues to pursue a passion for aesthetic medicine, having graduated with a local Medical Degree and a Post-graduate Diploma in Practical Dermatology from the University of Wales.