Would you like to know how to look younger? I recently had Ellansé fillers at Bay Aesthetics Clinic and loved the significant yet subtle result for this collagen stimulating and facial rejuvenation treatment.
A long time ago in Singapore, I had a lovely English expat friend at least a decade older than myself. Her philosophy for ageing gracefully was that we women had to choose between our hips, bums-and-tums and our faces.
“Staying slim means losing facial fat and looking gaunt, wrinkly and old,” she warned. In other words, we should embrace the dreaded middle-age spread. What a great excuse to continue tucking into fried fish and chips and afternoon tea and cake.
But that was before today’s injectable facial fillers – also known as soft-tissue augmentation, and initially using hyaluronic acid (HA). Nowadays, it seems we can have our cake and eat it too.
For me personally, fillers are not about trying to look like someone else or a cartoon character by, say, sculpting impossible cheekbones or creating a trout-pout. (You do see some ludicrous results out there.) Instead, I’m looking to get back what time has taken away – in this case, upper facial volume.
Ellansé at Bay Aesthetics Clinic
Dr Bernard Tan has stylish new premises – Bay Aesthetics Clinic – in Marina Bay Link Mall. Just a few hundred metres from Downtown MRT, it’s perfectly located to serve the many thousands of financial district denizens in their lunchtimes.
Dr Tan is proud of his new baby, describing it as “a doctor-led clinic that strives to put clients first and provide quality treatments using the newest, US FDA-approved equipment and products.”
Why choose Ellansé?
While it would be easy to describe Ellansé fillers as new, it was actually EU approved in 2012, since when it’s also had the thumbs-up in Australia and throughout Asia. These fillers for facial rejuvenation are developed by UK-based Sinclair Pharma and manufactured in the Netherlands.
Both Ellansé and hyaluronic acid (HA) add volume, but HA is less longlasting. However, HA is reversible, while Ellansé is not.
Ellansé is made of poly-caprolactone (PCL) microspheres, a bio-resorbable polymer, suspended in a gel carrier. It’s the PCL that stimulates the skin to produce more collagen for a longer-term effect. The Ellansé particles are designed to break down in the body between three and six months after treatment – any remaining volumising effect is due to new collagen formation.
The irreversibility of these fillers means that your doctor has to be expert. “I have to get it right first time,” says Dr Bernard Tan. “There is no room for the patient not being happy with the result.” For him, this means a thorough consultation, plus an expert injection technique.
Who it’s for
Dr Tan describes Ellansé as an advanced filler, for advanced clients, that should be delivered by an advanced aesthetics doctor. “The ideal candidate is someone who has undergone hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers before, liked the result, and now wants something longer-lasting.”
Bingo! I had a successful and effective “liquid facelift” with HA fillers here in Singapore at least a dozen years ago. Ellansé treatment would also deliver a liquid facelift effect, said Dr Tan: “By volumising the upper part of the face, we’re effectively lifting the lower part.”
From the photo I’d emailed him, he’d already confirmed that I’d be a great candidate. With the loss of volume on my forehead and in my temples, my face had “dropped” over the years and was starting to sag.
Now, looking at me critically, he pinpointed the areas most in need of augmentation: forehead, temples, cheeks and nasolabial folds.
As the skin under my eyes is so thin and I was concerned about lumpiness, we would skip that area. For people with my super-fine skin texture, HA remains the treatment of choice for fillers under the eyes. The same goes for fillers in lips.
At Bay Aesthetics, the charge for receiving each one-millilitre syringe of Ellansé is $1,200. How many vials you need depends on your age and the desired degree of volumisation.
For the typical client in their forties or fifties, full-face rejuvenation requires eight to ten syringes. For me, he used eight – a not-inconsiderable investment.
Though not essential, it’s common practice to divide the treatment into two sessions (or more): four syringes at the first one, and four or more at the second one. That could be to reduce downtime, to achieve a more incremental and less obvious improvement… or simply to spare the budget.
It’s easy to forget exactly what you looked like before treatment – especially when the post-healing results are so natural. That’s where being able to do an objective assessment of facial volumetrics comes in so handy.
Using a special 3D camera with image analysis, Dr Tan takes photos before treatment and immediately after treatment. He will take a third set at the follow-up a couple of months later, where results can be assessed most accurately.
“I like to document objectively the degree of improvement after a filler treatment,” he explained. “It also helps us track progress over the years.” Needle time! Several local anaesthetic injections around the hairline on the sides of my face helped to minimise any discomfort from the blunt needle that Dr Tan would use to inject the product.
I cannot truthfully say that the next half hour of treatment was painless. He said I should expect a “pulling” sensation, and that’s pretty accurate. Brief moments were distinctly ouch-y, but it was generally bearable.
Meanwhile, his sweet and soothing assistant Yumi patted my arm kindly and radiated sympathy. She’d also handed me a couple of squeezy toys, apparently in the hope that I’d vent on them rather than on her boss.
I’d been told to expect mild swelling and a tight sensation for up to five days while the product was being integrated into my skin. During that time, I should avoid massage, sauna and vigorous exercise. Light makeup would cover any needle-marks or bruising.
Barely four hours later, I met my friend Geri for drinks and dinner at Dempsey. Warned to expect a red and lumpy-faced me, she’d kindly booked a table in a dark corner – good thinking, but not strictly necessary.
Also, I’d be flying to France three days after treatment. Dr Tan said that should be perfectly fine, and it was. And when I met up with my husband on Day Four, he noticed nothing amiss.
Six weeks later
An important advantage of Ellansé filler, compared to HA, is its promise to visibly improve skin quality within one to two months. Today, my skin is looking as good as ever – plump, resilient and glowing. As for the volumising and uplifting effect, it’s exactly what I’d hoped for: a subtle yet significant rejuvenation.
This article on Ellanse fillers appeared in the July 2023 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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