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Did you know you can use your body fat to plump up another area of your body? Have you been told that your best hyperpigmentation treatment is dependent on your skin tone? If not, we will fill you in on the details. We interviewed Dr. Anushka Reddy, founder of Medi-Sculpt and Vivari Aesthetics. She divulges the cutting-edge advancements in the world of cosmetic procedures – and what to be wary of.

Botox and fillers are still the cornerstones of most aesthetic practices – and will likely continue to be. However, regenerative medicine is beginning to enhance the aesthetic landscape as we know it. This branch of the treatment deals with “replacing” or restoring human cells, tissues, or organs to their normal function.

Aesthetic doctors in South Africa are keeping up to speed with these groundbreaking new developments. What’s more, they’re executing the job well – and international patients are taking notice. As a result, South African medical tourism is growing. Evidently, they’re doing a few things right, and natural-looking results are one of them. Of course, we unpack these topics in greater length in our How to Live Beyond 100 bookazine.

Dr. Anushka Reddy: Fat is opening the regenerative skincare door

According to Dr. Reddy, fat is gaining popularity with these regenerative practices. She’s not referring to dietary fats or an increased number on the scale. Today, aesthetic doctors use techniques to transfer a patient’s excess fat tissue to renew other body parts.

Women with fat sucked out in different parts of their bodies appear to be remorseful when they hit their 50s. This is because the absence of fat means no support for their aging skin (which becomes loose and saggy far too soon). For example, Dr. Reddy expressed how the buccal fat removal procedure does not bode well for your appearance in your later years.

Beware of where you’re removing fat from

Those in their 20s and 30s enjoy having a more snatched and mature face. This is exactly what makes the buccal fat removal surgery attractive. Cheek liposuction can enhance your natural contours. But you run the risk of premature aging.

The fat pads in your cheeks, in addition to bone, support your face and skin. Of course, you naturally lose volume in your cheeks as you age. So, a 40-year-old (who removed their buccal fat pads years prior) can have a saggy face. This can make her/him look considerably older. Consequently, Dr. Anushka Reddy believes that replacements for this sucked-out fat will become more accessible.

Fats last much longer than your standard fillers

Certainly, it may seem strange to have the volume loss in your face restored with fat instead of fillers. However, this method (known as fat grafting) is less likely to produce puffiness, and it’s completely natural. Still not sold on the idea? Well, we were pleased to learn about the longevity aspect behind fat grafting, something its filler counterparts lack.

“The great advantage of fat is that it lasts for 8 to 10 years. It’s not like normal hyaluronic acid fillers where you’re getting between 12 and 18 months, or bio-stimulators or calcium fillers, where you’re getting 12, maybe 18 to 24 months,” informs Dr. Reddy, “So, this is putting it up to a very long period. It’s worthwhile, although expensive. But the cost is relative.”

So, how exactly does this fat transfer work? Dr. Reddy explained how harvesting fat from elsewhere in the body is the simplest way to replace fat in other areas.

Now, what about those who don’t have much fat tissue to go around? Fortunately, an alternative solution is available. Leaner patients can use purified fat in a syringe and have it injected like a filler. Only, this method is not readily available in South Africa yet.

Don’t neglect your sunblock

Most of us enjoy basking in the sun. But none of us should overdo it, as far as our desire for supple and hyperpigmentation-free skin is concerned. Melasma, a type of hyperpigmentation disorder, may be influenced by hormones, but UV ray exposure can worsen it. Dr. Reddy advised on the importance of preventive measures in this regard. Naturally, your first line of defense is none other than sunscreen.

“For me, the most important thing to use to prevent hyperpigmentation is sunblock, even if it’s winter, or you’re only going to the shops. If you are prone to hyperpigmentation, you must wear sunblock.”

What do you do for the damage already done? Fear not. There are treatments available should your skin fall in harm’s way. Dr. Reddy remarked that treating melasma, or any hyperpigmentation, depends on the skin. However, it’s wise to start with a topical cream/agent.

Here are her recommendations for different skin tones:

  • Caucasian skin

Lighter skin can handle laser treatments because there’s no risk of worsening pigmentation. Kojic acid (no prescription required) can also be applied as it’s an excellent dark spot corrector.

  • African/Indian or dark skin

It’s better to avoid devices that produce heat because it can aggravate melasma/pigmentation in darker skin types. The topical application route is a safer one. What’s more, kojic acid works well for darker complexions too. However, hydroquinone (a skin-lightening agent) does not work for everyone and can sometimes worsen hyperpigmentation. The ‘Skincare by Dr V’ range, from the UK, is recommended for Indian skin, showing good results.

Not quite ready for fillers? Try exosomes and PRP facials

Botox and fillers are great – but some people would like their skin rejuvenated with non-invasive methods. Dr. Reddy revealed that stem cells and exosome facials have garnered attention for their benefit. They require minimal downtime and typically have no side effects.

The natural aging process and chronic diseases can interfere with cell interaction in your body. However, exosome therapy is excellent for restoring cell communication to encourage healing. It stimulates the body’s own regenerative processes to repair itself.

PRP facials, on the other hand, involve withdrawing your blood. Thereafter, it undergoes a process to isolate its platelet-rich plasma (PRP). This is then re-injected into your face to promote collagen production.

This minimally invasive regenerative technique can improve skin texture and tone. So, it may be worth looking into if you have any wrinkles, scarring, or sun damage.

Grab the latest issue of Longevity Magazine

Interested in learning more about the new anti-aging methods on the aesthetics playground?

Access a digital copy of our How to Live Beyond 100 bookazine via Zinio, with the gorgeous Katherine Kelly Lang gracing the cover. Alternatively, readers living in southern Africa may purchase a hard copy from select retail stores.

Watch the interview


Cover image source: Dr Anushka Reddy

Caela Bennett

Caela Bennett

Caela Bennett is a wellness content writer and holistic health coach. She hopes to enlighten people through powerful storytelling and offer clarity when navigating the noise within the realm of health. In addition, she guides others in awakening their self-discovery journey and embodying the best version of themselves. Her work is rooted in the philosophy of alchemy: turning metal into gold, i.e., transforming one thing into something better. While she is a maximalist in expressing herself through words, she is a minimalist in lifestyle pursuits.


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