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Aesthetics and wellness: fancy a makeover?

Have you heard of "tweakments"? This article explains this latest aesthetic treatment trend, what it does, who it's suitable for, and why you should or shouldn't consider it.

Following the rise of virtual meetings during the pandemic, people are becoming increasingly aware of their appearance. Working from home can affect self-confidence as you are constantly staring at your own appearance, which often leads to nitpicking.

When having conversations near a mirror, it's normal for people to get distracted and look at their own reflections. With virtual meetings, your reflection is built into the interface, making it virtually inescapable.

The pandemic caused a surge in visits to aesthetic treatment clinics, with some clinics in Singapore seeing a 10 per cent increase compared to pre-pandemic.

Although aesthetic treatments have become more common worldwide, many people are not aware of the various degree of treatments such as tweakments.

We spoke to Dr. Chua Jun Jin, a plastic surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre, to learn more about aesthetic treatments and their latest trend — tweakments.

What are tweakments?

Tweakments are non-surgical procedures that enhance your natural beauty.

According to Dr Chua, there are two main groups of patients — those who want dramatic changes and those who prefer minor tweaks.

If you're part of the latter group, you might have looked into procedures like Botox injections before. Other non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments include medical skincare, oral supplements, filler injections and machine treatments.

These refinements help people avoid making drastic changes to their face but instead refresh it with facial tweaks. This encourages people to embrace their beauty and age gracefully.

Tweakments versus cosmetic surgery

Beauty enhancements usually fall into one of these categories: aesthetic treatments (also known as tweakments) or cosmetic surgery. Aesthetic treatments can be non-invasive (e.g.cream, some machine treatments) or minimally invasive (e.g. laser, injections), both of which have minimal downtime and subtle results.

Other examples of tweakments include:

  • topical creams
  • facials
  • machine-based therapies (pulsed light, variety of light waves, laser, radiofrequency, ultrasound)
  • skin threading for nose augmentation and lifting of skin
  • filler injections to improve shallow and deep lines and augment cheeks, chin, or nose
  • Cosmetic surgery, on the other hand, includes eyelid surgery, face lifts, nose and chin surgery, ear pinbacks, and so on.

    As tweakments fall under aesthetic treatments, the results you'll get are much subtler as they are designed to look like a minor improvement rather than a significant modification.

    Since tweakments are non-surgical and non-invasive, they usually have shorter recovery times, lower cost, and lower risks than cosmetic surgery.

    "Your choice of plastic surgery will have different results, recovery, risks, and costs. It is important to be clear about what you want and to consult an expert," Dr Chua advises.

    While cosmetic surgery usually involves big changes to your face shape and structure, tweakments focus on enhancing and beautifying your features.

    Some common tweakments include:
  • Addressing undereye bags
  • Naturally plumping your cheeks
  • Fading acne scars or sun spots
  • Adding fullness to your lips
  • Reducing fine lines and wrinkles
  • By addressing things on a micro-scale, people can make small changes so their face will look as natural as possible.

    Who benefits from tweakments?

    If you are looking for small but noticeable skin improvements, tweakments may be suitable for you.

    "With more people going outdoors, the outdoor mask mandate being lifted, and larger social gatherings, more people will want to look young and fresh," he adds.

    "Tweakments can solve deep facial lines, loose or droopy skin, and skin concerns such as visible pores, wrinkles, pigmentation, growth and uneven skin tone."

    "They can improve self-confidence and boost self-care. Many studies have shown benefits in relation to self-esteem and happiness," he continues.

    The takeaway

    Even though aesthetic treatments are increasingly popular and tweakments more so as they are less invasive, they are still procedures that will change your appearance permanently.

    Going for a tweakment during the pandemic may sound like a nice pick-me-up, but experts warn that lack of research, an addiction to tweakments, and botched jobs can lead to more significant problems and negative psychological effects. In other words, tweakments and surgery should not be considered the first option.

    "You should aim to live a healthy lifestyle to slow down ageing and improve your quality of life. Avoid harsh sunlight, mitigate stress, engage socially, eat a balanced diet, quit smoking, reduce drinking, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, and sleep well," Dr Chua recommends.

    By prioritising your health and wellness, you will be able to naturally look and feel your best.

    Interview with Dr JJ Chua

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