If you recall an article I had written about skin care and fighting gravity, you would know that I have become rather sceptical of what products promise. The difference between promising and delivering is still tenuous in many cases. However, I am still keen on learning about new products given that the technology in this sector is ever-advancing and improving, so one must not lose hope entirely. Moreover, there is a good deal of willingness on my behalf to try products that can help the skin even if it is to delay rather than prevent aging effects. Let us say that I give a chance to everyone fair and square.
It was with this sense of curiosity and interest that I made my way on a Friday afternoon to Gianpula Complex where a seminar was held on the launch of a new treatment in skin care being offered by Niumee: Juvederm Volite. For thus event, I was cordially invited by Katrine Agius, Allergan’s Business Unit Manager, at Vivian Corporation Ltd.
Juvederm Volite is not a product that comes in the form of creams or anything one applies to the face. Instead, it is a treatment administered by an aesthetic doctor. So at this point you must be thinking that it must involve injections. It does, but for different reasons, which I will be explaining below.
The seminar was held by two experts in the field, brought over by Allergan Medical Institute. Dimitris Sykianakis talked about the improvement of skin smoothness, hydration, and elasticity. However, his main argument centred on how women feel about themselves. He noted that often women talk about how tired, dull, or old they feel about their skin. The idea that is us women tend to convey our thoughts about our skin quality through emotions. This, he reckoned, is more important, because it is all very good if we talk about elasticity and resilience of the skin, but how often do we use these words anyway when expressing how we feel? That is why he said that Juvederm Volite is an emotional product because, apart from targeting the skin condition, it also boosts one’s emotional wellbeing. I hear what you must be saying at this point. The sceptic in you might be rearing its head and stating that it is all nonsense, but think about how you refer to your skin. Do you find yourself saying ‘I feel my skin is not that smooth or elastic’ or ‘Lately I have been feeling worn out?’ If your answer is the second, then I think Sykianakis has a point. Which brings us to what happens when women opt for Juvederm Volite. Before the treatment, he said his female patients go in feeling bad about themselves. After 7-10 days, they start talking about their skin, about glowing and more youthful they feel it is. Note that it is after a number of days rather than immediately that one should expect the change because it takes time for the product to start working.
Now if you consider this angle, it all makes sense why we fight age at all costs, because of how it makes us feel apart from how we think we look. It has become rather difficult to feel good about oneself given that we are bombarded with younger, fresher faces. Social media or any type of media do not make it easier either, as they promote an ageless concept. There are solutions of course to this malaise: you either decide not to look anymore, to switch off, or you decide not to care, or you decide to accept how you are. The third solution seems to be the best, but it is easier said than done. Even if you do try not to look or even if you do switch off from social media, you will still meet people in real life who will look younger and fresher than you. Then what? The only radical conclusion would be to stop caring, and that is equivalent to giving up on life.
Another argument that was raised concerned the power of cream and skin care products. As I have also asked in the aforementioned article, do they work and how much do you have to spend to feel that you are investing in your skin? I would like to believe that they do help the skin, but I have also been told repeatedly that they will not make miracles. I reiterate that I would still not give up on products that have been created to target certain deficiencies of the skin, but the willingness to go beyond is also strong.
Fortunately, I am not the only one with the above concerns. In the second part of the presentation, Dimitris Vrachos took over and talked about patients’ perceptions of skin treatments. He stressed how important these are and, quoting John Dewey, he stated that ‘We do not learn from experience but we learn from reflecting on experience’. This explains why Allergan is committed to research, and through a survey called ‘The changing faces of beauty’, it was revealed that women want to look great primarily for themselves, not for others. So this overthrows the belief that we do what we do, or feel how we feel, because of societal pressures. At the same time, the beliefs and perceptions of beauty are often different, personal, and unique to women. Despite this, one common aspect that evens out any differences in perception is that skin quality was considered to be the new beauty ideal, at a par with body shape and figure. Unsurprisingly, women have become more committed to good skin care routine. Once again, the sceptics among you must be wondering why should we all bother?, and why should we allow companies and brands to make millions out of our obsession with good skin? The answer is that if we value our life then we should care about how we look, and more importantly, how this makes us feel.
So Juvederm Volite, what does it do? First of all, it is an injectable hyaluronic acid (HA) gel to improve smoothness, hydration, and elasticity – three qualities one associates with youth. It can be used on the face, neck, décolletage, and hands. It works against free radicals which are known to cause damage to the skin, while the HA adds hydration and increases collagen production. Allergan have tested Juvederm and results indicate that it works on smoothing and improving the lines. However, it will vary from person to person, and depends on other factors, such as skin condition and age. It has to be pointed out that it is ideal if one thinks ahead and does it at the early onset of wrinkles or lines, because it will be more difficult when these are already pronounced. Overall, Juvederm Volite could be another avenue to consider if you feel that you need something that goes deeper – after all, you wear your face every day, so there is nothing wrong in investing in it.
Finally, if you are convinced and interested in the above treatment, it is being offered by Niumee centre in St Venera. The team there will definitely take care of you and answer any questions you might have!