Your Health Questions Answered

What Are Natural Esthetics?

Two new treatments claim to give you the look of a facelift without invasive surgery or chemical fillers.

By Allison Forsyth June 15, 2022

natural facial esthetics

Image: Kari Perrin

You've heard of Botox and fillers—but what about natural esthetics? The practice uses your body's own blood plasma to increase collagen production and plumpness, giving you a youthful glow without the facelift.

The treatments are growing in popularity at medical spas and dentists' offices around the country. Locally, CARE Esthetics in Lakewood Ranch, part of Lakewood Ranch Dental,  offers two of the latest natural esthetic treatments: Bio-Care and Bio-Lift. The practice is hosting an open house on Wednesday, June 15, and is currently accepting appointments.

Here's a rundown of the treatments and their benefits.

What is Bio-Care?

A five-step, chemical free process that claims to produce the look of Botox without using the chemical Clostridium botulinum (the main ingredient of Botox). It is painless and each treatment takes about 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the patient's needs. Benefits can include reduction of acne, scarring and wrinkles.

The first step includes smoothlase and liplase laser therapy. Both use FDA-approved lasers used to stimulate the natural production of collagen around the mouth, chin and lips. Then comes a laser peel, which removes the topmost layers of skin containing pigmentation, dark spots and uneven texture. (Heads up: your face will peel up to 10 days after the treatmen, so plan accordingly.)

Finally, you will receive microneedling, in which a small blood sample is taken from the patient and spun in a centrifuge machine to separate the plasma from red blood cells. The plasma is then re-injected into skin about 0.5 to 2.5 millimeters deep using a DermaPen, which contains 12 microneedles. The process claims to stimulate blood flow and increase collagen production.

What is Bio-Lift?

A three-step, noninvasive version of a facelift. Instead of going under the knife, estheticians can opt for Bio-Lift version because the aftercare is easier and there are fewer side effects. Bio-Lift uses the DermaPen to perform microneedling after a series of laser therapies. You should notice a lifted, toned look to the jaw, cheeks and forehead and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and laugh lines.

What aftercare is involved?

After these treatments, keeping the skin moisturized and free from infection is most important. Your esthetician may prescribe a low-dose antibiotic after treatment to help prevent infection and advise on the application of antibiotic ointment to help keep skin clear. If you're going out into the sun, you will need to apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

Estheticians can create a customized treatment plan and make creams, serums and fillers with your own platelet-rich fibrin to use in follow-up treatments. You can also have moles, veins and age spots removed once skin is healed.

Is the treatment painful?

Treatment should not be painful, but you can always ask your esthetician to modify it if you are experiencing pain. They may be able to inject or apply numbing solution or reduce the intensity of the treatment.

How long does each session take? When will you notice results?

Each treatment session, whether it's laser therapy or microneedling, should take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. After each session, you may notice redness, but that's normal and will go away within 24-48 hours. You could see improvement in the appearance and texture of skin as soon as one week into treatment. After four weeks, practitioners claim patients will see significant results and reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and scarring.

Who is the ideal candidate for natural esthetics?

Anyone wishing to get the facelift look without surgery is an ideal candidate for natural esthetics. If you're allergic to latex, the chemicals in Botox or anesthetics, natural esthetics is a potential alternative.

Are natural esthetics covered by insurance?

Unless you are receiving fillers for medical reasons, such as migraine headaches, jaw pain or tempomandibular disorder (TMJ), natural esthetics will not be covered by insurance. Since natural esthetics are typically for cosmetic reasons, most health insurance plans will not cover the cost.

How much does it cost?

Platelet-Rich Fibrin (PRF) treatment alone typically costs anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per session. Microneedling can cost anywhere from $200 to $700 per session.

CARE Esthetics is located at 6270 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota. The open house will take place Wednesday, June 15, from 6-8 p.m.

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