A manufacturer of hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers and skincare products, Teoxane is a key global player in aesthetic medicine and skincare. HEALTH met with Teoxane’s Chief Scientific Officer/Plastic Surgeon Dr. Patrick Trevidic who discusses their range of highly effective hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers designed to treat wrinkles, give volume to the face, and improve skin quality.
Consumer increase and the pandemic
With global government mandates for wearing masks during the pandemic, Dr. Trevidic assumed there would be a decrease in the demand for the aesthetic fillers. He elaborates, “In fact, it was quite the opposite for several reasons. First, people were at home with their spouses and families, prompting many to pay more attention to their physical appearance.” Also, suddenly Zoom became integral in everyone’s lives—from meetings to parties. “Zoom is similar to a mirror and creates facial distortion,” he says, so, a person on an early morning Zoom meeting sans makeup may wonder what happened to their face. Another key factor during the pandemic is that downtime, including bruising and swelling became irrelevant. Dr. Trevidic points out that the patient who was keen to plump up her lips, but worried about post treatment bruising was able to undergo the procedure because of the face mask.
The selfie culture
Though aesthetic procedures definitely boomed during the pandemic, Dr. Trevidic reminds us that the boom was very much apparent before the pandemic because of the selfie culture. “Like Zoom, selfies distort the face to a certain degree, so younger people and the millennials are noticing imperfections, driving the demand for aesthetic procedures,” he says, and as per their generation, glossy, photoshopped media images have raised the bar on beauty standards.
Finding a balance with social media
With TikTok and Instagram being an intrinsic part of life, Dr. Trevidic is cautious about the trends disseminated from social media platforms. “There is better and there is worse on social media; finding that balance can be tricky,” he says. “For Teoxane, a Swiss company launched in Geneva in 2003 by Madame Valérie Taupin, solid, evidence-based medical aesthetics is at its core and it is this scientific integrity that has always underpinned Teoxane.”
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring glycosaminoglycan found throughout the body’s connective tissue. According to Dr. Trevidic, our body contains HA in the skin and the eyes, and it is a core part of the structure of our skin. “But during the aging process, we lose both HA and collagen,” he says. “HA was first used for nasolabial folds around 30 years ago by a Swedish chemist who discovered how to inject HA to reverse the anti-aging process.” While our naturally occurring HA is in long-chain form, it had to be mixed/embedded in order to fight our body’s naturally occurring enzymes that destroy our HA. About 10 years later, researchers concluded that one type of HA could not effectively manage all problems, and required a scale of HA products, ranging from liquid to cohesive consistencies.
Then six years ago in a lab, Dr. Trevidic reveals that the discovery was made on developing a preserved network that mimics our natural shape with a long chain to enable movement. “This was the step forward and enabled the scale of products of RHA®, 1 to 4. “RHA® has four grades to allow us to treat all kinds of lines, skin quality, volume, and so on, depending on the patient,” he explains. “Teosyal RHA® is the first dermal filler speciﬁcally designed with high strength and high stretch properties developed with the objective of mimicking the natural HA in our skin.” Moreover, Teoxane’s technology is constantly improving and their labs are continuously innovating products for the future.
Best to start early
Some patients’ come for beautification, for example, to plump up the lips, while others may come for rejuvenation. These are the classical demands patients’ have, says Dr. Trevidic. He elaborates, “Now, after our experience in all realms of aesthetics ranging from lasers to fillers, we discovered that if a patient starts early when he/she has fine lines, it can be treated easily. However, if the patient has deep lines, it will definitely be harder to treat.” So, he recommends starting early as not only will less product be required, the outcome will be better and also less noticeable.
A common misconception from consumers is that clever marketing of aesthetic procedures is what drives demand, but the reality of today’s social media and selfie culture paradigm is that younger women and millennials are promoting HA in younger age groups. Dr. Trevidic adds, “It’s not only the doctors who are creating a need, but the demand is coming from the patients’ who are now seeking out certain procedures because friends are doing it; this is driving this demand. Yet, despite this demand for procedures at an earlier age, Dr. Trevidic warns that patient selection must be judicious. “We must be discerning and not accept all patients’ randomly.”