Smoothen fine lines and look revitalised: How this ‘tweakment’ helps boost skin’s collagen for a natural lift

This new injectable stimulates collagen production from within for a longer-lasting effect, says Dr Wong Chu Hui from The Artisan Clinic

Younger women, and those who are new to aesthetic treatments, prefer procedures that can subtly slow down ageing. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin, sunken foreheads and temples: If you have noticed any of these signs on your face, you have spotted signs of ageing. 

Regular exercise, adequate rest and eating healthily can all play a part in helping you look and feel great. But if you want to give your visage a little perk-me-up – without any permanent changes to your facial structure – a non-invasive collagen-boosting treatment could be the way to go.

“After 30 years old, we start to lose about 1 to 2 per cent of our skin’s collagen and the effects are significant around our face,” says Dr Wong Chu Hui, an aesthetic doctor at The Artisan Clinic. “The rate of collagen synthesis in our body decreases with age, so by increasing the rate, we can rejuvenate the skin, making it younger and healthier-looking.”  

According to Dr Wong, who has a special interest in preventive treatments, many of her patients, especially the younger ones in their 20s and who are new to aesthetic treatments, prefer procedures that can subtly slow down ageing. 

They are after “tweakments” – a little enhancement, rather than an alteration, she adds.

“While some existing hyaluronic acid skin-booster fillers have a regenerative impact on collagen in the skin, their main purpose would primarily be for hydrating the skin,” notes Dr Wong. “For patients who are looking for an overall facial skin rejuvenation and anti-ageing effect, I usually recommend a treatment called Gouri.”  

How Gouri helps with collagen replenishing

Gouri is a liquid-type PCL (polycaprolactone) injectable and is specifically injected into layers of the skin to stimulate collagen production. 

PCL is a well-known, biocompatible, biodegradable liquid medical polymer. It stimulates your skin cells to create your own Type-I collagen which is the most abundant collagen in the human body and helps to preserve the collagen levels in your skin, hair and nails.

After PCL is absorbed by the body and has done its job, it is broken down into carbon dioxide and water and passed out naturally, says Dr Wong. 

The Gouri treatment has a recommended protocol of 10 injection points – areas above your eyebrows, around the outer corner of your eyes, and three points on the cheeks – to ensure collagen production on the entire face.  

Since the Gouri treatment contains 21 per cent PCL and 79 per cent water and it does not contain any additional particles or proteins which might impede its solubility in water, it will be evenly distributed and absorbed into your skin cells. 

As it spreads out easily and regenerates collagen at a wider surface area than the injection points, the treatment will give your face a thorough rejuvenating and lifting effect.

“This is different from hyaluronic acid fillers, polynucleotide or other PCL injectables which usually come in gel or paste forms,” says Dr Wong. “Being in a liquid state allows it to be injected more easily, resulting in a more comfortable experience for the patients."

As Gouri is not a filler, it will not cause an overly plumped-up appearance, says Dr Wong.

As Gouri is not a filler, it will not cause an overly plumped-up appearance, says Dr Wong Chu Hui, an aesthetic doctor. PHOTO: THE ARTISAN CLINIC

A little ‘tweakment’ goes a long way

Gouri is suitable for those looking to dip their toes into facial anti-ageing treatments or are interested in slow ageing.

Dr Wong elaborates, “The results may be more apparent in mature patients. Having said that, I am also seeing more younger patients who want to ‘prejuvenate’ and delay the ageing process.” 

The initial effects from the Gouri treatment can be seen after just one to two weeks.   

Each treatment duration is short and patients can expect to be out within 30 minutes, with minimal recovery time.

If you are concerned about pain, you can request for a numbing cream to be applied. Otherwise most patients usually opt for icing on the injection points. 

It requires a slow and steady hand to administer the injections, so the entire procedure usually takes around five to 10 minutes depending on the number of areas being treated.

“For best results, it is recommended to undergo a monthly Gouri treatment over three months,” says Dr Wong. “The effects of your rejuvenated skin will last between six to twelve months.”

For some patients with more obvious skin thinning, a big improvement can be observed just after one session.

Initial effects from the Gouri treatment can be seen after just one to two weeks. PHOTO: THE ARTISAN CLINIC

Combining Gouri with other treatments for optimal results 

Since Gouri only stimulates the skin cells to make more new collagen and ageing happens across other layers like fats, muscles and bones, Dr Wong recommends pairing it with other treatments to address all of your facial concerns. 

“Ageing unfortunately is not confined to just the skin layers, so I prefer a holistic approach to target different facial planes in tandem with procedures like fillers, thread lifts and skin tightening devices,” says Dr Wong. 

Volumising fillers or fat grafts help to replace volume loss in your face while wrinkles can be addressed with Botox by Allerga. For facial sagging, lifting devices or thread lifts to lift up the soft tissue and skin are ideal.  

If a patient has significant skin ageing changes, Dr Wong says they can choose to work on the superficial skin layer first before moving on to the other layers. 

She personally prefers performing the Gouri treatment right after skin-rejuvenating treatments like PicoSure Pro (using a 755nm alexandrite picosecond laser) or Potenza (a microneedling radiofrequency device) on the same day. 

An improvement in pigment-reduction, skin tone, elasticity and facial smoothness can be seen three to five days after using this combined protocol. 

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