Some days nothing can quench the thirst of an ageing complexion regardless what serum you use or how much moisturiser you slather on. "Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient, in topical preparations like moisturiser, but unfortunately, its’ effect topically is very short-lived. However when injected under the skin, it's able to mimic the body's own, natural hyaluronic acid, drawing water from the circulatory system to the skin. In effect moisturising from the inside, out," says Doctor Joanna Romanowska from Clinic 42 in Auckland, who has developed a new combination treatment, with a unique objective, to smooth wrinkles and offer a hydrating boost at the same time. Enter Photo Finish, a blend of botulinum (Dysport, Botox or Xeomin) with the filler Restylane Vital. Intrigued - I was keen to try this new treatment, and in the quest for a smooth complexion I was keen.
How it works: The treatment starts with skin being prepped with an anaesthetic cream, and then a Vital Injector, which looks very like a Star Wars Blaster gun, is loaded with five needles and the combination solution. The needles shoot tiny amounts of the solution, in a one-centimetre-square, grid-like pattern across the face, with precision care. "The best way to deliver the very hydrating Restylane Vital is via a multi-puncture device, this is designed to control the dose and depth of the product," says Romanowska. Who begins on the most sensitive areas, where skin is thinnest, around the lips, under the eye area and forehead. It does hurt. However, it is over quickly (you can choose to treat only the face or neck in single session), but what is most gratifying, you can see and feel results within a day.
What to expect: Skin can take on a mild measles-like, red rash and you may see tiny bruise spots, (I did have a couple under the eye and on the neck), however, this is easily concealed with mineral powder. Results last six to 12 months, and it's the ideal treatment a few months out, before a special occasion. A master plan for smoothing parched, wrinkled skin, while maintaining your facial expression (it does not affect the underlying muscle movement, just the skin) - something most women are searching for in a skin treatment. And, one huge bonus, open pores are refined and less obvious.
Looking at the results a few weeks on, there is a smoothness to my face that remains all day, regardless of how exhausted I feel - that's what I call success.
Clinic 42, Photo Finish, costs $1100, allow 90 minutes.