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Refreshing your look without a facelift

By: By Nicole Starker Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014 06:00 am

BEAUTY – Becky Wilkins, owner of External Affairs in Edmonton, uses a non-surgical soft lift option that utilizes injections instead of surgery to help restore a youthful look.
BEAUTY – Becky Wilkins, owner of External Affairs in Edmonton, uses a non-surgical soft lift option that utilizes injections instead of surgery to help restore a youthful look.
CHRIS COLBOURNE/St. Albert Gazette

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When wrinkles begin to appear, many women reach for creams and lotions rather than having surgery, but other methods are emerging to soften lines.

Registered nurse Becky Wilkins, clinical director at External Affairs, says Soft Lift has become popular with patients seeking a no-surgery, no-downtime option.

Soft Lift is a customized treatment using injections of Botox and Juvederm in combination.

“It’s like (patients) say, ‘I feel pretty good, but I look in the mirror and I look tired,’” Wilkins says. “It’s all about refreshing.”

She says a good candidate for Soft Lift is anyone who is seeing the effects of not necessarily just the aging process, but also a lack of volume starting to appear in their face.

An initial consultation focuses on the patient’s goals and discussing whether those can be achieved with Soft Lift. The next step is identifying what is causing the problems and creating a treatment plan mapping out the areas and lines for injection.

“If muscle movement is causing the problem, as in crow’s feet or frown lines, then Botox is the first treatment of choice,” Wilkins says. “And the reason why is Botox affects the ability of the muscle to contract.”

If a lack of volume is the problem or there are deep lines in the face at rest, Wilkins says that is when a facial filler like Juvederm is useful.

“Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid product … hyaluronic acid molecules attract water. They attract water to themselves so it gives you that volumizing effect,” Wilkins says. “It is just a plant-based version of what our bodies actually make, because we make hyaluronic acid. It’s in our eyes, it’s in our skin, it’s in our joints.”

She says the goal of the clinic is not to make a 50-year-old woman look 20, but rather to try to help women look and feel ten years younger.

“There are some injectors out in this world who over-inject with this goal of trying to plump out the skin and it looks silly. People look puffy, and that’s not our goal,” says Wilkins. “It’s to put back what was there.”

The procedure is not done in one sitting of injections and Wilkins says going slowly and doing the injections over a period of time tends to increase patient satisfaction.

“By going slowly, what we find is that it enables the patient to really be in control. So they’re never over-injected; you didn’t go over their budget.”

Going slowly also avoids patients revealing a sudden, dramatic change to their look.

“What (patients) want to hear is, ‘You look really great, what have you been up to?’ That’s our goal, and good Soft Lifts should be undetectable.”

A typical Soft Lift ranges between $1,500 and $2,500 depending on the number of injections and amount of product required, and further injections may be required later on to maintain results.


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