The world of aesthetics and cosmetic surgery is ever-growing and evolving. Over the last two years, people have had the time to really look at themselves and their faces, which has resulted in plastic, aesthetic and cosmetic enhancement products becoming more commonplace. Related companies and professionals worldwide, including the Middle East, are moulding their practices to accommodate this demand.
One such name is Teoxane. The Geneva-based leading global aesthetic and skincare player designs its products with Swiss science and excellence. Teoxane focuses on innovative hyaluronic dermal fillers, an award-winning range of bespoke products made of 100 per cent non-animal origin, cruelty-free and biodegradable hyaluronic acid (HA) that is highly biocompatible, offering immediate and long-lasting results. Valérie Taupin, the visionary behind Teoxane, built her aesthetics empire in 2003, with a commitment to provide avant-garde products based on rigorous scientific research delivering long-lasting natural results. Today, the benefits of HA are widely known amongst beauty enthusiasts and practitioners, and the industry recognises Teoxane as one of the first to incorporate HA with its cosmeceuticals range.
Crossing the 17-year mark, the company has grown from strength to strength, with a growing presence in over 90 countries around the world. It is now actively present in Turkey, Middle East and Africa region with a local office operating from Dubai, UAE.
Currently visiting Dubai from Teoxane is Dr Patrick Trevidic, the chief scientific officer (CSO), at Teoxane since 2018 who has several achievements under his belt. He has been a plastic surgeon for 20 years and is based in Paris, France, specialising in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. He is also the chairman of the surgery department at the Hospital Sainte-Anne where he carries out studies at the hospital’s research centre. Another feather in his cap was being the scientific director of Expert2Expert, the biggest group of aesthetic doctors in Europe, and writing several scientific articles that have been published across periodical and international journals. Dr Trevidic is a professor and lecturer on aesthetics at several universities and schools of medicine in France and abroad.
In conversation with Dr Trevidic, he elaborates on how Teoxane is pioneering non-invasive procedures and shares his expert opinions on skincare.
Initially, the aesthetics industry expected a stand-still with the onset of the pandemic. But, in reality, it was the complete opposite. With people having more time to examine their faces in bathroom mirrors and video calls, the industry saw a significant boost in demand — it has doubled year on year. Dr Trevidic notes that there was a shift in the business side where patient consultations were solely virtual instead of in-person. The industry has slowly incorporated a blended format — a mix of both in-person and video consultations. For Teoxane, this was not as big of a change, as the company was at the forefront of it, having already established blended consultations before the pandemic hit.
“When we conduct medical education seminars now, we have around 3,000 virtual attendees. While gaining momentum, it was also a good time for Teoxane to reflect on the company’s future and to find new paths of success in this new world,” says Dr Trevidic.
The leading surgeon also mentions that it has been found that if one is infected by Covid-19 or have received the vaccine, they will have to wait for a certain period before any aesthetic enhancements to avoid any inflammation.
The Middle East, and specifically the UAE, is also a major hub for aesthetic enhancements. Though he is a certified expert in his field, Dr Trevidic explains that entering this region was a different ball game and he had to understand the beauty standards of the natives along with their anatomy and ageing process, as it was poles apart from his European clients. Ethnicity, geography and culture are major influencers in a patient’s desire for the ‘ideal’ beauty, he says.
Many are interested in enhancing their skin but are evasive of surgeries. Dr Trevidic stresses that when it comes to cosmetic surgery versus non-invasive procedures, it is not a question of ‘either or’ — rather a synergy of the two is required to get different procedures done. Depending on the patient’s demands injections or surgery would be prescribed.
Comparing the two Dr Trevidic says, “Injections are important as we have proven with HA and botulinum toxin (botox) that we can smoothen the skin’s lines and folds, plump it up and visually slow down the ageing process. On the other hand, with surgery, you can remove fat from the lower region of your face, rhinoplasty, pull up the eyelids etc.”
He further explains that there are three factors in the ageing process. The first is gravity, pulling the facial muscles downwards; the second is the deterioration of the skin’s quality and the third, and most recently discovered, is the change in volume, where one loses fat in the upper part of the face and gains it on the lower. The only way to remove fat is through surgery while adding volume can be done through injection or fat grafting if surgery is necessary.
“As doctors, we need to educate the patient on all the options available and what results they can expect. We must be careful not to overpromise, which will result in disappointment. Many promote products that claim to lift the face through injection but that is not possible without surgery — patients must understand this from the beginning,” Dr Trevidic further elaborates.
There has been a significant shift from surgery to non-invasive procedures. Dr Trevidic mentions that previously the tear trough removal was done only by surgery but now with Teoxane’s Redensity 2, designed especially for the periorbital area, the enhancement can be done in 30 minutes.
Teoxane is one of the main companies worldwide with HA, a compound that was discovered 25 years ago. “HA is present in our bodies but this compound when taken out of the body only lasts for a few hours. To create a product that will work for a year to a year and a half, we needed to create a chain of HA through a method known as crosslinking. This is done with a crosslinking agent known as butanediol diglycidyl ether (BDDE). This was the first HA product on the market,” Dr Trevidic says.
As time went by, more discoveries on HA were made. Then, five years ago, Teoxane made the decision to stick to the body’s native HA and discovered a new technology course called the preservative network or resilient hyaluronic acid (RHA).
“The classic HA’s molecules do not allow movement but our face is very mobile. This created a very unnatural look for patients. So we got down to creating RHA, which is much more fluid and works well for aesthetic enhancements,” the surgeon explains.
Palette of products
Teoxane has a dynamic range of RHA products that vary in strengths and mobility. RHA 1 is a soft product with high mobility, but low strength for fine lines and improving skin quality. RHA 2 works well for the lips as it is more cohesive and has more strength but lesser mobility. RHA 3 is dedicated to fixing the folds. As it is a lifting product it needs higher strength. Lastly is RHA 4, which is a volumiser, has very high strength. All the RHA products can be injected superficially without resulting in any bumps. One can inject these products into the superficial layer of the skin that moves without any bumps. All are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medical Agency.
“One of my favourite Teoxane products is the Teosyal PureSense Ultra Deep, which is almost like an implant. It’s used to create a strong lift effect for the chin or mid-cheek. It is an immobile product, so it needs to be inserted deeply to avoid bumps,” Dr Trevedic says.
He also mentions that all the products contain pure HA plus anaesthetic lidocaine. This helps patients deal with any pain during and after the enhancement.
Dr Trevidic goes into detail about the necessary steps any cosmetic physician should take before treatment. When he became the CSO in Teoxane, he brought the ‘ATP’ approach along, which eventually became the Teoxane approach.
‘A’ refers to patient assessment, the ageing process and knowing their anatomy. Knowing the anatomy is key to the next step — the ’T’, which stands for techniques. This considers the technique of injector that will be utilised for the procedure. ‘P’ stands for the product being used for treatment.
“There is no one way, every doctor has a different method. As long as it works and the patient is happy with the result, it is a valid technique,” Dr Trevidic voices. This is the approach Teoxane champions.
When it comes to ageing beliefs, Dr Trevidic comments that there is no shortage of misinformation. He concludes with this advice: “People believe that they age because of smoking, the sun or pollution — in reality, this is responsible for only five per cent of ageing, the rest is genetic and cannot be stopped. My primary advice is to wear a face cream with Sun Protection Factor 30 — the younger you start, the better. Especially with how strong the sun is in this region, facial sunscreen is essential.”
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